I was sitting at work when I got word that the brother of an old friend of mine had been in a fatal car accident. When you hear these things on the news they never seem to hit home, this was different. I searched for the story online and found myself unable to peel my eyes away from pictures of the wreckage. I stared in shock at the screen for ten minutes with a heavy heart, thoughts racing through my mind, wishing words were strong enough to help ease the sorrow, but knowing words could not possibly numb the pain. I fought back tears as I sat there, unable to imagine what the family was going through, thinking what if I was on the other side of this situation.
My brother and I have not always seen eye to eye (we are 4 years apart). I’m told that when my parents brought him home from the hospital I was not his biggest fan. One day my mother was in the kitchen and saw a toy fly across the room, just missing my brother who was sitting in his baby chair. “Oops, it slipped,” was my response when I realized I had been caught.
We’ve had our fair share of differences over the years… sometimes over the stupidest things, sometimes over me trying to impart some sort of wisdom on my brother in a tone that did not match my intent. He and I have gotten into shouting matches, parted ways on angry terms and gotten over our disputes eventually.
As much as we have argued over the years we have also looked out for each other. I recall when we were little kids my parents had brought us grocery shopping. It was an ugly day out. The rain was coming down fairly heavy. As we finished our shopping and left the store my parents told me to wait with the cart, piled high with bags of food, while they and my brother pulled the car around. When they got to the car they told my brother that they had decided to get rid of me (they were joking of course). They said they had bought all of that food so I wouldn’t be hungry. He seemed puzzled by the situation. I was looking all pathetic standing in the pouring rain with a huge cart of groceries in front of me, unaware that I was being “abandoned.” As they drove up they told my brother to wave goodbye… My brother swung the car door open shouting “Run, Rino! Get in!”
(I have other stories, but that is the one that stands out most to me.)
We all have siblings or close friends (that we see as siblings) that will always have our back; that person who is ready to swing open the door of a passing vehicle and reach out for you. The trouble is you are so close that you eventually find yourselves arguing about something. You part ways angry at one another, knowing that it will pass.
Well, what if that vehicle drives past you while you are standing in the rain one day, except this time that person is not there to swing open the door? What would you have wanted to say? How much would that petty argument weigh down on you?
Never let the little things wedge themselves between you and those closest to you. Next time you are about to take your next step stop and ask yourself, “Would this be the last thing I would have wanted to say? Would this be the last interaction I would want to remember having?” They say, tomorrow is not promised today… Hell, the rest of today isn’t promised today! When our number is called we can’t take a pass. Choose your words wisely and never leave angry.