Last Friday morning I made a long distance call to my mum. It was her 84th birthday. Even though I shouted so loud that I woke my daughter up upstairs, mum still could hardly hear me. Instead she kept telling me not to worry about her.
I can do that. I am a firm believer, no news is good news. I do not panic when for a while I haven’t heard from my other family across the miles. I may have wondered how everybody is doing, checked to see if anyone is on Skype. But I never stop to pick up the phone, or drop them a line. We carry on with our lives. Soon enough a snapshot of their reunion dinner will land on my inbox. They are all smiles and doing just fine. So am I.
That is how it is. That is life. Don’t we all know it is short and uncertain? We have no idea what comes round the corner. Sometimes we wonder. Sometimes we fret. But life is so busy we don’t have time to think twice. It is easier to just take whatever is being thrown at us and let the days go by.
Until something stops us in our tracks to remind us.
Like the tragic event of last Monday. The images of the disastrous fatal crash of two passenger boats in Hong Kong were on BBC. Normally I get news from ‘home’ online, they seldom reach my TV screen. When they do, no news is good news. Heavy heartedly we lament the lost lives. We cannot fathom the sorrow facing the distraught surviving families. In sympathy we light a candle and hold a 3 minute silence. Also we realise and remember, once again, to eagerly remind each other not to take things for granted. Not to take each other for granted. Sometimes there might not be another chance. To say ‘I love you’. To say ‘I am sorry’.
I am sorry. This is not a lesson we are going to learn. Gradually life will be falling back in line. Not many of us remember to make the effort we promised ourselves. Sadly, the realisation has to wait, until next time.
Or, do we want to make a change now?
My husband’s siblings got back in constant touch these last two decades. They are in the four corners of the world, each with a family to raise. They now arrange reunions every other year. They hold a Sunday conference call on Skype, despite the time difference. They give each other an hour or two a week, to talk about the weather, share recipes, have a laugh, and just chat away.
We all have someone we love. It takes a couple of minutes to show we care. Give a hug, or a pat on the shoulder. Call, text or email.
It’s easy to make excuses, but someday we might not even have the chance to. Your call.