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updated: 7/31/2014 5:18 PM

Tragedy reminds us to cherish our loved ones

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Life can change in a heartbeat. This week, my young neighbor, Ryan Flannigan, died as the result of a senseless tragedy. It is never easy to lose a loved one, but it is especially difficult to process when the loss could have been avoided.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to know him remember him as a kind, well-mannered, handsome and intelligent young man, who came from an exceptionally close and loving family. The last time I saw him, he smiled and waved at me as I passed his home. I never imagined that it would be the last time I saw his beautiful smile.

The only thought that comforts me is that there is no doubt in my mind that Ryan knew how loved he was by his family and friends. Remember to set time aside to remind your loved ones how much they mean to you. If you can't say the words aloud, just give them a hug.

Life can get very complicated. Sorrowful times like this one remind us about what is really most important. They help us place our priorities in proper perspective. Take a few minutes today to call someone you care about and let them you're thinking about them.

Joanne Gurion

Rolling Meadows

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