A wake-up call from the universe.

cloudsLast September, my husband and I bought a condo in Atlanta as a rental investment. We had a tenant in place ’til the end of March, so when she moved out, we began a big renovation in earnest, helped out by our management company, Cooper Brown. In short order, we replaced all the appliances, carpet, countertops, window blinds, fixtures, and paint — and we’re about a day away from being totally finished. Along the way, I’ve dealt with Dave Brown and his team of Chris, Jason and Nick – which means they get to hear from me a lot. Last night, I sent a stern letter to Chris, our point man on the job, detailing what I really, really wanted to get finished by today. This morning, at 8:56, I felt bad about how “assertive” I’d been in that letter and wrote an apology and a big thank-you for all that had been done thus far …

And at about 10 am this morning, as it turned out, Christopher Byrd, his fiance, his dad and his brother were in the plane that crashed on I-285 … on the way to see his little brother graduate from Ole Miss.

I really, really hope that Chris wasn’t reading his emails and my list of “must haves” from last night, or that he did read my email that thanked him for all his effort on our behalf. But at the very least, I feel like I’ve learned something critically important (and what my daughter Lulu has been telling me for years) : I am way, way too impatient, and I need to give other people a big, gigantic break because you truly never know what anyone else is going through, and you never, ever want the last thing somebody hears is something negative from you.

I am so sad tonight for Chris’s family .. and it seems incomprehensible to imagine their loss.

He was a really fine person. I wish I’d been more like him.

(Makes me remember one of my mom’s favorite prayers):

I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. –Etienne de Grellet,¬†Quaker Missionary