Too often we wait. We wait too long, it’s too late to say it, it’s too late to make sure it’s known.
Funerals are not the best time to tell someone you love them that you appreciate and admire them. Its okay to honor people at their funeral, but the message is too late to matter to the dead.
It’s one of the lessons I have learned from our journey. You simply don’t know what is around the next sweeping turn, you don’t know what tomorrow has in store, you just don’t know …. so dance now, spend a little money, make a little effort, take a little time to make sure people you love, know you love them.
Celebrate today, tell people how you feel, look them in the eye when it’s quiet and the distractions at a minimum and make people understand that you love them, right now, because they can’t hear you at their funeral.
We did a little of that for Marty last Saturday. We had the big bash, the soiree, the partaaayyy. Marty turned 60, no easy feat given Marty’s journey. We have twisted and turned for the last nine years with no idea what we would face next. We, I, needed for Marty to know how much she means to me, to us, and we did, we threw her a wonderful party.
There were friends from college, friends from high school, friends from around town, friends from out of town and family, of course there was family. And cake, always the cake, Italian Cream cake from BestYett Catering, it was the best yet.
Marty sat at her table as person after person came to her and talked and touched and hugged. They sat in front of her or to her side and talked to her about old times and new times and updated her on their lives, their children’s lives and their grandchildren. Marty listened and nodded and smiled and shook hands and received hugs and by the end of the day, in spite of her self-consciousness she knew she was loved, she knew she was admired, she knew she was cherished.
When we got home that evening Marty was tired, reasonably tired. We got her ready for bed and I climbed in bed beside her and wished her happy birthday one last time. I asked her if she had a good time at her party and I get an expected exhausted response, “No….too many people.” She was tired.
My parents went to China several years ago on a business trip where they stayed for over a month. When they returned I called my mother and asked her how she liked it. She said, “Ask me in about a month, I’ll know better then.” Made sense then, makes sense now, time and quiet offer perspective.
I waited until the next day to talk to Marty about the party again. The kids, their spouses and the grands all left for home that afternoon and suddenly the house because very quiet. I went and sat with Marty in her room and looked over and asked her again, “How did you like your party?” She didn’t hesitate, “Loved it.” I asked what she liked about it, “The people, I liked having all of the people talking to me.”
It was a complete turnaround, a little time and quiet helped Marty gain a perspective and begin to feel how special a time the party was. It was always about taking time to celebrate a remarkable woman and the miracle that is her life. I wanted her to know, today, how so many felt about her.
One of the last people to leave that day was one of our best friends. I’ve known this guy for 50 years and Marty met him early in our lives together. We didn’t always keep up with each other but have always been best friends.
We stood there together for just a minute and as he started to leave for his home in Austin he looked at me, hugged me and said, “I love you man.”
Don’t wait, it’s good to say it today, it’s good to hear it today too.