In the blink of an eye, your entire life can change. We’ve all heard this, and yet most people assume that shift in life will never happen to them. I know this misfortune all too well because my life changed the minute my mother passed away. But you’ve seen the news about Kobe Bryant’s untimely passing, so you don’t need me to tell you how short life can be. 

Instead, I want to take this opportunity to encourage each of you to stop what you’re doing, and hug your spouse, your parents, your child or anyone else in your life that you love. No seriously – do it. It’s something I wish for everyday – just one more moment with my mom to tell her how much I love her and how grateful I am for her sacrifices, support and guidance. 

These moments are something I will never take for granted, and I’m so incredibly grateful to still get to experience them with my dad. 

My dad, affectionately known as Papou by my kids and their friends, has spent his whole life putting his family first. He has spent winters with my family for the last 18 years, often living with us for months at a time. Matter of fact, I just dropped him off at the airport so he can travel home to Greece until next football season, and let me just say – it never gets easier. 

This is the man who attends all the kids’ sporting events; he helps around our house; he cooks a couple times a week for the family, and he does any and everything he can to help make the lives of those he loves a little easier. 

That’s just the kind of person he is; always making his family a top priority. He insists on taking my oldest son to workout at 6 a.m. for football training – 6 a.m.! He’s bonded with my middle son over their love of the Packers,  Lakers and Kobe Bryant. So much so, we got a dog and named it Kobe. And aside from Maria and me, he’s my daughter’s biggest cheerleader. He’s made such an incredible effort to show up in a beautiful way for my family, and knowing that this gift is not guaranteed makes me so incredibly appreciative for all that he does.

Not too long ago, my dad had knee replacement surgery and shortly after contracted pneumonia. It was a frightening time, because life is precious, short and sometimes unfair, and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to my Buddy. 

Thankfully he’s doing well today, and he will be around for the foreseeable future to attend more sporting events, graduations and maybe a wedding someday. 

I know that life can change in an instant, so I urge you to stop waiting to start showing appreciation for those you love because that moment may never come.  Make 2020 the year to be grateful, find the humor in life, and never take a single moment for granted.



In the most recent episode of my podcast, I discuss the topic further. Check it out!