Each life is sacred! Each life has meaning and purpose! How many lives would be changed if any one of us had never been born? As we go about our lives, day in and day out, we impact so many others — sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes in dramatic ways. Each day that we breathe, and our hearts beat, is a significant day for us and for countless others — both seen and unseen, both for now and for the future.

My mother-in-law died recently. She had lived a long life, and her health had deteriorated dramatically during her last few weeks. As family and friends gathered from far and near to celebrate her life, and say a final good-bye, it struck me how different all of our lives would have been if she had never lived. I looked around at a large gathering of people, of all ages — from the elderly to the babies, just a few months old, and I thought of how many people would never have been born, and how many relationships would never have happened, if not for her.

For my immediate family, I would not have had my husband, my children, my daughters-in-law, or my grandchildren! (I feel so much sorrow even writing those words.) If I extend my thoughts a little farther, I would not have had any of my brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. Each of these relationships represent people that I love dearly! All have enriched my life so much! If my mother-in-law had never been born, I would have had a completely different life! I found myself literally holding my breath as I thought about all that I would never have known, if not for her. For just a moment, I felt the grief of all that imagined loss. In the next moment, I gave thanks for all the blessings I have been given — so much of it because she lived!

My husband is one of 8 children, so besides him, there are 7 siblings, their spouses, their children, their grandchildren, etc. all are interconnected because of one woman’s life. Can you see how the circle just keeps getting larger? Think of all the people these people will touch throughout their lives, day after day, as the years pass by!

None of us are replaceable. Each life matters. Please take time, right now as you read this, to celebrate the human family. We are all woven together as we each breathe in and breathe out. Standing hand in hand, we form such a wonderfully rich, exotic fabric of humanity. The impact of one life missing would be felt by all, whether they knew it or not. Celebrate your own life, the lives of those you love, and those you have yet to meet! You matter! We all matter!

Until next time,

Linda

* Photo courtesy of Paul Menesez *

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