I almost lost my Daddy 3 weeks ago. He had a massive heart attack and actually flat-lined at one point. Thankfully he is a stubborn man and, in his own words, “decided to stick around for another 30 years”, but it still scared me. Badly.
He called me from the ambulance to tell me he loved me and to say goodbye. See if that won’t rip a person up and make them reevaluate their whole life. It did that for Cowman and me. It did that for my parents also, and I’m sure it did it for my brothers.
So where do you go from there? You can’t possibly keep on doing life as usual. It’s like a reset button is pushed and you have a brand new start. An opportunity to look at life through a new lens, to throw away the old, jaded, dented one, and to put on a fresh new wide-angle which is much better suited to capturing life at its fullest and best.
So what does this new reset look like? Some aspects are still emerging, some were instant. I was faced with the startling fact that I don’t get to keep my parents forever. I’m going to have to let them go at some point, and while I pray that that time isn’t for a long time yet, I don’t know. So those phone calls aren’t going to be put off anymore. In fact I’ve been trying to restrain myself from calling every single day. I told my Dad he was going to get tired of seeing my name show up on his caller ID, he just laughed but didn’t deny it either. ( I knew I was speaking the truth!) I’m working on finding that balance.
I also know that this reset is going to push me into some uncomfortable situations as I try to build relationships with other family members. As I mentioned in this post about two families becoming one, we aren’t a Norman Rockwell family. Do we wish we were? Sure. But facts are facts and that’s not our family. We have our moments and we love each other, but a lot of the time we don’t like each other. I have two brothers that I haven’t spoken to in years and I don’t even have the excuse that we live far apart. We have almost nothing in common and we see things from very different points of views. But is that reason enough to not try? Man, it would be so easy to say it was. It would be so nice to just agree to disagree and go our separate ways but I don’t think that is the life I want to live. It’s also not the life I want my kids to see me living. So ya, I’ve got some uncomfortableness in my future that this reset is going to push me into. I’ll deal with it.
I will be saying no more often to the good things that take time away from the great things. I’ve got a family that I only get to hold onto for a short period of time. I’m saying yes to them. I’m saying yes to folding the laundry later in favor of reading a book together now. I’m saying yes to leaving the dishes in the sink in favor of going outside and taking a walk together. I’m saying yes to them helping in the kitchen even though it makes everything take ten times longer. I’m looking into their eyes when they speak to me and really listening. I’m saying yes to the now. I’m saying no to the uncertain “laters”. I’m saying yes to not having any “what ifs” in our future.
I’m willing to take some risks if it means our family will be better for it. I’m willing to be uncomfortable for a while if it means relationships can be healed. I’m willing to step out into the unknown and trust if it means a more fulfilled life. I’m willing to change because I was faced with the knowledge that we only have so much time. I don’t want to waste it. I don’t want to look back and regret. I don’t want to wonder. I want to know that I had a life well lived and that I took the time to care for and about those around me. I want that to be my legacy.
So yes, almost losing my Dad was one of, if not the most, scary points of my life. I don’t want to go through it again. Ever. But it did reach me. God will use those moments to mold and change for the better if you let Him, and I fully intend to take Him up on the offer.
Love from here,