Choices can make you or break you. Choices can make your life better or destroy your life. What choice did you make today? 

I can’t not today! I’m too busy! I don’t have time for that right now! Maybe later! I have to go to work! I’m a single mom! I have to pay these bills! These are all words that I have used over the years. Nineteen years to be exact. That’s how long Samaad lived; nineteen years, six months, and ten days. 

Often times as parents we get so caught up in our “adult duties” that we take time with our loved ones for granted. We get caught up in being busy! We don’t accomplish goals, go to school, change careers, or go on vacation. You think you have so much time on this earth you put things off. You ignore signs to make your life better, you miss birthdays and holidays with family, you miss quality time because work and bills keep you working long days and nights, you miss school plays and dance recitals, or you miss sporting events. We keep saying those same things year after year after year. And then one day, you can no longer say those words any more because the person is gone.

A sudden loss, like the one of loosing my middle son Samaad, causes me to sit back and think about what is really important. What did I miss? What could I have done differently? What choices could I have made to spend more time with my son. I wish I had taken more time to listen and be there for him when became depressed. I wish I had known how lost he was when his grandfather passed. I wish that I could feel the pain he felt when the high school basketball program did not recognize his talent. There are so many other choices I could have presented to him to help him through this time. I will never take another minute or second for granted again. From now on I choose to attend family events. From now on I choose to tell family and friends that I love them more often. From now on I choose to live in the moment and NOT take anything for granted. As parents we need to realize that our kids need more attention, help and guidance