The 4th of July, when we celebrate our nation’s freedom, is Sunday. Many will be gathering to honor our country. This is fitting, a tribute worthy of our time. Tomorrow our loved ones and friends will have a gathering of a different nature. We will be having a gathering to celebrate my dear Uncle Barry, who passed away last Wednesday after several weeks of declining health. I was/am not ready to let him go, but the timing of his passing was not up to me. Nor was it up to him. As I think many thoughts during these days, the words, “if we only knew” keep playing over and over in my mind.
If we only knew. If we only knew today would be the last day that we would see our loved one, would we do anything differently? Would we have different priorities?
If we only knew. If we only knew this would be the last day we could hear our loved one’s voice, would we call? Would we call instead of text, or worse yet, do neither?
If we only knew. If we only knew this would be our last opportunity to repair a relationship, would we do so? Or would we spend our time thinking about how wrong the other person is?
If we only knew. If we only knew this would be the last time we could forgive our children for their wrongdoings, would we do so? Would we tell them how proud we are of all their good qualities, not failing to discipline them, but disciplining them in a loving manner?
If we only knew. If we only knew this would be the last day that we would be able to give our time and attention to our loved ones, would we do so? Would we want our last memories to be of watching TV, or scrolling on social media, instead of reaching out and touching our loved ones with our time and attention?
Some things to ponder about. Not just to ponder about, but to do something about. As we celebrate the 4th of July and honor our country, let’s also honor and celebrate our loved ones. While we still can.
Happy 4th of July. And rest in peace, Uncle Barry.