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Live Life To Its Fullest
4/17/2013 2:57:49 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Monday started off as just another routine day for me.   I often refer to Mondays as my day of rest.  After such a hectic week, Monday is the day I get to do what I want to do. I limit telephone calls and meetings.  Oftentimes we get so caught up in the mundane things of life, we fail to enjoy life. 

How often do we take advantage of the things around us?  That’s what I do on Mondays.  I take a step backwards and spend some time just enjoying nature and the beauty of the universe.  I love watching the ocean roll in and out. And the parks provide a great escape at a nominal price.   I venture out with camera in hand and am often mistaken for a tourist. I get to meet and chat with folks that often enlighten my day.  Monday is my day to forget about cleaning the house, paying bills, shopping for groceries or working in the yard.  It’s my day and I enjoy it to the fullest. 

What started off as another leisurely Monday for me was interrupted by the bombings at the Boston Marathon.  As I was preparing for my day, I turned the television on to check the temperature.  It was at the precise moment that I saw the first bomb go off at the marathon; and then, there was a second.  My mind immediately turned to the morning of the World Trade Center disasters.  Similarly, I turned on the television the morning of the attack and saw what I thought I was watching footage from a movie. 

Moments later reality set in. 

As surreal it may have appeared, it was real time.  The World Trade Center was under attack. And fast forwarding to the bombings on Monday at the Boston Marathon, it was real.  What started off as a routine day for the runners and spectators ended in horror.  At the time of this writing, there were three confirmed deaths and over 140 injured.

With so much going on in the world today, you never know where the next catastrophe event will be. 

Charleston recently hosted its annual bridge run with over 38,000 participants.  That’s a lot of people. The thought that something like the Boston Marathon could have happened here is mind boggling but how do you prevent crazies from doing just that? 

Do you ask folks not to bring back packs with their water and snacks to the race? 

Do you remove all trash cans along the route?  Trash cans are there to help keep down the amount of trash and limit manpower hours to clean up the litter along the race route.   

Do we just give up and let the bad guys win?  I say NO! No, we cannot become prisoners in our own homes, in our state and in this nation. 

More and more, I am developing a deeper sense of gratitude for our emergency personnel, fire fighters, policemen, military, doctors and nurses for the awesome job that they do, particularly in times of disasters.  They put their lives on the line to save others.  They work around the clock helping minimize the number of victims from these attacks.  It is all about timing—getting immediate medical help to those in need.

While this country was under watch from North Korean Kim Jong-un ranting and threats to fire a nuclear missile, someone or a group was masterminding the Boston Marathon attack.  In this country, we can no longer sleep.  While we are sleeping, folks are planning attacks on America.  Thank goodness for our military that is always on standby to defend this country.

My leisurely Mondays will have a renewed meaning for me. Every time I see the ocean and am mystified by its presence, I will think how bless I am to live in America. 

When I visit the park and see the beautiful flowers and majestic oak trees, I will think how awesome.  I will enjoy the beauty and fullness of each day. I will be thankful each day for what is because I know what could be. I will live each day to its fullest because it could be my last. 

If you don’t have a Monday in your life, set some time aside to enjoy the beauty and opportunities of life.  Enjoy time with your family because you never know when you leave home whether you will return. It was the last time for some of the persons that went to the Boston Marathon to cheer on their family and friends.  The farthest thing from the victims’ minds on Monday was that some horrific event would end or traumatize their lives forever.

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy; and, thanks to those emergency responders and ordinary citizens that worked frantically to save lives that day while risking their own.

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