They woke up with tomorrow on their minds.
Seventeen mornings . . seventeen “I love you’s” to someone they held close to their hearts . . seventeen schedules filled with classes and afternoon practices . . seventeen place mats . . seventeen phones chiming with everyday chatter from friends and loved ones . . seventeen hearts . . seventeen souls . .
Last Wednesday morning, the world was a great big chance that was calling on them to get busy living it. They were going to be lawyers and dancers and soccer players and Olympic swimmers. There were future musicians and community organizers, service people, writers and teachers. They had footprints to make on a great big world with hearts that could fuel the sun and ambitions that would light the stars.
They had lives that did not dwell on endings because they were too busy stepping inside of new beginnings. And there was going to come a day when they were going to fall in love. And they were probably going to get their hearts broken, and then they were going to undertake that most fool thing and fall in love all over again. And from there, every single thing awaited. Everything.
And then those seventeen life stories were ripped away from that everything. Seventeen souls, stolen from a place that loved and cherished them. Seventeen stories that ran out of pages, abruptly. Seventeen voices cut short. Seventeen dreams that never got that chance to happen.
So now they fuel the sun for us and now they light the stars so we do not surrender to the idea that the world is a dark and hopeless place. And now they ask that we have the courage to tell the stories of their lives so the whole world can understand what madness steals. They ask that we possess the courage to fight the good fight they never get to wage. They ask that we have the courage to divine the grace in our hearts rather than the rage in our emotions.
They ask us to have tomorrow on our minds.
The following was written in response to a WordPress prompt on “Courage”.