If there’s one thing that is certain — life is uncertain. For years we’ve heard the colloquialism, “You can’t count on seeing tomorrow.” Well, we’ve come to a place in time when that particular colloquialism seems outdated. You can’t even count on getting past today. I think about it a lot because I see so much going on around me. I’m constantly reading tons of news stories about world events that appear to have us in global turmoil. I’m always hear about things changing minute by minute. The unforeseeable always seem to be popping up without warning.
Some years ago one of my brothers shared an incident that happened at his workplace. While at lunch, a colleague shared the details of an ugly fight he had with his wife earlier that morning. The encounter started out with her chastising him for not taking his prescribed medication. He perceived her wifely concern as “nagging”. After listening to his colleague’s account of what happened at home earlier in the day, my brother reminded him that she was just trying to look out for him. Upon hearing his wife’s side of the disagreement from another person’s perspective who wasn’t involved, he saw the light and promised to apologize as soon as he got home that evening.
Just after they finished lunch and stood up to leave, my brother’s colleague collapsed, and unfortunately, the emergency responders couldn’t revive him. One of them commented to my brother that his colleague had suffered a massive heart attack and was dead as soon as he hit the ground. Of course my brother was shaken by the tragedy that occurred right in front him. Who is expecting someone to drop dead at lunch? Sometimes women (including me) think men aren’t aware of certain things when it comes to emotions, but the conversation that I was having with me brother was one of those times when I was reminded to stop “gender judging”. What touched my heart was the fact that he couldn’t forget about the conversation he had with his colleague, and was even more concerned that his colleague dropped dead leaving unfinished business at home. This was unsettling for my brother, who felt he had to do something to at least help his deceased friend to finish his business at home. He couldn’t rest imaging how this man’s wife must have felt having her husband storm out of the house after a heated argument. It must have been devastating that the next time she heard something, it wasn’t from him, but was about him – his demise.
He made a decision to help relieve her of any feelings of guilt or responsibility. When he thought she could handle the conversation, he was going to let her know that her husband had every intention of apologizing to her later that evening. She needed to know that reconciliation was already in the process even though her husband never returned home.
Over the years, I’ve often thought about this story. At times like this, I’m reminded of how we take so much for granted – especially when it involves loved ones. We get so comfortable with having them in our lives, we rarely think about life without them until it happens. As we go about our daily busy lives, we can lose focus and become engrossed in a lot of things that really don’t matter. We can have arguments, with some of them being real scorchers, without much thought that those moments of disagreement could be the last we have together. It’s not so much about not counting on tomorrow, as it is paramount that we make every effort to stay mindful of the precious moments we share with those whom we profess to love.
We all have our hot buttons, and sometimes we need to blow off steam, just to get it out in the opening and over it. I am guilty of not getting over it sooner rather than later. During my youth and as a young adult, if I had a disagreement, I wanted no parts of the other party for days – sometimes weeks. Actually I could go for months without contact (Ya’ll, my momma was praying for me). I had little to no consideration about whether the incident would be the last time I saw the other party. But as I grow older, wiser, mellow, and more conscious of the uncertainty of life, I work like hell to get over things quickly. In retrospect, I’ve found they’re not worth it.
Our loving relationships are like treasures, and we are to guard them as such. Have your moment; go to your corner; decompress at the mall; hang out with the fellas, but make sure to find your way back to your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, or boo and straighten things out. Don’t count on working it out tomorrow when you have today. Extend the olive branch if the other person is too proud to. I’m a realist and aware that all of us don’t bounce back immediately, but here’s an alternative. State the facts. “I’m mad at you right now, but I love you. I need a minute to re-group.” Just don’t leave them hanging with “I’m mad at you.” They already know that part, but may be uncertain if “mad” takes the place of “love”. Most of us can take “mad” as long as we know “love” still abounds. Ladies, sometimes when he’s sitting there steaming mad, just walk up and kiss him without warning. Men, if you just show up with a single rose (carnation if you’re on a tight budget), I guarantee you she will appreciate it.
If you know you’re the culprit — the party guilty of the offense, be courageous and admit it. Yes, it takes courage to apologize. It’s the coward who knows he or she is wrong, but blames the other party, or worse, tries to make the other party buy into the lie. The other person deserves the apology, so don’t let your foolish pride win over fixing a hurt. Besides, once you apologize, the weight of guilt will be lifted. Both parties win.
Hope for tomorrow. Plan for the future, but don’t take either one for granted. Make sure they know that you love them, even in times of disagreement. Tell and show them they’re loved. Celebrate each other – just because. Don’t wait for holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries. When it comes to good loving, there’s no time like the present. You never know what tomorrow will bring or if there will even be a tomorrow. You have today. Make it the best day ever for you and your loved ones.