Each night my wife falls asleep on the pillow next to mine in about ten minutes. I'm envious. It usually takes me an hour or more to get to dreamland, which means that most nights I get to watch her sleep for awhile. But watching someone enjoy a peaceful night's sleep has its own way of smoothing out the day's potholes. When I turn out the light, I can hear my heart's little sigh as I become succinctly aware of the good fortune that brought her into my life. I am blessed beyond measure. And just before I close my own eyes and fall asleep, I ask for that which only time can give, and all that I could ever want --
Just one more day.
Ever aware of life's brevity, I always hope for at least one more day to spend with the love of my life -- to hear her talk and laugh and watch her play with our tiny poodles. To feel the touch of her warm hand when the world feels particularly cold. Just one more day is all I ask. And I ask for it every night.
Each of us knows all too well that our life, or the life of someone we love, can be over in an instant. Often there is no warning. And when the unthinkable happens, it destroys us as completely as any force of nature ever could. The gaping, open wound takes an eternity to heal, if it ever does. The scars remain. Nothing is the same. We are undone.
This awareness should make us immensely grateful for each new day, but does it? Do we consciously even think about it? If we did, would that change how we interact with those we love?
And knowing this, do we reexamine our own true purpose; our own truth? What if we knew that this was our last day -- what would we do differently? Do we consider how we might change our world and our relationships with the people in it if we knew that tomorrow would, in fact, never come?
None of us wants to face the reality of our own mortality. We go about each day doing whatever it is that we're so busy doing, giving nary a thought to when "the end" might come, or what we could or should be doing before it arrives. And why not? When you think about it, what could be more important?
Given life's uncertainties, isn't it worth asking ourselves if our current path is the right one? And if it isn't, then isn't it worth asking how we can get ourselves on the right one?
A new year is right around the corner. If we're lucky, we have one more year.
Or, maybe, it's just one more day.