And if tomorrow never comes

“If tomorrow never comes will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day that she’s my only one
And if my time on earth were through and she must face this world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes” sung by Garth Brooks.

It seemed that this was the song playing on every radio station on the day my husband died. For years when and if I heard it played I would immediately be transported back to that dark, awful day and would be close to if not in, tears.  I can now listen without the tears but still, remember that day.  Fast forward 14 years….

And  I have to ask how is it that we recognise other people’s children growing and becoming wise and not our own?  Do we still think of them as “our children” even when they are grown and have children of their own?

Recently I was discussing my late husband with a grandson aged 15.  He said that he hadn’t known Grampa but he knew from his parents and his aunt and uncle that he was a ‘good guy’ and that he would have liked to have known him.

Feeling in a rather playful teasing mood I responded that he wasn’t to be trusted as he had promised to love me forever and this wasn’t forever.  My son rapidly jumped in to tell us both that this was his father’s forever. He had loved me until he died and would continue to love me forever. Well, I can tell you that brought me up very short and in rapid time.  How come this child of mine now knows and sees things that I don’t?  All this time I thought I was the teacher and here he is teaching me.

I have had this thought with me for some 14 years – and yes, at the beginning it was an angry thought that over the years has mellowed to be a thought that I had from time to time.  My son has now put it into perspective.   I have always known that “when the student is ready the teacher will appear” and I know that the teacher can be our special other, friend, peer or as in this case a son.

Although my son doesn’t read my blogs I would like to thank him for this insight.   And I really love this quote from Walter M Schirra Sr.  His son is much more famous having been on all of America’s first three space programs (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo).  But I should like to know more about WMS Snr.

“You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons.
And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out
to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.”
Walter M. Schirra, Sr.



24 responses to “And if tomorrow never comes

  1. A very special teacher. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.


  2. Christine in Los Angeles

    Another lovely post — and what a wise son you have (he gets that from my side of the family!!).
    I can’t believe it’s 14 years.
    God bless, Christine


    • Yes he is a wise and supportive son and has grown into a special man. It doesn’t seem like 14 years but my calendar tells me it is so.
      Thank you big sister for being there for me. 🙂


  3. Before I knew my Mother was terminally ill, she drew my attention to this song – saying how much she loved the words. Less than three months later, when her tomorrows ran out, I realised that she had been giving me lasting affirmation of her love for me, her only child. So, this post is bittersweet, urging me to examine my own responses to my adult ‘children’ and I’d like to thank you for that!


  4. This was so touching in so many respects, but mostly you remind me of how fleeting time is and the minutes of a day are not to be wasted on less important things than each other. Thanks so much for sharing this Judith.


  5. I’m grateful to read the thoughts you wish to share here. That is one wise son you have. Hugs.


  6. What a beautiful lesson from your son. I love when our children speak words of wisdom to us. This post warmed my heart.


  7. Your son is right – I like his response. That song would be hard to listen to after such a loss.


  8. I just spent a weekend with my daughter and she gave me as much advice as I gave her. In fact I often go to her when I am trying to make a decision or dealing with a concern. I think that is why we have children. This was a heart warming post. Thanks for sharing.


  9. “Bearing with you”?
    This is what I felt as a parent. see words that I wanted to say!
    Superbly written. My heart filled with unusual emotions,.

    Parents, in whichever corner of the world , are all same.



  10. Beautiful post. It seems with every passing there is a song I relate to it. And the songs always make me cry. But sometimes it’s good to have permission, so you don’t do it all the time.

    Your son sounds AMAZING!


  11. Isn’t amazing how our children eventually teach us? I look at my daughter (still) and wonder how did that happen.


  12. Pingback: If Today Were Your Last… | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

  13. Pingback: If tomorrow never comes – 2 | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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