Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Are You Making the Most of Today?

I went to the dentist yesterday to get a much-needed tooth filled. Before I left home, I thought about the front receptionist. I hadn't seen her on my last visit. We always swapped grandchildren stories and it made me feel comfortable sort of knowing someone there--did I mention I hate dentists?

When I arrived, I saw a sign on the counter with dates about her.

She had died a year ago.

Diane had suffered a major heart attack in front of her TV. No real warning signs. She was my age, healthy and energetic.

My thoughts wrangled with her death all through my procedure.

They are still wrangling.I question if I've done enough. If my husband and I have followed our dreams. If we've embraced wrong priorities and not done what it takes to live.

I miss this stranger who I only knew through my twice-a-year check-ups. She made an impact on my life through her warm smiles and chatter making my dental visits less stressful.

Her untimely death also encouraged me to move forward with my plans and dreams. We are only promised today--not tomorrow. Are you making the most of it?

31 comments:

Sassy Granny ... said...

Oh my ... how well I know the abrupt & stark reminder of mortality's mark. So often I reflect on how startled am I - all of us - when someone dies, as if it's a mistake, an anomoly. Truly we are meant for life and for living, and never more is that a valued commodity than in Jesus.

To live is Christ, and to die is gain. Paul knew something that I am but just beginning to comprehend. It's in the business of intentional living that either/or is gain to me.

Be blessed,
Kathleen

Helen Ginger said...

That kind of thing can really throw you for a loop. It sort of like, how can that happen when I wasn't looking? And it does tend to make you look a little closer at your own life and your loved ones.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Angie Ledbetter said...

Being a caregiver to my mom, I ask myself that question nearly every day. I don't want to have regrets later in life, so try to live fully and not care too much if others think I'm kinda nutty. :)

Jody Hedlund said...

I went to the dentist yesterday too. I had to have a crown put on one of my teeth. Let's just say I'd rather have my head cut off than experience that ever again. :)

I agree that we should live each day as if it was our last! Keeps our problems in perspective!

Kristen Painter said...

I'm probably not shopping enough. ;o)

Janna Qualman said...

Surprises like that never settle in and sit well. But it sounds like some good thinking has come from it, and I could take a pointer or two from this.

Thanks, Terri.

Wendy said...

Oh no...I think I need a crown soon. I read Jody's comment. I like the question you asked...my father's recent cancer diagnosis has me thinking about this question often.
~ Wendy

Jennifer Shirk said...

Good to keep in mind! Every minute is valuable. :)

Carmen Gamble said...

Wow Terri! Death often does take us by surprise even though we know it's an inevitable part of life. I am really into eschatology, so it's something I consider often with the world the way it is today. You're so right...we must make the best of all the time we have now!

Melissa Marsh said...

Things like this definitely bring our focus to what really matters in this life. It's something we need to be reminded of daily.

Greg C said...

Yes I am going above and beyond my duty today and making the most of it. I had a similar situation a few years ago. A young salesman came into see me at work. He was about 30 years old. His hair was cut really short and I made a comment about his new hair style. He said "Chemo will do that to you". He had lung cancer but said it was in remission. Two months later he died. One never knows what tomorrow has in store for us much less today. Go for it Terri.

Jill Kemerer said...

Oh, that's very sad. I'm sorry.

The one area I could, and should, work on in my life is reaching out to my older relatives more. How hard is it to send a card now and then, you know?

Thanks for the reminder.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, wow, this really does make you step back and consider things more fervently, doesn't it.

I pray daily to discover the course I'm to be on. It's so unsettling not knowing for certain if you're hearing correctly, but I do believe if we listen, God does guide us, and I just pray I'm hearing right.

Thanks for this very thought-provoking post, Terri.

Warren Baldwin said...

We have a daughter home from college for one week, so this is a good challenge for us to prioritize our time this week. Thanks.

Alleluiabelle said...

Oh we are certainly living within today. After my husband's open-heart surgery in 2006, everything changed from going into the operating room to coming out. We never take anything in life for granted and live absolutely within today. It's a certain MUST!

Love you,
Alleluiabelle

Lin said...

yes death can be a wakeup call unfortunately for some of us. I think often about what I fill my day with in relationship to my priorities.

Tracy said...

Wow, Terri. The frailty to life, and randomness of death, sure has a way of hitting us when we least expect it. What a somber and enlightening experience. For many years now, I've wanted it said when I died, that more than anything, I lived!Bless you, my friend!

Kara said...

My mother-in-law Pat sent me over here to check out your blog, so glad I did! I'm really enjoying reading all your posts.
Your post reminds me how important it is to treasure every moment!

Jessica said...

Oh my goodness. That's so weird and sad!
I've had some stuff like that happen. A guy hubby's age who he used to work with had a heart attack and it's so strange.
I'm sorry to hear about that lady. :-(

Chelle Sandell said...

Oh, wow. We went through this when we found out my mom had cancer. It's very eye-opening. But thank you for the reminder;)

Pat's Place said...

Those quick exits of people from my life always make me stop and take stock of what I am doing. They remind me that I really only have now, this moment, of this day and I try to remember that often when I begin to make long-range plans.

Valerie said...

Death is a jolt... it stops me in my tracks, makes me wonder if I've done everything I should for the one who just left. Sometimes I'm left wishing I'd paid more attention.

skoots1mom said...

bucket list revived ;)

LisaShaw said...

I'm so sorry about Diane and I'm sure you both blessed each other.

I can understand your thoughts. I've faced something a bit similiar in the last two days (not a death) but the potential of a disease within someone I love and it made me begin to look at my life and questions etc came forth. My loved one received news that the results are good and does not have the disease thank GOD but it still gave me pause and has whipped me into a new direction this moment.

Love you and I'm standing with you.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Trying hard friend.

Tonight, I'm feeling the effects of my weary.

peace~elaine

T. Anne said...

Oh dear, I pray she knew Christ. Sorry to hear of your friend. Grasp today with a violent ferver... lesson learned!

Playwright Chick said...

Yes, it's a shock, isn't it? You expect to see someone and then they're gone. Poof! Of course, we all know they're only gone from the physical...but it always a shock to me.

Linda said...

Wow,that would be a shock. We lost three people suddenly in my office over the course of two years. It was an enormous shock each time, and a reminder to take stock of how I am living my life.

Trudy said...

Wow, that's an eye opener for sure! We always have such grand excuses for not getting done all that we want to. What are we waiting for? Thanks for the wake up call!

God Bless!

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

Yes, I've had some "uh-huh" moments like these lately.

Good post.

Dennis said...

This post is really an eye-opener for me. There's a need to prioritize things before it's too late. I told my wife to be more health-conscious and positive-minded.

My wife also befriended a receptionist in our favorite dentist's office. They became close after several visits with our children. She told her about the best services of the dentists Germantown, TN. Because of her, our trust with a Germantown, dentist) became solid. Our kids love going to the dentist too. Thanks for sharing, Terri!