It Happens In a Moment

I was talking with someone at church about plans for next week when I tacked on to my statement, as I often do when I’m speaking about the future, “God willing.” Nothing special, but this time I got a little chill. One that I wasn’t able to shake. It occurred to me in that moment that even with the hopeful ‘God willing’ amended to the end of my sentence, there was no agreement on God’s part to honor my request. The feeling stayed with me awhile and forced me to think about what I wanted to say and do if this were my last day or week. The words came quickly; thinking about death made me ashamed to be annoyed by the constant contact of my daughter who loves to plop herself in my lap when we play on the floor or read stories. I’m her recliner, pillow, footrest and squeeze toy. This closeness is temporary, no matter how healthy I am. Why not enjoy it? I thought about my son whose vocabulary has exploded recently. He won’t tell me about his day without incessant prodding, but will scold me because I gave him the wrong lunch on Thursday. After the umpteenth rebuke from a kindergartner, I’m done, eyes rolled heavenward, but why not laugh? Marriage has been a work in progress for my husband and I. On rough days, I reminisce about my single life, studio apartment and freedom..and then I remember how content I was with myself, which is a good thing, but it didn’t help me grow as a person. Marriage has made me take a long hard look at myself in a way that other personal relationships have not. I admit, I’ve become a better person, but why not think of the improvements first when the going gets tough instead of the benefits of singleness? The sickening sensation faded, but the questions didn’t. I want to live a long, healthy life, but I have no guarantee and contemplating meaningfully about death made me focus not on the things that I want to do, but rather on the energy I was placing on my loved ones. Deciding to look with love, feel with love, express love can happen in a moment, just like death.