It was about this time last year on February 8, 2018, when I sat with my Dad one evening after dinner, listening to him contemplating his future. He loved his work, probably more than anything, but he was also going to turn 80 in October, and he was thinking about retiring or at least "slowing down".
As he went back and forth struggling with his future, he looked at me and with a twinkle in his eye asked “so, miss life coach, what should I do”?
I laughed with him, and replied, “Dad, that is not how this works. I don’t tell you what to do; I ask you questions so you can discover within yourself, what God’s plans are for you and your future”.
Then I asked him, “if you knew that you only had a month to live, what would you do”? He chuckled and replied, “that is a very good question, I would definitely work less and travel more.” I said, “then Dad, you have your answer.”
I was in San Diego, CA 3 weeks later, visiting my son and his family when around noon on February 26th, I got a call telling me my Dad had fallen on a job site in Miami, FL. I knew immediately; it was bad. He had been taken by ambulance to a trauma hospital and was going in for emergency surgery because of bleeding on the brain.
I booked an overnight flight from California to Miami and arrived early the next morning. My Dad was in a coma for the next six weeks. I sat by his bedside the majority of that time, thinking about his life, our talk and how he never got to “work less and travel more.”
He passed away on April 10th, a little over eight weeks after our conversation and I continue to think about that question in regards to my life and my future. What if I knew I only had a month, or 6 months or 5 years to live? What would I do differently? What would be important to me? Would I work more or less, would I hold on to anger and resentment or forgive quickly? What about my relationship with God? Would I seek him and grow our relationship or question him and his plans for my life?
I have spent a lot of my past 5 years focusing on each day, each conversation, each hug, each text or phone call, realizing it could always be the last. We don't know when our time is up, or for that matter when our friends and loved one could be taken from us. God is the only one who knows the exact date and time of our death.
“A person's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and set limits he cannot exceed” Job 14:5
Even though my Dad's sudden accident and death rocked my world in every way, it has taught me that I am strong and also confirmed that living in the moment is incredibly important. I don't want to miss out. I don't want to end up on my death bed with regrets. We are only given one life, and no one knows when that life will end. I appreciate every visit, every person in my life, every text, hug, and story shared.
The important thing is not the knowledge of when your life will end, but focusing on what you are going to do while you are here. What difference will you make, what life will you touch, what will be important in the end?
So, it's your turn to answer, "what would you do if you knew you only had a month left to live"?