It is Easter Sunday. Do we know the significance of this day? He is risen! The stone was rolled away. Jesus is alive! Remember that the same power that snatched Him from the grave, today lives in you and me. Our faith gives us hope.
What is on your agenda? Do you do chocolate bunnies and a hunt for colored eggs?
Are we still reeling from the euphoria of Pacman’s victory? That was a stunning fight, wasn’t it? I don’t enjoy watching blood, sweat and spit in living color, but I thoroughly loved seeing our champion vindicate himself.
I don’t know about you, but I was annoyed (read that “pikon”) at Bradley’s antics. He did show a humble side, though, after the fight, and so I got over my irritation very quickly. Winning makes me quite magnanimous.
Last Sunday, Manny Pacquiao made us all believers again. Amazing, isn’t it? We call ourselves devout Christians and are on our knees in humble prayer one minute, but within the hour we are spewing murderous invectives, urging our favorite to go for the kill. Shouldn’t we repent?
Of course, as expected, all over social media we see video, photos and comments about Mommy Dionisia and her voodoo-like gestures, beamed live from Las Vegas. Give her a break, folks. It’s hard being a stage mother. Some of us worry if teeth are brushed and pants are zipped. She fears for the life of her son. I can’t imagine anything worse than that. Cut her some slack.
The other day on Facebook, I saw the picture of a bench on a grassy bluff overlooking an ocean with white-capped waves breaking on a deserted shore. There was a question below this picture of peace and tranquility: “If you could sit on this bench and chat for one hour with anyone from the past or present, who would it be?”
What a question. How bittersweet are the thoughts that rush in to fill that part of the brain that has been taught to empty itself of regrets and sad memories.
There were varied replies. Some mentioned a famous person; another one said, “My best friend from high school.” Others want to chat with brothers and sisters long gone. But the majority wrote “my dad” or “my mom.”
Without a second thought, I would love to sit and chat with Papa or Mama. Where would I begin? My heart asks, what would we talk about after all these years? Would I show them pictures of my great grandchildren (their great-great)? Would Papa notice that the latest one looks like him?
Would they be proud when I tell them that my grandson, whom Papa called “perpetual motion,” is now married and just bought his own home? That his little brother works for Google? That the one who fussed a lot as a baby is now an animator for a hit Hasbro television series? And that the 18-year-old is a pro golfer?
Do they know that their third great granddaughter is a wonderful teacher and runs her own school? I could go on and on.
But they know all that, don’t they? They know everything that has happened here on earth, right?
Maybe I will ask them to tell me about heaven. What is Jesus like? Do they have new bodies? I probably look older than my parents. There’s a thought!
And in that rushed conversation, will it be too late to tell them how sorry I am for all the stupid things I did that broke their hearts? That would take more than an hour. I know I would cry a lot. Would they? Still? How could I have been so dumb and insensitive?
But we are all the same for the most part. We are so wrapped up in ourselves that we miss the opportunities to express our hearts. Why are we so stupid?
Whoever we are with, parent, son, daughter or friend, each minute is precious. When we are young we think that we will never run out of those special moments. In fact, we expect, as if we deserved it, even better, bigger unforgettable ones, and so we hold back our love and get stingy with our gratitude. Result? We miss it, big time.
And when it is gone we pray, “Do it again, God!” Why do we learn, alas too late, that we could have (should have) grabbed it with both hands?
In the words of Benjamin Franklin: “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
Life does not have instant replay. We cannot copy/paste time gone by. We can’t set up the same scenery again for another take.
Once I asked a friend what her biggest dream was for her children. Quietly she said, “That they don’t have as many regrets as I have. I want them to one day be able to look back on their lives and be happy and proud.”
I can relate to this wistful mother. But one can only wish.
Let me paraphrase what Shannon L. Adler, author and therapist who spent 17 years with people at the end of their lives, wrote about their regrets.
Many wished for the courage “to live life true to oneself” and not according to what others expected of them; that they had made time to be with their children when they were growing up; stayed in touch with friends and family; that they had forgiven someone when they had the chance, and told the people they loved the most how important they were to them.