Friday morning, Matt Bushen passed away due to complications from a car accident.
Matt had only just turned 28 - but he touched so many lives in that short time.
I met Matt several years ago through Kevin and spent quite a lot of time at the house of Matt and Jen the first year I met them. I was always impressed with the kindness and optimism and peaceful energy that almost literally radiated from Matt. He was truly always enjoyable to be around.
There was a benefit held in Matt's honor in Ithaca yesterday. It was originally meant to be a fundraiser for his medical bills - but with the news, turned into a show of support for Matt's family - for Jen and their two year old son Eli, and a celebration of Matt's life. It was beautiful, and I'm glad we were able to be a part of it.
And even more so, I'm glad we were blessed enough to know him.
It shouldn't take a tragedy like this to remind me how to live my life - but it certainly reinforces it.
I've quit smoking. I've been taking better care of my overall health. I've been making all the right steps. But it could all be taken it seconds, no matter how carefully I live my life.
It reminds me to tell the ones I love how much I love them. Daily. And show them. Hug them. Kiss them.
It reminds me that folding laundry or washing dishes or vacuuming floors can sometimes wait.
That we have one wild and precious life to live. To stop worrying about the what-if's. To stop fretting over the future or the past - and get out and enjoy the now.
People weren't remembering yesterday how clean Matt's house was. How much laundry he's done or hours he worked.
They remembered his joy. His love. How he helped them, how he made them feel. His kindness and laughter and generosity.
His memory will live on in all those fortunate enough to know him. His light and spirit will continue on in his young son.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~Annie