I can't sleep.
Tonight, I was taking Jordan to basketball practice and Promise rode along. We heard a brief piece of a story, on the radio, about this girl (they didn't say her age) whose father had cancer. Promise INSISTED that we pray immediately. She leaned forward, took my hand and said, "Pray Daddy, please!" It really got to me. I mean, I'm a very emotional person anyway. (Which some times I think is my greatest fault...sometimes I think it's my greatest strength.) But I couldn't stop crying.
Thinking about all this family was going through. The fear, the pain, the bills, the questions, the frustrations, the trying to have faith...coupled with questioning why a loving God would let this happen. (I do not have answers.) But mostly thinking about how brief everything really is.
I can't sleep.
Maybe I can't sleep because I almost feel like life is too brief too sleep. (I understand the stupidity in that...we wouldn't live long if we didn't balance out life with rest.)
Here was this nameless family...somewhere on this planet. I don't know their names, their birthdays or how they take their coffee. They are a world away from me and their world is falling apart.
I bet I know what they're hoping for: more time. (I mean, death is inevitable...but if we could just have a little more time.) That's what I wish I had with my dad. Just some more time.
Time to stand in a run-down convenience store in the bad part of town, just because their Diet Cokes were colder than any other store's.
Time to listen to him complain about my mom.
Time to watch hear him call Jordan "Boliver."
Time to hear him say of Promise, "She's my heart."
Time to talk about stuff that means nothing.
That would mean everything.
But I don't have that time anymore.
It is gone. I will never, ever have a chance to kiss his bald head and spend time with him again. Ever. (For the sake of those of you who are going to start talking about Heaven and the Sweet-by-and-by...I know. And it's really not any comfort.)
This past weekend, I cried with some of my best friends in the world, as we remembered and celebrated the life of their husband, Daddy, Daddy Tommy.
I saw a chapter close.
Less than twenty-four hours later, I cried with some of my other best friends in the world, as they celebrated their beautiful daughter changing her last name to the name of the man she loves.
I saw a chapter close.
One day I was watching people walk out of a funeral home chapel.
The next night I watched a graffiti-ed car drive away from a reception.
I saw life change.
I guess what I'm saying is...we only have so many chances. And one day, in some way, those chances are gone.
Sometimes it's a celebration where entire families dance with no inhibition.
Sometimes it's in tears, where a family can barely find the strength to walk out of a room.
Sometimes there are (in our eyes) irreconcilable differences and we just walk away.
Sometimes the kids get a job and move away.
Sometimes they get a car and drive away.
Sometimes people leave your church.
Sometimes people quit calling you to hang out.
Sometimes high school is over.
Sometimes everyone gets mad.
Sometimes you just never get to see each other again.
Sometimes there is no more time.
Because, life is brief.
And, while we can't go back in time and change things.
And, while we can't go into the future and change things.
We can go into the NOW and change things.
Now is when we can have more time.
If we don't know how much more time we're going to have with people, let's make the absolute most out of the time we do have.
Call someone today.
Text someone today.
Kiss your wife like you're afraid of getting caught.
Give your child money for something ridiculous.
Stay home from work.
Hold hands on the sofa.
Turn off the TV.
Answer their call.
Call them first.
Drive across the state for a hot dog. (My dad did this one.)
Sit in the floor.
Let them braid your hair.
Wear a feather boa.
Ask yourself, "Is this really worth getting mad about?"
Pour out your love for that friend or family member who hasn't heard it in a while.
Speak to someone you've been avoiding.
GRAB EVERY SECOND OF LIFE YOU CAN...RIGHT NOW!
Show every bit of love you can...right now!
What is more important than the relationships we have...and the relationships we'll lose?
The chapters of life keep changing all the time.
Some chapters are thrilling adventures...some chapters are painfully tragic.
I know this wasn't an eloquently worded masterpiece...it's two o'clock and I can't sleep.
But...we don't know how much more time we're going to have with people, let's make the absolute most out of the time we do have.
Because life is brief.