My good friend’s father just passed away unexpectedly. He was only 72 years old. This really hit me hard because I have two brothers who are older than 72. And I wondered:
What if I knew they had only a short time to live? Would I do anything differently? Would I spend more time with them?
The obvious answer is “yes.” But I wasn’t so quick to come to that conclusion. What really came to mind was to spend intense time with them, not necessarily more time. When we are together, I’d like to do more of the things they want to do, listen more intensely to the stories they want to tell, spend more time in their world. I’d like to hug a little longer and actually say the words: “I love you.”
It’s not always that easy. We all get caught up in our own worlds, our own challenges. And in this day of instant everything, we feel pressured to get more done. Something is always ringing, buzzing or dinging, demanding our attention. It seems impossible to shut off all the sounds and the alarms that demand our time.
So this week when I visited my brother, I listened more intensely to his golf stories, laughed a little longer at the video he wanted to share with me, and put down my phone to look at pictures of his grand kids. I doubt if he noticed any difference, but I feel comfort in knowing that I was more aware of the time we shared. And more grateful I had another memory I could tuck away for future reference.
I am truly sorry for my friend’s loss. I have no words to console her – only time can do that. Soon her tears will be replaced with smiles of the memories she shared with her father. And now, I too will have more intense memories of the ones I love.