Monday night I went to a Celebration of Life for a very good friend of mine. She was 53. Cancer. I know that when people move on, we always hear the great qualities and inspiring stories about them. But Christine was a true soul in all of her living days! She was honest. Kind. Hilarious. Talented. Positive. Loving. Inspiring. And so much more.
Her celebration of life was actually a concert. This was something I have never experienced before and probably won’t again. Her comedian brother opened up with thick glasses and teeth hanging out of his mouth. His joyful giggle bringing the whole room to light up and laugh along with him. He asked if we could start out the night on the energy that Christine wanted. He asked us to think of a time we spent with Christine with a smile. Most people look up or down when asked to take a moment to remember, he said. But he wanted us to look straight. Look at people’s eyes and hearts because that is where she will always be.
There were 18 musicians on stage playing brass instruments, strings, drums and piano. We heard ballads, upbeat songs and even a funny tongue twister! It was a celebration like no other. Her husband, son and daughter all took the stage. What was evident to all is that as talented as she was with a voice that could stop a room, she was always an amazing mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.
Her daughter also had so many wonderful stories and funny memories to share. And at the end of it all, she said she wished she could have one more day with her. One last hug. One last dance, one last song, one last meal together. We cannot take life for granted. When you think you have it bad, someone else is dealing with something so much harder. Christine was a fighter. And through that, she was still helping others with her foundation Be Brave and Believe. Her motto was “Never Ever Ever Give Up!”
So hug your children tight tonight. Enjoy every moment of every day. Even the hard ones. You will get through it!