Vowing to quit procrastinating during 2018 is not one of my resolutions.
By this time most of those who resolved to; lose weight, exercise, or save more money have already returned to kettle chips and the couch while buying a new 110 inch TV for the Super Bowl.
I, on the other hand have just started to make changes for the year, already 16 days old.
For the New Year of 2018 I resolve not to attend any funerals.
This past year I was at seven. Most had suffered long illnesses or were elderly, one a good friend, was killed in a car accident and yet another, a young woman, murdered.
That’s just in our immediate and extended family. There were others, retired co-workers whose services I did not attend.
These were just a few of the 56 million around the world who died last year.
155,000 people woke up every day, not knowing it would be their last.
Every second there were two people who didn’t live to see the next.
Regardless of the circumstances, these were loved ones who will never again sit at the table with us, laugh or hold our hands.
Beginning with our first breath, every tick of the clock is another second less that we have on this earth and no one knows just how many ticks we get.
Why then do we waste so much of our precious time in desperation?
Worry, fear and resentment only chew up what’s left on our personal game clocks.
When I was young death seemed to be something that only happened to old people, long removed from my immediate perspective.
As I grew older car accidents and war took enough of my friends, to remind me that it is not just the passing of one generation but something that can and does happen to anyone at any time.
But still, it was someone else. It couldn’t happen to me.
As I have aged though, thoughts of the end of my time on earth reach through my consciousness more often. When it’s very late and quiet.
Tick, tick, tick.
If we only knew just how many days, minutes and seconds we had, we might try to be a little less preoccupied with things that don’t really matter and a little more with those that do.
A little less with judgment and a little more about compassion.
A little more about involvement and a little less with blind acceptance, or worse yet-indifference.
A little more about using the talents and resources we have and less worry over those we don’t.
A little more about forgiveness.
I resolve to appreciate the days, the sunrise over a fog covered lake. Sunsets and storms.
Sparkling sunlight on fresh snow, grateful for the chance to witness beauty through frosted breath.
Father Jim Feely spoke in a recent homily, about seeing hospice patients and counseling family members about a way to say good bye.
He suggested the following:
Be grateful. Thank the person for the many things they have done. For being who they are.
Ask for forgiveness. Just in case.
Forgive them. Just in case.
“I love you.”
He went on to suggest we do the same for the living.
Maybe without the “goodbye” part.
For, who knows if this moment might be our last chance.
Tick, tick, tick.