Live and love like there’s no tomorrow

Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s February 2017 issue. Never miss an issue, check out SFM’s digital editions, here

by Rebecca Stewart

There’s a basic truth we’re all aware of at some level: None of our tomorrows are promised us. Each day we have with each other – even if it doesn’t always feel like it – is a gift. I’d like to think that’s more truth than cliché. Another truth, though, is that we don’t always live as if we were given the gift of that knowledge. Sure, at times we might, following a tragedy or an unexpected loss of someone outside of our inner circle that jolts us, but soon enough life carries on and we move forward without that awareness casting a shadow over us.

Maybe because we have to?

In February, showing our love and affection is at the forefront thanks to Valentine’s Day. Some people love this particular holiday while others despise it. Others still wonder why we need a day to show our love, why aren’t we living out Valentine’s Day every day?

Could that be the key? Not a series of grand gestures, but living our love for each other more consciously? Making the phone calls. Dropping by for a visit. Leaving notes of love and encouragement beyond what goes in the lunch boxes. Actively working to speak our loved ones’ love languages. The list could go on forever, couldn’t it?

One could argue that if we were to live our lives as if there were no guaranteed tomorrows, even that would fall into habit and monotony. But maybe it’s more about allowing that awareness, that truth to hold an ongoing presence in our lives, to embrace that gift of knowledge. It’s why my sister doesn’t let her children part on harsh words. It’s why my family and I always say “I love you” and give each other hugs before we leave each other. You just never know…

Moving forward, let’s not hide parts of our hearts away, let us go all in, living our relationships with this question in mind:

If you knew the number of days you had with someone, what would you do with that time?

Would you, as Tim McGraw sang about in his hit song, Live Like You Were Dying, love deeper, speak sweeter, give forgiveness you’ve been denying; be the spouse most of the time you aren’t, be a friend a friend would like to have?