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Dream like you will live forever. Live like you will die today .. James Dean.

Every now and then we are reminded of how fragile we are and somehow it is events with people we know, as opposed to the scenes of destruction from distant countries that get under our skin.

We see war and mayhem around the world, mass poverty and hunger in many third world countries and we sometimes read about how cheap life can be in some cultures.

The amazing varieties of media bombard us with images and information ... but it is when something happens closer to home that we really "feel it"

The older you get the more people you know have serious health issues or even die. When those things happen you feel just a little more vulnerable, think a little more about "the meaning of life" and whether you are living yours the way you really want.

My mom would say, "You can't put an old head on young shoulders". Meaning that in our youth we typically need to have our own experiences in order to learn, rather than accepting the wisdom of our elders.

People setting out on their life's journey today often feel invincible and that there is plenty of time to achieve the things they want. As you get older it feels like time just flies ... and if you are a busy person then time is a flash. The only way to take full advantage of this short life is to truly live every minute and to not waste time. It a hard lesson.

This week I found that a close friend, younger than me, has been diagnosed with cancer and starts treatment in the next day or so. He will fight and beat it because he has that depth of character and a positive outlook on life ... but his world was turned on its side in the few hours it took to diagnose.

Scenes of death in Zimbabwe from cholera and Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan are hard, evoke sympathy and concern ... but it is news that a good friend is battling "the big C" that really gets to me.