I was in the kitchen cooking and instead of the TV being on the Hallmark Channel, where I have been watching Christmas movies since Thanksgiving week, it was on TBS, the classic movie channel. I wasn’t paying much attention to what was playing but suddenly a phrase caught my attention and clutched at my heart. I turned around to see what was going on, it was a dad talking to his son about dying and he made that statement, “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”
The backstory on why that stopped me in the midst of pressuring chicken and cooking meat for tacos is this: One day, about three years ago I think, I went into my parents room to take some things and as usual I was in a hurry. My daddy said, “Haro, sit with us for a while and talk to me.” I stopped and looked at him leaning forward in his recliner looking up at me and said, “Daddy I would love to but I need to go back downstairs right now.” He smiled and looked up at me and said, “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”
I can’t tell you the times I have heard that phrase in my head and every time I have I do exactly what I am doing this minute as I write, I cry. I look back and try to remember what was so pressing that I couldn’t stop and sit for a few minutes when it seemed so important to him and for the life of me I don’t know what it was, it couldn’t have been that important. There is nothing I can do to bring that moment back and change it, so why dwell on it or let it niggle at my mind? I think the importance of remembering things that we have done that we aren’t happy about is so that, knowing that we cannot change the past, realize that we can change our future. We used to sing a song that said, “Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow never comes, what will you do my friend with your today?”
As you think about what your New Year’s resolutions will be, think about what you can do to improve your life this coming year. It’s not that one day, December 31, 2016 into January 1, 2017 makes any more difference than yesterday did to today, but it is a marker, a starting point, like day one after your birthday starts the beginning of a new year for you. There is no startling revelation, no bells or whistles but it is a new day, and a new year for real, a time for us to make some realizations about our lives and what it is that we want from it, what we want to give to it.
While there’s time to make a change do it so that today won’t be the yesterday you regret tomorrow.