The whole Mayan calendar craze has been kind of fun to watch. It really amazes me that so many people have taken it seriously and have planned for their lives to end in just a few short days. But I started to wonder, what if it were true? If it were true, and you had just a few days left, what would you do? Assume that money and travel were not an issue. Is there any unfinished business you would want to take care of? Any relationships that need mending?
I spend this last weekend with my wife visiting her brother, who is suffering from mesothelioma and developed pneumonia. The doctors had his wife call all the family to come and see him. because the time is short. As I write this he has been sent home under hospice care. My wife had taken the opportunity earlier in the year to visit and share feelings and memories. Other family members had not had that opportunity, so this was the chance to visit one last time.
So why do we wait? Why is it that we wait until the last moment to take care of important things? When death is sudden, the opportunity to say the unspoken things or do the undone things is gone in an instant. So many people regret the opportunity to say the last goodbye or the last I love you. Maybe it was an unspoken apology.
My dad passed away 7 years ago this month. We spoke several times a week, and our conversations always ended with an “I love you.” I am so glad that I said it during our last phone conversation because he passed away suddenly and without warning. He was found on the back porch by one of his neighbors. At his memorial service I had spoken to several of his friends and church members that he had met during his short time in East Texas They had worked with him for a long time to get him to get over a lot of resentments in his life. He lived a hard life, and a lot of people hurt him and took advantage of him. As a result, he was quick to take offense in even very minor incidents. My brother and my dad did not speak during the last 4 years of his life. An innocent misunderstanding during my moms funeral led them to not talk to each other.
I was unaware that my dads friends had convinced him to let old grudges go and he was beginning to make efforts to make amends before he died. He actually called my brother a few times before his heart attack, but my dad was never one to leave voice mail messeages. My brother, unfamiliar with the phone number on the call list, never returned the call. We were sitting at the dinner table at my house when somehow I mentioned my dads phone number. My brother realized that it had been my dad calling and it really hurt him to know he missed the opportunity to reconnect.
So what is on your list to fix? If the world really ended on 12/21 would there be any unfinished business you did not take care of? There is never a better time to start taking care of that list like NOW. I know that I have some unfinished business I need to finish. Tell the people you love that you love them. Hug your kids. My hopes and prayers are that every parent that lost a child in Connecticut had that opportunity before sending their kids to school on Friday.