“Time flies, “ I’ve discovered that those two words are true. It’s sad when I look back over the years and see all the things I could have said or done, but didn’t. I believed I had control over my life, but at the same time still had many regrets. I’ve now learned that if I regret things in life, then I never had control in the first place. I’ve also learned that special moments only happen once, if they really are special. My point is that we should take advantage of the moment and tell people how we feel about them before it’s too late.
I remember my mom would have to force my sister and I to go to her uncle’s house. He was a very nice guy, but his house was just so boring. I remember the only thing he would talk about was work. He literally had no life. I actually felt sorry for the guy because his daughters and son didn’t care about him and took him for granted. After some time my mom stopped forcing us to go.
Some years later I saw him again at a family party. At the dance I saw for the very first time his wife and him dancing. It looked like they were really enjoying it and danced the whole night. It was like if he suspected it was his last dance. One day we got a phone call from his wife telling us he had gotten really sick. My mom invited me to go, but of course stupid me said no.
One day I decided to go. I had heard he was very sick, but never imagined he had gotten that bad. When I walked in his room his eyes lightened up. I got this huge lump in my throat. I reached out my hand and said hi, but after a few seconds noticed he couldn’t move. He had gotten so skinny and there was some weird smell in that room. I can’t even describe the atmosphere or my feeling, everything was horrible. His wife would feed him, but he couldn’t swallow, his tongue was dead and everything fell out. I’m guessing he was embarrassed because tears started coming out of his eyes.
I wanted to tell him not to feel bad. I wanted to tell him he had been a great man and he had done wonderful things for others, but back then I never told anyone how I felt. Anyway, I thought, he can’t even talk back. A few months later he died all alone in a hospital. Many say his family cried for days probably regretting everything they never did.
Now I imagine anyone in my family dying and me not being able to express my feeling towards them. So, I forced myself to thank, hug, or kiss anyone I love. I truly, believe it’s never too late to show someone your love.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.