I’m not talking about leaving the blog challenge. I’m talking about leaving this world.
I don’t know if it’s simply that I’m paying more attention or if there’s more to it, but it seems that many people have lost their lives unexpectedly or been diagnosed with a terminal illness since April commenced.
It got me to thinking about TIME …
We always think we have more of it.
We assume that we have TIME to tell our loved ones how much we cherish them.
We rationalize that we have TIME to chase our dreams.
Mostly, we trick ourselves into thinking that we have TIME to say good-bye.
Here are just a handful of the stories that lit up our airways throughout April. All of them involve tales of people whose TIME had run out. People who didn’t have TIME to say good-bye:
Cries of anguish as South Korea ferry toll reaches 135
TV journalist shot dead in Pakistan
Closer to home, I was told of seven people who have died since April began. All were family members or pals of my close friends. One was a former co-worker of mine, far too young to die.
All left suddenly. They didn’t have TIME to make sure their loved ones knew that they were treasured.
Not only have those who’ve died run out of TIME, but their families are now left behind, wishing they had one more TIME to express that final sentiment they’d been meaning to share.
In addition to the seven who died, there are two who are still alive, but are fighting for their lives. One was fighting since before April (Hanna: I wrote about her in my “H” post). The other just learned that his fight is just beginning. He was diagnosed with having cancer throughout his body, just a couple of days before Easter.
Now, TIME has become a priority for him, as he decides how to best utilize what he has left of it. I’d imagine he’s grateful that TIME has given him an opportunity to take care of any unfinished business and ensure that his family members know how important they are to him.
But TIME, while a gift, is also a curse, as he now has to wonder what suffering it will bring to those he loves.
Such a simple word, yet so full of meaning.
It’s a word packed with gratitude, fear, complacency, anxiety, and curiosity.
I’ve gained a new appreciation for it throughout this month.
April turned out not to just offer an opportunity to participate in the International A-Z Blogging Challenge (and in turn, to meet many amazing bloggers), but it also brought forth a lesson.
Don’t take TIME for granted.
Next time I join a blogging challenge, I will think of the posts I’ve penned this April. I will wonder, for a moment in TIME, if I might lose somebody before the next challenge ends.
Please understand, I don’t advocate living our lives in fear of the inevitable. I’m just saying, don’t take TIME for granted.
Starting today, take the TIME to do what you’ve been putting off.
Take TIME to love your family.
Take the TIME to say what you need to say, so when it’s TIME to say good-bye, you’ve left behind no unfinished business.