This year started out with the death of a good friend who I lived with at the FBI Academy with for 10 weeks in 2005. He was only 44 years old and was a genuinely good person. He had a big impact on me. He spent 22 years protecting the citizens of LA and had made a substantial difference in their Internal Affairs Unit under Chief Bratton. I miss talking to him, but am thankful of his lessons and my memories of him.
One of my wife's uncles visited us in September. He was a another good and giving person who I spent a fair amount of time with over the years. He was easy to be around and had a sparkle in his eye that I will never forget. He found out he had cancer in October and died just 8 days later.
I heard a lecture the last week where the issue of death was discussed. Particularly attention grabbing was a discussion on how we feel after the death of a close friend or family member. Many of us make comments like, "I am going to be more thankful" or "I am not going to let the little things bother me and keep life in perspective." Unfortunately, after a week or so we put those feelings back in the closet.
It has been a rather busy fall around the PD and recently the other day when I was driving my daughter to pre-school I found myself tense while thinking about work. I had almost entirely tuned out my little four year old as she explained her upcoming holiday program and sang songs they would be singing. I am not sure what snapped me out of it, but I realized what I was missing. I pulled over and asked her to sing a few more of her songs to me -which she did.
I will try and remember how quick life can change and particularly the importance of living in the moment, appreciating what we have today and helping others. And not for just this Thanksgiving day.
I hope you have a safe Thanksgiving.