The Next Moment May Not Happen

Today at lunch a friend stopped to chat with me and two other friends having lunch together.

Our conversation centered on a mutual friend of some of those at the table.  I did not know her.  But this mutual friend of my friends died suddenly.  No warning.  She’s gone.

When the friend who stopped to talk with us went to rejoin her lunch party she said “don’t forget to say I love you.”

You would think we wouldn’t forget something so important.  But how often do we forget?

I was an adult before I started telling my mom on the phone “I love you” every time I hung up.

I say “I love you” to my children whenever I hang up.  Or leave them as I go somewhere else, somewhere they are not.

I tell Husband every day “I love you”.

But how often do I tell others in my life, that really matter to me, that they really matter to me?

Maybe it isn’t love like I love my children, husband.   But it’s certainly an important feeling and an important message that I want people in my life to know:  that you matter to me and you have made a difference in my life.

Do my friends who I have known forever but I haven’t seen in a year know how much they mean to me?  That I can walk back through their door tonight and know I am welcome, I am safe, and I am wanted.   Do they know that this matters to me?

I hope so.

But have I told them?

Do the children of my brothers and sisters know that they are valued, cherished and adored even if I don’t see them?  That I regret missing ball games, dance recitals and just being around for every day play because I don’t live close enough to be there?  That I think of their parents every day and know that regardless of where I am or what I am doing, they are always a concrete foundation to my life.  That my life is fuller because of them.   And that all of them have meaning to my life.  And it makes me sad there is distance between us but that the busy-ness of our lives does not diminish their importance to me?   Do they know this matters to me?

I hope so.

But have I told them?

Do my children know that with their birth their very existence gave me a purpose.  A purpose that until the moment of their existence I could not understand or comprehend.  And that that purpose does not diminish with their age.  Or with the birth of their own children.  That my purpose intensifies and multiplies.  Do they  have any idea how much they make my life have more value.  Do they know this about our life blood flowing together, forever?  Do they know this matters to me?

I hope so.

But have I told them?

Does Husband know that when I’m not with him I am full of contentment, joy and excitement.  That my life is full of anticipation for what comes next because he encourages me, supports me and loves me.  Does he know that I am grateful every day for every single little and big thing he does for me, without me asking.  Does he know that my life is better for having him in it.  And I value all that he is to me.  Does he know that he is the extraordinary in my life?  Does he know that he is the difference in my life?

I hope so.

But have I told him?

When our friend said this today, “don’t forget to say I love you”, I put it in the corner of my head.  I’ve carried it around all day.  It remains there.  How many times do we not say something valuable to a friend, a spouse, a child, because it never occurs to us we may not get that chance again?

It may seem morbid to think that every moment spent or happened upon with a cherished friend or loved one will be our last moment with that person.   Instead, maybe we should just be more appreciative of every moment we have with that person and not end on negative notes.  Not leave things unresolved.   Not have a thought about someone we haven’t seen and wonder why they haven’t called us, when we can call them as well.

The Next Moment We Have With That Person We May Not Have The Chance To Say You Matter.

The Next Moment May Not Happen.

Not The Way We Casually Assume.

Maybe if we said:

You Matter

I Love You..

Thank You For Being My Friend…

You Make A Difference In My Life…

I Appreciate You…

Hey, It Was Great Being With You…

….

If our next moment with them does not happen, we will have left our last moment with happiness and joy in our hearts.

I’m calling myself out on not appreciating people in my life.  Because everyone who matters to me, I want them to know it.

And by the way, I haven’t said it often enough, but you…yes you who took the few minutes to read my thoughts…

Thank you.

35 thoughts on “The Next Moment May Not Happen

  1. I tell my Hubby every day but most certainly every time he leave the house, just in case…if anything ever happened, I want that to be the last thing he heard from me. I ‘m so very aware of this, I’m not sure why but I am.

    Thank you 🙂

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  2. Thank you to you as well, for always sharing your thoughts with such raw honesty. You never hold back, or sugar coat. You share what’s on your mind and in your heart and it comes through so beautifully and clearly through your writing. That’s what I love about you and your blog! Keep ’em coming please! 🙂

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    • Oh my. Why thank you very much Little Miss (can I call you Little Miss? 🙂 ) I don’t know how to say ‘thank you’ and have those two words fully express how much your words meant to me. I will keep ’em coming, but I can’t promise they will always be ‘good’!!!! 🙂

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  3. Thank you, Colleen. Someday I might be able to explain how much this post meant to me today, but right now the explanation doesn’t seem as necessary as letting you know that it switched my thinking around at a time when it needed to be switched. Hugs and thank you again. 🙂

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  4. Thank you Colleen,I too wonder all the time if I articulate how I feel good enough.I hope it is because I do try.I really don’t think from what I read of you that you have anything to worry about.Most of the time you are a word love machine.

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  5. Hi Coleen,
    I’ve been verbally abused by my husband for many years [don’t tell me to leave him. For some reason, I won’t] But I never tell him I love him. It occurred to me, however, that the next time he begins to yell at me I’m going to tell him in the kindest voice; “I love you”. I’m definitely going to try it and maybe write a post about it afterwards.
    Thanks for this very intriguing post
    robin

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    • Hi Robin, I wouldn’t presume to tell you to leave him. That’s your life. But I’m glad that you recognize you aren’t happy with the way things are. I hope it works for you. I truly do. Here’s to hoping things become better for both of you.

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  6. As one of your friends at the lunch you reference, I can honestly say I, too, carried this with me. The suddenness of realizing someone you love, someone who means much to you, someone you admire and enjoy may leave this world without hearing how you feel is always a wake-up call. So here ya go, Chatter Master – thank you for coming into my life, my dear Friend!

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  7. Colleen, I don’t think we have to tell our loved ones that we love them … I think it’s more important that we show it in action … we should show it in our action every day … there is so many ways we can do it. If we didn’t love our partners .. family and friends .. would we still have them around ??? – I think a gesture is worth a lot more than 3 words.

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    • I agree the gestures are fantastic and speak very loudly. But I have to admit when someone stops, takes the time to look in my eyes and say, heartfelt, that they love me, it is wonderful. 😉

      When we had our granddaughter with us for a few days it was a wonderful surprise for me when out of the blue she stopped, put her hand on my face and said in all earnest and heartfelt emotion “I love you Mamo”…..oh my heart. 🙂

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      • Yes, I agree … when it’s about family – we can’t say it often enough and it’s also wonderful to hear … but there is more people in our lifes … I don’t mean that we should stop saying “I love you” – but we have to show it action too.

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