My tribute to a life taken way too soon.

My family suffered a great, and unexpected loss on Dec. 31, 2014. Sometime between 3am and 7am, my young 34 year old cousin, Laureena, died. She leaves behind a husband, a toddler daughter, a mother, a father, a brother, a nephew, grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends...people who loved her and will forever miss her contagious laugh. Her nickname was Sunshine, and for good reasons. I posted this post, at 1am while I couldn't even think about sleep, on my personal Facebook page. It touched a number of people, so I thought it fitting to share it with the rest of the world. May others find comfort, peace, motivation, and all things positive from it. Please share this message with everyone who may benefit.
Many thanks to my friend Miguel Pimentel for this amazing graphic. I am humbled, my friend. 

2015. I wish I could make a jovial and happy go lucky post right now. But I just can't. 34 years old. She was 34 years old. 3 months younger than me. How many of us go on about or day to day, making plans for next week, next month, next year, etc. How often do we make obligations, etc. while having the mindset of the promised tomorrow. Annie lied folks. The sun doesn't always come up tomorrow. We are not promised a tomorrow, we only have right now. We can't say that we'll take care of things later, when we get older, etc....because we may be gone before that later ever arrives. I know it's not pleasant to think about, but we have to think about it. Don't put off until tomorrow the things that need done today, right? Well...there are many reasons to live by that rule.

 Forgive. Stop holding grudges! Why are you really mad at that person? Is it worth a lifetime or more of anger and resentment eating away at you?'s not.
 Be happy. If you aren't happy, CHOOSE to feel happy. Fake feeling happy until you do! If you need a reason to be happy, call me. I can show you plenty. 
Take a risk. Life is painfully short, and it's too short to sit by and watch your dreams float away with out ever actually TRYING! And if you fail, GREAT! You've learned another way that doesn't work, and you are closer to making that dream come true. 
Be kind to others. Smile. Have a few good belly laughs on a regular basis.
Don't judge others based on what you THINK or what you have HEARD. Live your life in such a way that when you leave this world others will remember you in a good way. Live your life so that others will WANT to remember you. Bruce Lee said the Key to immortality was to live a life worth remembering. That's so very true. Live your life in such a way that the preacher won't have to grasp at straws at your funeral. We are not promised tomorrow. The Bible teaches us that we are all appointed a time to die, and we don't know when that time will be. Be ready for that time. Be ready in all aspects. Live your life so that when you are on your death bed you won't think back over the years and think of all the regrets, but instead you will look back with fondness at all the memories that were made. And at the same time, live your life in such a way that on your death bed you are at peace with your soul, because there are no do overs. When it's over, it's over and it's too late.
If you are a non believer, please note: I respect your beliefs, as you all know. It is your choice. I do not harp on you, I do not blast you, etc. Please be respectful of my post. I know a few of you do not agree with my statements, and that is ok...again it is your choice, but at the same time I hope that I have earned the respect I seek.
With all of that said, I do hope everyone finds happiness in 2015. We have all suffered great loss, sadness, sickness, hostility, anger, resentment, betrayals, and more negatives than I care to think of at 1am. Those things have happened in the past, let them stay there. Move forward. Forgive those who have hurt you, and ask those whom you may have hurt for forgiveness. This is a new year, a blank slate....make it a good one. To ALL of my friends and family, I am so sorry for anything and everything I have knowingly and unknowingly done or said that has hurt or angered you in anyway. I do ask for your forgiveness, and I offer up the same forgiveness in return. Life is too short to harbor ill feelings. I want to let those feelings go, I want a reset.
I appreciate all the kind words, prayers, and thoughts that have been directed to my family at this time. Please keep Laureena's immediate family in your thoughts as they face this time. I can't even begin to imagine their pain and anguish. Again, thank you.