Hi, friends. I know a lot of you like my blog because I try to post positive things and spread happiness. This post is different than my usual posts; it’s long and a bit of a roller coaster, because that is what my life has been these past few weeks.
My cousin and I went to see Before You Exit in concert a few weeks ago. They are a three piece, guitar based band of brothers (think: Jonas Brothers). We decided to splurge on the VIP package, and it was worth it. We got to meet the guys and attend a small Q&A/acoustic performance session. I was starstruck when Riley, my favorite member of BYE, answered my question. During the meet and greet, they asked us how we were doing, said they were happy to see us, and gave us tight hugs. It was quick, but I’ll never forget it.
Back in April, they announced that Christina Grimmie would be opening for them. I had heard about her before, but I hadn’t bothered to check out her music (I don’t know why, I was missing out). But I decided to listen to her music and watch a couple of her videos to get to know her. Like anyone who has ever watched a Christina Grimmie video, I instantly loved her. She was genuine, goofy, and relatable. She spoke about the nerdy things she loved, like video games, without regard for what others would think. She also spoke openly about her faith in God, which was refreshing. Her voice blew me away. I sing in my church’s choir, but when I heard Christina, I felt ashamed to ever open my mouth again because she was that good.
Photo Credit: Mackenzie Bearup Photography
The concert itself was a lot of fun. We were standing at the barricade in front of Christina’s piano, so I’m positive she saw us jumping and screaming. When the show ended, there was atmosphere of such celebration, joy, and love. I recognized BYE’s friends and family members who were in the audience. I saw Christina, too. I wanted to say hi to her and tell her about how much she inspires me to be a better musician, a better person, and a better follower of Jesus. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance, and now I regret it…
After I saw BYE’s family members, I got in line to meet Christina. Before it was my turn, she was shot down. I was shocked and couldn’t process anything. A few hours later, I was completely heartbroken and devastated when the Orlando Police Department confirmed that she had passed. It was weird to think that someone I had just seen, someone who was so joyful and full of life, was no longer with us. Her career was just starting. She had so much love, light, and music left to give. For the next two days, I could barely speak or sleep. Although I had been a fan for only a few weeks, it hit me hard. I don’t know why I was (and still am) so affected by the passing of someone I didn’t know personally. I can’t comprehend how this happened to someone like Christina, who was hated by absolutely no one and loved by everyone. I was even more heartbroken when I read the statements released by her family and by BYE. I haven’t stopped praying for them; I can’t begin to imagine what they are going through.
For those who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Christina before, here is one of my favorite performances of hers.
My heart aches for the city of Orlando in general. When I heard that two more tragedies took place that same weekend in the same city, I was crushed.
That weekend changed me. I always knew life was short, but now I am especially aware of that. I’m sure the last thing Christina thought was that this would be her last performance. It’s a depressing but very sobering thought that we never know when our last moment will be, so we must make the most of what we have right now. We have to stop worrying about petty things and focus on what’s truly important. As I was thinking about this, I thought of a few statements:
Life is too short to hold grudges.
Sometimes, people hurt us and cause us to get mad. This is normal and part of the human experience. Still, we must learn to forgive. We shouldn’t spend our time/energy being angry at someone else. We need to stop bringing each other down and focus on rebuilding our relationships and supporting each other instead. Ultimately, we are all human and we all make mistakes, so let’s forgive each other, shall we?
Life is too short to not say “I love you.”
After that weekend, I want to say “I love you” to everyone I care about. I want them to know they are appreciated. I don’t want any of my loved ones to leave this Earth without knowing how much I love them.
One day, my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles won’t be here. I need to enjoy them while they still are. I want to spend more time with them, especially with my grandparents. I plan to call them and visit them more often. I want to have deep conversations with them and ask them many questions, because I want to learn from their wisdom and experiences.
Life is too short to wait around.
Is there something you’ve always dreamed of doing or having? Have you always wanted to visit the Bahamas or to adopt a pet? Rather than just wish, start planning for it. If you don’t, life will pass you by and you will not have made any progress on your bucket list. So whether it’s setting aside some money every month or researching which breed of dog best fits your lifestyle, start taking the first steps to making these dreams reality.
Christina continues to inspire me to be a better person. I will never forget the way she inspires me to treat everyone with exceptional kindness, and to spend more time praying, worshipping, and reading the Bible. I am sad that her life was unexpectedly cut short, but I am confident that she is now in God’s presence, where she is the happiest she has ever been. She completed the purpose for which she was sent to Earth.
These past two weeks, I received a rude awakening about how short life truly is. Take a moment to call your parents, hug your dog, forgive those who hurt you, and plan that dream vacation of yours. Don’t let life pass you by, rather, enjoy it to the fullest.
RIP Christina, 3/12/94 – 6/10/16