Loss is something that everyone faces on a day to day basis.
My senior year of high school and first year of college was one of the most difficult times of my life. One of my grandmothers was diagnosed with cancer, three of my grandpas were getting sick, and I was at college away from my family.
I missed out on dozens and dozens of great moments with my most cherished people.
I lost one of the important people to me.
Our elders teach us so much more than just life lessons. They teach you how to be a good person, how to fish, how to drive, and so many other little things we sometimes take for granted.
I love to ride horses, go fishing, and help with my grandparent's land. However, I can't remember the last time I was on the back of a horse. The last time I went fishing in their pond. Or, the last time I was walking and got yelled at to not touch the hot wire fence.
I didn't know it at the time, but in those moments, I didn't take them in as much as I could have.
I didn't know that life would throw curve balls at me every week to the point where I was scared to go home and find out more bad news.
It got to the point where I was never having a good day, no matter how much I put on a brave face. I had nothing but bad days because my world was falling apart around me.
I can't think about horses without thinking of my grandfather. Without thinking about being thrown off of a horse was I was little, and my grandfather coming to my rescue.
I can't think about hospitals without being reminded of visiting different grandparents or family members that were sick.
I can't even look at pictures without crying because I miss those memories so much.
The one thing in life that I was told repeatedly but never truly listened to was to cherish every moment. Life is too short to think that there will always be a tomorrow because sadly, not everyone gets a tomorrow.
I never thought I would have to say goodbye to some of my loved ones before I grew up, started a family, and maybe even had kids. I at least wished I could've started my career and be able to show my loved ones the achievements I was making.
Never take anything for granted. I sound like a broken record, but it is true.
Life is short, and you never know what the next second could bring.
Say I love you.
Say you miss someone.
Tell your parents and family that you love them.
Share a laugh as many times as you can.
Memories of loss are so much easier to live with if you can create and remember the great memories before you can't make anymore.