Carpe Diem – Seize the Day. The battle cry of the film Dead Poet’s Society. An inspiration to us all to make the most of each day, each moment, each opportunity. Don’t let time pass you by, seize the day and make the most of it.
As a sensible father, I am not suggesting pursuit of every risky adventure you may have on your bucket list. Don’t run out and go skydiving just because you recall the feeling a 1989 movie gave you. But, don’t forget that life can throw you curve balls and you should never take anything for granted.
Focus on this- make sure your kids know everyday that you love them. Make sure before they get on the school bus, or when you drop them off at daycare or practice, or before they go to sleep, that no matter what has happened, no matter where your relationship may be at the time, that above all, you love them. Be sure that there is no doubt that you cherish them and love them no matter what, where or when.
There are times when our mornings in the Love House fall apart, where we run out of time or have various fire drills that cause the chaos to overwhelm us. During these mornings, there are times when the boys get on the school bus with a negative attitude due to the way our morning has transpired. Typically on the occasions when this happens, I feel like a complete heel and want to go pull them from school to improve what I see as a train wreck in our relationship. I commonly reason that the boys have gotten over the issues a lot faster than I have (and this is almost always the case) but still, I feel bad that the last moments before they left my sight was unpleasant.
Now for the eye opener, completely unrelated to our occasional chaotic mornings. Take this feeling and think “what if”. What if you didn’t see them again? What if something happened to you- a car accident, a heart attack, anything. Even worse, what if something happened to them?
A couple of weeks ago in a small town in Pennsylvania, an eight year old girl went to school like any other day. Undoubtedly, her Mom sent her off just like any other day. But that day was different. That day was tragically different. That day, that little girl choked at lunch and had to be rushed to the hospital. That day, that little girl began a fight for her life. That day that little girl’s Mom and family began to pray for her just to survive.
That day began a struggle that included various elements of life support. She was in a coma for some time. She struggled and fought and did more than an little eight year old girl should ever have to endure. For two days, she fought the good fight but finally she was called to heaven. This strange twist of events had taken her life in spite of every effort of those involved.
I share this story to make you think. Think about the “what if”. Think about it every time your child leaves your sight, your reach, your arms. Not that anything you do could avoid a tragedy such as this, sometimes tragic events just happen. But at least make sure your kids know you love them. Make sure there is no doubt. Seize the day! Seize the moment to do that one extra thing that can bring you peace if anything would happen.
I am sure this little girl felt loved. I know here family loved her. I have seen evidence of it. She was the daughter of a second cousin and from the pictures and the support and the outcry of the family, even though I have not kept up with everyone as much as I should over the years, I know she was loved and she knew that all along.
From time to time we need an eye opener. We need something to remind us what is important. Obviously, based on the historic voice of this blog, focus on the family is what I feel matters. We can stress the importance of our jobs and other activities as being important to our finances and general well-being but in the end, family is what matters. Seize the day. Make sure your kids know that they are important and loved. Make sure that if something happens that there is no doubt.
Sure, arguments and chaos and tough times happen, these are part of life. But be sure that love conquers. Like Ephesians 4:26 states (and I paraphrase) “Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath”. Don’t let your children go to sleep or go to school or leave your sight thinking things are not right with your relationship. Make sure they feel loved and that you tell them that often to reassure them. Seize the Moment. Seize the Day.