The holidays are among us, no escaping them. As a religious person, I relish in the meaning of Christmas and all it represents. But this season brings with it emotions not so joyous. This can be a very depressing and mournful time for families. With Hallmark telling everyone love is in the air, it highlights the low for those who pray to be loved and have that wonderful connection, but don’t. For some, it is a reminder of who is missing! As families start the jubilation of the season, I am reminded again how my family photo will not include all my children, but I will continue to hold a photo of my son in each one, especially at Christmas! It’s a small way of making my wish come true to all be together for one day this time of year!
We all have a habit of wishing away our days. On Mondays, we wish it were Friday. We all do it. There is a country song that talks about a dream of “one more day?” The end result is wanting for one more, and then another, and then another. It would never end and that is exactly what our real wish would be, that the days never end. But life does end. It ends for all of us, eventually. It is our only guarantee in life. What we don’t get is one more day. What we need to do is take advantage of the days we do have. Don’t wait to tell someone you love them. Don’t wait to fulfill those dreams. A big pile of money doesn’t fall out of the sky to allow us more opportunity. That seems to be the biggest reason we put things off. Let’s stop doing that. I am not implying to go in debt. Let’s make our wishes within reason. That means identifying what truly matters. When the thought of someone NOT being there one more day, our priorities align more accurately.
My mother buried two sons before she died. My oldest brother died in an instant. We didn’t know it was coming and neither did he. This was hard on us, but I am happy for him. He ‘lived’ up until that moment. Death was not a thought for him. He wasn’t counting down. My second brother wasn’t so lucky. He was diagnosed with cancer just weeks after turning 40. His last few months on this Earth gave us an opportunity to let him know how much he meant to us, and for that, I am grateful! But what he suffered through during those months was indescribable. I was relieved for him when the Lord called him home. He said our oldest brother had sat next to his bed all night that last weekend, and then he passed on the 8-year anniversary of my oldest brother’s passing. An act of God!! I have seen both sides, immediate and prolonged. What would one more day mean? Are we wishing for the right things or should we take advantage of our days NOW?
We don’t, in general, get to sign up for how we leave this world. I pray for those who do. Those individuals who choose their own path out of this life are trapped in a living hell we know nothing about! What would they wish if they allowed themselves one more day? I am sure it would be that loved ones know it was not their fault. I am speaking about depression. The Christmas season can be horrible for those who suffer with depression, for various reasons. For those who suffer, I pray they find a way out of their nightmare that doesn’t leave their family and friends wishing for one more day…
As the holidays approach, the void is evident. This year, call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Plan a trip you have been wanting to take and find every excuse not to put on a calendar. Buy the outfit that is more than you want to spend, but know how much you really, really want it! Visit a nursing home and hear stories from those who have no one to share them with. Life is about living.
I can’t get another day, but I can hold onto my memories and make sure I don’t have any regrets going forward. I will have another day with my son and all those I have lost. It will be glorious and endless. Until then, I don’t want to spend another minute regretting the fact I failed to take advantage of an opportunity! I don’t want to say “if I had only __fill in the blank___.” Don’t wish for time. It is not guaranteed to any of us. Take moments and create memories. The line should not be “what would I do with one more day?” It should be “what am I going to do with today?” Live, and live well!