This is a plea from me to you... cherish the time you spend with those you love.
Yesterday, as I was getting ready to go to my Mom's for a Thanksgiving lunch she was having for my Aunt and me (yes, I know it's American Thanksgiving and that ours was last month, but it's ok to give thanks any time, isn't it?)... as I was saying, while getting ready to leave something occurred to me: I really take all this for granted. It didn't seem like such a big deal to me, spending Saturday afternoon with my Mom and my Aunt; it didn't, that is, until it hit me that there may just be more times spent with them behind me than those still to happen.
As we sat at the kitchen table, long after lunch was over, I consciously immersed myself in the moment. I listened to the intonation in my Aunt's voice, saying things the way only she can say them; I noticed the expressions they used, things I remembered hearing their aunts & uncles say; I watched the charming way my Mom sometimes covers her mouth when she laughs, which reminds me so much of my beloved Grandmother; and I held in my heart the obvious love passing between the three of us. It didn't matter what time it was, we just talked and talked as if that was all there was to do, and it was so wonderful. I came away from there feeling whole and refreshed, and realizing that I had once again learned things about my family that I had never known (like the fact that my Grandfather's favourite saint was St-Francis of Assisi, who has also always been my favourite saint!)
It is so easy to take these wonderful moments together for granted and expect that they will always happen. People who have been in our lives forever - family members, dear, close friends - are the people we most need to be consciously thankful for because they are the ones who have helped shape us into who we are. And they are the people we will miss the most once they're gone.
It is so important to realize that time spent with loved ones is precious and that we should cherish every moment we spend together.