Photo Credit: Jewish Press

I think many people have that moment when they realize suddenly, profoundly, that life is not forever. For me, that realization hit when I turned 30. I recall thinking to myself – “30, then 60, then 90, and then…what?!?” While depressing at first, I grew to appreciate the idea that if life just went on forever, it would be harder to take it seriously and make each day count (I also got chizuk for this idea from the book Tuck Everlasting). Now I try as often as I can to be exceedingly grateful for just being alive – for breath, for health, for a mind, and for awareness.

My mother shared with me once that after participating in her first tahara (the purification of a deceased person for burial), she walked outside and just exploded with the idea that life itself is the most beautiful thing in the world. We may think a person, or an outfit, or a setting is beautiful; but really what is truly beautiful is life – in all its messy, vibrant, living glory. Thank you Hashem for the gift of chai – life, and please help us make the most of every moment.

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Shoshana Wizenfeld is a writer, wife and mother living in Henderson, NV. She writes about Jewish life and community.