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I think about this every day. Every single day.

Life. Is. Short.

If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I have a very strong stance on how short I believe life to be. I’m a huge advocate for finding what it is that lights you up inside and going after it with all of your heart.

I think about my own mortality constantly and it drives me to make the decisions I make each day. I often ponder what my thoughts will be when I’m close to death (assuming I know) and it scares the shit out of me to think that I’ll have too many regrets and not enough fulfilling life experiences.

Don’t Take ANY Day For Granted

Each day is a blessing. Truly they are. I’m not a big “blessing” guy but I do believe that we need to relish each moment that we are lucky enough to be alive. And as you’ll see in the ensuing photographs and stories, it can all end in a single moment.

 

NYC Subway Victim

life is short

Ki Suk Han was just going about his business one Friday afternoon when he was pushed from behind by a homeless man. He ended up on the tracks with a train fast approaching. He was unable to pull himself up in time and this photo was snapped moments before he was crushed to death.

Here’s a guy who was going about his normal daily routine and the last thing probably on his mind was being pushed in front of a moving train. The scariest part is that this was a totally random act and can happen to any one of us at any time.

Aurora Movie Theater Shooting

life is short

On July 20, 2012, a man walked into a movie theater in Aurora Colorado and opened fire without warning. Subsequently, 12 people were killed and 70 more injured. There is no rhyme or reason behind this massacre, just a number of beautiful lives cut short, including a 6 year old girl.

The senseless act of a mentally unstable individual ended 12 lives and changed countless more.

Son Dying Of AIDS

life is short

This heartbreaking photo shows a young man in his final moments dying from AIDS with his parents and sister by his side. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one to a terminal disease or know someone who has. AIDS happens. Cancer happens. Heart disease happens.

My uncle Richard died from complications due to the AIDS virus and although I was not close to him, his tragic loss was felt deeply by my family. Don’t take your health for granted. A seemingly healthy and fit person can be diagnosed with any number of fatal diseases and be gone in a blink of an eye.

Two Kisses For Maddy

life is short

This is a picture Liz Logelin, pregnant with her first child, and her husband, Matt. After a terrible pregnancy, Liz game birth to their daughter Madeline. At the hospital the next day Liz left light headed and collapsed into Matt’s arms. She died of a pulmonary embolism shortly thereafter, shattering Matt’s life in the process. Matt shares his story on his blog and has gained widespread notoriety. Liz’s death is yet another example of how life can change in a moment and a crumpled family left asking “why”?

My ex-wife had awful experiences during her pregnancies with our two daughters and I often feared for her health and for that of our unborn children.

Sandy Hook School Shooting

life is short

On a cold day in December in 2012, Adam Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and began a killing spree. In total, 20 children and 6 adults were killed. This story is horrifying in so many ways and having two daughters in elementary school makes it all the more upsetting.

We are powerless against random acts of violence and with mass shootings becoming more and more prevalent, it’s a parents nightmare to think this could happen at our children’s school.

Two Sisters Die In Fire

life is short

This is a tragedy that happened last year close to where I live. It’s the story of a house fire in Myersville, Maryland that claimed the lives of two sisters, Madigan and Sophie. Something as simple as a baseboard heater touching the drapes was enough to set the house aflame and forever change the lives of their family.

I couldn’t even get through selecting this photo without tearing up as it is so incredibly sad. Having two little girls myself, the mere thought of this happening is incomprehensible.

Father and Son Scuba Drowning

life is short

Darrin Spivey and his son Dillon Sanchez decided to spend their Christmas day scuba diving in Florida’s Eagle’s Nest Sink. What should have been a great father/son bonding experience turned into a nightmare when they misjudged the oxygen levels in their tanks and drowned.

Think of this the next time you are doing something special with your son or daughter. Cherish the moment for all its worth because it’s invaluable. When one of my daughters asks me to play dress up with her, I do it because those are the most precious times I will ever have.

Don’t brush your children off and send them away to watch tv or play video games. Use those moments to connect with them and love them unconditionally. Can you tell me anything stronger that a parents love for their son or daughter?

Boston Marathon Bombing

life is short

I was in a sales conference in Connecticut when the bombing happened. I was scheduled to take the Amtrak train back to Washington DC the afternoon this happened. As you can imagine, there was widespread panic as they had not caught the bomber and feared more was to come.  All train service was cancelled and I was stranded. Of course, none of this is important compared to the 3 people that were killed and the more than 250 that were injured.

You might live a healthy life. You don’t smoke, you rarely drink, you watch what you eat, and you exercise. And then you decide to achieve one of your personal goals by running the Boston Marathon. We just never know when, where, or how something like this will happen.

A Father’s Life Cut Short By Cancer

life is short

Sean LaDue was married to the love of his life in March 2012. Three weeks later he went to see his doctor thinking he had a hernia. He was informed that it was not a hernia but in fact stage 4 stomach cancer. And after 18 months in and out of hospitals, he was gone.

Sean’s story hit me particularly hard not because I knew him, although he was a very close friend of a friend of mine, but he was my age, was fit, happy, had two small children, and a great deal to live for.

I also should mention that a close friend told me this story at a bar that fateful night in July of 2013 that slapped me upside the head and challenged me to make huge changes in my life. I shared that story here.

Seize YOUR Day

life is short

My hope is that one or all of these stories awoke something inside of you and screamed “wake the fuck up” and start living the life you want and deserve. Grab today by the balls and take control of your destiny. Make a change. Do something grand. Give unconditionally. Go for broke. Follow your heart.

Your life and mine can be gone in a flash. We are not exempt from freak accidents, terminal illnesses, or natural disasters. Remember this the next time you are making a decision. None of these people expected to have their lives end so abruptly and we need to consider ourselves lucky that we are alive and breathing today.

Is there a story that makes you appreciate life more? Do you have a personal experience you would like to share?

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