what mattered today

As I write this, my oldest son is sitting at the bedside of his dying grandfather. And my middle son is driving home, across five states, to be at the beside of his paternal grandfather too. I pray he makes it here. Safely. And in time.

Two days before I heard about my ex-father-in-law’s fate, I learned one of my friends passed away unexpectedly. He was a dear friend, and as our lives took on a different shape over the years, we kept in touch by interacting on Facebook. I will miss him.

Needless to say, over the last few days I’ve thought a lot about death, and what I would do…how I would live if I knew I was at the end. If I was dying.

And so I did the first three things that popped in my head…

First, I told each one of my sons how important they are to me, how proud I am of them, and how very much I love them. And because I tell them these things frequently, they tend to be dismissive, so I used a different tone of voice; I was forceful, and I gave them reasons. Sometimes “I love yous” can be methodical…habitual…commonplace. And I needed my boys to really hear me this time.

Second, I unplugged for the evening. I gave my husband my complete attention when he came home from work. I was fully present. I plan to do this every evening, at least for a few hours.

And third, I ate ice cream for dinner, and I didn’t feel guilty.

Death reminded me that I should strive to live a rich, full and present life. Every day. With ice cream. And probably cupcakes.

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