Category Archives: man and wife

When you don’t get to say goodbye …

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.

spiritofjim

Just a short walk

Earlier tonight, i commented on a post by Janet… she had told of helping her older neighbors by walking their dog… that’s all i know about the entire thing, but it planted a seed in my head and the words just tumbled out, almost faster than I could write them… and my Father showed me a morning with my dad, when he was older and more feeble… anyone who knows him will recognize him… and anyone who doesn’t know him personally will recognize him… because his generation is everywhere…  we just usually choose not to see it… Father, help me treat others as I want my parents to be treated… with love and compassion, help and healing, conversation and company… let me serve you, LORD…. Anyway, without the Holy Spirit, my words alone cant possibly do it justice, so, if you’re willing, whether you believe in it or not, try to see it through the eyes of the spirit… here goes…
The wind rattled his bones just as hard as it rattled the windows, the shingles, the siding and the half-broken porch swing, dangling by one chain, that he just wasn’t able to fix.  Not thinking about the things he could no longer do… at least trying not to think about them, he took a deep breath and began the process of getting out of bed.  What, once upon a few decades ago, would have been quick and easy was now slow and painful.  He had tried looking at getting up in the morning like yanking off a bandage… quick and painful, but over soon… well, it wasn’t quick, but it was painful… and the soreness lasted for three days… so he’d stuck to slow and easy so he could get downstairs to breakfast.  He looked at his wife, still sleeping, and thought of how different it used to be… how more able he was to protect her and take care of her… of course that didn’t diminish his love and devotion to her… she was a strong and steady force in his life and he knew he didn’t want to live without her and selfishly, yet shamelessly, prayed, as he had ever since he laid eyes on her,  that he would go first…  he shook his head, a habit he’d picked up along the way, and took his first unsteady steps of the morning and went in the direction of the bathroom to wash his face and stuff before he went downstairs for the day.  He thought of the bathroom downstairs by the kitchen and remembered toying with the idea of expanding it into a full size bath.. of thinking how convenient it would be… he went back down the hall, passing his bedroom on the way and noticed that she had turned over… knowing she would be up soon and looking for some coffee, he made his way down the stairs, looking out over the foggy meadow toward the road… beautiful, he thought… he moved into the kitchen, glancing, as he put the kettle on to heat, toward the tiny, useless bathroom… but that was a long time ago and he couldn’t do it now even if he still wanted to… and that galled him some, still.  That, even though he does want to, he wants to very badly, he can’t…  he stirred cream into his coffee, then looked toward the stairs to make sure Flo wasn’t there, then put extra.. he sipped and sighed, then went back to his thoughts… he can’t expand the bathroom, he can’t fix the roof, he can’t mow the yard, he can’t drive… he can barely walk, even on level ground… sometimes, where his garden used to grow, he stands and gazes toward the mountain… longing to walk a ways so he can feel the breath of the wind on his face that he can’t get here on this flat ground… shaking his head,  he turned toward the east window and watched the day burst open… nothing he can do with it now anyway… he’s just too old… he feels the depression, always just a breath away, threatening to swallow him if he’ll just give in… but give in?  no way…  he’ll be there as long as his time lasts.. and when he’s done, he’ll go to Heaven… he’s never doubted that… no, he murmurs to himself, he’d never doubted that, but he also hadn’t looked ahead to reality… to becoming feeble… he just wished he were stronger… like in the old days…  But, there was trouble in the days of strength, as there is with anytime… and as he stood in the kitchen with the light of the sunrise pouring into the window, he realized that, though his body is weaker, his mind, his heart and his spirit are stronger than ever… He nods at the day and walks through the house toward the front door.  He heard the first bang of the hammer as he opened the screened door and walked onto the porch…  he heard the footsteps overhead as his roof was repaired before winter… he wasn’t able and he wasn’t rich… and God, faithful God, had, as always, provided… He thanked Him for the young men who lived nearby and had offered to do some work around the house… they were photographers and were willing to trade mountain time for hard labor… to help him and his wife  It was, he realized as he listened to the good-natured banter of youth, a good day to walk… just a little ways… into the mountain… he yanked on the new chain on the porch swing, now hanging sturdy and straight,as he opened the screened door then went back in the kitchen, fixed two cups of coffee, both with just a touch of cream, and creaked his way back up the stairs to see if his wife was up to a walk…  just a short walk, of course…