I spent a lot of today thinking about my mortality. I honestly can’t remember the last time that sort of thing even crossed my mind before today. I try to live my life in such a way that if tomorrow doesn’t come for me on this earth that it will be okay because I will have continuously left my mark on the people who matter. That I will be thought of fondly, missed and mourned for a bit because I made someone else’s life a little better.
This morning I was doing my normal thing just “killing time” on Facebook when I scrolled upon a picture of some girls I knew back in grade school. We were in Brownies/Girl Scouts together for years and I’ve only stayed in touch with a couple of them at arm’s length really on Facebook. I didn’t think too much of the picture and kept scrolling. A short while later, another girl from our troop posted a different picture. This one was more current and complete with the most heartfelt “eulogy” to our childhood friend, Kim (Platson) Grzynkowicz.
Kim was in the hospital with an infection and scheduled to come home yesterday. Sadly, Kim passed away suddenly last night most likely due to an undetected blood clot. She was thirty five years old. A married mom to three children. It looks like she still lived within about thirty minutes of our childhood romping grounds. And she remained close friends with Abby. Abby said her kids referred to her as Aunt Kim. 🙂 After a few searches, it doesn’t look like Kim was active on Facebook. I did come across her brother, Tim, who looks exactly the same twenty five years later and her mom, Nancy. But not Kim. Which made me think…who else have I crossed paths with in my life, but haven’t bothered to stay connected to because they aren’t on Facebook?
This made me sad. I loved “The Kim’s”! Kim P. & Kim B. And I didn’t stay in touch with either. What’s wrong with me? Well, I can’t be positive, but after a little thought I’ve realized there are a ton of people who meant a lot to me at one time or another who I no longer communicate with on a regular basis or even at all in some cases. And I don’t think I’m alone.
So I reached out to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Kristin. I let her know about Kim – we were all in Scouts together. Over the years I’ve tried to stay in touch with Kristin, but lives change. People grow. Life keeps on keeping on. And sometimes all we have to talk about are the good ol’ days. Although, I’ll truly love this woman like a sister until the day I die, I have resolved myself to the fact that we are on different paths and that’s okay to just catch up via Facebook Message with random niceties from time to time. It’s not ideal, but it is better than nothing.
Then, I called my dad. He knew the Platson’s pretty well from back in the day and he spent many an evening chatting with Mr. & Mrs. P. while waiting for us girls to stop giggling and to head home after an afternoon of fun. He was shocked and sad. We talked about how sad we are for Kim’s husband and her beautiful children who will now have to learn to live a life without their wife & mom. We talked about how blessed we are and how much we take for granted. We talked about ways not to take things for granted.
I’ve determined I will use the 20-25 minutes I have alone five days a week in the car between my office and my husband’s after work to make phone calls. I have 387 contacts – most with phone numbers – saved in my phone. If I’ve got the number, I’m calling. Maybe I won’t do it every single day, but I’m going to make an effort. By this time next year, I hope I will have called everyone I know (and have a number for) at least once. Just to say hi. To catch up. To make sure they know how fondly they’re thought of by me. Why keep the numbers if I’m not going to use them?
And I’m going to comment more. I know it’s back to Facebook, but I’m on there anyway and I love seeing my friend’s kids and my cousin’s craziness and my aunt’s random thoughts. So I will comment more instead of just “liking” their posts. I’ll be less of a lurker and more of an active participant. May as well make my mark if I’m hanging around anyhow.
And I’m planning to go to Kim’s wake on Sunday. I may just sit quietly in back for a bit, but I want to pay my respect to the woman who really made me stop today and reevaluate some important things in life. And to express my sympathy to her family and closest friends because that’s what I would want if I was in their shoes. To know how much my loved one mattered in the world.
Rest in peace Kim. May God be with you until we meet again.