When my grandfather passed away, I kept hearing the Garth Brooks song “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” I felt like he wanted us to know that there was never any question about the love he and my grandmother shared. It gave me great peace. There have been other losses that did not give that peace. My daddy committed suicide and there were things left unsaid. Hearts and relationships were not mended before he left this world. This past summer, my uncle Joe passed away, and there were many loves unspoken in our hearts. Everyone is still feeling that pain. Very recently, a family friend passed away, one so close that my heart has a big gaping hole in it. As I talk with her family, I feel their pain, and I live in my own grief. Thankfully, in the relationship, the love was well known. I can assure you there have been many losses and we could spend all day with me pointing out the ones were love was highly spoken and known, and ones where there were lots of regrets. I just wanted to touch on the ones we are still really hurting from.
For the privacy of my family, I can’t really reveal EVERYTHING we have been going through. This past week, we had to put my mother in the hospital for double pneumonia and they think my dog’s cancer is back. For the first three days of my mother being in the hospital, I could not honestly tell you that she was going to walk out of there. I hoped and prayed. I believed God was in control, but I just didn’t know if this was her time. I struggled emotionally, mentally and physically. I have lost too much weight because I can’t eat or sleep. My children have a lot of what-ifs.
Yesterday, my momma was talking and crying. She is on steroids and it exaggerates things, but mostly, i think it gives her courage.. She broke my heart as talked of the losses. She went on to talk about what she hates about my house. We had a very frank conversation. She was complaining about dog hair. OK…I get that fight, because I hate dog hair. BUT I am in the middle of losing my dog…my daddy’s dog. I feel like I am losing my daddy all over again. I asked her in a few days, weeks or months, when Sadie is gone, will the dog hair really matter? Because it won’t to me. She will be gone, and my world will change. I will lose all that I have left of my daddy.
Lately, my children have been experiencing major attitudes. Some due to Aaron being gone. Some due to Momma being sick. They have too much time on their hands and really need to go back to school. BUT, my mom has gotten some rough treatment during this time. None of it is acceptable, but she and I talked about her contributions and how we can make things more peaceful. It spawned a pretty in depth conversation with the girls. I asked, “If Thursday had resulted differently and we lost Nanny, how would you feel about the past few weeks or months and all the arguing?” After, they got through with their disgust of my morbid question, they admitted, GUILT would have hit them. We talked about how we never know when loss will occur and before we start a full blown argument, we need to think about how this will matter if tomorrow doesn’t come.
Another conversation, my mother and I had was over Aaron. She seems to think we never fight. Aaron and I could win awards in fighting. We made life rough for a lot of people. Over time, we learned that although, we may disagree, it doesn’t mean the other is trying to screwing us over. We have learned that a bad attitude or wrong choice of words, doesn’t necessarily mean wrong heart. I know without a shadow of a doubt that my husband loves me and our children. I know that every decision he makes, he makes in the best interest of our family. I know that he is one of the most selfless people I know. Therefore, it is very easy to trust him, even if he is not acting as I think he should. In return, I am treated the same way. I can’t tell you exactly what he thinks, but I can tell you he trusts me and my decisions. When we disagree, he listens. He doesn’t view himself higher than me, nor do I view myself higher than him. It has transformed our marriage.
I told him, Momma and the kids, somehow, we have to bring this into the other relationships. In a parent/child relationship, there is a pecking order, but it is really more about respecting boundaries. We have to learn to help each other and not only look out for ME. We have to restore RESPECT TO our house, and the peace will follow. If it can work in our marriage, somewhere, somehow, it can work with the rest of the family.
All night, I have thought about it. In a big family, loss is prevalent. You WILL experience it, but if it happens unexpectedly, how will you feel about your actions/spoken words or your unspoken words.
You see, I have had some unspoken words with a few people. I had forgiven them in my heart (or thought I had), but refused reconciliation. In order to reconcile, you must have forgiveness, but forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation. The lack of reconciliation was never the issue. It was the lack of forgiveness: holding on to the pain, and refusing to accept change in others.
I have been very distant with my family for a lot of reasons. EVERY one of my AUNTS and UNCLES were there for me. My cousins were there. No questions asked. No what do I gain from this. It was all love for my mother and ME. Just love and respect! My sister has been amazing and I couldn’t have done this week without her. The statements about my aunts and uncles probably not really that profound because it is who they are. The statement about my sister is so very important, because you see, we haven’t spoken in three years. We let three years of hate and unforgivenness eat alive at us. We made our mother and my children miserable. This week, we put it all down, because we had to get her through this sickness. Guess what, it was nice having her back. It was so nice knowing that while Aaron was away that I was not alone. I don’t know where it will lead, or how well things will work. But I do know that I have had a heart change through the years, and it appears so has she. Maybe, just maybe God performed a family miracle this weekend.
I am still very tired and weary. But my heart knows that if tomorrow never comes, amends have been made with all the important people in my life. Love was restored this weekend. God showed up in amazing ways, through family and friends, and eventually healing.
My question to you: What if TOMORROW NEVER COMES? How will you handle your last interaction with that person? Will you be grateful for the good times or will you feel guilty for the bad?