If I Died Tomorrow. - Joanna Campbell Slan

If I Died Tomorrow.

I spent two days in Los Angeles last week. Well, actually I was in Huntington Beach at the Balboa Bay Yacht Club.

My husband, David, and his partner, Gerry Malzone, and I were driving back to LAX when the topic turned to “what if I died right now”? (This was BEFORE we heard about the airplane crashing into the Hudson River!)

Maybe it’s because we’ve all known each other for years. Maybe it’s because we’re all middle-aged. Or maybe it was because this year we lost Henry Steinway, a lovely man, the last of the Steinways involved in the business…and since it was the first Steinway dealer meeting without Henry, we were all feeling a bit thoughtful.

Then Gerry said something extra-ordinary. He said, “You know, I think I’ve only had maybe five really bad days in my life. And if I was in a plane and it went down, I wouldn’t be screaming and crying. I’d be thinking what a good life I had.”


I got to thinking about it.

I could only think of two really, really horrible days in my life. One was when my nephew Joshua was killed in a freak accident. The other is too personal to share.

Honest. I mean, I had to work hard to think of anything more than those two days. I mean, yeah, there have been some rotten days, some days I’d rather didn’t happen. But only two that really, really still make me sad to think about. Two days in 55 years.

Gerry was right. If I died tomorrow, I’d have to think, “Wow. It’s been great. Thank you, God.” And realizing that, I vowed to be a little happier every day, and grateful for the happy times I’ve had.

(But I still miss Henry. We all do.)

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