“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”
How many times do you get up in the morning wishing that you didn’t have to go to work? How many times do you complain about your significant other to your friends and family? When was the last time you actually picked up the phone to call your friends and family? I know I have family members who were like brothers and sisters to me when I was a kid, but now I don’t even know them. I don’t mean “know them” in the sense of association, but actually know them as a person and who they truly are. Too often we blindly live our lives thinking that tomorrow will always be there and that person will always be there. We all know this, however, we don’t live everyday with this fact in our minds, but life is short and if you have something to say to someone then you need to tell them at that moment because tomorrow may never come. I know this personally from experience. I was always close with both of my grandmothers, mostly because my parents were so young when they had me so they were like second moms to me. As a kid, I loved staying at their houses during the summer. For most kids, it may have seemed like a boring thing to do, but I always enjoyed spending time with them. I would go with my dad’s mom as she was teaching her class at the local elementary school and I would spend occasional holidays with my mom’s mom when she lived in New Orleans. As I got older, obviously, my interests changed a little bit and I didn’t go visit them as much as I used to. When I eventually moved back to Louisiana for college, I had ample opportunity to spend time with them, but I didn’t. I was always too “busy” when they called and too much time went by before I would actually see them again and I was only about 5 minutes away. My mom’s mom in particular would call me all the time to run errands for her. I was constantly getting calls and voicemails from her that would go ignored. At the time, I was just putting it off and always thinking I would just call her back later. I remember one of the last times I did have the chance to spend time with her. She called me earlier that day to pick her up at around 5am and bring her somewhere. I was a little aggravated that I had to wake up that early and if you know Merline, than you know that she was constantly smoking her cigarettes, which I hated the smell of. So she aggravated me even more by smoking in my car. The entire way to our destination I had a little cranky attitude. Little did I know, that would be the last time I would see her. She called me a few more times after that, and once again, I put it off. The next call I received was from a cousin who I didn’t talk to often so I know it had to be important. She called me to tell me that my grandmother had passed away in her sleep. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I thought for sure that I had more time to spend with her. I mean, she was only 58 years old!! Immediately, I felt a rush of guilt, anger at myself, and a bunch of other feelings that I’ve never felt before. I had never lost a relative so close before, and the worst part was that I hadn’t spent as much quality time with her as I should’ve. That was a four years ago and today it still hurts the same. I think about all the opportunities I had to spend time with her that I didn’t take advantage of. Time I will NEVER get back. Now, I wish I could just hear her voice one more time or that she could call me one more time. When she passed, the only thing I had left were my memories and the voicemails that she left on my phone. Today, I make an effort to call my other grandmother more and let her know that I love her. I always feel that I can still do more, but I make a point to not let too much time go by before I speak with her again. Unfortunately, we too often take the little things and people we love for granted. Once someone is gone, there is no coming back and all the time we take for granted, we can never get back either. We need to appreciate what we have and the people we have while we still have them. We don’t have to have that job, but what would we do without it? Some of our relatives may get on our nerves, but what if one day you were never able to talk to them again? I know I can put more effort into appreciating the life and the relationships that God gave me. The worse feeling in the world for me was losing someone that I had every opportunity in the world to spend time with. I was her first grandchild so our bond was always tight, but I didn’t appreciate it enough. Let’s all take the time to appreciate our blessings, our life and the people in it. After all, life is made up of little things and I believe they are what matter the most.