What Are You Waiting For?
Very recently, we lost my husband’s grandmother at the age of 85 – what a wonderful life! It’s hard to believe she was living independently just the week prior and now she’s gone. How I wish I had told her some of the things in my heart, but I didn’t. Don’t wait for goodbye, it’s not worth it because you’re almost always too late.
I remember when my husband’s grandfather passed away. There I sat the following evening helplessly at work in Alaska while he had traveled across the country to be with his mourning family. To say I desperately wanted to be there is an understatement but I couldn’t. I remember an email I wrote to his grandmother that evening and I’m so thankful I did. I told her how much I appreciated her and her husband for always being so kind to me. She’d always greet me with “hey gal, how are ya?” with a twinkle in her eye, and a big smile on her face. She also gave such great hugs. Like the real ones that you want to fold into because you’re being held just the right way. A real hug.
Hard Lessons Learned
You’d think by now I’d have learned my lesson after losing my Papa Chubbie (choobie) this last April. He was in his 90s and I guess I never thought the day would come. Time is so easy to take for granted when getting caught up in the silly day to day. I probably also took for granted him knowing I love him because he knew, but I should have told him more often. It wasn’t easy to call and I remember not wanting to while he was passing because I wasn’t ready for it. I felt guilty and I wasn’t ready to admit his time was coming to an end. And I was so sad. I was mourning so much of my childhood and couldn’t bring myself to do it.
But you know what? He waited for me. I called to tell him I love him and that he could go when he was ready. It was heartbreaking to say that and I melted down once off the phone. Several minutes later, I was sitting in my bed and felt the biggest cold chill. It was a feel it deep in my bones and made me shake for a quick second kind of cold chill. And then my sister called. My grandfather had passed. He waited for me, the last of his grandchildren to call, and then he left. He was saying goodbye to me and no amount of logic could sway me otherwise.
I’d say at least half of my fondest memories involve my grandparents. I adored them and couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen with each of them. My father’s mother was Puerto Rican and my mother’s father was Italian, and they both knew how to cook! Oh goodness, their cooking – I swear nobody was capable of cooking well as them. I mean, you could try but it’s not likely I’d believe you. My siblings and cousins would be out playing and I was standing on a chair helping them cook every step of the way. Did I ever tell them how much I treasured that? Did my Papa Chubbie know how special it made me feel to get one of the prized meatballs while cooking when he told all the other kids no? They both made me feel so incredibly special. Did they know how much they impacted who I am today?
So here I sit, wondering what the hell is keeping me from sharing these things with those I love? I mean, they might not be here tomorrow. Hell, I might not be…although I hope that’s not the case for a very long time. But we don’t know. Nobody does. So why am I waiting? Why am I taking time for granted time and time again?
Tomorrow isn’t promised
Tell those around you that you love them. Tell them why they’re so important to you. Call them just to say hello and don’t wait for a holiday, etc to roll around. Time is fleeting and we don’t get second chances. When our loved one is gone, they’re gone. Don’t let yourself be left with unanswered questions.
I need to instill these habits in myself if I’m ever going to guide my children properly. After all, if I’m waiting until tomorrow to call my parents, siblings or grandparents, will they eventually do that to me? To their father? What about to each other? Lead by example, right?
Pick up the phone and call your loved one. You’ll never regret doing it, but I can promise you you’ll regret it if you don’t. Who are you going to call? I’m going to call my Grandpa and MeMe because tomorrow might not be soon enough.