My mom recently visited New York and was showing me the pictures of the Ground Zero Memorial. One of my most unsettling thoughts regarding 9/11 was about what was left unsaid. My mind goes to a couple who possibly had a fight that morning, most likely about something trivial. They both head off to work fighting some imaginary battle with each other and spending their commute planning the rebuttal argument they will have over dinner that will prove them right and their spouse wrong.
Because of the fight, they didn’t kiss their spouse goodbye or tell them that they love them; after all they’d make up later, they always do. Sadly “later” never came. I ponder this scenario because on many occasions I am that spouse. Fighting my imaginary battle, proving myself right at any cost to my relationships and personal health.
As none of us knows when our final day on earth will be then maybe we should treat each moment as uniquely special and an opportunity to share with those around us how we feel for them. This isn’t about living life in a chicken little state of falling skies or constant dread, it’s about putting aside our pride and telling people around us how much they mean to us.
Several years ago my best friends’ father died. He had been sick for some time, however; I don’t think anyone is every really prepared for the death of a loved one. As I sat with her after receiving the news, she shared how her dad had on several occasions by phone, in person and most recently in a letter, told her how much he loved her. As she read his letter aloud I thought about what a blessing is for her to have the memories of her dad sharing over and over how proud he was of her and how much she meant to him.
Though very different scenarios, unexpected loss verses a terminal illness, both brought me to ponder the following questions:
- Is being right more important than being loving to those around you?
- Are there some unresolved issues that need to be addressed that you have been putting off?
- Are their people in your life that you love that you maybe haven’t conveyed to them how much they mean to you?
- Are their people who you need to forgive, including yourself, in order to live a more full and loving life?
I’m not saying it’s easy to put pride aside, choose our battles and maintain a loving attitude towards those around us. However; what’s left unsaid can lead to bitterness, broken relationships and missed opportunities for a full and healthy life.
For many of us we have unresolved relationship issues over things that, when put in perspective aren’t all that important, as well as people we haven’t expressed our love and appreciate for in a while. Why not take time today to give them a call or write a letter and leave nothing unsaid.
For more resources visit AlongComesGrandpa.com