Two events recently happened that reinforced my belief that my job, my profession, and the trade I serve are just secondary plateaus in life. There is one thing that is more important - and that is life itself.

My Dad recently passed away at the age of 83. He lived a very full life and helped to raise four children. He was a kind and loving man who represented all that is good about a father and husband. In my mind, Dad had left nothing “undone” in his life.

As I continue to ponder life without Dad, another event has happened that demonstrates how truly fragile life can be.

A young boy of 14, the son of a friend of my wife, was struck and killed by a motorist as he rode his bike to referee a soccer match. It was senseless - it was cruel. Here was a young boy, just beginning to enjoy the wonders of the world around him, eager to accept challenges and responsibilities that are a rite of passage for young people on the threshold of adulthood. There were countless things “undone” in his life.

While I grieve for my own loss, I can’t imagine the grief that his family is suffering now. He was far too young to die.

A good friend of mine always tells whoever will listen, “Hug your children.” He is right. Put aside your job, your profession, and your trade for a moment to do just that. Take the time to truly see that life is not a distraction, but a celebration.

Celebrate with your children - hug them and hold them close.