Go to the ballgame,
And go to the ballet,
And go see your folks more than just on the holidays.
Kiss all your children,
Dance with your wife,
And tell your husband you love him every night.
Those words are from the song "Turn Up the Music" by the group Point of Grace. It's about living life to its fullest and treating each day like it's magical and special and taking every possible opportunity you have to let others around you know how important they are to you.
On August 24, a good man died who didn't have to. A man I respected and admired, who was kind and good and intelligent and wickedly funny walked into his backyard and shot himself. He left behind a wife and three children. He was 59 years old.
I've struggled mightily over the past four months with the question of Why -- and come to the realization that there is no answer -- at least not one that I have learned. I've also struggled with the What-if-I-had-been-there question, and also come to the unfortunate conclusion that it might not have made much of a difference.
December 16 would have been his birthday. And while I don't know if anyone could have done anything to have made a difference back in August, I do know that there are still people out there who are struggling with depression and suicidal tendencies EVERY DAY. And the good thing is, it's NOT too late for them. So in honor of Flanny's birthday -- and of all the wonderful things he accomplished in his lifetime -- I'm putting out a request for help.
Recently, my friend K participated in an Out of the Darkness Community Walk put on by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I think all the walks have taken place already, but the foundation is still accepting donations through the end of the year. The money raised will be going towards counseling and awareness, and to help remove the "hush hush let's not talk about this" stigma that often accompanies a suicide. Please take a moment to consider donating. It may be too late for Flanny. But it might just make a difference for someone else.
And even if you can't donate?
Kiss all your children.
And dance with your wife.
And tell your husband you love him.