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My friend and his family are spending their first Christmas without his son. He died in his sleep about a month ago. He wasn’t old enough to vote and now he’s gone.

I’ve known a few people who have lost children. I cannot imagine the pain whether it’s a miscarriage or a teenager. Children aren’t supposed to go first.

Christmas is one of those times of year that all but forces you to slow down. If you have children I urge you to set your phone aside in a different room, completely powered off, and be fully with your children.

Let the reality of my friend, and likely there are those you’ve known as well, be a reminder to stop taking for granted that your children will always be around. They will grow up. They will move away. Tragic things happen.

This is a somber message during what is often a joyous time of year but we take days for granted. Don’t do that. Yes, this is a reminder to myself as well. Most of my posts are me talking to me, out loud.

Soak in your time with those who love you and those you love.

Stop reading this.

Get off your screen.

Go be with real people.

Don’t tweet this or share it on Facebook or email me back if you got it through your email subscription. Just go be with those people.

Go. Be with people today.