I’ve had something nagging at me for nearly a week. A memory.
Do you remember in the movies how a character will do something and suddenly they have a flashback as though they are in a different moment? Then, just as fast as it came, they are back in present-day. That happened to me on Friday.
Friday, Addi woke up really sick. She had a high fever, wasn’t keeping things down, and was struggling to breathe. I felt pretty helpless, so I put a cool washcloth on her head to help make her comfortable. I put my hand on the washcloth to say something to her, and my mind snapped back to September of last year.
I felt like I was standing in my father-in-law’s hospital room. I was telling him goodbye. He had a wash cloth on his head because he was running a fever. I was crying and telling him how much he meant to me; how much he meant to our girls.. how much we were going to miss him. I was trying to squeeze in goodbyes from the girls since they didn’t get the chance to say it. It felt so real and raw. Then, lightning fast I was back in present-day standing over Addi.
Ever since this memory crept back in– or rudely barged in– I haven’t been able to shake it. I’ve gone over it again and again any time I’m alone. The tears stream down my face all over again. I’m not sure why it won’t go away, other than I have felt a little nudging from God. “Tell them.”
What am I supposed to tell you?
Don’t wait until your loved one is slipping away to tell them what they mean to you. Make sure they KNOW without a doubt how much they mean to you long before it’s time to say goodbye. Maybe I have said it a thousand times before. Maybe you are afraid of feeling silly. I remember ALMOST not telling Jim all of those things because I wasn’t alone. I was afraid of feeling silly. But, in that moment, it felt like just Jim and me. He couldn’t respond. He may have told me to quit being so sappy if he could have, because he was just funny like that. The regret I would have carried for not ever telling him what he meant to me would be unbearable.
If you see good in someone, speak it. Speak it right then and there, even if it’s as simple as “I like your hair!” Don’t you remember how much it makes you smile to hear those things? Speak it!
Just don’t wait…