Love Yourself First

For the most part, I try to be upbeat in my blog and to talk about things happening in Westchester County. I try to share things you’ll find useful. Well, today I need to talk about a different kind of thing worth knowing: the value of life.

My best friend’s husband died suddenly a couple of weeks ago. He had a few drinks with friends then popped some cold medicine and an Ambien to sleep. The combination proved fatal. She found him in the morning. The devastation is beyond words.

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I take for granted that I’ll wake up in the morning and my husband will be there staring at me across a cup of coffee. I believe I’ll see my children grow up and start their own families. Now I realize of course that nothing is certain. More so, if I’m to be here – if any of us are to be here for our children – we need to take better care of ourselves.

Most mothers – and dads, too – make their children the priority, but in truth, we need to be our first priority. It’s kind of like the thing in the airplane where we should put our oxygen mask on first before we help our kids. We can’t be good parents unless we’re good to ourselves. I need to stop postponing going to the gym and eating healthy. I need to have regular checkups. I need to pay attention to what medications I take when. I need to be sure to get all the baby weight off when the time comes. I can’t keep making excuses. Simply, my daughter and child-to-be both deserve to have a mother for many years to come.

And just in case something happens, I’m glad I just had my will drawn up. I literally signed the darn thing two weeks before he died. Now there’s a plan in place and that is comforting. If you haven’t done one, do. It’s important.

This tragedy has also made me think about the value of friends, family and neighbors. Yasmin and Michael had just moved to Sydney in November. Her close friends and family live far away, yet we are all finding a way to be by her side either literally or via phone or email. On a more immediate basis, her neighbors have been wonderful and have held her hand though it all. The same can be said of my family, friends and neighbors. Everybody pitched in to take care of my daughter and our dog so I could attend the funeral service. It’s in times like these that you realize how blessed you are in many other ways.

To me, this is another example of what’s good for me is good for my children. I work hard at my friendships and feel very lucky that I have a big group of people dear to my heart. Truly, what would I do without them? So while I may take a little time away from my daughter to chat on the phone or send an email, in the end it all benefits her.

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I beg you: be good to yourself. Do it for your children. Do it for yourself. Do it in my friend’s memory.

Michael, you were dearly loved. You are deeply missed.

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