As you may know, over the past few years I have sent “words for the week” — collected from a variety of sources — to my family, friends and faith partners as a way of encouragement. I’ve discovered each one had a special meaning to some one at some time. The message just resonated with them at just the time they needed it most. I never know who until after the fact. It also gives me a reason to specifically and consciously lift them all individually up in prayer.
I want to share this week’s with you.
One day a man’s wife died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the husband was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t anymore. No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more “just one minute.”
Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye and say “I love you.”
So while we have it, it’s best we love it, care for it, fix it when it’s broken and heal it when it’s sick. This is true for marriage, children with bad report cards, dogs with bad hips and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
Some things we keep — like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.
Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your friends know you love them?
It’s so very important to let every one of your friends know you love them, even if you think they don’t love you back. For one day we will all be gone.
I’m sharing it because it dovetailed into my weekend visits with Millie and Aunt Betty. Both of them — widows — said the same thing. The hardest thing about being alone is being alone. As a widower, I knew exactly where they were coming from. And you really have to be a member of that fraternity/sorority to understand their words.
They weren’t wallowing in pity for their fate, just stating the obvious. When you’re suddenly alone after 20, 30, 40 or more years you, one day, come to the realization you are indeed alone. And it stings and hurts. No matter how many people are around or how frequently they visit, at the end of the day, they have their lives and you have yours … alone.
It’s just a fact of life. It’s a change. It’s an adjustment. It’s life. We either choose to make those adjustments or we don’t.
The hardest challenge is making those adjustments. It’s easy to live in the past. Change never comes easy.
I know why Millie and Aunt Betty said what they said. But they also have moved on. They became more independent. They made the adjustment. They get up in the morning and enjoy whatever the day brings.
Sometimes there isn’t anymore … but there is today. Embrace it.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Love is a verb before it’s a noun. It’s an action and it’s a decision. It is something you will to do. It’s not just something you feel.