A few weeks ago while I was waiting, in a car wash shop, for my brother’s car to be washed, I picked up a copy of National Geographic to read. When I flipped to the second page, a photo of a man kissing a woman caught my attention. Besides the photo was the line, “Joel and Kathy Sartore have been married for 23 years.”
No big deal you may say. That was not what caught my attention anyway. What really grabbed my attention was the following passage:
The day before Thanksgiving in 2005, Kathy Sartore, married to photographer Joel Sartore, learned she had breast cancer. “Cancer is a thief. It steals time,” Joel says. “But cancer can also be a blessing, an amazing experience that forces us to set things right. My work had made me a stranger to my three kids. With Kathy sick, I knew it was time to stay put for a while.”
Kathy Sartore has beaten cancer and Joel is given a second chance to treasure his wife and kids. Life may not always be that generous and merciful; not everyone will get this kind of second chance. Some people did not even get the chance to bid farewell to their loved ones. A few years back, a friend shared with me an incident of his friend who regretted for not being able to rush back in time to see his father for the last time.
A quotation by David Grayson which I have always shared, “Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so.“ We certainly do not have the power to turn back time, to change history and to undo any regrets. However, we certainly have the power to create new history now and to leave no room for regrets.
Are there someone whom you care about and have not kept in touch with for a long time?
Joel Sartore said, “Kathy’s cancer made me realize how little time any of us really has.” Very true isn’t it? Quoting something from ‘The Last Lecture‘ by Randy Pausch, “Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think.” We are always thinking that there is always time to let our loved ones know how much we love them, but the truth is, we will never know if there is a tomorrow.
Sharing with you a beautiful poem composed by Norma Marek in 1989, in memory of a lost child. Norma Marek lost her battle with cancer on 17th July 2004.
If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly, and pray the Lord your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss, and call you back for just one more.
If I knew it would be the last time I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would tape each word and action, and play them back throughout my days.
If I knew it would be the last time, I would spare an extra minute or two,
To stop and say “I love you,” instead of assuming you know I do.
So, just in case tomorrow never comes, and today is all I get,
I’d like to say how much I love you, and I hope we never will forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.
So, if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day
That you didn’t take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss,
And you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear,
That you love them very much, and you’ll always hold them dear.
Take time to say “I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” “thank you” or “it’s okay”.
And if tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today.
Photo by Unsplash