The phone rings and you look at it to see who is calling. You then decide in your half-awaken state that you don’t feel like talking, so you let it go to voice mail . “I’ll call them back later today or tomorrow,” you say. Have you ever thought that there might not be another day to call them back?
I was told that you should always value those that are close to you. Don’t ever put them on the back burner, or wait till tomorrow to tell them how much they mean to you. Of course, this is not something that you need to have pointed out to you though.
When you are a child, you do childish things. You don’t put loved ones or their feelings first. But the fact of the matter is, even as we get older, we sometimes still only think of ourselves. There are still times when our Mom, Dad, Grandmother, or some other family member calls us and when we look at the caller ID and see who it is, we roll back over to get another 30 minutes of sleep. For 30 more minutes of sleep…
I bring all this up, because this happened to me recently. I received a call a few weeks ago from the man I have always considered to be my father. I was staying home from work with the flu. I was feeling very bad, so I decided to let the call go to voice mail and told myself I would call him back later that day or the next. Bad decision. So, this was two weeks ago, and this morning I get a call from his wife telling me he was not expected to live another 24 hours. The prostate cancer he had discovered a few years ago had gotten much worse in the recent weeks. It had spread throughout his body all the way to his brain. His body was getting cold and all his organs were beginning to shut down. When I heard this, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I looked up to Tom so much. He was such an awesome and intelligent man who I held the utmost respect for.
The problem, as I’m sure you’re aware, was that I chose to sleep over talking to him, probably for the last time. When his wife Denise called me, she put me on speakerphone so I could speak to him one last time, but he wasn’t “there,” and wasn’t able to really talk back to me. I heard him groaning and trying to form words, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying to me. I let slip through my fingers an opportunity, the last opportunity I would ever have, to enjoy a conversation with this man who I loved so much. Now I feel like a piece of you know what. I can’t do it over. I will always remember how I chose to sleep over speaking to Tom and telling him how much I loved him and how proud of him I was.
I said all of this to say that you should never neglect those that are close to you. Never choose to be selfish over sharing an incredible, and possibly final, moment that you have with someone you hold so close to your heart. It might not seem like a big deal at the time, but it hurts when you know that because of your selfish or lazy ways, you lost out on an opportunity to say “I love you.”
I hope this helps someone to realize what they have, when they have it. Don’t ever forget those that you cherish and cherish you. They are important and vital parts of your life and your being. I love you Tom…… So much of what I am today is because of your influence on my life. Goodbye.