20 April 2011

No loose ends

After all the things I’ve been through, one of the lessons I have learned is that one should not live with loose ends: don’t put important things off until tomorrow, or next week, or next year … don’t assume you’ll always have time to make it right later, that ‘someday’ you can do what you dream.

Someday may not come.

This isn’t meant to be a morbid thought, but an empowering one: after all, if we patch up our differences quickly instead of letting them fester and grow, then we are happier. Who wants to live with old, fermented anger, anyway? It’s no fun. Makes you miserable. Yes, it’s hard to be the one to put down your weapons first, to be the guy who takes the first step towards reconciliation, but it’s not impossible. And being at peace with the world around you is a much more pleasant way to live.

If you have a dream, if there’s something you long to do, why wait to pursue it? Yes, sometimes you have to choose which things you’ll do right now and which things you may do later … but if you can do this thing you long to do right now, then why wait?

What’s got me thinking about all of this now? This morning, in downtown Edmonton, a young woman died after being struck by a bus. She was on her way to work, just another routine morning … and she won’t be coming home again.

I knew her husband. We were close friends, years ago, but we’ve been separated by time and circumstance and I had not met his beautiful wife, though I could see that she made him very happy. Today, she is suddenly gone, and my heart aches for him. He now faces the long road of grief, a difficult road that offers no bypasses and no shortcuts. I have walked that road so many times, and I would spare him the journey if I could … but I can’t. All I can do is offer to walk any part of it with him, if he needs me to, and send him my love.

None of us are here forever. Every moment of life is precious. Honour the One who gave you the gift of your life by celebrating, loving, and living well every moment you are blessed with.


  1. Thank you. I know from your story that you have shared that you have the wisdom that comes from experience. Thank you for the reminder to live our lives authentically, with purpose and now.

  2. Tracy, you are right that it's the voice of experience - I've spent too many days in my own self-induced misery, focusing on the many ways in which I am not "good enough", or the myriad things I have not yet done ... only to realize, at long last, that wasting time feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in misery is a really poor way to spend the precious moments I've been given!
    I've made mistakes, many of them. But you know, today is here - today is the time I have for certain - this moment. What can I do with THIS moment that will be a celebration, a gift, a legacy? It finally occurred to me that refusing to enjoy the gift that the Creator gave me was the worst insult I could offer to the One who made me ... and I chose to live, every moment, instead.

  3. I can't tell you, Lonna, how grateful I am that Chris has you for a friend and fellow traveler on the road of grieving. I'm Chris's mom and living in UK now and I so feel I need to be there for him so that I too can fill his freezer full of instant meals. Without being there at hand to soothe and comfort and hug him I hurt so very much but I am so glad that you are there to watch over him. Thank you so much. Judi

  4. Judi, your words bring tears to my eyes - thank you so much for taking the time to write them. It is because of Chris' help and support when I needed it the most that I am now able to stand at this far end of the road of grief and say "just keep walking towards me, keep coming, I know it seems like it will be forever, just take one more step. I'm here, living proof that it will get better."

    Watching our children hurt - whether they are little or big - makes a mother's heart ache. You raised a marvellous son who brightens the world with his presence - all of us who care for him will surround him with love, give him company when he needs it, and help whenever he asks.


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