12 April, 2013


It began with one more piece of FaceBook Flair. I don’t know why I continue to scan the hundreds of these buttons that seem to be created daily by so many who have not nearly enough to do. I guess there is a gem every so often that amuses me or, more rarely, touches me with its accidental wisdom. A far more typical reaction on my part would be to scream silently at the poor grammar and misspellings. Yet, every so often I’ll spend a few minutes clicking through pages of them. (If you are or were a student of mine, please note my behavior is being maintained according to variable-ratio schedule of reinforcement.)

This particular Flair message was “If I were to die tomorrow, what would you say to me today?” Although pleased to see the appropriate use of the subjunctive mood in a subordinate clause expressing action having yet to occur, I was left to wonder when this actual “saying” was to proceed. If it be after I’m gone, it’s going to make only you feel better. If it be before I die and you know my change of venue is imminent, I’m going to wonder why all of the sudden you’re sharing your deepest thoughts about me. And … I’ve never been able to make up my mind about whether I want to know about that particular “when.”

Nevertheless, I understand the message, and it relates to a few of my oldest posts about living in the present. The point is one never knows when the words you offer another will, in fact, be the last words you share with that individual. Given that reality, would it not be best to give those words and sentiments an airing when they could do the most good? For both of you?

My own medical history has been such that on all but one of the several times it was thought that I might not make it, events happened quickly and unexpectedly. After the first of those unfortunately sudden interludes, I resolved to be certain that each of those I cherish and hold dear in my life would be certain that I did, in fact, feel that way. I wanted to touch them and look them in their eyes as I said, “I love you.” I wanted no ambiguity whatsoever.

Had I been the one to create this Flair, I would have written: “If this were your last chance to see me, what would you want me to know?” After all, there are reasons other than death that these opportunities are lost.

Consider who is significant in your life. Touch them. Tell them how you feel about them. Don’t wait for a better time. Live in the present. Seize this moment. Be.