written many posts over the years about the importance of appreciating time, of
appreciating each and every moment presented to us.
Time is precious. In our society’s push to produce more, faster, and better, we lose sight of what is important and what is necessary.
That point was driven home to my family in July 2014 when our son, Wil, was taken from us suddenly, viciously, and needlessly as he walked home from eating lunch. Collateral damage caused by one gang’s pursuit of another. Used as a shield so the intended victim could escape. The importance of time, the importance of each moment was a hard lesson for our family, for me, to learn.
I see it now in the battle with Covid. Not just for those who pass away from it and in the families who struggle with death, but for those who care for the sick and the dying. I see it in teachers struggling the past two years to do their jobs in the worst conditions imaginable. Kids, teachers, staff, and administrators stressed and strained over what to do, how to do it, and the inability to reach insurmountable goals and expectations with passing rates and test scores.
Teachers, staff, and administrators tasked with more and more, and with little thought of their own care, their own health- physical and mental. Parents not knowing how to help or what to do.
It’s all of us.
If we can’t and don’t take time for ourselves, we cannot help others. If we don’t take care of our own health- physical and emotional- we aren’t equipped to take care of others.
And, if we don’t take time to appreciate each and every moment presented to us, what possible good comes from that?
For thirteen years, Greg has been a friend of mine, someone I respected. I respect his judgment, his kindness, and his deliberate leadership. For thirteen years, he was a colleague. He was principal of one high school, while I was principal of another. For the last two years, I have had the privilege of being on his staff as an hourly employee. In my semi-retirement, I am a teacher once again. Loving it, and realizing again how tough it is, how hard it is.
This past Friday, Greg sent a poem to his staff about the importance of time, the importance of each moment, the importance of taking care of ourselves as we care for kids. The poem was passed to him, and he gave me permission to steal it.
“Barely arrived on Monday and it’s already Friday.
. . . and the month is already over.
. . . and the year is almost over.
. . . and already 40, 50 or 60 years of our lives have passed.
. . . and we realize that we lost our parents, friends.
. . . and we realize it’s too late to go back.
So . . . Let’s try, despite everything, to enjoy the remaining time.
Let’s keep looking for activities that we like.
Let’s put some color in our gray.
Let’s smile at the little things in life that put balm in our hearts.
And despite everything, we must continue to enjoy with serenity this time we have left.
Let’s try to eliminate the afters.
I’m doing it after.
I’ll say it after.
I’ll think about it after.
We leave everything for later, like ‘after’ is ours.
Because what we don’t understand is that:
Afterwards, the coffee gets cold.
Afterwards, priorities change.
Afterwards, the charm is broken.
Afterwards, health passes.
Afterwards, the kids grow up.
Afterwards, parents get old.
Afterwards, promises are forgotten.
Afterwards, the day becomes the night.
Afterwards, life ends.
And then it’s often too late.
So… Let’s leave nothing for later.
Because still waiting to see later, we can lose
The best moments,
the best experiences,
the best friends,
the best family.
The day is today.
The moment is now.
We are no longer at the age where we can afford to postpone what needs to be done right away.”
Greg’s words at the end of his weekly message were:
It Looks Like an Eternity, But It’s a Short Trip; Enjoy Life and Always Be Kind.
. . . Something to think about.
Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!
To My Readers:
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Blaze In, Blaze Out, is now available for preorder. Use the promo code: PREORDER2021 and order it at the publisher’s website at: https://www.blackrosewriting.com/mystery/blazeinblazeout
Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko meant the end. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. A target is a target, and in the end, the target will die.
Betrayed: A PenCraft 1st Place Winner for Thriller-Fiction! A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read Award Winner! A Reader’s Favorite Honorable Mention Award Winner for Fiction-Crime-Mystery!
Betrayed is Now
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late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is talking.
A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old
boy. Seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted, and the hunters become the
Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent, and methodical. He has a list and has murdered eight on it so far. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, do not know they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement. https://amzn.to/2RBWvTm
Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by BestThrillers.com
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found the bodies of high school and middle school kids dead from an overdose of
heroin and fentanyl. MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador,
controls the drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors. They send Ricardo
Fuentes to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach
them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old
boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer. Detectives
Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the
drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else,
especially George or members of his family. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CKF7696
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they live in separate parts of the country, the lives of Kelliher, 11-year-old Brett McGovern, and 11-year-old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark as each search for a way out. https://amzn.to/34nXBH5
Book One, Stolen Lives: Editor’s Pick by BestThrillers! Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner!
Two thirteen-year-old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they will end up like the other kids they found- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. To make the investigation that much tougher, Kelliher suspects that one of his team members might be involved. https://amzn.to/3oMo4qZ
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
The boys are home, but now they have to fit back in with their families and friends. Their parents and the FBI thought the boys were safe. They were until people began dying. Now the hunt is on for six dangerous and desperate men who vow revenge. With no leads and nothing to go on, the FBI can only sit back and wait. A dangerous game that threatens not only the boys, but their families. https://amzn.to/2RAYIk2
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
Three dangerous men with nothing to lose offer a handsome reward to anyone willing to kill fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern. He does not know that he, his younger brother, and a friend are targets. More than anyone, these three men vow to kill George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and hide. A fun vacation turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Nation Reservation, high on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather. Outnumbered and outgunned, George will make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his adoptive father and his adoptive brothers- but can he? Without knowing who these men are? Or where they are? Without knowing whom to trust? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and possible death? http://bit.ly/SplinteredLives
Photo courtesy of Bruno Aguirre and Unsplash.