Why is it that we take things and people for granted until they are gone, or almost gone?
The other night we went to D2's home, where she graciously hosted a birthday party for D1. They are really close friends as well as sisters. I relate to this friendship because my younger sister and I were close like that. But because of the distance between us (600 miles) we don't get to see each other as often as we would like.
D1 & D2 see each other each and every Wednesday. It is D1's day off and she comes to D2's house to do laundry, to watch D2's baby and allow tired D2 to sleep in after working all night at the children's hospital, and to visit most of the day after she wakes up. I love that they are so close.
As we left, sweet Grandson was in her arms and he made a little question-type noise. It sounded to me like: "Why is Fun Grandpa leaving already? Can't he stay longer?" He is almost 2 years old, and so darling. He recognized us immediately when we arrived and greeted us with happy smiles, and leaning into us so we would hold him. He spent most of the evening running back and forth between us and allowing each of us to hold and love him. Grandpa has the strength to lift him high and upside down and make his feet walk on the ceiling, and he loved it and giggled and begged for more.
As I heard that little inquiry directed at our backs, I began to cry uncontrollably and continued to cry for almost 10 miles. I don't usually do this now, but I used to every time I left my Grandma. I felt so silly, but couldn't help myself. What was that?
This weekend we helped S2 with some concrete work. His wife and family are in another state visiting her family. I saw tiny evidences of the sweet children, a Care Bear here, a tiny truck there, and I felt so sad they weren't there. I can imagine how empty it is for S2. I am not sure why I get so nostalgic, they haven't died or anything. What's with you, Annie? Buck UP! I remember once when my youngest daughter was only 2 years old and the neighbor came and picked all my kids up and took them to a birthday party. I stood there in the midst of a perfectly clean house and began to cry.
A dear friend and my chiropractor who is just a few years older than I has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I have respected this man for his wisdom, his knowledge of Genealogy, and especially his kind mannerisms. He has always been a friend, and always says: "I understand" in response to many of my complaints or frustrations. He is still so gracious, even in this trying time. He expressed how grateful he is for trials, and the fact that they make you stronger. He gave the Easter talk today on the Atonement. I was glad I had restocked my Kleenex in my Church bag. We have been neighbors for many years. I will miss him so terribly when he is gone and I pray mightily for his miraculous recovery. He is serving as the Genealogy director of the Family History Center of our town, the Fire Chief of the volunteer Fire Department and as a County Commissioner. He served for years in the Temple as well. He has always been calm and very kind. I cannot imagine how life can go on without this giant among us. I have always respected him, but now that I think about him not being here, I cannot imagine life without him or watching his little wife without him. It just can't be!
I have had friends move away, some that have left HUGE holes in my life. We call and write every so often, but generally unless one of us makes a concerted effort to go visit, no matter how much I loved these friends, generally once they are out of sight, life goes on with out them and basically you forget them until Christmas or some other special occasion. Then they are included on your mailing list. Some friends are only heard from in e-mails, and some are only those annoying forwards with nothing personal added. I guess this indicates that at least they are alive and well enough to forward me annoying email. I once had a circle of friends who I did everything with. I took them for granted. We remembered each other's birthdays and met for those occasions, treating the birthday person to lunch, and lavishing each other with Christmas gifts, and birthday gifts, etc. Then one moved away. We all were devastated. We continued with our circle of friends without the missing one, then another moved, then another, then I moved. Leaving behind one friend, who was terribly lonely. But she was not the only one lonely. I never had such a circle again. And as I have talked to these "sisters" none of them have ever had such a circle again either. It was such a rare sweet gift we had, and we all took for granted.
I know we cannot go through life thinking, "This may be the LAST time I see this dear friend or family member." How morose would that be? But how do we not take them for granted either? We get caught up in the every-day living and just expect that we will see them next week in Church or in choir. I tell each of them how much I love them, every time I see them or talk to them on the phone. I tell all my dearest friends "I love you." I know it is a little weird for some, but I tell them anyway, because I truly do.
I call my mother quite often. We both have free long distance. I signed up for this thinking of my mother especially. She cannot live forever, I know this, and I dread the day she has to leave this earth. I don't know if I can go on without her.
I text my sweet Zeepter often, and send her lots of emails. I receive all those cheesy and some really cool forwards from her, but this is evidence she is alive and I rejoice in them.
Last, but not least is my sweet husband. He is so good to me, he shows me every day how much he loves me. I do NOT take him for granted, and I know he feels the same. Daily we show and tell each other how much we mean to each other. It is easy because I see him every day, and not a day goes by without expressing our love to one another. He always leaves a sausage cooked in the pan for breakfast, he always kisses me good-bye in the morning, and I try to make sure the house is nice for him to return, laundry done, etc. He leaves every single morning and goes to work to earn the living. He is my hero.
Besides my good husband, I still think I take the rest for granted. How do we continue to live our daily lives and still express to our friends and family how much we cherish them?
I will send those questions out to the virtual universe and hope you will tell me how you express your affection for your loved ones.