I know it has been a while since I posted, thereby breaking one of the cardinal rules of the blogging world but it has been a tremendously crazy month. I knew I "needed" to blog but wasn’t feeling compelled to blog — until today. Today I am inspired to write because of the life of Mrs. Jamie McCloud Perez – proud mother, beautiful human being, amazing spirit. I found out yesterday that Jamie passed away on November 29th (my daughters first birthday), and while I’m still trying to figure THAT one out, I received more details on her death today and find myself in this sort of quiet, prayerful, tearful, reflective place that I wanted to share with you. First of all, I guess I need to tell you that Jamie was a company-mate of mine at West Point (Go Spartans) and a year ahead of me. While I knew Jamie, I was actually friends with the man she would ultimately marry, my classmate Felix. It has been years since I communicated directly with either Jamie or Felix, having visited them once years ago at their home. So why has this passing touched me so? Well, first of all, Jamie was 44 years young – her death was sudden and in passing, she leaves behind a 2 1/2 year old daughter…. Whew… Her husband Felix has posted a website to her memory at www.JamieMcCloudPerez.com which I invite you to visit. When you do, what you’ll see is the legacy of a vibrant, young, loving, giving, wife, mother and friend. She was felled with an uncommon illness which took her much too soon but I write this to her legacy and to your future. Today, I got on my knees and I prayed..a fervent prayer of Thanksgiving for all of my many blessings including my very breath. A prayer of Thanksgiving for my husband, my daughter, my family, my friends. A prayer for Jamie who I know now sits with God. A prayer for Felix to be both strong for their daughter Mercedes and weak. To be loving and authentic. To give her his humanness in this time when we are inclined to say, "Be strong." A prayer for all people of the world to get that our time is finite and that while some of us know through diagnosis or prognosis that time is limited, many do not and as such, we must live each day as if it our last. How often do we give our love away? How often do we demonstrate through word or action that we truly love those around us? How often do we say thank you for the gifts we have received? If today were your last, what would you be most proud of? What would you regret having done or not done? Are you willing to embrace those regrets? To take them on? To move toward them as if you only had a day, a week, a month? Today is an opportunity to review your life and begin to create it in whatever way you choose. Jamie, thank you. Thank you for your life, for your legacy, for touching people n the way that only you could and for making a difference for so many people – including me.