In the last week I’ve been looking back through the journal I have kept since Arthur died, on the 9th of February of this year. This passage from March 2 jumped out at me:
Last night I had a wonderful dream full of portent. There was a gathering of young people, like some kind of church service, and I was going to speak. During the service for some reason I walked down the hall and found a room filled with old and ill men. A small, crippled man was down on the floor and couldn’t get up, and I tenderly helped him to his feet. One of the men was holding a baby and asked me to take it. A person came along and said I wasn’t really supposed to be there, and it was time for me to speak anyway.On my way to the lectern I handed the baby to someone (and hugged my niece Gwen, who was wearing a pretty white dress). Then I started to speak, about loss. I talked about how we take someone or thing for granted, and forget to tell them we love them, or learn more about them, or just fully enjoy who or what they are. Then one day they are gone and so much of our feeling of loss comes from the realization that while they were with us we thought we always had tomorrow to fully pay attention to them. Tomorrow is a mirage. Love what you have today. Pay attention, say I love you, ask questions. You may never get another chance.