My father’s hand.
My baby son’s foot.
My father’s eyes locked on my baby son’s eyes.
My face in the gentle expression of a mother and a daughter all at once.
My father wouldn’t live much past that day, a few weeks or so, but no one knew that in that moment. Just as we couldn’t tell the future, many trusted to care for him could not see his past. They saw a sick man, maybe even a dying man, but not the life that he had lived for 70 years. They couldn’t see the vitality hidden deep within that hospital gown, the life that pushed air in and out of that tracheostomy tube.
This was my father, a proud grandpa, just 2 years earlier with my second son.
Life is funny how it can be taken for granted one moment then taken the next. Yet, no matter how closely death happens around us, we still can’t help but forget how precarious life is. Perhaps it is woven into the fabric of the nature of survival itself.
But it is worth it to try. To try to appreciate the time we have with our loved ones right now when they are being funny and sweet or ornery and frustrating. Because, life deals the good with the bad. Life finds the ultimate balance in death.
I wrote this poem for his prayer card and I carry it with me as a reminder to not just appreciate life but to appreciate those who are living it with me.
No one ever promised you tomorrow
So I will carry a heart full of yesterdays
To help me live and love each blessed day
Let the moments and pictures hold the sorrow at bay
So I can carry you with me
So with me you will stay.