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What If You Knew Today Would Be The Last Day You Would Ever See Your Child?

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Walker and Sally May 2, 2009 
I’m venturing away from my normal interior design related posts today to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart.  It’s not a subject that any mother wants to think about, but “what if today was the last day you would ever get to see your child face to face”?  Unthinkable, right?  Well, four years ago, on this Saturday, our family was happily preparing for my niece, CharlesAnna’s wedding.  I started the day around 6 am  by rushing over to the tents being dressed on the grounds of my childhood home in preparation for the big event.  It was a long, hot day but we worked with excitement to get everything done.  Our big family weddings are always so much fun.  I grew up in a large family so family gatherings are part of my DNA. 
My son Walker and his girlfriend Sally were driving in from Auburn for the big event.  They arrived at my mom’s, while I was over at the tents working.  It was a crazy busy day for me.  I left the tents after getting everything just the way it was suppose to be and ran over to my mom’s to dress for the wedding.  I only had 15 mins. to shower, dress, fix hair and drive to the church in time to sit with the family before the ceremony.  When I arrived at Mom’s, Walker and Sally were there waiting for me.  It was my first time meeting Sally.  I quickly exchanges pleasantries and scrambled to dress.  We all flew to the church and were seated seconds before the trumpeter sounded and the mother’s enter the ceremony.  The wedding went off without a hitch and before we knew it we were all back at the tents, where I had spent the day working. I have to admit by that point, I was too tired to be very engaging, but wanted to visit and thank our friends who had driven to be part of the event.  Walker and Sally were sitting at a table behind me.  I never went and sat with them.  My plans were to visit with them once the wedding was over at mom’s later that night.  What I didn’t know was that their plans were  to leave that night and drive to our beach house.   I was sitting with friends chatting and Walker walked up and said we are leaving.  I said what?  He said I spilled cocktail sauce on my tux shirt and we are leaving.  I said, “well, I’ll see you back at mom’s and he said, “no we are leaving and going to the beach house”.   I said what?  I didn’t get to even visit with you and Sally.  He said well, “Mom, you are just too busy”.   Those words still sting to this day.  I hear them all the time ringing in my ears.  Lately, when I have been so busy with the show house, clients, travel, market and all the other things that I have been involved in, I hear those words.  So that is legacy that my son left to me the week before Mother’s Day.  The last time I ever saw him face to face.  “Mom, your are too busy”.
If you knew today was the last day to see someone you love, what would your day look like? I’ll bet we would all make different choices, wouldn’t we?  Don’t do what I did, and miss the chance to seize the moment.  You never get the chance to go back and make things right.  If we could, do you know what I would have done?  Instead of talking to friends that night or worrying about the candles that wouldn’t light or cleaning off tables for guests that weren’t getting cleared fast enough for my liking, I would have gone and sat with my son and asked him about his week, taken the chance to get to know his sweet girlfriend and lapped up every word that came out of his mouth.  I would have looked in his eyes and tried to memorize every feature on his face.  
Today, I am “not going to be busy”  Instead, I am going to spend quality time with my family.  I will think about Walker and all the happiness he brought to my life.  I will cherish the memories because that is what I have left.  If you have lost a child or loved one, you know what I’m talking about.  But my friend, if you still have your beautiful child, make sure you take today to stare in their eyes or listen to their voice.  It is a true gift from God and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
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