About 10 years ago my Grandmother was ill. She had been feeble for a decade before that, but this time we sensed it was nearing the end. I told Tara that we needed to go visit her. So we did; all the way down to Laurel, Mississippi. It was precious to see our 3 children at the time interact with a spirited but feeble woman. And it was great to look her in the eyes to tell her we loved her.
But about 30 minutes into the visit, she busted us. She said, “Y’all are just here cause you think I’m gonna die.” She was right. So I admitted it. There was no point in beating around the bush. “I’m pretty sure we all will, Grandmother, but you’re probably going a bit quicker than the rest of us.” We conversed pleasantly about it from then on.
Now my siblings will give me grief for writing this, and hopefully it will spur laughter and conversation among us rather than frustration, but within a few weeks of each other, they will all have visited us. In the back of our minds, we wonder if they are visiting for the same reason we visited Grandmother. I mean we do that, right? Maybe we never even verbalize it because we feel bad to say it. A simple back-of-mind notion moves us to do the thing we know we should do.
Or maybe, just a wake up call like this moves us to do the things we know we should do, and is otherwise too hard. That sounds more like it. We appreciate what we have when we realize we could lose it. We long to express our love to the people who mean the most to us. That is what our family and friends are doing, and we are very grateful for it.