Tragedies remind us to CARPE DIEM

sylvie church 3

I sat at my home office desk when I first saw the headline “Tragedy, train crashes in Santiago Spain” and my stomach cramped, my throat got dry and my eyes filled with tears. Without even knowing the extent of this terrible accident or the details, I was flooded with emotions because once again, when tragedy happened I was filled with both intense gratitude for being safe and sound, and awareness of the fragility of life. There have been quite a few times when tragedy hit me hard even though I wasn’t a victim of those events.

These past few months were spent in Spain and France, and several times I have been on high speed trains in Spain. In fact, my last train ride was from Sahagun to Madrid less than one week ago. When the twin towers fell in New York in 2001, I was at a business conference in Orlando, and flying from the various airports where the doomed air planes left their respective runways that day was something I regularly did in my career. In these times, even more often than usual I am reminded of the saying CARPE DIEM. We know it as a loose translation of SEIZE THE DAY.

A phrase that is used over and over again to emphasize that we should FULLY live in the present. My philosophy has been to live life as if it was my last day because, well, one day, that will be the case. I try my best to not have any unfinished business. I do not hesitate to live life to the fullest of my abilities. I try not be miss an opportunity to let people know I care and love them. I give life my 110% as often as possible and I am grateful every single morning I wake up at the realization that I have one more day ahead of me.

I know that tomorrow is promised to no one and this fact alone makes me well aware that each day is truly a gift. This latest tragedy hit home quite hard. I even considered an invitation to be in Santiago on the 24th to experience the joys of the Santiago celebrations and I wonder what might have happened had I decided to go. I could have just as well been one of the names that we now mourn from afar.

My thoughts turn to those who are struggling to overcome this tragedy, to the families who have lost loved ones and to all who have been affected by this event. And tonight, as I have done since learning of this tragedy, I will think even more about the fact that I am blessed to have the life I have, the health I have, the loved ones I have.

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