Some days, our emotions run high. Maybe even hot. One of the worst emotions I feel is helplessness. The utter and complete inability to do anything. Maybe I just feel like I am doing nothing. I can only stand and watch. But what I was feeling today felt like the tornado sirens that are tested every month — spinning around in circles, increased loudness, and uncertainty. Absolute confusion.
In a matter of moments, complete normalcy turned into confusion with more questions that we could ever imagine and the slowness of the answers didn’t help. Our adrenaline comes to a point where we have to act and nothing else matters. NOTHING. When does life become important? When life is what matters. PERIOD. It is the greatest attention-getter and the phone calls that are made are the ones we never want to receive. Because even if we are not the ones receiving them, we can see the effect it has on their loved ones.
As my heart silently broke and ached for a life of a young man who I love dearly (as if he were my own) due to an injury he suffered, I also ached for his parents, his family, and his friends. Even as I write this, my stomach is in knots and nothing else matters except him getting better. The effect it has on others, including those that are close to me is what hits the hardest. I feel destitute. A quick reach to his family expresses my heartfelt love and thoughts from our family to theirs along with prayers and offers to help, any way we can. It is the least I can do…which again feels like nothing. Tears welled in my eyes as I tried to process the new knowledge I had just received.
Life quickly came into question again today as a man lay on the ground, with people yelling, “CALL 911!” and medical professionals running to aid this man, not knowing what ailed him. I was unsure if he had been taken ill by the heat or tripped and fell underneath a car, but later learned he had suffered a heart attack earlier this year. Having no medical knowledge of my own and not knowing the people who were very quick to help him, I silently prayed. I waited to be told to do something — anything — should it be needed. But my emotions were not ready for the yelling of the son, as he ran to his father, with cries of “NO!” and “DAD!” Being strong and doing what needed to be done would have kept me focused, but seeing this young man beg for his father’s life just added to my already unprotected state. As a mother, my heart broke once again in less than 24 hours. Once again, tears choked through as I relayed the son’s plight to another mom who stood next to me. It was all I could do to not reach to her for a hug, even though she would have no real understanding why.
My heart had already been rocked a little with the suicide of another young man who I did not know well that had occurred last week.
How much more can I take? I need to just have a good cry and let this out. It will not take the angst away, but my defenseless heart is overflowing with emotion it will not be able to contain much longer.
It is absolutely the worst feeling in the world.
When a life hangs in the balance, everything shifts. The biggest wake up call just went off and there is no snooze button. You have to act. NOW! It doesn’t matter if the yard gets mowed or the house gets vacuumed. Your once priorities take a back seat. You will get to them when you get to them. You forget to eat. You don’t care when you last took a shower. You can’t think about next week or next month. You have today and in today you have a few hours and minutes and that is what matters. Mere minutes.
Life changes in an instant…literally, an instant. One second later and everything gets turned upside down and you have no idea which way is up. Breathing even becomes work. You become entangled in jargon that still seems foreign but necessary. Forgetting even basic things tests your attention to that which was so normal just a few minutes and hours before.
Please…please…please do not take life for granted. Love it for all that it is and treasure it. If you said “I love you” to someone you cared about 100 times, would that be enough? Wouldn’t you want to say it 101 times??? We all would. We would say everything we ever could, even if we sound like a broken record. Because there may not be tomorrow. There may not be an hour from now. At this point, every second counts.
EVERY SINGLE ONE.
Use this as a warning to pay attention to who you love. And by gosh, tell them you do. Hug them tight. Say what you need to say. Don’t let your heart be paralyzed. These are times when it must be fully open, pouring out love like never before. Do everything you can think of, even if you think you are doing nothing. No one likes to feel unable to help and any feeble attempt taken by us, still seems unworthy.
The assumption that life is precious and yet taken for granted sends mixed messages and we MUST remember to not forsake this lives with are intertwined with and blessed to have in our lives.
Several years ago, a friend penned a list of 22 relationship rules that belong not just in marriages and friendships, but in any relationship. But no rule is as important as Rule 22. It has become a way of life for me as not only is it something I truly believe in but also practice. Every day. Rule 22 is when you commit to taking full advantage of living with no regrets and telling every person you love that you love them. Every time. Because if something happens, and you miss that chance, what are you going to wish for? One more chance to say, “I love you.” You wish for ONE. Maybe we don’t get 100 chances, but we take every damn chance we get.
Let your heart gush with such emotion it is not just at its peak when a life is in jeopardy… it is at its pinnacle and your love for others eases the crippling of what you cannot fix.
Love with your whole heart and pray that it will be enough.
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©