"My batteries are almost gone, and it's getting dark."
This was the slightly-romanticized description of the last transmission from the little, tenacious rover, Opportunity, on the planet Mars. It had been there and operating for fifteen years - thirteen beyond the wildest dreams of NASA engineers. It heavily depended on solar power, and over time the dust storms on the planet slowly covered its solar cells. That last transmission came when a planet-wide dust storm hit. The rover sent the transmission, then did what its programming told it to do - shut down, and hope when the dust cleared, enough light would fall on it to revive it. Though engineers in Florida, California, and Texas all knew ... it was the last time we would hear from the little machine.
I think about those words and how poignant they are. Even though they were attached to a hunk of metal, plastic and carbon, there were so many lives involved in creating, assembling, rooting for, and mourning their speaker.
I can't help but draw comparisons. A lot of people right now are pretty low. Batteries are empty. The only thing keeping them going is that maybe tomorrow will be a little brighter. What we do to and for others matters - perhaps now more than at any other time in our lives. We have the power to make the light in the lives of those around us.
I know there are days where I can't. I can't. I can barely lift my head, and I have to force myself to work, eat, and function. Those aren't the days to give anything of myself. Instead, there are uplifting messages, conversations, and positivity from people I've tried to lift on my better days. Sometimes, when it's darkest in my world, someone I love shares their light with me.
And so it goes.
Unlike Opportunity, when I cry out, "My batteries are almost gone, and it's getting dark," someone shares their light.
Just as I will for them.