Hello my fellow passengers.
We’re 35 thousand feet in the air tonight and it’s been non stop turbulence. I’m trying to stay awake … when you become a flight attendant and start to spend a lot of your time in turbulence you’ll quickly realize that it feels like you’re being rocked to sleep. (Thankfully I’m not working this flight!) I’ve had something on my mind a lot lately that has been heavy on my heart to share with you, so here we go!
No matter what, you will NOT get the same moment twice. I know, I know, we hear it all the time, but I promise this is not going to be some cliché post. But let’s be honest .. we usually don’t realize how important this is until it’s too late.
One of the things that helped me value and appreciate life more was having someone so extremely precious to me ripped away from this earth. Realizing only then after he was gone that I couldn’t get him and all those moments back. Instead the only place those memories and moments will ever be again are in my heart.
I was 18 years old when my best friend Reggie was killed in a car accident.
The last month of Reggie’s life I was dating someone who lived in another state. We were 18 and 19 so there was no question that we were extremely immature and obsessed with each other. Just like most 18 year old kids did when put in this situation, my friends were put on a back burner to my new boyfriend. Of course it wasn’t intentional, I’m wasn’t that awful, but when you’re immature, have no grasp on life and the valuable things around you, and you start dating someone on active duty military orders living in another state, you get wrapped up in it all.
Before I started dating this guy this is how my day to day life looked:
- Homework with Reggie sitting across from me
- Whatever Reggie wanted to do that night
Things were different that last month once I started this guy. It looked more like this:
- Home to video chat with said boyfriend
Yes, yes, I know … I can assure you that I’m eye rolling past Mel, too … Trust me on that.
Somehow after a month of that I smartened up slightly and realized that I ditched all my friends for this guy. I missed Reggie, and I missed my friends. I missed Reggie sitting quietly and patiently next to me reading my Law Enforcement textbooks while I worked on my assignments for my classes. I missed the smell of bonfires and laughing will all my guy friends. I missed Patrick and Reggie’s laughs. I was a Nanny for two young girls at the time and I missed giving Reggie the drawings the girls and I would make for him each day.
I brought this up and this boyfriend and of course it started an argument, (isn’t life dramatic when you’re 18?), but at the end of it we both decided I would hang with Reggie the next night instead of sitting at home to video chat. Once again … isn’t life just SO dramatic when you’re 18?
18 hours later and the next night arrived. I didn’t touch the computer – not wanting anything to do with video chat at this moment and all I could focus on was seeing my friends. I texted Reggie and he let me know the plans for a bonfire that night, I let him know I’ll be over there to meet up with him as soon as I finished some errands I needed to run.
Here’s where we get to the fucked up part of this story. You ready for this?
I canceled. I literally fucking canceled.
After a long day of classes and work, and a long month of starring at a computer to video chat, and by the time I finished my errands, I was exhausted and honestly liked the fact that I didn’t have to get on video chat that night but instead could just relax and be alone. I remember that exact feeling I was having, I just wanted to be alone and relax. Reggie died the next day.
I can picture the exact moment where I texted Reggie saying I’d see him later instead, like I’m sitting in that old silver Hyundai Sonata of mine at this very moment. I can tell you what I was wearing, how I was sitting, where I was, how I was feeling … everything. Every detail down to the angle of my head while I was looking at my phone typing that text to him. That doesn’t give me the ability to go back and time and get that moment back, though. No matter how much we can remember something, it doesn’t give us the ability to go back to that moment and make different choices.
I had one chance, because we get each moment ONCE, and I fucked it up. I threw it away like it was worthless to me.
That mistake and the guilt that comes with what I did will be on my shoulders for the rest of my life.
God was giving me one last chance to hug Reggie. Once last chance to tell him I love him like I did every time I said bye to him. One more ride in the passenger seat of his truck. One more time to hear him tell me to lace up my work boots. One more time to hear him laugh and see him smile. Instead of appreciating a moment full of love and value that God was giving me, I decided to not give it any value – because in the mindset of most people around the age of 18, I would just see Reggie later right? Wrong.
In that moment I chose to not value my loved ones and not appreciate each moment I was being given by God.
This isn’t the only mistake and poor choice I have made throughout this story. It’s the first of many, but I wanted to start with this one because I wanted to remind you all of a few things.
First, I am the furthest thing from perfect. (Ha, obvioiusly no one thought this to begin with, but I can never say that enough times). This happy, smiling, independent, confident Melanie you all see didn’t happen over night. When your soul dies enough times, you become a new person. Reggie’s passing was the first time my soul died.
Secondly.. Please, PLEASE say ‘yes’. Your friend wants to grab dinner but you’d rather hang at home? Compromise – order a pizza in together instead. Going to run some errands and will be back a few hours later? Your mom may get annoyed that you do this each time you leave the house, but tell her you love her on your way out the door. This shit is real. I don’t say this to scare you all, I say this because I never want you to feel this regret and pain that I do. I want you all to live the happiest, fullest life you could possibly make for yourself, and I promise you that the level of joy in your life will sky rocket when you deeply accept that you will never get the same moment twice.
Last but not least, and most importantly why I am starting with this mistake I made out of many, brings us back to my first blog post and the point to this blog; because I am sharing this story of mine in the hopes that maybe it will help someone, somewhere, someday. Please, learn from my mistakes. Don’t be me. Value your loved ones before you get the reminder that moments come, but then they pass.