Fourteen years ago, my mom died suddenly leaving a gaping hole in the lives of everyone who loved her.
Even though it's been over a decade, I still can't believe she's gone, that she never met my sons - her grandsons - that she's just no longer here on this earth.
I spoke to my mom on the phone the night before she passed away, my last words to her were 'I love you'. Knowing we ended our last conversation with love was a saving grace in my life, a life preserver I held onto when I thought I would drown in my grief.
This has shaped who I am as a parent and how I express my feelings to my sons. I asked them yesterday how many times a day they thought we all said "I love you" to one another in a 24-hour period. The answers were in the 10 to 20 range. We even have a hand code for "I love you" when it's a situation where saying it out loud would embarrass them. Love is a part of our daily routine.
In the past few weeks and months I've heard of people who passed away unexpectedly - young people, people with families.
I can't even begin to imagine their devastation and grief.
Take a moment today to let the people you love know how much they mean to you and that if they were gone, how much they would be missed. A phone call, an email, a hug, a kiss. Whatever it takes to get your message across.
Life is precious and yet in the day-to-day grind it's easy to let go of that simple fact. It's easy to take for granted it will always be there. Because it is right there in front of you.
But then it isn't.
So take that moment today to tell the people in your life how much they mean to you.
And always end your conversations with love.