When Sean first heard that his grandi had gone to be with Jesus, he cried, “No!! I only knew him for seven years. That’s not enough time!” Jer looked at him understandingly. “I only knew him for 50 years and that’s not enough time either.”
We went to his house the other day and I wept. His slippers were by the fireplace - empty. But I know he is walking and dancing and leaping on streets of gold now. His recliner chair sat empty, with some of his items on a coffee table beside it. But he doesn't need his chair anymore because he is seated with Jesus in heavenly places and he is happy. His clothes hung in the closet - empty. Emptiness that is so full and so heartbreaking it takes your breath away. But he doesn’t need clothes anymore because he is clothed with robes of righteousness, he is clothed in heavenly robes. He walks and talks with the Master that he so fiercely loved. And I know that he is fulfilled and he has no more pain and he has no more suffering. But really - as selfish as it is - I just want him here with us again. I just want him holding Mum’s hand again. I just want to be able to go to his house and ask him what he thinks about the refreshments on Saturday or ask him what he thinks about what kind of building we should get for the church. Or I just want to ask him anything. Anything at all - just one more conversation. Because I didn’t have enough time with him.
We admitted Dad into palliative care on the 11th, Wednesday. I remember it well. He was so tired; so depleted. I looked at his room. I knew that we were going to fill his room with pictures my son had taken of his garden for his last days. There was another picture I was going to hang up - a picture of a cross. Then the very next day, Mum alerted us that if we wanted to hold another conversation with him, that we should come because he was fading fast. But we never got that last conversation. We all came very quickly. But it was too late. He tried - he knew we were there. He even tried at one point to sing with us. But he was too sick. We stayed by his bed constantly those last days. He knew that he was loved and we knew that we were loved. We had had many conversations with him in the last two months after the first time he almost died. But we wanted one more conversation. Just one more. But let’s be honest - would one more have been enough?
Spend time with the ones you love. Walk with the ones that are dear to you. Set down your phones, and your ipads and your computers and your games and everything else that so easily distracts you and keeps you from listening to their heartbeat. Carve out time in your busy schedule for them; invest and pursue and live life with intention never forgetting what is most important to you. Because you never know when you will be breathing your last breath. You never know when they will be breathing their last breath. Grab the person next to you. Hug them, link arms with them; hold their hands - hold them tightly and never let them go because those things are the only important things in this world. Those things are the only meaning that this world gives. The other things are shallow - they are meaningless. Our fancy houses or our not so fancy houses - our cars- our lives here on this earth - they are nothing without those around us. Let’s not forget that. Our things........ none of that matters next to those people; our people; next to the ones that we walk this journey with. Nothing.
No matter what happens - there is never enough time. Make memories and hold onto those moments like gold and never let them go until they are taken from you.
Because I promise you - it will be too soon that life or death will pry your fingers from the grip of the one you love.
Life is like precious and fragile glass - you never know when it is going to break and shatter into a million pieces on the ground - never to be recovered again. But some of us spend so much of our lives occupying our minds with the wrong things - with the petty things; with the meaningless things. And we waste moments and days and years - for nothing.
Don’t waste another moment, not another beautiful second, worrying about the future or regretting the past. Time is far too short, it’s like a flash of lightening; a vapor. Laugh with your family; your heart friends; sing with them; dance with them; do silly things with them.
Because one day that moment will come when you will wish with all your mind, heart and soul, you will wish more than anything else in the world for one more song, one more conversation, one more meal, one more day.
Because it’s never enough...