There was a time when my idea of the future for Josh and I spanned decades. That was before the accident. In the days after the accident, our future was simply the minute in front of us. Neither I nor the doctors knew if Josh would live. And in those moments as I thought about that to myself, I wasn’t sure I could make it if he didn’t…
It’s funny how things can change in an instant.
All of a sudden our future shrank from decades to quite possibly the singular moment that we were living in and that was terrifying. I had no idea what the next moment held for us and that created anxiety that is difficult to express. I didn’t know if my son would live or die? Would my son open his eyes at some point and see the world again? Would my son get out of that ICU bed and come home? Would my son learn to ride a bike, play varsity sports, get married and have children. Would my son ever really know just how much he was loved on this earth?
But, you might say, “Well, nobody knows what the next moment holds.” And that is true. However, that response is an easy way to handle the question because you aren’t actually confronted with reality. When the cold, harsh reality of your child in an ICU on a ventilator is staring at you, your perspective changes. You see things differently. You might actually see the truth. And that truth just might be scary.
Josh was in a coma and he was three years, nine months and eight days old. There was an ugly abrasion on his face just to the left of his left eye socket. The bones around his left eye and at the base of his skull were fractured. It looked like he had been in a fist fight and taken a nasty right hook to his left eye from a very powerful person. It looked unnatural on a three year old boy and it didn’t belong there.
There wasn’t enough information to know where anything was headed early on so I stood in his room in the ICU, I held his hand and I kept my eyes on him until I couldn’t keep them open for another second.
I wanted to know the details but there weren’t really any to be had at this point. I wanted to know what they could do to make things better. I wanted to know what I could do to make things better. I wanted to fix it. I wanted him healed and I wanted it to happen right then. Unfortunately, I couldn’t control anything. I had to trust. I had to have faith. I had to wait. One moment at a time. To see where this was headed.
So what’s the point? The point is WAKE UP! Life…, YOUR LIFE can change in a split second and you can’t always keep it from taking a turn you don’t want. You’ve got this minute. This moment. This breath and you better take advantage of it!
You’ve got maybe the next minute to make sure somebody who has been important in you life, hears it come out of your mouth to their ears. You’ve got the next minute to say you’re sorry for being a bonehead, a jerk, a cold and distant _______ fill in the blank. You’ve got a minute to make sure the last memory in the mind of someone close to you is a fond memory and not one of sadness and disconnection. You’ve got about a minute to help soften the heart of somebody who needs it. You’ve got one minute to make somebody’s day with your smile. To tell them what they have meant for you. To tell them you love them.
Don’t fool yourself. We are not guaranteed the next ten seconds let alone the next ten years. We are not always going to have time. There won’t always be a tomorrow. There are decisions to be made and actions to be taken. Do it now. Don’t wait. There is no time to spare. Walk over to them. Call them. Send an email. Text if you must. Just do it.
I’m talking to you…
and I’m talking to me.
I took a break just now to call my wife.
It’s your move…
Tell me, who will it be?