Yesterday, I made a visit to a funeral home. Someone I knew from church lost his battle with cancer. He was in his 30's and his wife is the second young woman that I know to become a widow in this past year. I can't help but think about what life was like for me years ago, when my son died in that unfortunate accident, and my heart goes out to them. They too are now on a road they would have never chosen. I hope that somewhere down that road, they find what I've found: That life does get good again. It will never be the same. They will always be affected by the pain of this event in their lives, but it is really up to them to decide how it will affect them. I can truthfully say that I am happy now and that I love my life even though my son is no longer a part of it. I wrote the following poem for the ten-year anniversary of his death. At first it may seem sad and you may even shed a few tears. But look at it closer and you will also see a call to action - a call to make each moment count. A call to love those in your life with all you have and to let them know it often. A call to live your life to the fullest until the last moment.
The Last Day
I couldn't know that morning
what the day would hold
as the minutes rushed by without notice.
Did we laugh?
Did we yell?
Did I grumble at you?
Did we talk?
Did we hug?
Did I even look at your clothes?
I probably rushed through the morning routine
squandering the time that we had.
"Eat your breakfast."
"Get your books."
"Is your homework all done?"
"Don't talk back!"
"Get your shoes."
"Would you get in the car?!"
What did we say as I drove you to school?
Another parent-adolescent debate?
Was there talk of the evening?
Or no words at all?
Morning after morning - they never much varied.
How could I know it was the last of its kind?
Hour after hour the morning retreated.
Thank you for calling.
Print a list.
Run the errands.
Why didn't I know how trivial it was?
Why did I think we had plenty of time?
No time to waste as evening approaches.
Clean the house.
Set the table.
Dinner is done.
Where is that boy?
Didn't I say, "Be home at 6:30."?
Car tires screeching.
The sirens - they wail.
A crumpled bicycle lies lifeless
at the side of the road
as my little boy's name is etched into stone.
May you live every day to its fullest and may the moments of your life be filled with the glorious love of the God who created you, died for you, and walks with you now.
About the Photos
Bryan - Age 10 (taken by his grandmother)
Bryan - Age 11 (last school photo)