Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Seize each day

This photo is from two years ago yesterday, one of my last photos of Nigel. I ran across it last night when doing something else, but since I’d already shared a memory on Facebook, I didn’t share this one there, nor here. I have a lot of photos like this, showing Nigel and the furbabies napping together, and I took them because they looked so adorable. I don’t think he knew I did that. But this particular photo carries far more than mere cute nostalgia: I now know that the cancer that would kill Nigel was already working on doing that. I wish I’d crawled in among them, but I probably didn’t—this was nothing new or unusual, after all, and I naturally assumed there were would be maybe hundreds more opportunities for a family nap over the decades to follow. I couldn’t have known how wrong I was, or how our blissful ordinary moments were quickly running out.

We all live our lives as if we’ll live forever, even though we know we won’t. Here’s my advice: If you have the opportunity to spend a quiet moment with your most-loved person, seize it with all your might. One day one of you will be gone, and the chance to have such moments will evaporate, leaving the one left behind with memories, and maybe photos, of what you had. I’ve learned that there’s literally nothing in the universe that’s more important than love, and focusing on that fact is what matters most of all. I wish I understood that simple truth when I took this photo of my family napping, but I didn’t, and, I know, I couldn’t have.

Focusing on each day won’t make it any easier when the last one arrives, but having a storehouse of memories of days shared—or even just hours—will lighten the burden of loss. I’m extremely lucky: I have hundreds of photos from the life that Nigel and I shared, and even more happy memories. But I still wish I’d joined that family nap two years ago, and I wish with every fibre in my being that I could do so right now. Of course.

Seize each day, embrace the love that surrounds you. If you’re the one left when the shared days run out, you’ll never regret doing that. I learned that too late, but you don’t have to. Get into the special moment that’s right in front of you. Please.

This is a slightly revised version of something I posted to my personal Facebook this morning.


Roger Owen Green said...

Your continual optimism is inspiring...

Arthur Schenck said...

I do only what I can do. Hopefully it will help someone else.