I was awoken by a phone call at 6:00 a.m. to let me know there was the possibility one of my children was in danger. Wow. Not what I was expecting. Fortunately, it was a false alarm and it seems there was never any threat to the safety of my child, but for the several frightening hours we were unsure, one thing became crystal clear. All the little things I had been complaining about…my dirty house, the loads of laundry, the lack of “me” time, my job, the crappy weather, the 10 lbs I can’t seem to lose…meant nothing to me. The only thing that mattered was the safety and well being of the people I love. This was a wake-up call.
I believe scary/sad/poignant events happen in life in order to jolt us back into reality of what’s really important. These “wake up calls” immediately put things into perspective for us and shift our focus away from the insignificant and material things and directly on to what matters the most…people. I value my relationships tremendously, and if you are in my life at all, you know this. The older I get, the more this becomes true, but sometimes I just forget. I get overwhelmed with life and start sweating the small stuff. I lose my way a bit. I start taking things for granted. It takes these wake-up calls to get me back on track.
It is human nature to take people for granted. To expect they will always be in our life. To think the way things are today will be the way they are forever. We get comfortable, yet we don’t seem to notice how comfortable we’ve become with someone until we’ve lost them. We get so used to having certain people around because they are so reliable, we don’t pay attention to how much they do for us and how much they care for us. We think people just automatically know how we feel and therefore we don’t need to tell them. Sadly, there are many times we treat the ones we love the most, the worst. I am as guilty as anyone. I don’t speak of my gratitude enough. I don’t say enough I love yous. I expect the people I love to be in my life forever. Anything different, is unthinkable.
Things in our house have felt a little different since that wake-up call. We all seem to be a little more patient with each other, a little kinder. We seem to be staying in the same room a little longer, hugging a little tighter, and checking in a little more often. I saw that protective mama bear come out in all of us that morning. There was nothing we wouldn’t do to protect each other. However, I wish it didn’t take a wake-up call to remind us what we mean to each other, to remember not to take each other for granted. Wake-up calls are scary and sad. So, maybe this can be your innocent, not-so-scary, not-so-sad wake-up call. If you had one day to live, who would you call? Who would you want to spend your last day with? Go tell them. Say I love you. Make time for someone you’ve been too busy for. Say the unspoken. Hold on a little tighter. Love a little deeper. You never know what day might be your last together.