-by Mary May Larmoyeux– What would you do differently if you only had three more years to live? A friend’s mother is asking herself that question. Why? Because her doctor just discovered an inoperable mass; she has no promises of tomorrow.
What would you do if your mother … spouse … child … grandchild … had only three more years to live? Would your words and actions towards them change? Would you spend more time with them or have a new passion for putting good intentions into action?
Would you take more pictures or make more phone calls? Would you cherish each family visit as though it might be the last?
What would I do if I only had three more years to live? In one word: change.
I’d be more intentional about writing the stories of my life and praying for grandchildren and great-grandchildren I may never hold.
I’d consider how my words said in frustration might be received, realizing any word uttered could be my last.
I’d keep my closet a lot cleaner … put names on the back of family pictures … truly cherish each kiss and hug from a loved one. Marvel at the brilliance of each sunrise and sunset and the Creator who made them … listen to the chatter of ordinary birds. And take time to not just pick the roses after the rain, but to stop and smell their sweet fragrance.
Three more years to live
James 4:13-14a says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.”
And this stanza in a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier called “Maud Muller” is not easily forgotten:
“For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: ‘It might have been.’”
Sobering thoughts … a reality that neither you nor I can escape. Three more years are not promised to my friend’s mother, to you, or to me.
What will we do differently?
Copyright © 2018 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
If you would like some creative ideas for grandparents, check out The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart. Organized by month, it helps grandparents connect with their nearby and long-distance grandkids (ages 2-12). Paper and electronic versions are available. (Great for parents, aunts and uncles, too!)