If Today Were Your Last…

If today were your last, would you do what you’re doing?
Or would you love more, give more, forgive more? Then do so! Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity.
Love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again. – Max Lucado

That’s one of my favourite Max Lucado quotations.  I first discovered this guy when my life coach – Cari Vollmer in Minneapolis – sent me my often used quote about the sunrise taking away your breath.  I used it yesterday.   I have thanked Cari for the introduction and find a use for one of his quotes more and more.

So to answer the question posed by Max – what would you do?  Some of us blogged about the end of the world as foreseen by the Mayans, which apparently was to happen on 21 December.  However, one thing that worried me about that was that 21 December comes to us in New Zealand well before it comes to my sister in London or my sister in Los Angeles.  So who’s 21 December was it to be?

In an earlier post I told of how tomorrow didn’t come for my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman).  In the early hours of one miserable April day, he quietly slipped away from us and tomorrow never came again for him.

But I digress.  If this is to be my last day on this earth I would:

  • Immediately call each of my sisters and tell them how much I love them and how grateful and lucky I am to have had them in my life
  • I would visit my son, daughter-in-law and grandsons, and my daughter, son-in-law and grandsons and tell them too how lucky I have been to have had them in my life and to have been a part of theirs.  I would tell my daughter and son how proud I am of them and how proud their father would have been of the people they have become
  • I would then call those special friends, some of whom I haven’t contacted for a time and make them aware of the fact that I appreciate them
  • I would call the one or two people with whom I have fallen out, or with whom I have had difficulties to tell them that I am sorry the problem/challenge/difficulty has not been ironed out before now
  • I would of course, tidy my house so that whoever had the job of dealing with it after I have gone would find it in order.  Isn’t that a typical comment from a woman.
  • And oh, I would make sure that my wishes for a funeral are set out succinctly and clearly for my children so that they are not faced with the problems we had when their father died so suddenly.
  • And then I would call my family and friends who live near and have a party.  It’s all very well for there to be a ‘celebration’ of my life after I am gone, but I like a party too and would hate to miss out.

So what will I do?  It’s 10.15pm here and a little late to be calling my friends in NZ and as my calls to my sisters never last for less than an hour, I wont call them tonight.  But  tomorrow I shall make those calls, not only to friends but also to those one or two people to whom I have become estranged.  My wishes for my funeral are written and filed away and my children know where to find the file; rubber gloving will happen in this house tomorrow so that it is clean and tidy once again (and the ironing will be done, my number one hate).

And in a little while I shall have a party.

So what would you do?

Rainbow

My rainbow

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18 responses to “If Today Were Your Last…

  1. We always think there’s going to be a tomorrow – but you are right. We should let everyone know we love them all the time, and definitely keep our affairs in order and the funeral arrangements sorted. Thanks for the reminder, Judy!

  2. I have been thinking about death today as it was one year ago today that my niece died of cancer at age 58. It it such a reminder to live every day! My list would be long but from a practical standpoint I would have to get those final arrangements in order. To echo catterel, thanks for the reminder.

  3. Thats lovely Judith and yes I love you and Christine to bits. We never know what .will happen tomorrow. I feel that knowing you are going to die as Sheila did must be very upsetting. I personally would not to know or my family to know. I’m a coward.

  4. Thanks Marianne. Yes it would be scary to know that you are going to die but each week I see people at the hospice coping with this and coping very well mostly.

  5. A simple meal with family

  6. Your list covers all the important things, I think. What a blessing to have those final decisions made so your family doesn’t have to make them during a time of duress. I like your idea of not missing the party–can’t think of a better way to leave everyone with good memories. I shall hope to tidy things up a bit and get rid of junk so our daughter doesn’t have to sort through it.

    • Of course we (read my children) were overwhelmed with having to make decisions about funeral etc when their Father died. I don’t want them to go through that again. And I really believe that if I am diagnosed with a terminal illness I shall have a party – why should they have all the fun without me. 🙂

  7. This is why we need to tell our loved ones we love them every day, because you never know. I never hang up the phone without saying I love you to friends and family. I must say if it was my last day I would not waste it on housework. I would however have a party!

    • Hi Darlene – I think the tidying of the house is shades of my Mother. She would never go out unless all was spik and span in case she didn’t come home. But a party that’s how I want my family and friends to remember me. 🙂

  8. I’ll spend a little time, thinking deeply about your question, Judith. This is a very timely post for me ~ who knows if any of us will be granted a tomorrow and there are loose ends I have to tie up, just in case. How to do it, when the person I most need to contact at this time is refusing to answer/accept any form if communication from me? The quote puts petty squabbles in perspective ~ I’ve written it in my quote book and will research Max Lucado, as I’ve never heard of him. Thank you 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment Jacqueline. As we all know tomorrow may never come and so I am aware of the few loose ends that still need to by tidied. The dilemma you have with your acquaintance is very hard on you. One of my clients had the same problem and I suggested that she send a very short note suggesting that she make a phone call on a certain day if the recipient indicated that it would be acceptable. The first note was ignored. So she wrote again the next week with the same result. But by the third week the recipient of the notecard wrote back that she would accept a telephone call. I don’t know if this would work for you but perhaps it is worth a try. I am thinking of you and hoping that it will work.
      As for Max Lucado – he is is a best-selling author and writer. He is a preacher at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. Apparently he has published more than 100 books.
      Take care and have a Happy New Year. Cherish your Martin who knows how long you will have him.

  9. I did this exercise a few years ago (on a cold winter’s day) and decided that I would fly to Florida and spend my last day on the beach, inviting family and friends to join us:

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/palm-trees-capris/

    Writing about how I would spend my last 24 hours inspired us to head to Florida for vacation that winter. And our dream vacation inspired us to make permanent changes and create the life of our dreams.

    We MOVED to Florida. 😎

    Why wait? Life is not a dress rehearsal. Quit practicing what you’re going to do, and just do it. In one bold stroke, you can transform today. ~ Phillip Markins

    • I am so glad that you made the move Nancy and it seems that you are both happy there:) That quote from Phillip Markins is so on the board. And I loved reading about your day trip to Florida. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  10. I echo Patti. Your list includes all the important things. By the way, when we were living in San Antonio, Max Lucado was a local minister. I heard him preach once as a guest preacher at our church. That was before he became so famous, but he was very well known in our city at that time. I have his study Bible.

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