It took just a moment in time to take him from us. It would take another month before God would call him Home. We would need that time with him, we would need to say goodbye, prepare for a future without him … just a little more time with him was what we were given and while I will never understand why God chose for his time to be so short with us here I have learned to cherish the importance of time here with those we love.
AC was the prodigal son …. I, however was a chaotic mess growing up and many would agree that I still am. I’m actually okay with this, it was just as it was supposed to be. Both of us adopted, first me then him. Me in June, Fathers Day and he in May, Mothers Day. We would grow up to be just like my dad (me) and my mom (him). So right now as you read this and if you know my parents there is most definitely a pause, a smile and you are probably nodding your head in agreement with me having never realized how true this really is. We fought like crazy, there are stories that my parents still tell today about the two of us and the running and banging through the house that would send my mom right up those stairs to break up. We grew up close but never appreciated the relationship of siblings until early into our twenties. Had I known that he would be gone in just a few short years I would have spent our time together so differently.
It’s hard to believe that 18 years has passed since that day, where has the time gone? That month that I sat by his side, everyday I would sit beside him … all I wanted was what we had. I wanted that time back with him, I wanted more time with him. Saying goodbye to him was the most painful goodbye I have said in my lifetime. I remember so vividly running down the hallway of that hospital and collapsing onto that cold floor begging and crying out to God for just one more day with him. Even if it meant having to say goodbye all over again, I needed more time with my brother. It wasn’t mine to have anymore, his time belonged to God now.
I couldn’t get back that time with AC, it took a great deal of heartache to accept that. I didn’t really appreciate that lesson until Elizabeth was born. I found myself sitting beside a hospital bed begging God for time again. She was only days old, I hadn’t even touched her yet. She, so much like AC was fighting for her life and God knew her time, I didn’t and I was crying out for her life to be spared. You have my brother, please do not take my daughter. Let me get to know her, let me care for her, love her however you give her to me …. just give me my time with her. He would and through her He would teach me the most valuable lesson. This life is not about my time but His. Only He knows the number of days we have here and while His promise of a new day with each morning that sun rises high into the sky we have become so unaware of how precious the time in that day is until something happens that stops time and leaves us wanting more.
When Elizabeth was diagnosed with CP I asked the doctor, how much time does she have with us? This is actually a question I get quite frequently from others. What is her prognosis, life expectancy … how old will she live to be? The doctors have always said that every morning I go in to wake her up and she is still with us is a gift. It’s ironic that the morning after she was born I remember that hot summer sun streaming into my hospital room and being told that Elizabeth had miraculously made it through the night and here I am every morning looking for that sunlight in her bedroom as a gift of another day. Over the last 11 years Elizabeth has been very sick, faced several surgeries that left us often wondering if she would pull through to see morning. In May we were faced with the real possibility that we were going to lose Elizabeth. The doctors were very honest with us, almost too honest. This was real, this was as real as life and death gets and here I once again found myself with this time issue heavy on my heart. As the days counted down to the surgery I found myself unable to leave her. I wanted to spend every minute of every day with her. I wanted to hold her hand, kiss her and soak up as much of that beautiful smile that I could. The fear of losing her became almost unbearable and I remember someone asking me one day how I was doing and my response was not good. I can’t lose her, I can’t not have her here.
Time is the one thing we can’t get back. It’s here and it’s gone just like that. You can’t go back, how many times have we wished for that? It becomes the very most precious of opportunities and something that I have learned to hold as close to my heart as I can. There are those in my life I want nothing but time from them. They know who they are, no names are needed. Some I have had a lifetime with, others just a few short years and while I know I have a future ahead of me with them … wait did you just read that? Go back and read it again, it’s not a true statement. Only God Himself knows this and so what we do is find those who are the most important to us … our parents, spouses, children, siblings … and that one that who if we woke up to the morning sunlight and they were no longer with us we would be begging for just one more day, one more hour, just one more minute to say
“You are the most important person in my life. With you I am better, I am stronger, I am who I need to be when I am with you. Without you I am incomplete, I am lost … I love you, I miss you, come home as that we do not know the time we have been given with each other.”
Take time today, you will never have it back again.