Saturday, April 28, 2012

If Tomorrow Never Comes...

How do you even start off a post like this? I don't know. I am quite sure that anything I write will fall short of doing this justice...
 I heard a few days ago about a girl I went to school with (I didn't really know her so this is not about personal grief, not looking for sympathy...her family is the one in need of that) who, during a seizure, while out with her family for a meal, choked on food she was eating. And aspirated it. And after a week, the doctors have done all they could. Her husband had to choose to let her go. My heart breaks for him. For their children. For their 3 beautiful children.
How does a daddy put his kids to bed for the first night that their mommy, and his wife, his partner, is gone? How does that daddy wake those kids up the next morning? To eat breakfast? To get dressed? To go through their first day without their mommy on this earth? And How does he carry on with all the things that must be done? Some of which he probably didn't even know have to be done because his wife did them. How do you plan the funeral of someone who you thought would be here for another 50 years? How? And to face watching those children grow up without the person you created them with by your side? I don't know.
How do three young children say goodbye to their mommy? How do they look out in the stands during their little pee-wee football games and other events and know that a mommy that used to be there is not? Not because she doesn't want to be, not because she cannot be bothered to but because she can't?
I don't know exactly how old her children are but from the pictures I've seen on facebook, they appear to range from about 2 or 3 to 8 or 9. I have children in that age range and I cannot imagine them saying goodbye to me. I cannot imagine not being at my son's baseball game tomorrow. Or my daughters' soccer games next season. Or my oldest daughter's play in a couple of weeks. It's unfathomable. And what about her baby? What about the baby? My little guy still wants me so often. He just needs to come lay his head on me and suck his thumb for a minute. I think to ground himself. To know. Her baby can't do that. Any. More.  From how old he looks, she will NEVER get to see him play his sport of choice. Never! That's a long time. She will not get to lead her daughter down the treacherous path of adolescence. Help her choose a wedding dress. Hold her first grandchild. Ever!
In all of this I have to think: how did I do today? Did I touch my children enough to last them a lifetime? Just in case.... Because I'm sure Mandi didn't think that she was eating her last family meal with her 4 loves. Did I tell them I loved them? Did I speak harshly instead of with tenderness? What would they remember? Would they remember that I was always in such a hurry that I didn't have time to listen well enough? That I was cranky too often? That I was all about doing and not enough about just being?
And so my prayer is this: Please God, help me to be a better mommy. A better wife. Help me to listen more and scold less. Help me to be kinder, gentler, more loving, less selfish, less critical, softer, more fun, happier and more patient. Help me never to take one moment of life with my children for granted. Because we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Or even another minute. Please help me to remember that. If this were my last day on earth did I do it well enough? Only You know the days and hours that remain in each of our lives...only You know how it will play out...God, help me to love my children every day. Love them enough to get them through whatever they have to face. Even if I'm not here. Help me to say the kinds of things that will help them long after I'm gone. Whether that is 5 minutes from now or 50 years from now. Give me Your strength to be the mommy You would have me to be.

If tomorrow never comes
would [they] know how much I loved [them]?
Did I try in every way?
To show [them] every day...?
If my time on earth were through...
and [they] must face the world without me....
is the love I gave [them] in the past, gonna be enough to last....

Rest in Peace Mandi. And may God be with your family and make the love you gave them be enough to last....

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