“Teach us to number our days, that we would gain a heart of wisdom.” ~Psalms 90:12
Teach us to number our days. It has always sounded so poetic, but I don’t think I’ve ever really grasped the meaning. Until this week. I learned this week to number my days, and it is because of a man whose days ran out.
I worked with Mike Clardy when we were both stationed at Ft Gordon, GA. When he wasn’t making the worst jokes ever, he was quiet. Reliable. Kind. Good. Incredibly smart. He loved his family deeply, and he went above and beyond for his wife and four beautiful children. He did things that made you think, “Yeah, that’s Husband and Father of the Year right there.” He was a man of faith. And at 34 years old, he tragically and suddenly passed away.
The outpouring of grief, love, and support for Mike and his family has been something to behold. I think Mike would be uncomfortable at being the cause of all the attention, but I also like to think that he’d appreciate how deeply he was loved, how profoundly his family is loved, and how he has become the thread pulling together the far-flung military family that served with him over the years.
In my professional capacity, I was in a leadership and training role in Mike’s world. But his final act was to teach me something. Mike taught me to number my days, my heartbeats, my breaths. He taught me to not assume they are infinite, because they are not, even when we have so much left to live for and when death’s timing is seemingly so completely unfair. He taught me to not only count the days, but make them count, because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.
I’ll see you on the other side, Mike.