By Josh Lockhart, PHEc
It has begun to strike my heart that life is fragile, that this daily routine of striving to make a living and being with family can be gone, oh so quickly. A year ago, my family relocated to a new city. We were in the process of transferring records and the like when my then three-year-old daughter started complaining of back pain to the point of wanting to see a doctor. And when your child, at that age, asks to see a doctor, you take them.
We went to a new doctor because we were in a new location. They didn’t have any background info so, as a precautionary effort, the doctor wanted to test my daughter for a whole spectrum of reasons as to why her back could be hurting her so bad.
One of the items on the list – leukemia. Let me tell you, my wife and I had difficulty sleeping and even functioning until the results came back. Thank the Lord that she did not have leukemia, and it turned out to just be a muscle strain from a previous gymnastics injury. My daughter is fine and well, and starting pre-K this year.
But since that time, I have seen friends, colleagues, family and those I consider family become diagnosed, suffer from or pass away from cancer, or another disease or frailty. It is heart wrenching, stress testing and throat choking to see them and hear of them going through the process.
It all has me wondering, is the purpose in life the pursuit of riches, fame and the latest goodie? It can’t be; those items are a constant revolving door that seems to have no end. If that was really happiness, why do we keep upgrading? Why do we keep chasing down the latest fads, fashions and investments?
For me, life is about human connection; creating, sustaining and transforming relationships.
This whole realization, or even awakening, can be the result of maturing from my juvenile age, naivety and youthful thinking. But I do strive to cherish the moments I have with my wife and children. Yes, we all do have our moments of wanting to pull our hair out due to our children (or even spouse). If we never had those strenuous moments, how would we be able to differentiate from the memory-making moments.
And not every moment will be magical, but at least I can say that when my child was three years and 217 days old, I was with them and spent time with them. Or that on day 2,374 of marriage, I kissed my wife and gave her a hug. Because those days only happen once and you never know when your days will end or be numbered.
Grudges aren’t worth holding. Hurt feelings are not worth carrying around. Debt isn’t worth the price. One million fans do not hold a light to one close friend. Be loveable, charitable, flexible and vulnerable.
Be in the moment of today, with those you care for and love, because it will never happen again.
What are some things you can do to be in the moment with your family and loved ones?
Josh Lockhart works for the College of the Rockies in Kimberley BC. He is also a columnist with the Battleford’s News Optimist and a Co-Author with Notes On Parenting. Josh is currently a counselling graduate student atGonzaga University.