Tuesday, October 21, 2008

There is just no way to create a cute title for this. If you have children at home, go and give them a kiss and tell them that you love them-now. If your children are grown and out of the house, or if you are a non-custodial parent, pick up the phone and call them and tell them that you love them, again, now. Because you never know when it might be too late.

I bet that you are thinking that I am going to follow this up with some cautionary tale of a childs death or disappearance, but this is actually about the opposite.

Yesterday morning, a father in our neighborhood saw his daughters off to the school bus, a perfectly normal morning in what is a perfectly normal world for many of us. For those girls, their brothers, that world is gone forever. A massive heart attack, out of the blue and fatal, finished it off. Those children never got to say goodbye, and he never got a last chance to say "I love you." No more of whatever were the special daddy-daughter or daddy-son activities.

(I am not denying the horrible pain that the mother/wife will be feeling when she isn't numb, but I think that most of us can accept the possibility of a spouse dying first).

My mother didn't live long enough to see my sister graduate from high school, or to see either of her daughters graduate college, marry, to see her grandchildren. But in some ways, perhaps her long illness helped us, her death wasn't a shock and a surprise. And, maybe I've been effected by this event because my sister and I were the age of two of the siblings in this family. But, think of the look on the face of your child (of whatever age) as they come looking for you, expecting you, only to be told that they will never see you again. Can you contemplate that calmly?

I can't.

Go kiss your kids.

1 comment:

My Gal said...

My mother worked in the ER for many of my early years. She would often come home and wake me up to hug me. Years later I started to understand why she would never let anyone leave the house without hugs and I love yous all around. She said that it used to break her heart to have people whos last words to each other were in anger and then at the hospital. There are life lessons in it all. Thank you for the insightful post.