For One More Day

Yesterday, there was the worst Metro accident in DC history… (My heart and prayer goes out to the loved ones of the deceased and the injured)

Everyone naturally said “This is a reminder for us to appreciate the people we love.”

Why is it that only tragedy gives us the reminder to appreciate the people we are blessed to have in our lives? Shouldn’t we do that everyday?

I do my damn best to do it everyday. So I seem crazy mushy or super needy or clingy or I’ve been called fake…because I show people I appreciate them. As often as I can. Even if it’s just a little ‘Hello’ or ‘Smile’…

(The rest of this blog, I wrote in April, 2008…It felt fitting to post it here today)

Charlie Daniels:

A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You’re free at last.

written en route to the funeral for his friend, Ronnie Van Zant of the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I was hit by death early on in my life…In fact, before I was even born. My grandfather died three years prior to my birth…before meeting any of his grandchildren. I grew up, only knowing him through those black & white pictures and stories that my mom and aunts told of him. I felt deprived that he wasn’t physically in my life but his words were a cornerstone of the foundation of who I am today.

Growing up, I had a great uncle who was like a grandfather to me…he filled that void as best as he could. His real grandson was one of my cousins who loved pulling my hair…and because he always had a shaved head, I couldn’t get revenge for the pain that my pretty little head endured. Though we grew up in different cities, we were close. I still remember his giggle like it was yesterday. His life was cut short when he was killed in a freak accident on the first day of school. He was either 6 or 7…I was 5 or 6. He died instantly and our grandfather had to wait by his body until the ambulances could get there. Our grandfather died of a heart attack just a few months later. I was 6 and I knew of death. I had lost two of the most precious people in my life and I kept a picture of my cousin close to me all my life. His mother gave birth to a son a year or two later…he was named after his big brother he could never meet. How I wish that his mother could have one more day to hold her first born in her arms…

What would you do with one more day with a lost loved one?

I’ve been thinking about this since I read For One More Day by Mitch Albom.

I began thinking about the people I’ve lost…Who would I want one more day with? What would I say? I’ve lost two great aunts in the last year and half…the most recent one being the widow of my “grandfather” who died shortly after his grandson’s death. Long years passed and I guess heartbreak can only be held off for so long…

Then I began people who used to be in my life…who are still alive but in my past. Would I want a day with any of them? No…they are in my past for a reason and if I really wanted…I could track them down. There are no lost words between me and anyone who is in my past. This is why I am so adamant and passionate about those in my now…I don’t want you guys to ever doubt who I am & the place you hold in my life. Hindsight is 20/20 but I’m working on bettering my vision so that I don’t have to look back.

I only have one thing to say to anyone who is in my past who may have gotten there on a “bad” note. I forgive you. I forgive you for any pain you may have caused me…and I apologize for any I’ve caused you…knowingly or unknowingly. I try to be very careful with my words, even in fights because I don’t believe in hurting on purpose…no matter how upset we may be. So I’m sorry if I caused you any pain…and I forgive you for the hurt you caused me.

When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free. ~~Catherine Ponder

So back to the question…who would be that one person for me? The answer has always been clear…my grandfather. I would hold him in my arms, knowing that in 24 hours, I’d have to let go again. I would just sit there and listen to him. We would go to the park so that he could push me on the swings. We’d walk hand in hand, just taking in the moment. I would look at him…taking in the meaningfulness of his eyes, how genuinely he smiles, his laugh…every line on his face…So that I would never forget. What would I say to him?

“I love you. I hope I’ve made you proud.”

Why is it that we only realize the value of our lives…and those around us after it’s too late? Remember…death is certain. Make sure that you make every moment of every day count.

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in, we’ll become too soft. But a wise man Levine said it right. He said ‘Love is the only rational act.'”
~ Morrie Shwartz, Tuesdays with Morrie

So tell me…if you had one more day with someone…dead or alive…Who would it be? What would you say and/or do?

15 thoughts on “For One More Day

  1. I would hug my Papa until my arm became numb and my heart filled to the brim with all of the love I have missed from him in the past 6 years.

    I would tell him that I miss him. That I wish that he would have told me that he knew that he was dying but that I understand now why he didnt. I would introduce him to his great grand daughter.. and reintroduce him to his great grand son.

    I would just sit and stare at his handsome face while he talked to me about all of the things he had seen since he had been gone. My Papa had a special place in heaven waiting for him when he passed, because he was that man. The one who made the honorable decisions. The man who always thought of others first.

    The man who, above all else, saw the good in his first born grand daughter when everyone told him that she was worthless. He had my back and I wish that I had the opportunity to tell him how much I fucking appreciated every time he smiled at me because I knew that his smile was for me. It was a silent reminder that he always would love me the exact same amount and he didnt give a damn who tried to sway him otherwise.
    .-= LivingWicked´s last blog ..Angry Dragon/Frothy Walrus FAIL. =-.


    1. I’m envious that you got to spend time with your Papa…If there is one thing I wish for most in this world, it’s a chance to meet my grandfather.


        1. I’m sorry that you cried…I was crying when I re-read this post and then looked at my grandfather’s picture. I only have one picture of him and it’s basically my most prized possession. Ever.


  2. It is very interesting reading this, as I have never lost anyone really close to me. However, I have witnessed hundreds of others suffering this type of loss, as they watched me try to save their loved one. It is something I wish I didn’t have to experience.
    .-= justjp´s last blog ..Postponed =-.


    1. I really don’t think I could do what you did. I wouldn’t have the strength.


  3. I have been so fortunate in my life to not have to deal with too much death too close to home. Yes, I have lost people I knew, people who were acquaintances. But I have been extraordinarily lucky to have kept my mother, grandmother, and grandfather in my life for as long as I have.

    The saddest part? I would spend one day with someone who is still alive. But to me he is as deceased as anyone who has passed on into the next phase of life. Everyone says, “Do it, if he is still alive you have no excuse.” If I thought he had the answers to my questions maybe I would.

    Love this by the way, very touching and brilliantly written.



    1. Sometimes that’s the hardest…Hoping for answers from someone who is still alive but knowing you might never get closure.



  4. my PawPaw….and I wouldn’t do anything but just sit with him and listen to anything he might have to say! And learn to love the grouchiness instead of crunching my nose at it.

    I would also spend more time with my grandparents left alive today!!!


    1. I know that when I first posted this, you said your PawPaw…I really wish I could give that to you!



  5. my friend bob, from highschool. we all spread out for college and didn’t keep in touch as well as we could have… would have liked one more day, getting to know the man he was becoming in college, before he left us.
    .-= Alice´s last blog ..Eff that noise =-.


    1. Yeah, I’m still trying to find out if a friend from high school was killed in the war…No one seems to know.


  6. I would sit with my grandfather and make him talk to me about every last detail of his life. I’ve heard the stories… but somehow, he was never really the one to tell them. I’d like to hear it from him.
    .-= LiLu´s last blog ..Everything’s Gotta Give. =-.


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