Today, as I was outside enjoying the sunshine, my phone came up with a reminder. I have mostly everyone’s birthday programmed in my phone and set to remind me the day before their birthday.Tomorrow would have been Grampy’s birthday if he had not passed away last year. I hadn’t forgotten that this was his birthday. It was sort of in the back of my mind, but the reminder was numbing. It instantly brought back the feelings of sadness from a year ago when we said goodbye.
I suppose I could delete the birthday reminders when someone passes away. I just feel like it would be so cold. I have phone numbers in my phone for people that are gone. Clearly I won’t be giving them a call anytime soon so there really is no point to keeping the number. I just can’t bring myself to delete the stuff.
Everything in life has an expiration date. We all pass on at some point and we will undoubtably loose someone we love. Yet knowing this doesn’t make it any easier. I can remember the day Grampy passed away very clearly. He had the luxury of living a long life, but regardless of how long he lived it is still difficult to say goodbye.
Grampy spent several days in the hospital that we knew would be his last. He wasn’t conscious and each day we watched for a sign that today would be his last breath. It was painful to watch each day as he just little by little slipped out of this world. There was so much time to prepare for Grampy leaving that you would think it was easy.The fact is that loosing someone that you care for is hard, even with the reality that someday we will be joining them in death.
Grampy was hard to say goodbye to because our last moments together were not always pleasant. I think he had gotten to the point in his life that he was ready to leave this earth and be with his lost loves. He had become miserable and spending time was difficult and almost a chore. It is so sad to say that now but remembering back, I would dread the lunches that we shared in his last months. One of our very last lunches together ended in tears and my family storming out of a restaurant. It was a disaster and sadly a memory that I will have attached to Grampy forever.
As if death isn’t hard enough to deal with I look back and think if I had a chance to say everything that I wanted to. I thought a lot about that lunch. I knew that we had apologized to each other about it and we had put it behind us, but it still sits in my mind. How terrible that one of our last moments together was so awful. I can’t go back and change that day. It is stuck in my timeline forever and in my memory always.
That is the thing with life. We rarely get a second chance. The things we do today could be the last things we do in this world. We just don’t know. The words I choose to say to my family could be my last. It is so hard to calculate everything you say and do like it will be your last, but imagine if we did. Imagine if you were able to leave this world having no regrets and everything that you wanted to say or do was done.
Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. I am included. I may die on my way to work today and never have the chance to say goodbye to any of you. Part of me feels like writing these letters puts some of my thoughts into words and saves it for the inevitable time that I am gone. My children can’t read now but if they lost me today, someday they could look back on these words and know me a little better.
I also feel like each day we really have to be conscious that it could be our last. I know this has been said time and again but it really is true. There is no worse feeling than wishing you had had a chance to say something to someone before they are gone. I don’t want another memory like that lunch with Grampy. I don’t want to feel haunted with a bad experience that I can’t take back or change. I don’t want to argue with my kids and then be gone so that they are haunted.
I guess that each day we really need to try to treat the ones we care about, like we care. It is hard sometimes and we all say and do things that we don’t mean and regret. The challenge is to set it right before it is too late. It is scary to think that I may not have a chance to say goodbye. So in case the expected does happen unexpectedly I will continue to use my words and actions cautiously as if they are the last ones that I have. I will love with all of my heart and regret nothing that I do today….. and if tomorrow does come; I will do it all over again.