Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Measure of Your Days

Today, I miss my mother in law terribly.  As most of you know, she was tragically killed one evening when she went out to the driveway to move the cars.  We believe she heard a tree fall next door, close to their driveway, so she wanted to get the cars out of the way in case that tree shifted.  She was able to move the truck to the road, but as she was walking back down the driveway to move the car, a tree fell in their backyard, came over the front of the house, and landed on her.  She was killed due to blunt force trama to the chest.  This happened Labor Day evening of this year.  Just over a month ago. 

Adam and I still battle with why and what for, but we ultimately know that God was in control.  It was no accident, as freak as it seems to us.  He had control over the wind and the rain.  He knew when Micki was born, that evening would be her evening.  He knew all of that.  But if I had known that, I would have lived a lot differently.  I would have spent more time with her, hugged her more often, called her on the phone to see how she was doing, asked her to teach me how to make her famous cheeseburger soup, and so much more.  She was such an amazing woman and wife.  She took such wonderful care of her two sons and husband.  She loved them dearly, and it showed. 

She was always a do-it-yourselfer.  She tiled the backsplash in her kitchen, tiled the kitchen and bathroom floors, helped her husband install beadboard in the bathrooms, kept up the flower beds in her yard, mowed the grass, and so much more.  She cooked delicious meals, created an inviting home, and showed me love from the beginning.  She was always accepting and loving toward me, even though I was the girlfriend (now wife) of her baby boy.  She trusted me with him, and that means more than most things.  She gave this to me the night before our wedding.

She knew that she was to be a grandmother.  We told her a couple of weeks before this happened.  She was very excited.  When we told her, I gave her a book that she could read to her grandchild when he/she was here.  The morning after she passed, I found the book on the table, next to her chair in the living room.  It was where she had just been sitting.

This is a really sweet book.  We also like it because the main characters are hares.  Micki had her house decorated in hares.  You could find several hare figurines and stuffed animals in every room.  She inherited most of them, and bought several.  I have carried on the tradition.

Her death has changed how I live life.  I now realize that the last time I talk to someone may be the last time.  I try to choose my words more carefully.  When my husband leaves the house, I hug him tight and tell him how much I love him.  I make an effort not to pick at the little things that bother me.  I just appreciate who my husband is, and I focus on all the good things I love about him.  That's what we're supposed to do anyway.  But it is so easy to get caught up in the everyday.  You just assume people will be there forever.  Don't assume.  Because it can be taken away in an instant.  You may not have another chance to tell someone how much you love them.  You may not get another chance to hold them.  You may not have another chance for anything. 

So tell your loved ones that you love them.  Go out of your way to make their day special.  Say the things that God puts on your heart.  Cut things out of your busy schedule and make time for your husband, kids, and family.  Live like you may never see that person again.  Because they won't be here forever.  None of us will be.  We just don't know when that time will come.  Not everyone will pass when they are old and gray.  My hope is in Christ, and not in this world.  So I don't mean for you to hold onto the things of this world.  But I do believe that we only get one life to live on this earth, and we should make it count with our relationships.  Not with t.v., not with internet, not with extra activities, but with our relationships.  First, our relationship to God, second our relationship with our spouse (our parents if you are unmarried), and our relationship to our kids, and family. 

 When your family comes home tonight, hug them.  Tell them how much you love them.  Make their favorite dinner or dessert.  Spend quality time with them.  You may not get to tomorrow.  Life is too short not to live this way everyday.  From someone who is on the other side of things and knows what it is like to see my husband lose his mother so unexpectedly, please do this.  When yours or their time comes, you will be so thankful you said everything you could and showed love to them every way you knew how. 
You won't regret it.

“O LORD, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!"
(Psalm 39:4-5 ESV)

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