Use it now.

8 02 2007

Do you ever have one of those days were you’re feeling really good about life, and everything is going well, and then something happens that just proves how little we can really control, in the end?

This evening I found out that the mother of a friend of mine passed away(Baruch Dayan HaEmet*). Someone not even my age is now without a parent. I can’t even begin to imagine what he’s going through now, and I have no idea what to do. I can’t fix this. There is nothing I can do that will make this better, or make it go away, and I’m someone who needs to be able to do things. And no, the irony that I find out that a friend has lost his family on the day that I spend thinking about the conflicts I have with mine was not lost on me. 

My voice teacher asked me a question today during my lesson. I had finally gotten my singing just right, and it sounded amazing. He asked why I don’t sing that way all the time, what am I saving it for? I said that I’ll sing like that when I’m a good singer. Of course, once you start on that, you’ll never be good enough. You have to be good enough now. Don’t save things for later, use them now. Wear the special piece of jewelry to the grocery store, read the special copy of a book that you were setting aside to keep it nice.  Share your talents with the rest of the world without waiting until you’re “good enough”.  You’re good enough now. 

Please, as a favor to me, call the people you love and tell them that. Not later, not tomorrow, or when you get a chance. Even if all you have is two minutes, call.  (and yes, I just got off the phone from an hour long conversation with my parents, who, despite all our differences do love me:) and are still very much alive(Baruch HaShem, bli ayin hara, whatever else should be said to keep them that way for a very very long time.))

*I always thought this was callous, how can someone be expected to remember to say a blessing when they’ve just learned of someone’s death.  Now I realize that it gives you something to say when no other words seem good enough.  It is a start, and everything else is easier after that. 




3 responses

8 02 2007

One of our good friends passed away at the end of last year, and I felt exactly the same. I really wanted (and still do) just to go round telling people to get on and do things, tell people how they feel etc. A death really brings home the fact that we are only here on earth for a short time, and we must make the most of every opportunity we’re given. I also like your point about the saying of the blessing. I had never thought of it like that before.

8 02 2007

I think another point of the blessing is to remind us exactly of what it means: Blessed is the Truthful Judge. God isn’t there just in good times, but He is there in death, as well. Only He knows when is truly the right time for a person to go.

8 02 2007

Absolutly there’s more to it. I just found it comforting from a practical perspective, which was what I appriciated most at the moment, when no matter what G-d’s ultimate plan is, from where I’m standing all I see is a friend who’s now motherless, and nothing in the world can make that make sense.

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