Just One More Day


This morning I took a trip down memory lane, as I do from time to time.

I try not to dwell in the past, but there are some lessons of life that are good to be reminded of occasionally.

I found this post that I originally wrote in 2010, and decided that it fits well with the Wednesday Wisdom theme here. It is the kind of wisdom that I keep close in my heart, every day.

Just One More Day

(Written February 10, 2010)

In the hustle and bustle of the modern day, we tend to rush along in the fast pace of what we call “life”. We hurry from here to there and through this and that. We dream and make plans for the future, and we say “someday”. We wear ourselves out trying to fulfill obligations and get everything done that needs doing. So we take vacations. But then we fill up the vacation with so many things to do in so little time, we end up even more exhausted when it’s over. No wonder life is referred to as a race! But is it a race that we really want to win? After all, when a race is won…it’s over.

When the race is over, how many of us will look back on our life and think “What an awesome race. I’m glad I finished!” How many of us instead will think “I wish I had done more of this and less of that” or “I wish I could have just one more day”.

What if you knew you had just one more day? What would you do with it? Would you spend it getting all your affairs in order? Perhaps you would spend more time with your loved ones, or calling all your friends. Would you spend time in the presence of God? Most of us would probably spend those last few hours on what was most important in our hearts.

We just don’t know…

The point is that none of us know exactly when our race will be over. We never know when it will be our last chance to tell someone we love them. We don’t know when it’s our last chance to share a kind gesture or word to a friend that’s feeling down. Perhaps it is their last day. Did they know that we cared? How many times are the funeral homes filled with flowers, but the body is unaware? Did they ever receive such adoration while they were still alive to enjoy it? When a parent dies, do they know that they were the greatest inspiration in their children’s lives? When a child dies, do they know that they were the greatest gift to their parents? If the world and people were perfect, they would know.

However, none of us are perfect. We forget. We stumble. We overlook. And at times we need to be reminded of what is truly important. So, ask yourself, what is truly important to you? My personal answer is from the Bible:

“And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1Corinthians 13:13)

The majority of my life was spent going here and there and doing this and that. I accomplished many goals and tasks. But I never really thought about what was truly important to me…until I lost it.

In the blink of an eye…

On May 24, 2002 I received an email from a friend. She didn’t know when she sent the email, but my oldest son, Jason, had just died the day before. The email contained a poem by Norma Cornett Marek, written after losing her own son, making the words very personal and special to me. It made me realize that the most valuable and important thing in my life is the love I share. And I learned not to take that love for granted. What is here today may be gone tomorrow…in the blink of an eye.

So, think on this question as you read the following poem, “what would you do if you had just one more day?”

“Tomorrow Never Comes”

If I knew it would be the last time
that I’d see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew this would be the last time
I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute or two
to stop and say “I love you,”
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I would be there to share your day,
well, I’m sure you’ll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there’s always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything right.

There will always be another day
to say our “I love you’s”,
and certainly there’s another chance
to say our “Anything I can do’s?”

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I’d like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
and today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if tomorrow, why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll surely regret the day
that you didn’t take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss,
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
whisper in their ear,
tell them how much you love them
and that you’ll always hold them dear.

Take time to say “I’m sorry”, “please forgive me”,
“thank you” or “it’s okay”.
And if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll have no regrets about today.

*Written by Norma Cornett Marek in 1989 as, in her words, “a tribute to a beloved child I lost, in hopes it would cause people to never be careless or too busy to let our loved ones know we love them.” (Reprinted with permission.)

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