Many years ago, I quit making New Year’s Resolutions. I never kept them, and all I did was end up angry at myself. For the year 2014, again I didn’t make any resolutions: except this one thing I was going to do—I was going to go to my mama’s house and spend as long as she needed to help her get her paperwork in order.
I had been watching my husband working to get his mother’s papers in order, and her information was pretty much straight. Reba has already planned her funeral, written her obituary, picked out her funeral clothes, has her headstone ready to go; yet it still took several days for Dave to get all that paper in some sort of system so that he could grab it quickly if needed.
I had no idea where anything of my mother’s was located. As her power of attorney and executor of her estate, I found that inexcusable. I determined to fix that—to put all those papers in one spot so that I could find them quickly. I knew she and her husband didn’t have burial plots. That was something we’d have to work on in 2014. Mama’s health had been bad for many years, and her husband wasn’t doing too well, either. I paid their bills for them, so I knew they had life insurance. Other than that, I knew nothing.
It wasn’t that I intended to put it off so long. It just happened that way. Month after month of not setting aside that one day to do the one thing she’d asked me to do. So in December I told my mother that I was for sure going to come over one Saturday in January and help her go through all her papers and clean out and organize.
Now, here I sat in early February, cleaning out those drawers and files by myself. My mama was gone; diagnosed with cancer on a late Thursday evening and gone by Sunday. In truth, she’d been too sick to even have me come over for most of January. Somehow, though, that didn’t comfort me. I’d taken too long. And it was such a small thing she’d asked—one Saturday.
What resolutions did you make for 2014? Did you decide you’d read your Bible from cover to cover this year? That’s a good resolution. Did you decide to lose weight? Another good one.
How about your family? Did you resolve to spend more time, be more patient, be more available, say “I love you” more often?
The moral of the story is this—you may miss a day in your Bible reading, but you can catch that up (and you should). You may blow that diet for a day or two, but you can get right back to that. That other stuff—that family stuff—don’t miss a minute of that. Sure, it takes effort, and sometimes you have to shuffle your schedule all around to get it done. Yet the benefits you will experience from keeping those family resolutions—that human interaction—will reap lasting and satisfying results. And it will minimize future regret and guilt, because you don’t get those lost minutes back.
Don’t wait until you have to go through those papers alone. Don’t waste moments on inane activities that take up your days, those “important” things you feel you simply must get done. Nothing is more important than keeping the resolutions you make concerning your family. And nothing is more rewarding.
I know the feeling of disappointment when the resolutions go unfulfilled. I too stopped making New Years resolutions a couple of years ago because of the disappointment and I don’t like not getting things done. This year is very different for me. In our small group at church, we did something called “one word.” We each prayed for God to lead us to one area where we need to focus, and provide us with one word, scripture, and even have a song that we can lean into. It’s an area where we need to focus (now, and can change late in we feel led to something new) and surrounds so many needs in our lives. It has been an amazing experience so far! Chris and I did it together, and others chose to do it seperate from their spouse, but our word is Surrender! It is a reminder to daily give it ALL to God because there is nothing too big or small for Him. A daily reminder that we have no control and must choose to rely on Him in all things. This was especially helpful for me when Mammaw passed away as I wanted to be there and was actually willing to take some pretty risky chances to make it out there, but after lots of prayer and truly surrendering it to God I was able to see the situation more clearly.
I am sad it had been so long since we saw Mammaw and that she didn’t get a chance to meet Davis, but also realize she was so sick for so long, and our planned trips always were delayed until she felt better next time. I had planned to go surprise her (so she couldn’t say no) in May. Missed chances or oppurtnities are so difficult, but they happen. I am forever grateful and looking forward to one day spending eternity with her! I rejoice in knowing she is no longer in pain and can once again do all the things she enjoyed in life!
We Love you Claudette and pray for peace!