it leaves a void; a hole that can never be filled, a wound that never quite heals. No one ever thinks that the last time you see someone will be the last time you see someone.
It doesn’t matter if it is a friend, husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, child. It just doesn’t matter. We always expect to have the next time.
But sometimes there isn’t one.
Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn that leaves us bewildered and wondering what, if we had been given the chance, we would have said.
I found this out myself, first-hand, a few years ago. I said goodnight to my husband and the next morning, as I did every day, left him sleeping when I went to work. .
I, as every day before, left him a note telling him good morning and that I loved him, but didn’t wake him because there would be plenty of time when I got home for idle chat. While I was working and running petty, unneeded errands, he left this world and when I got home, ready to share my day with him, he was dead.
There was no next time.
No next moment.
No next day.
I was devastated.
How could something like this happen? How could there be so many things left unsaid? So many dreams left unfulfilled? So many moments that never found their way into the reality of every day life?
It is disheartening to find oneself with so many unanswered questions and unsaid words of love and devotion. It seems that as time passes, there are even more words that come to mind that, if there had been the chance, I would have said.
We, none of us, have a promise of a single minute other than the one we are currently living in. I learned a valuable lesson that day. I learned to say what I was thinking, speak my mind and share my heart with the ones that are important to me.
But as all things, as the world continues to turn and time continues to pass, old habits find a way of re-entering my life. I find that there are things I want to say, but wait because I am certain that now is not the time. Or maybe I can’t seem to find the courage to speak that which is in my heart.
Either way, it means that I really didn’t learn anything from my experience and that all the pain and sorrow I suffered was for nothing.
What is it about being human that makes us hold what we feel so close to our vest? To keep the thoughts and wanderings in our minds, hearts and souls to ourselves because we either feel that we will be misunderstood, ridiculed or simply ignored?
What is it that makes us feel that we are less than we are simply because we doubt our own importance in an ever-changing world?
I don’t want to be that way. I want the people I love and care about to know that I love and care about them. I want them to know that I think about them often, sometimes daily and sometimes several times a day. I want to have the courage to tell people when they have hurt me so that they will know what moves my heart.
Time is fleeting and life is too short, even when there aren’t extenuating circumstances.
I look at my own life and instead of embracing it for what I have learned, I compare it to the lives of those around me. I belittle my own experiences because in my mind, they are mundane when placed side by side with others. I make excuses to keep my thoughts to myself and find reasons not to say what I need to say.
But if I don’t say what is in my heart, then if, while I sleep, I die, those words and thoughts will die with me. The same goes for everyone. There isn’t always another chance, another day, another moment in time.
Sometimes the last time really is the last time.
I try, sometimes, to remember the last words I said to my husband and I can’t. I know at some point, I told him I loved him, but did he know just how much?
Did he know how I respected him for his knowledge and contribution to my growth in life and spirit?
Did he know that I needed him?
I can only hope where he is concerned, but in the here and now, with family, friends and loved ones, I have the power to tell them what I need them to know. The power is mine and mine alone and if I choose to keep the words to myself, then if some unknown event occurs, the power that was mine will become a weakness I will be given no choice but to live with.
Life is short. Don’t waste a moment. Don’t miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them, are proud of them, are happy for them, miss them, are praying for them. Don’t let the sun set on words unsaid for there is no promise that the sun will rise on that life in the morning.
Be well, my dear ones, and give each other the words that only your heart can say. For tomorrow may not come and then the words will have no place to go.