Maybe it’s just me, but it seems we don’t take time to celebrate life anymore, until we’re at a celebration of life for someone we’ve lost – and by then, it’s too late.

Friends scatter. Life gets busy. Deadlines mount and schedules interfere.

These are all fabulous excuses, sometimes even valid, for why we don’t have time to make time for the people who really matter in our life.

Oddly enough, most of us make time for Facebook and email though. Hmph.

My father once told me that the mark of a good life was the number of people who show up to pay their respects at a person’s funeral. Then he laughed and said the funny thing about funerals is that it’s the one time all your friends and family get together and you aren’t there. It’s a good point.

Ironically, when my parents planned to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, it was my father who said he didn’t want to throw a big party. He figured nobody would come, at least not enough people to justify renting a hall, hiring a band and catering food. He thought we should be realistic.

My mother, on the other hand, wanted to throw a big bash. She always wins. She had faith that people would show up. But neither of them expected close to 200 people to walk through the door of that Legion hall. And a good time was had by all.

I’m not telling you this to brag about having so many friends, I’m telling you this in the sincere hope you will put down your mobile devices and tablets and ignore your colour-coded fridge calendars and make time – real time – for the friends and family in your life that matter; the same ones you’ve let fade off into the distance because of your assumption that your life is too busy to keep up.

This is your wake up call. Smarten up. If you will, I will.

Life is too short not to show up. Keep your word. Hit the dance floor. You need to embrace the people who knew you when, so that you can see how you got to be who you are now. Catch up. Slow down. Share a laugh. Heal a wound. Let go.

Everybody, absolutely everybody, has had a hardship, lost a love, had a health scare, fought a battle. Make time for those people who were there for you when it wasn’t easy. Don’t wonder where you’d be without them. Try not to find out.

On Saturday night, people gathered to celebrate my parents and an ideal we all hold dear: that notion that love can endure whatever this crazy life throws at us. We celebrate to remember it is possible, because it is. It says as much about who walked through that door as it does about the guests of honour, and everything about what we were celebrating: love.

Your friends are your anchors. You’re going to drift apart and there will be rough waters, but you need something bigger than “should-haves” and “could-haves” to hold on.

You’ll find out who your real friends are, so believe them when they prove it and hold on. Let the others float away. That’s okay too.

But never forget to celebrate your journey, before you ultimately reach your destination. Go on. What are you waiting for?



Kelly Waterhouse