“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I will live each day like it is everyone else's last.

It was Sunday March 13th, 2011. I was helping my parents load up their car to head back to Pennsylvania. I had just moved to NYC after college, and my parents came to help me settle in. With everything in the trunk, I slammed it shut, but not before my mom and I got into a petty argument. I don't even remember what it was about. My parents then got into their car without any hugs or tearful goodbyes. They simply said "bye" and I replied the same as I gave them a one-hand wave.

That was the last time I saw my mother alive.

Live every day like it is everyone else's last. For me, that means nurturing richer, deeper, and more meaningful relationships.

I'll never forget the details of that weekend: my dad and I scattering around all corners of my apartment searching for that one missing Ikea piece; my mom's teary eyes as she chopped the onions to bits and pieces. I didn't need my phone to take a picture of it or Facebook likes to validate the joy we shared.

Being present mattered.

However, I failed to realize that the people I relied on the most were also those I took for granted the most. I treated my parents' kindness and respect as a given. I didn't say thank you that Sunday. Not to my dad for his help in our Ikea construction. Not to my mom for her miraculous work in the kitchen. Instead, I argued with my mom, and we waved goodbye. I learned the hard way that life can turn tragically short at a moment's notice.

Saying thank you matters.

— Minh Chau