Life is too short. For some it is even shorter.
I feel it is all too common to hear a story about a brother hiking in the mountains he's hiked several time who falls to his death, or young husband dying hours after the birth of his first child due to some bad headaches experienced for only 2 weeks leaving this new mother a widow, or a young child who by some every day accident falls in the backyard but its this child's turn to leave this earth. Or two older children while sacrificing time serving their Lord and their Church must return home early for the funeral of their parents and younger siblings who have died in their own house from carbon monoxide poisoning.
It all makes me sad. I stop and say a prayer each time I hear of a story like this. It always seems to happen to the best people too.
What about those moments leading up to these tragedies? There are certainly a lot loved ones who will soon be broken. Are we expressing our love and appreciate for them on a regular basis? I am not one to think "That would never happen to me," anymore. I may have let my hormones get the best of me 2 weeks ago as I sobbed in bed thinking, "What if that happened to my husband? What if I was left on earth without him." He was sweet to hold me and let me know everything was going to be okay, but "Okay" doesn't mean "It's going to turn out the way you want it." Okay means "I'm not going to kill myself over this" to me. So of course I still cried. We make sure to tell each other we love each other 50x's a day and we do have honest conversations about why we love each other and how much often. I never want him to doubt that and so he must hear it often.
Exactly 14 years ago from tonight, I was 12 years old. I was babysitting and for whatever reason, the parents were not going to be home until late that night and so I spent the night at their home. It was about 9:30pm when I had a feeling I should call my Grandma and tell her that I loved her. I didn't have a cell phone then and I did not know her phone number by heart. I had the thought to call my parents to get it so I could call her but then it seemed too late to call and also odd that I would do that because I never called her. So I brushed off the feeling thinking "I will do it when I get home tomorrow."
The next morning came. I was dropped off at home by the parents I had been babysitting for and I walked in my house. I remember it was a nice day out. It was sunny, which was odd for March 4th in Michigan. I believe it was my father I saw first, because I remember my mother had left before I got home to go to her mother's house. He told me that my Grandma had passed away early that morning. Later from an autopsy they believed it was around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. I went down to the basement where my bedroom was and couldn't even make it to my room before collapsing to the ground in horrified tears. "She just died?" There wasn't anything wrong with her before this morning. There were no warning signs.
Her heart just stopped.
The regret came just moments later when I realized the impression I had the night before to call her. "I didn't even get to tell her I loved her." I had the feeling to call her just a few hours before her spirit would leave her body.
And here we are 14 years later. The only regret in life I have was as a naive 12 year old who forgot to tell her Grandmother that she loves her. I am sure now that she knows I love her and I know she loves me. But I wish so badly I would have told her over the phone. At least then I could have heard her say it back.
My grandmother had 15 children, 77 or so Grandchildren and even more great grandchildren. She died just before seeing the 5th generation. In all of her posterity, I do not know if anyone else had the impression to call her that night, but I did. A 12 year old granddaughter who was able to receive inspiration but did not act on it.
Don't take the people you love for granted. Tell them you love them often. Show you love them even more. They will not always be around. Life is short and you never know when it could end. Tell your spouse how much you love them. Show your kids how much they mean to you. Call and visit your grandparents. Let your parents/brothers/sisters/aunts/uncles/cousins/friends and everyone you care for know how much they mean to you. Even though grandparents maybe old and it's not as much of a shock as the younger members, it still hurts.
Do not let them ever doubt your love for them. You must tell them and you must show them.
*In loving memory of Corine Banks*
Allessandra Corine :)