The memories we make with our family and friends may need to last you a lifetime.
This past week, my cousin lost his 26 year old son, Mike Olivieri, while he was serving in Iraq. An unexpected tragic death is not planned for, but happens all too often.When I learned of this death, my heart was broken for Mike’s family and friends. It was too unexpected, too young, too heartbreaking.
Everyone who speaks and shares about Mike, talks of his love of life; his ability to smile through every situation and to use music and laughter to bring people together.
My first thought each day is “thank you Lord for another beautiful day”. Many times the day brings struggles – you know the ones I am talking about. Drivers on the road that forget how to drive, co-workers that drive you crazy, contractors that don’t show up, friends that text during meetings, family that needs attention. You can name your own. We all have them. These moments can drain our joy, our energy…they can drain our day.
STOP…bring balance into your life…
Call a sister you have not talked to, forgive a friend, reach out to a co-worker, smile at the driver next to you…they may not be there tomorrow.
LAUGH…SHARE…SING…DANCE…SEE THE SUNSET…
Life is so precious. Life is so fragile. Do the things in the life we were created to do. Follow your heart, pursue your dreams, love those around you.
Our family binds us together, we were created for relationships. In a world filled with the speed of technology, we sometimes find ourselves in front of a screen, instead in front of the sun. Get up and get out – spend time with a family member you have not seen in a while.
I love what Mike’s uncle asked us to do to honor Mike’s memory:
1) take time out of your busy day to listen to the music around you;
2) tell your loved ones how much they mean to you;
3) find something to smile about, even amid this sad news.
For a very short while, we were blessed to have Mike Olivieri on this earth. We were honored by his committment and dedication to service. We are humbled by his love of family, friends and country. We are grateful for the lessons he will teach us through his death. May he now enjoy the richness of the party at the side of our Lord.
“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love,
the things you are,
the things you never want to lose.”
~From the television show The Wonder Years