Recently I was talking to an older couple me and my husband know, the husband of which had taught him many things about organic farming where we used to live and let us use a portion of his acreage for our own garden (since we lived in a small apartment at the time). He had an extensive one of his own as well and shared a lot of the fruit from his trees and gallon sized bags or whatever we could pick of organic blueberries that we’d eat like popcorn. His wife was a sweetheart too. It was at their house I saw hummingbirds for the first time in real life, we have quite a few fond memories with the two of them.
A couple of years ago she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and decided to go the more medical route. She fought and kept everyone updated and kept her spirits up for so long, but all the treatments they put her through and trials of new this and that did not work in the end. She had gotten to the point where hospice was coming to the house to help keep her comfortable since Christmas. I’d talked to her a few times on the phone and via email.
Taking a trip soon to the area, I called and left a message that I wanted to stop by while there and bring dessert or something, to see them even if they couldn’t leave the house. He warned me that she was in and out, but said that would be fine if we came by, would love to see us.
One day I really felt the urge to write her a letter/card just to share some love with her. I know the computer bothers her so figured a physical card would be better. Something distracted me, that day got away from me. The next day too. Then I rationalized, well, we’ll be there shortly-it’s ok, I’ll just talk to her then.
When I called to finalize a day with them this Thursday and asked how they were doing, his response was, “Well….not too good. She was in pain for a long time now, and she let go, she passed away on Tuesday.” Damn. That happened much sooner than I thought given the amount of time she’d already been hanging on.
I thought about it, and realized had I written and sent the letter out, she likely would’ve gotten it the day before or the day of her passing away. I’m glad that she’s not in pain anymore, a part of me is glad that I can just remember her the way she was when she was healthy, but I wish I’d sent the damn card. Who knows what I would’ve been inspired to write, but maybe it would’ve been nice for her to hear and comforted her in some way on her way out of this short life.
My mentors have told me you have 5 seconds. Five seconds when a thought comes to your mind, to act on it or make a move towards it, or say what you want to say…five seconds before you or your environment will talk you out of it. How many thoughts have we had but let go of because we didn’t immediately act on the thought?
If I had hopped up at that moment to grab a card and written Dear….., I guarantee I woulda finished it, stamped it and dropped it in the mail. However, because other thoughts came to mind, or my kids asked for something, or I was tired, or this or that, 5 seconds were allowed to pass…and then it didn’t happen. After five seconds, it’s usually over.
You’re single and you catch the eye of a fun loveable looking sort at the bar…you have five seconds to make your foot walk forward, smile, nod or introduce yourself.
You notice the new mother home who is overwhelmed and could probably use a meal…you have five seconds to write a shopping list to prep one or send her a note saying you’ll bring one by before you think of all the other “things” and don’t get to it.
You need to go to the gym to workout or pop in a DVD to work out, you have five seconds to make a move towards doing it before you snuggle more into the couch or decide to tackle the dishes instead.
You have 5 seconds to make your decisions into choices into reality.
___________________________________what did you do?