Some time ago, when I moved from the night shift to a normal office hour schedule, my wife and I started something that I hope never ends. Each morning as I leave, no matter how late I may be, she's getting a big wet kiss on the cheek.
I hope she gets to wake up to that in the morning. She should wake up to my love. Sure sometime she wakes up to "I can't find my wallet" etc etc, or me dropping half our stuff in the bathroom fumbling around half dead at 5:30am. But I always hope she stays asleep just long enough so when I go to leave she wakes up to my kiss goodbye and me telling her I love her.
Last year, in the dead of winter, it was a risky driving morning. Thankfully I can usually get out on to the road and get going without a problem. But this was a glistening icy-coated morning. I went to rush out the door and get moving so I could get to work as less-late as possible. As I got about halfway down the stairs I remembered that I hadn't kissed her goodbye. And it occurred to me, what if my drive didn't go well and I were to have an accident? What if I never got the chance to kiss her goodbye again? I slowly walked up the stairs and leaned across the bed to give her a long sweet kiss. She smiled and I went on with the day.
"Tomorrow" is something we take so for granted. For those of us that believe in eternal life in Christ and expect to live forever with God, I think we even more so may be taking tomorrow for granted, since it is - granted. But tomorrow here on earth is something hoped for but not guaranteed.
"Next time" is something we often expect will happen. We are such frail and temporary creatures, and yet we live like we control destiny, chance, and circumstances. We don't. We have today.
When the triplets were born they were so small. They were just in and around four pounds each. Thankfully, they were very above average in health, really problem-free. Thank God for answering ours and many other folks' prayers during the circumstances of life we experienced in those days.
One thing the triplets did need was drops of vitamins every day - I think it was twice a day. If I remember correctly it was something to do with strengthening their lungs - which let me say - that stuff really worked. Especially for Eve. Wow. Definitely no long term problem for these girls with lung strength!
Just a couple days after they were home we gave Prayer her vitamins from the little tiny eye-dropper thingy, and they went down the "wrong tube". She choked them up and coughed and coughed and gagged. I thought we had just drowned the kid. Then she just didn't breathe. Not freaking out or choking anymore, just seemed like she was sleeping and very lazy breathing. Very similar to how they were after they were born and the nurses would rub them to make them cry and breathe to dry out their lungs. Every once in a while she would take a gasp as she lay on her belly and slept. Then a few seconds. Then another breath. Scary for me. So scary, I couldn't sleep. That whole night I lay awake and I was Prayer's bed, as she slept, breathing awkwardly on my chest with her little fuzzy head just under my chin. I kissed her head and thought, "What if this is the last night I hold this baby?"
I guess you know she turned out okay, other than the suspected brain damage thing.
(Please excuse the nudity but this is a picture of that next morning)
Probably I was overreacting a little. I do that once in a while when it comes to potential dangers, germs, boys looking at my daughters, my daughters looking at boys, multiple instruments and conversations happening in the same room at high volume at the same time, slow drivers, and, of course, insects in my face. For more information on these and other of my flaws, please feel free to ask my teenage daughters. Expect eyes to roll before each corresponding response to the above list.
I was at work a few weeks ago and one of my favourite workmates reminded me that he and his partner were expecting their first child in less than a month. I may be completely useless at most things, but when it comes to preparing to have babies, I've got a few pointers to pass along. Later that day, I heard him speaking about this conference, and that meeting, and a really busy work schedule for the coming month. I took him aside and I was very direct with him just one-on-one as I said, "Let me clock out for a minute and speak to you as a friend. I am very blessed to have had 9 children, and I hope you are blessed to have as many as you may decide. However, if circumstances dictate that this is your only child you ever have and you miss the first few weeks of your child's life for the slight difference it may mean at a company, you will hate yourself. That would be a tough decision when you realize how unimaginably fast each of those first and most delicate stages pass. If I were you, and when I was, I did put family ahead of work. There is always more work."
We look at life as though all that we planned and prepared to do will happen, and nothing we expect to avoid would ever happen. But the truth of life is that you have absolutely no idea what may happen, so be who you should be, with who you should be, today.
Tonight, my wife and I will slip out before our church event and we will go alone for dinner and have some time to chat and focus on each other. We've always done that, at least once a month; a lot- a lot of dates, making memories together, in case they are someday soon only memories.
You don't know if you'll have tomorrow. So kiss her today like it's your last kiss. And kiss her like that for the rest of your life.