Today, my Mama turns 77. I don’t know about you but the older I get, the younger that
sounds. It hit me this morning though, that in Mama’s world, her last birthday was around age 70…. she seems to be stuck in or around the year 2008. For women, forgetting your last seven birthdays may not be a bad thing! But truly, she’s stuck in that time period and still thinks of her grandchildren as the ages they were then thus explaining partially why they are strangers now as young adults.
I got it on my mind last night, what did we do for Mama’s “last” birthday… which one was it? Was it memorable? Did we all go over to see her, take her out to eat? What did we get her? Did we know it was the last one she’d remember? Of course
It brought to mind again that mindset of how do we know when it’s the last time we’ll say goodbye, the last time we’ll see someone as they drive down the driveway or kiss them as they walk out the door? So many amazing lives lost daily, some this week that have broken my heart, and no one could have known. One man in particular, Mr. Marvin Patterson… I can’t stop thinking about him and the effect he had on me and so many others. When he was present, he made you smile, you couldn’t help it, you just flat out couldn’t help it. You laughed with him and at him as he gave the umpires hell (he was yelling out all the things we chickens wanted to yell!). You always wondered what misadventure he’d had happen to him lately, what his opinion was on something because he had one and it was always a good one. I’m so thankful the last time I saw him, yes, I was worried about him, he looked a little more feeble than he had in years past, but he made me laugh just like he always did and he was smiling, just like he always was. Did I know we wouldn’t see him again after that, of course not, but so glad to have that last smile to remember. He made you want to leave people that way.
This past Sunday I returned from a trip with some of the most special people in my life whom I only get to see twice a year. I’m so thankful for them and while we pray to be back together in January, God forbid we’re not, we left Sunday knowing we laughed, cried, hugged, made memories (ho, ho, ho), and we made it count, and for that and them, I am so thankful.
But with my friends, we know it’ll be several months between trips and we cherish that time together. What about those we see every day? It makes me wonder what makes us so comfortable today that we don’t treat our moments together as if they’re the last and make them the best. If you’re like me, even today after the losses I see people have, I always think I’ll do better tomorrow… or surely nothing will happen today. With the health of the Bald Eagle and even my Daddy’s stress, I won’t deny if I got a call saying something had happened to one of them, I’d be devastated beyond words, but surprised? No. What would be our last moments together? Memorable or mundane? I’m embarrassed to say the answer to that.
Anyway, back to Mama’s birthday. While she has no idea today is her birthday, we’re taking her out to eat, showering her with flowers and a cake since gifts just don’t mean anything at all at this point, and I realize this is more for us than her. She won’t remember it tonight when she goes to bed…. but we will.
A challenge… think often if I’m making my time with others memorable or mundane and pray memorable is all there is so when I leave this planet, there’ll be a lot of people who smile or laugh or even shake their head when they think of me! Making even the simplest moments with our families, friends, even the stranger at the grocery store, memorable or mundane…. which one is it today, it might be the last one.