I want to care more.
I want to touch more.
I want to love more.
And I want to judge less.
Because our time here, unfortunately, is not unlimited.
I want the people around me to know that I care about them. Because I do. What can I do to show my friends and family that I think about them, that I love them? Can I text more? Call on the phone more? Reach out to people more that I haven’t spoken to in a while? Yes, yes, and more yes.
I want to touch people more. Like, physically touch them. Hug them. Be close to them. Put my hand on their shoulder and make sure they can feel my love for them. Sound weird? I don’t care. Our time isn’t unlimited, and when you lose someone, you want one more hug, one more embrace, one more time to squeeze them and let them know they matter to you.
When my dad was on his death bed, I sat there all day and held his hand. I put my other hand on his arm. I touched him. And I cried because I realized just how much I never touched my dad. Quick hug, in and out. Not many long embraces. Not many times where I just lingered and expressed my love for him by physical touch.
And I want to judge less. I judged him my whole life. His decisions, his actions, his alcoholism, his addictions, his constant running. I took it personally. I made it about me. How could he do those things to me? Why wasn’t he a better father to ME? And then about 10 years ago, I saw him for who he was…Just another man, struggling with his shit. Just like I was struggling with mine. And as the years continued to pass, more and more, I was able to see him as a human being, not as my dad. And lying there on his death bed that day, holding his hand, it became enormously clear that he was a human being who deserved to be loved, and touched, and cared for. I didn’t know all of his struggles. I wasn’t inside his head. I don’t know why he ran and drank and disconnected from family. It wasn’t my place to judge him. I struggle with life too. And in those last moments, I sat there with my dad, a fellow human being, whose life was permeated by pain and loss and loneliness, and loved him unconditionally. And I thought to myself, I wish I had judged him less. And just let him be him, and loved him more.
After my dad passed away, it became painfully clear that the time we have together is precious. And it’s all we have. And when it’s done, it’s done.
Touch more. Love unconditionally. Care deeply. Be compassionate. Have patience. Because our time…well, there’s a limit to how much we have of it. Make it count.