A long time ago, I bought one of those record a story books at the grocery store. It’s simply called “If“. It’s been sitting on a shelf in my closet for a long time. I bought it to record myself reading a story for the boys for times when I might be out-of-town or just out for the night. I saw it yesterday and decided to record it. Right then, right there.
Have you ever had one of those moments?
A moment that you felt compelled to do something right then, and didn’t know why. It was one of those. So I picked it up, read the directions and started recording.
I wasn’t at all prepared for the emotions that flooded me next.
I wish I was there. I wish I was with you. I want to play the games we play and do the things we do.
Think really hard, and imagine I’m there. Imagine I’m holding your hand. Imagine I’m stroking your hair.
Imagine I’m doing the things I really wish I could.
If I was there I would…
It goes on to detail all the things we would do, if I was there, like hug, smile, laugh, dance, sing and say I love you.
I could hardly get through it. Here I am trying to make this comforting little gift for my boys and my voice is cracking. No, I’m crying like a baby, imagining them reading it on a day I couldn’t be there.
It made me stop and really think about what I’m doing while I am here. Are we doing all of those things enough?
What if I’m not here tomorrow?
What will they remember?
What will I leave behind?
I hope somehow, in this journey I’m pursuing, I’m leaving love behind.
Leaving more love for my husband, for my kids, my sisters, my parents, my friends and for you. Like a little trail that leads to more hope and meaning and life. Because when I stop to think about it, that’s what I’d really want to be doing if I was there.
I’m a bit of a control freak as a mother. I try to always be there. I want to know exactly what’s going on at all times. Like exactly how many pistachios they ate out of the lunch box or who they played with at recess and what was said. It’s a ridiculous, I know. I’m working on easing up. Promise.
But it’s a question we try to avoid like the plaque for some reason. What If I wasn’t here tomorrow?
It reminds us of our mortality. Of the truth that tomorrow isn’t a promise for any of us. It’s the whisper we try to ignore, You might not always be there.
What would you want to be doing if you were there?
What if you’re not here tomorrow?
What will they remember?
What will you leave behind?