Friday, March 6, 2009

Life Is Precious

Yesterday I learned of the death of a member of the Eisner Camp family, Jonah Dreskin. Jonah, a 19-year old freshman at the University of Buffalo, was found in critical condition lying on a campus road Sunday night, and died on the way to the hospital. Police are still investigating the cause of his death. I didn't really know Jonah, but I knew of him. He was a fellow rabbi's kid, and spent many years at camp like I did. Though I didn't really know him, I wish I had. I've been reading people's memories of him on the wall of a Facebook group that was created in his memory, and he sounds like an amazing person. If there was ever a Web 2.0 tribute, the group's 900+ members is certainly one of the best I've seen. Jonah clearly touched many lives and will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, and may his memory be a blessing.

If you've been reading my blog since the beginning, you know that last summer I lost my friend Max. He was only 21, and he had just started to turn his life around. Max meant a lot to me and I can't remember the last time I told him how proud of him I was, or how much I valued his friendship. I miss him every day. The truth is, life isn't fair, bad things happen to good people, and people die too young. The best we can do is live our lives to the fullest, and make sure that we don't take anything or anyone for granted.

When I was about 9 years old, my dad had a heart attack. It was without question the scariest night of my life, and I remember it like it was yesterday. I think that was the first time that I truly realized that life is precious. It made me think about how much I value the people in my life.

I've always been the kind of person who likes to make people feel special. If you read my 25 things post yesterday, you saw that #11 is I like to send cards for birthdays and other occasions. I've sent cards for Rosh Hashanah, Halloween, Christmas/Hanukkah, and Valentine's Day, though not all of them every year, and I try to send birthday cards to my close friends as much as I can. I hardly ever get any back, but that's okay because that's not why I do it. I just think about my friends getting the cards in the mail and the smile on their faces when they open it, and that's all I need. It's sounds really cheesy, but it's true.

So, remember that life is precious. I challenge everyone who is reading this to appreciate someone today. Thank someone for doing a good job or helping you out, tell a friend that you're glad to have them in your life, send an e-mail to a relative you haven't spoken to in a long time. Don't worry about sounding too sappy or lame. Tell someone that they are important to you, that you love them, that you miss them...because the truth is that you never know what tomorrow will bring. How are you going to make the most of today?

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