“You can put things off until tomorrow, but tomorrow may never come.” (Gloria Estefan)
“I should spend more time with my Dad.” “I should make more time for him to visit me or vice versa.” “I should call him and take the time to see how he is”. These were all things I used to tell myself quite frequently when it came to my relationship with my Father, always putting a closer connection with him off for another day, until one day, the phone call came where I learned my Dad was gone and there wouldn’t be any more chances to connect with him except in memories and in prayer.
Have you ever been through something this? Have you ever put off making time for another repeatedly, only to have a day come before that ever got to happen, where that person was no longer alive and there weren’t any more chances to connect with them?
Losing my Father and Mother, and a number of dear friends over the years as well, so abruptly due to tragic means changed my outlook upon life with all those I care about. Without any addiction driving my life these days, I’ve learned to place greater value upon those I care about, knowing a relationship with any of them may not be around tomorrow.
I had a teacher once who asked me when I was going through a difficult ordeal with an ex of mine, whether I’d be acting the same towards them if I suddenly found out they had six months to a year left in their life due to a rapid onset of some terrible disease or illness. The answer was always the same, I wouldn’t act the same. In fact, I’d do everything I could to spend as much time with that person. My teacher’s response after hearing that was how I should be acting that way all the time then with them, because that tomorrow I kept putting reconciliation off to, may never come.
In the past few months, I’ve been going through a similar situation with my sister. While I’ve spent the last few years being willing to go to whatever lengths to spend time and connect with her, I’ve struggled with how busy she is and how limited our time is connecting. I’ve often wondered if she would do more to connect with me if I suddenly developed some condition that gave me less than a year left to live. Would she then make more time for me? I don’t know, but what I do know is how easy it is to put something off to tomorrow under the guise of how busy we are today. But tomorrow is never a guarantee and may never come for us, not just for reaching out and spending time with those we love, but also for ourselves too. I learned that pretty quickly after losing my health literally overnight, back in late April of 2010. In the years since, I’ve had to face the reality that there are things I once said I’d do, that now my physical body isn’t capable of doing.
The fact is, life is too short. We’re here today and gone tomorrow. So, if you have a loved one you keep thinking you want to connect more with, or if you have something you’d love to do in life but haven’t yet, and you keep putting either off for one tomorrow after another, know that tomorrow may never come. And if it doesn’t, it may just leave you with an ache in your heart and a longing that you’d wish you had made the time for whatever it was, when you could…an ache I know oh, so, very well…
Dear God, help me to not put off anymore, anything that my heart desires to do today, knowing that tomorrow may never come.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson