We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick
Each and every day I feel more and more grateful to have the people that I love in my life, and feel more and more compelled to actually share those feelings with them outwardly and obviously.
Perhaps that comes with age and with maturity, and a deeper sense of the value of one's time here on earth; but whatever the reason, I am glad to be awake to the fact that nothing is promised us, not one year, one month, one week, nor one day.
These days, I am making an effort to remain very conscious of seeing the people that I hold dear as precious gifts in my life, ones that bring meaning and color to my existence by simply being there, and by sharing themselves with me and allowing me to share myself with them.
And the thought of them not being in my life to share my love with is one that deeply pains my heart, and feels almost unbearable.
It seems that lately there have been far too many stories where I've heard about the sudden loss of loved ones, or freak accidents, or unexpected illnesses that came on rapidly and took away precious life; and every time I hear of one, my initial feeling is always that of shock and deep sorrow, not only for the one that was lost, but for the parents, family members, and friends as well.
They are the ones that are left behind to experience the grief and to bear the pain...
They are the ones left to replay the memories over and over again, to make sense of what happened...
They are the ones to find the will, courage, and strength to continue to move forward in spite of the anguish, and to find the light, once again.
These days, more than ever, I feel the gravity of what I have and am grateful for the awareness of what life would be like without it...
What these heart-wrenching occurrences provide for someone on the outside of them is the merciful reminder of the fact that life is precious yet fleeting, and to never take what is there for granted, because it may be there one moment, and gone the next.
Now, more than ever, I find it is so very important to express my love and genuine affection for my husband as he leaves for work in the morning, or even when he runs a simple errand in town that only takes twenty minutes.
And then, upon his return, I express a silent prayer of gratitude; because the truth is, his return is not promised.
And the same is true for our son...
Whenever he has the opportunity as a young Marine to come home to visit with us on his free weekends, and makes the long drive home from base safely, my soul gives quiet thanks that he stands, once again, in our presence.
And when he leaves to go back, I send him off with a hug like it's the last one, and with all the love I have within my vessel to give.
It is the same with my own parents and our long distance relationship these days...
I give thanks each time they pick up their phone and tell me that they're doing well, and are healthy and happy; or when they respond to my “I love you, and I'm just thinking of you” email with a “We love you” email in response.
And while all of this may seem a little heavy and perhaps even a bit morbid, it is simply meant to be a reminder to be grateful for the gifts that are present in each and every one of our lives, and to never take them for granted.
It is meant to make every moment that is available to us with one another as vibrant, purposeful, meaningful, poignant, and full of love as possible, and to bring in more consciousness for what there is, and for what potentially could be lost.
These days more than ever, I feel the gravity of what I have and am grateful for the awareness of what life would be like without it.
And I never want to save an “I love you”, or a “you mean the world to me”, or a hug, or a simple kiss for next time, because there is no certainty that there will be a next time.
The only time any one of us has for certain is now, and my longing is that now and what now holds never be taken for granted.
Taste what's good and pass it on.