One Year Later…
We’ve all heard people say the phrase, “one day, I’m going to….” I myself am very guilty of saying this. But let’s be real…we don’t know if we will have “one day.”
This is something that hit me really hard one year ago today. While at work, I received a frantic call from my sister telling me that our 26 year old cousin had died. There is no way to describe the feelings and emotions my family and I experienced over that next week as we grieved my cousins death.
The night before his funeral, in the midst of lots or tears, the thought crossed my mind that we all say that one day we’re going to do things or go places. Unfortunately, the reality is some of us may not make it to the infamous “one day.” I’m sure my cousin had a lot of things he was going to do "one day” and now he will never have that chance. This absolutely wreaked me to my core.
There are a lot of things about me that changed the day my cousin died. Honestly my entire outlook on life changed. Going through this was and still is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. There is no amount of money or personal possession or vacation or even my own wedding festivities that I wouldn’t give up to have him back for just one more day.
"One year ago,
you did not know today.
You did not know how
you'd make it here.
But you made it here.
By grace, you made it here."
~ Morgan Harper Nichols
Now, I don’t say all of this to make you sad or make you feel sorry for me. I say this because I want you to live you life like you may not have “one day.” Book the trip. Have lunch with that friend. Buy that person that gift they always wanted. Hug your family even if you don’t like hugs.
For years my now husband said that he wanted a Shinola watch. Shinola watches are made right in downtown Detroit and are well made, classic designed watches. I kept saying that, “one day I am going to get you a Shinola watch.” It was my intention to get him a watch as a wedding gift. I was going to give it to him the morning of our wedding with a card that said “don’t be late!” Cute, right? This plan changed the night before my cousins funeral. I knew that I needed to give my then fiancé the Shinola watch early. I knew that we had no promise of having “one day” and I did not want to risk not getting to give that to him.
He had no idea that I had already purchased the watch while he was out of town over that summer. Needless to say, he was surprised and says that it means more to him now because of the reasons I gave it to him five months early.
Now I know that a watch is a trivial thing in the grand scheme of life, but to us it means a lot. That watch not only represents the fact that I worked very hard to pay off all my debt so I could afford to buy him that, but it also represents that we don’t know if we will have “one day” and that we need to live out everyday of our lives like it may be our last.
Now this new outlook on life does need to be taken reasonably. I am in no way saying to spend all your money just in case you die tomorrow. That would not be smart. But what I am saying is actually make the plans to accomplish the things you want and actually put them into motion. You want to go to Europe? Start making plans and saving up the money for it. You want to have dinner with all of your college friends? Put it on the calendar even if that means its a month from now. You want to flip houses one day? Get your real estate license and get into the housing industry. Just do whatever that thing is before it’t too late.
Since losing my cousin a year ago, I have tried to follow my dreams harder, show love more openly, let the small unimportant things go, and stop saying “one day” to things and people I care about most while I still have them on this side of eternity. I hope to never let these things stop.
And when my cousin Austin and I do get to meet again, I am going to thank him for the gift he has given me. The gift of knowing how precious everyday I have on this earth is and how important it really is to show love to everyone I can before my time here is up too.