Focusing On What Matters Most

obx On Monday, one of the administrators that I worked with during my first two years of teaching passed away after a three year battle with colon cancer.  He was very focused and dedicated to education, first as a teacher and then as an administrator at several schools in our school district.  He was well loved and respected by colleagues, parents, and students, and has left a lasting mark on the entire community.

His passing has hit me hard, not because he and I were particularly close, but because of how young he was, just 49 years old.  He leaves behind a wife of 22 years and three children, ages 19, 16, and 10.

Throughout his battle with cancer, his wife wrote a blog as a way to document their roller coaster journey in his battle with cancer.  A couple of weeks ago, she wrote about how the two of them had questioned whether it was his time to go since they didn’t know if they had experienced everything together that they were supposed to.

He was an athlete, and was very active, particularly in playing basketball, when he was diagnosed back in 2011.  None of the signs above pointed to him as being “the one” who should have battled a life threatening illness.

Yet, he did.  And that has me thinking about how cancer has not only directly impacted my own family but also how I too am very active, and one day, could all of a sudden be thrown a life changing curve ball.

Of course, cancer isn’t the only life changing curve ball out there.  Any number of things could change a path in life that you think you’re on.  And its not about taking every precaution there is to prevent any detours from that path, but rather, to make sure that you’re taking advantage of every moment you have in life.

Its so easy to get wrapped up in things that, in the grand scheme of life, have very little meaning.  Its easy to vent about the littlest things, and be jealous of things and opportunities that others have that you may only dream of.  But looking at the big picture, what really matters most?

family What matters most to me is my family.  Its of great importance that I make the most of my time here on Earth with them, especially my husband.  I lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer only nine and a half months after Preston and I were married.  I lost my maternal grandmother when I was a freshman in college, my paternal grandfather when I was four, and never knew my paternal grandmother since she passed away when my dad was a senior in high school.  I’ve already lost out on valuable time with these family members, and would hate to regret not having enough time with others.

QOTD: What matters most to you?

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16 Responses to Focusing On What Matters Most

  1. The list is long. so I like to just look at what’s most important as living life to the fullest – every moment, every day. You never know when that curveball may be coming, so I think it’s inherent on us to take advantage of every moment. Life is a gift, and it’s just plain rude to not take it for all it’s worth! 🙂

  2. Chaitali says:

    I agree that it’s important to try to live life as much as you can. It can get hard with the mundane every-day details of surviving creeping up on you. But I make sure to make as much time as possible for family and friends. I had a similar experience last year where a colleague and friend passed away from cancer. She had kept it pretty quiet so I didn’t even know she was sick when I heard of her passing. She was only a couple years older than me and it really makes it sink in that none of us are guaranteed a long life so we have to take advantage of what we have.

  3. Cancer sucks. My mom had it when I was 7 and was told she had 3-6 months to live, but thank the good Lord she is still with us. My last grandparents just died in may. Time slips away so fast and then we realize we should have made more of the “best of it.” 😦 So sorry to hear about this sad situation.

  4. Farrah says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that! It’s really difficult sometimes to take advantage of every moment spent with loved ones when everyday life and responsibilities get in the way. My friends, family, and having a job that I love matter most to me, so most everything I’m doing now is geared towards that. :]

  5. irenejean says:

    I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your colleague! Family, friends, and my fur children matter the most to me.

  6. Rebecca Jo says:

    Its when losses happen that we really take in the value of family & friends….

  7. So sorry for your loss 😦 The people in my life are definitely what matter most. After my husband’s grandfather passed away suddenly this past April, I’ve been trying to be more intentional about letting people know how much I care about them and talking/spending time with them as much as possible. You just never know how much time you have with someone.

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