The Difference In A Second
As I lay here in the early morning light, I thought about something that we all take for granted….life. I was watching an old Mash show last nite and in it, a young boy died on the operating table and Radar was so upset that one of the doctors followed him and sat down to try and comfort him. Radar said something that really resonated with me. He said “how can a person be alive one second and dead the next”. That set me to thinking about a second and about life.
When we are young we think we will live forever. That is just part of being a kid. And sadly, children die daily. My heart hurt last nite for the woman who was sick and her neighbor was taking care of the kids and he killed the daughter and dismembered her. I thought about all the children who die daily from abuse, from predators, from accidents. So….no, we don’t live forever. In a second, we can be gone.
And as we get older, we realize that life has no guarantees of tomorrow. So, why do people not value life more? And why do we not realize what a monumental thing it is when people reach the age of eighty, ninety…a hundred. As a whole, life is treated as if nothing can stop it and yet daily people are dying for many reasons…..gone in a second.
So, what should we be doing? I think life is something we have to remember to not take for granted and to realize that …in a seconds time…we may have lost the time to tell our loved ones how much we love them, to hug our loved ones and to give to them all the love we hold in our hearts.
Part of valuing life is valuing our own health. I look back and see things I would have done so differently had I realized that life is not a guarantee and that part ….only part…of living is up to me. I would not have smoked for one for I believe that destroys our health. Now, to be honest, I loved smoking. I loved the taste and the feeling having a cigarette with my morning cup of coffee. But, to be realistic…my body did not. I would have eaten healthier, exercised more and taken better care of me. And I would have detached myself from emotional vampires who love drama and love to suck the life from you.
While taking care of me is important, what about valuing the life around us. Every moment we waste not being with loved ones, not telling loved ones how much we care or spending time showing them….. are moments that are lost forever. We can never get them back. And we may not get the opportunity to do it in the future. They can be gone in a second.
How many times have you heard people after someone dies say oh they wish they had done or said this or that. Hindsight is always 20/20 but it should wake us up. It should make us realize that all the ugly drama that can enfold with families and close friends is really not worth it. What will it matter who said what a year from now? Think about all the tension and drama around holiday time…how it ruins holidays…takes the joy away from it…and that holiday will be gone and can not be replayed. There is no rewind in life.
I have seen people who carried grudges for years to the point they don’t even remember what the reason was…they just knew they were mad at the other person. And all that time, they lost being with someone who was important in their life at one time. And that time can never be regained.
Perhaps the older I get, I realize that I have less time than I did at twenty. But, even being twenty…I can see that life was not seen as precious as it should have been by me and by many. I think the world has become consumed with “possession-itis” and it is what we can buy or attain that has become most important and has taken over where family and loved ones should be top of the list.
When son and I decided to sell the house and move on this side of the mountain, our goal was to get rid of bills and get rid of the burden of a huge house of 2200 square feet …a house in which we did not use all of it most of the time….and find a home we could pay for or at the least pay less for that was smaller. And we accomplished that with this small little cottage house we have. And daily we look around and realize how much we love it. There is not one space in this house that is not used daily. And the strain of paying for that huge house is off of us. It allows us to do quality things together, just like the making of our thanksgiving dinner where the making and cooking together was the most important part. The eating was just the reward of it.
Many want fame and fortune to be what they are remembered for. Fame and fortune can be gone in a second too and so many people have seen this with the depression our economy has been in the past few years. When I die, I want to be remembered for the love I gave, for the time I spent, for the calls I made or the visits I did or the times I shared my life…my home and special events with those I love. I want people to remember that I loved them and that I valued them and wanted them in my life…that I was there in hard times for them, that I gave of myself to comfort them.
I also don’t want to lose people in my life and regret that I did not spend more time with them, that I did not call them or write them or visit them ….did not hug them and let them know I loved them..that I was not there in their time of need. I want to live my life so that the important things …like love and family and family of choice are top of the list…not how famous I am or what a big home I have or what a big career I have or had. If everything can be gone in a second…I want to know that my seconds were spent on the most important…on those I love and care about.
So, what about you? How are you spending your moments in life?
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