I’ve been feeling “OK” for the last month, which caused me some anxiety because I knew a bad day was coming. Yesterday, I had it.
I had another therapy session and as I was waiting for my therapist to come get me, I noticed a teenager, approximately 15-years-old, waiting to be seen. There was an older woman sitting near him and when his therapist came out, she said, “Hi, I’m [his] grandmother.” That was it for me.
I couldn’t stop looking at her after that. I remembered all the times my grandmother took me to appointments when I was around his age. Dentist appointments, podiatrist appointments, optometrist appointments, etc. I also remembered that when you’re that young, you think you’re going to live forever and so will everyone you love.
But we know that’s not true.
I looked at that woman and thought, I would give everything I have for five more minutes with my grandmother. She wouldn’t even have to say anything. She could just sit there.
I don’t think I started appreciating my grandmother and everything she did for me until I was in my late twenties. I wish I had appreciated her more when she was alive. I wish I had stayed at the nursing home longer when I went to visit her. I wish it hadn’t been a year and a half since I’d seen her when she died.
What my grandmother’s death has taught me is we have no time in this world. People don’t return phone calls, text messages or emails because they can’t seem “to find the time.” People go out to dinner, sit across from one another and spend the majority of the meal looking at their phones.
Life is just too short for all of that. It really is.
Now, when I spend time with someone, I’m completely present. I’m focused on that person and I savor every moment we have together because I know it could be the last time I see her or him. My therapist said this new approach to spending time with people is a gift and I know it is. It’s one of the few positive things to come out of my grandmother’s passing.
Return that phone call you keep forgetting about. Call that friend/family member you haven’t spoken to in forever. Keep that promise to have lunch with someone. Spend more time with your parents if they’re still on this earth. If you’re fighting with someone you love, end it now.
You will never get the time you didn’t spend with the people you love back, try as you might.
Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. Be intentional about how you spend your time and spend it wisely.