Last Chance Lost
I am sure everyone has heard all their life “do not put off til tomorrow what you can do today”. I actually live by that when at all possible because we never know what tomorrow will bring and this is true even when it comes to cleaning up your kitchen from supper. I have done that in the past and left the dishes saying to myself “Oh, I will do them in the morning.” What I did not think about was that we have no guarantee that in the morning all will be calm and quiet and we can do those dishes. What happens when your child wakes with a high fever and you have to rush to the ER and he is in there for a day. I could come home to a dirty kitchen and have to worry about cleaning it before cooking dinner for the family. That is a simple version of why not to put things off.
The kind of putting off or neglecting I am talking about now is putting off telling and showing your loved ones that you love them. I am talking about last chances lost. There are no guarantees of tomorrow and we may never have that chance again. To me, family is not just blood kin like my siblings, my aunt that I call Mama, cousins, etc. It is also family of choice: those I have in my life that are not blood kin family but are as close and sometimes closer than the blood family. And so, I have a story to tell you that emphasizes why you should never put off talking to your loved ones, calling your loved ones, visiting your loved ones for the last time you see them could be the last time for real.
I have been real sick for a couple of months now going through treatment drugs and going through Radio Frequency Ablation on my spine again and I put off calling my godfather a couple of weeks ago. I called a couple of days ago and the one answering the phone was his secretary at his office. I often called there because it was the day time and I knew he would be there at the parish. When I asked for him, she said “oh goodness. He died two and a half weeks ago.” I could not even get my breath and was barely able to squeak out “What do you mean he died??” and she said “No one contacted you?” See, by then she realized I was “Calamity” his god-daughter. She had heard my voice often enough through the years. My godfather named me Calamity back in 93 because I was always falling down. This was before they diagnosed me with seizure disorder and I was always falling and injuring myself and having to wear wrists braces, casts, knee braces, etc.
I have felt such guilt that I did not make myself call when it first went through my head those couple of weeks ago. Yes, I was really sick from the drug being used on me for treatment but now I sit and think about how I will never hear his voice again. I will never be able to tell him I love him. I will never be able to hear him talk to me about life and tell me he loved me. I will not be able to go on that trip back to Rome with him and his church group that we talked about. I will never hear him in his Irish brogue say “Calamity, me darlin. How are you?” Tears come to my eyes as I write this because my godfather has been a part of my life for years and years and years and now…he is gone and I never got to tell him goodbye.
In this crazy, busy world, we can get caught up with what is going on and forget about those we love. We can decide we are just too busy to talk to them and put it off. We can decide that we do not need to talk to them every week or every day and lose that last chance forever to tell them how much we love them. We can put off until our last chance is lost. There are no guarantees of tomorrow and no guarantees of what tomorrow will bring. And so, we have to decide what is important to us…WHO is important to us and make sure and show them and tell them and not let time slip by.
Although I know that if he were here today, he would pat me on the hand and say “Oh me darlin gurl, tis ok…tis ok.”, it does not lessen the guilt and pain I feel. I know that he knew I loved him but had I called when he was on my mind, he would have left this world hearing me tell him how much I love him. It is so easy to take for granted that those we love will be here for ever and we can call them or talk to them when we want but it is not true. We have no guarantees and this with my godfather has made me acutely aware of that. Never take loved ones for granted for they may not be there the next time you decide you want to talk to them or see them. Do not let yourself be sitting there feeling guilty like I am because I let my last chance be lost. Take the time to talk to and be with your loved ones and to let them know you love them. It takes so little time.
And to my sweet godfather..I know you see this from heaven just as clearly as you read my blog daily. I miss you so much and am so sorry I missed the last chance to talk to you. I will miss your love and support, how you protected me and stood up for me, how you made me laugh, guided me and were there when my tears were falling. And most of all I miss your voice that always made me smile. You were supposed to be here to give my Eulogy…not leave first. But I know that God has used you well and took you home because the pain was too extreme that you suffered. Know I love you now and always and will celebrate your life and all the joy you brought to mine. Love…your Calamity gurl.
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