When I was young, I didn’t have a true appreciation for the loss others felt when older family members passed away. I always thought they lived a long life and that was enough to ward off too much sadness. Boy was I mistaken in that thought. My father-in-law was like a father to me. When we got the news that he had cancer two years ago, I hoped, even figured he could live for a long time with proper treatment. Then this year hit me like a bolt of lightning, decimating everything in its path. Simple tasks, taking care of kids, homeschooling, writing, it all went by the wayside as he tumbled toward eternity.
My husband and I made a commitment to take care of him to the end. Was I scared? Did I wonder how it would be possible? Oh yeah. But we loved him. We had to do this for him. Days spent sitting for one last story, one last word of advice were gone all too quickly. Oh how I wish for one more night sitting on the couch as he played his computer and talked about the old days.
When I sat and held his hand for the last time, tears wetting everything around me, I felt that his 69 years of life wasn’t enough. I should be happy for the years we had. I wish I could be. But they just weren’t enough.In this Christmas season, remember your loved ones. Don’t take a moment for granted. Spend time with them. You don’t know if it’ll be the last moments you get.