Two days. That’s all it took. To change the life of a person I adore. On Thursday, my friend learned her father had terminal cancer. The next day doctors delivered even more grave news. His condition had deteriorated so badly, and he had days to live. My heart ached for her. The journey would take 12 hours. He couldn’t even speak anymore. She left with a heavy heart. Hoping to make it to his bedside. Before he passed away. Like me, she met her father very late in life.
I began thinking about my own personal circumstances. A father I never knew. Until two years ago. To be honest. I think it was too late for us. Perhaps, if we met a decade or two ago, things might be different. The damage has been done. I know there is a lot for me to forgive. And so I shall. It’s a start.
I thought about what I would do. If I only had days to live. Then I remembered, a piece from my first published anthology of poems. One More Day. I hope it offers insight. No matter where you are in life.
If we knew that we had one more day on earth, would we…
Love with more passion?
Listen more attentively?
Hug our loved ones tighter?
Laugh until it hurts?
Smile a tad bit wider?
Touch more gently?
Kiss as if it will be your last?
Talk a lot less and listen more?
Forgive wrongdoings more quickly?
Walk with a spring in our step?
Spend more time with the ones you love?
Leave work at work?
Sweat the small stuff?
Tell them how much you truly love them?
Stop to smell the flowers?
Play in the rain, just once more?
Take a moonlight stroll on the beach?
Turn off the television and read a bedtime story to your child?
Pray together as a family?
Give away all your possessions, just to have one more day?
Give thanks for all that you have?
Yield to someone in traffic?
Give to the beggar on the street?
Volunteer at your favourite charity?
Make someone’s wish come true?
Be a big brother or big sister to an underprivileged child?
Stop by the local food kitchen and ask how you can help?
Handwrite a letter to your mom?
Dance, really, like no one is watching?
Befriend the office outcast?
Pray longer tonight?
Make breakfast in bed for your spouse?
Take the day off work to spend with the family?
Spend a few hours at the local humane society?
Treat this Christmas as if it was your last?
Quit complaining as much?
Say: “I’m sorry,” even though you did nothing wrong?
Drive hours to see a friend who is hospitalized?
Give up your seat on the bus?
Look at your glass as half empty or half full?
In short, make time for the things that really, truly matter. Tomorrow is promised to no one.
Juan Williams (2009)
Until the next post,