She lived halfway across the country, but that didn't matter.
Every Christmas, she sent us grandchildren Christmas cards saying "I love you". She wrapped little gifts by hand and carefully printed our names, tiny trembles in each letter. Although I was just one of many grandchildren -- she always remembered me.
Every birthday, she sent me a birthday card saying "I love you". As a kid, I had to learn the hard cold fact that most people will forget my birthday since it falls between Christmas and New Year. But every year without fail -- she always remembered me.
Sometimes, she would randomly send a postcard or note -- just to say "I love you". Even on ordinary days during the year -- she remembered me.
She did so much for me, but I did so little for her. I didn't call when I should have. I didn't send her cards. I didn't even know when her birthday was.
The last time we talked on the phone, she asked me to come visit her. Remembering my busy work schedule and the amount of time and effort a trip halfway across the country would take, I replied, "I'd love to -- but I'll need to get some time off work ... "
I never made that visit.
She passed away Monday night, with all of her beloved children at her bedside.
I'll be boarding a plane tomorrow morning to make the visit that I wish I had made many months ago.
Although I knew she was in the hospital for the past few weeks, I didn't call or write. Even after I heard she took a turn for the worse, I still didn't call or write. I never took the time or effort to reach out to her.
The one thing I can't get out of my head:
So if you have a friend or family member that you've been putting off calling or visiting -- don't put it off any longer. Take the time and effort. Make that call today, and make that visit today. Let them know you love them ... let them know you remember them. Just let them know.