The Time That We Have

Today I couldn’t wait to get home from work and hug my kids. I do that every day, of course, but today I was reminded of the unfortunate truth that all humanity shares: we never know how much time we have.

The son-in-law of one of my friends had a massive stroke and died today. He was thirty-three years old. Thirty-three! He leaves behind his wife (my friend’s daughter), their five-year-old daughter, three-year-old son, and unborn third child. I can’t even imagine their grief. All I can do is remember, as I do when I hear about a sudden death or drive by the scene of a horrible accident, that our time with those we love could end at any moment. Morbid, yes, but also motivating. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to hold your kids (if they’ll let you), call up your parents and siblings, and tell everyone who matters in your life how much you appreciate them.

I think of all the bad days I’ve had in the past year alone, the frustrated helplessness of dealing with meltdowns, school districts, doctor appointments, insurance, finances, and everything else about life that’s stressful, everything that makes me loathe my day. But then I remember: I’m here. I’m alive, I’m usually well, and so are those to whom I’m closest. I can come home from work and hug my kids. I don’t ever want to take that for granted.

The time that we have is the only time that we have. It may be filled with some unpleasant or challenging aspects, but it’s also filled with the company of those we love. And that makes every day worthwhile.

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