Last night I had to be very brave and go to a funeral home. I’ve never liked visiting funeral homes (does anyone?) but this visit was especially painful. I had to pay my respects to the parents of a 13-year-old former classmate of Teenage Daughter. He died accidentally last Friday.
I really can’t describe how I felt looking at that sweet teenage boy last night. I remember him as a cute little guy dressed up and decked out for the Christmas concert. I remember him giving my daughter a special Valentine because he had a crush on her, and I remember seeing him this past spring in his baseball uniform after a game. He had big brown eyes and a shy smile. He was a great kid.
Then I hugged his devastated mother and she shared that her son had told her that he wanted to look Teenage Daughter up in high school and maybe plan a date with her. Even though they had gone to different middle schools he hadn’t forgotten about her. It broke my heart to think that he never would be able to ask her out. He was just the kind of boy that a mom would love to have her daughter date.
As I was standing there looking at this young man dressed in his school hoodie, surrounded by his Christmas stocking and wrestling shoes and covered with his baby blanket, all I could think was that I had been so wrong about so many things.
There are so many things that I worry about on a daily basis that just don’t matter. There are things that my kids do that either drive me crazy or make me mad but I need to pick my battles wisely. I need to be more forgiving and kinder.
The truth is that as long as you’re alive there’s still time. There’s still time to tell the people you love how much you care. There’s time to treat people with kindness. And if you’re a parent, there’s time to tell your kids how much you love them.
There really is something to the words carpe diem. Take advantage of today because you never really know what lies ahead.