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Collector Card Translation:
Where are you going in such a hurry traveler?
Stop … do not proceed;
You have no greater concern,
Than this one: that on which you focus your sight.

Recall how many have passed from this world,
Reflect on your similar end,
There is good reason to reflect
If only all did the same.

Ponder, you so influenced by fate,
Among the many concerns of the world,
So little do you reflect on death;

If by chance you glance at this place,
Stop … for the sake of your journey,
The more you pause, the more you will progress.

by Fr. António da Ascenção (translation by Fr. Carlos A. Martins, CC)

A few years ago a relative of mine passed away. She unfortunately was diagnosed with cancer so we had known for awhile that this was her fate. This allowed the opportunity for family and friends to share their goodbyes, to enjoy one final conversation, and hopefully find the peace and closure they needed to continue on. As I observed this ritual of saying your final goodbyes I noticed something. The conversations were so raw and real. People weren't just reminiscing about the good times, but they were apologizing and confessing for the bad times. Any unresolved issues were discussed no matter how painful they were. I watched as wounds were mended, and relationships were salvaged. The most painful part to me of observing these moments was the timing of it all. It was incredible to see this kind of love conquer all, but why so late? Why would someone choose that specific moment, to reflect on their lives and choose to move forward? Is it out of fear, or guilt of letting someone go without everything being okay? After that experience I realized how when that day comes for me, I truly hope that my family and friends do not have to feel that there are words that are left unspoken between us. I want to live an unapologetically real life. I want to love hard, live hard, and most importantly I want to forgive hard. No one is perfect and there will be times when you need to say sorry or forgive others for the way they have treated you. I can be stubborn at times, but I surely don't want to go through life never looking back on what I could have done better. It is so important to realize that self growth is a process, but it starts with reflection. Check in with yourself from time to time. See what is working in your life and what could be improved. If there are relationships that need mending, don't wait. If there is a dream you’re desiring, go chase it. Don’t wait until it's too late, to live the life you wished you would have. 



Bryce Tufts

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