Emergency vehicles filled our street on New Year’s Day. We later learned that my neighbor’s father, who had been living with her for the last few months, had passed away unexpectedly. He had been doing well, she told me, and it was a shock.
The very next day, my own mom was admitted to the hospital for what was eventually diagnosed as a stroke. In the weeks before and after Christmas, family members from across the globe had come to town, and she’d spent hours laughing, talking and enjoying all seven of her children and many of her grandchildren.
I could have said the same thing as my neighbor—my mom had been doing well, and the stroke was a shock.
These events are sobering reminders that life is uncertain, that a person’s entire life world can change in a moment, that our existence on this planet comes with no guarantees.
Only God knows the number of our days, and He rarely reveals that figure ahead of time.
So far, my mom has experienced what her doctor described as a miraculous recovery, at least compared with her condition on the day she went into the hospital. We’re thankful, prayerful, hopeful.
With Alzheimer’s, though, nothing is certain. We simply don’t know what her recovery will look like or what her future holds.
As a result, all the familiar adages about being present, savoring what’s right in front of you and loving the ones you’re with mean more to me in now than they did even a few weeks ago. And not just as they relate to my mom.
The truth is, we never know when we are going to do something for the last time. Like holding a child’s hand, for example. One day your girl lets you grab her hand as you cross a parking lot; the next time, she doesn’t. This is a good and proper part of growing up, but we don’t get advance notice of it.
When a season is over, it’s over. There’s no going back, no rewinding the tape, no do-over available.
I’m not trying to be dramatic or cliché here. This is a real and relevant message, one that applies as much to young parents of growing children as it does to middle-aged children of aging parents (not to mention people of every other age and family demographic).
Life as we know it today may not be life as we know it tomorrow.
So, if we have something we believe God wants us to do or people He has put in our lives to care for, let’s get after it.
♥ LoisThe truth is, we never know when we are going to do something for the last time. Click To Tweet