Two cousins were sitting quietly in a pew waiting for the service to begin. One of them said to the other, “How are doing?” Her older cousin answered, “As well as I can.” After a pause, her cousin said to her that he experienced an eyeopening event a few days after his wife of 48 years died. He said that as he was getting her clothes together to take to the funeral home, he opened his wife’s lingerie drawer and spotted a box wrapped in silk paper. He couldn’t remember any place where he saw her buy such an item wrapped in silk paper.

So out of curiosity, he slowly unwrapped the box carefully staring at both the silk paper and the pretty box. When he opened the box, inside was a beautifully embroidered brassier and panties made in France. He didn’t know what to think. Perhaps she was saving it for some special occasion. He put the cover back on the box and placed it on the bed next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral home. Then all of a sudden he remembered, she bought it in France where they went to celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary – eighteen years ago!

Then he turned to his smaller cousin and said, “One thing I’ve learned through all of this is never save something for a special occasion. Make every day a special occasion in your life. Now I do more reading and less walking through the mall. I take more time to look at the flowers and visit museums and less time worrying about what things will be like a year from now, And I spend more time with my family and grandchildren, and less time sitting in front of the television.

His younger cousin looked at him and then at the casket at the front of the funeral chapel. Her cousin’s story made her realize that life should be a source of experiences to be enjoyed instead of seeing if you can survive from day to day. So she decided, I’m not to keep anything for a special occasion anymore. I’ll use our crystal glasses every day. I’ll dress-up before going out to eat or to the mall or any other occasion. I won’t save my special perfume for special occasions, I’ll use it whenever and wherever I want. The words “Someday” and “One Day” will be erased from my vocabulary. She decided that if it’s worth seeing, listening to, or doing, she wants to see, listen or do it now.

After their conversation, the older cousin often wondered what his younger cousin would do if she found out that she would be the next one who wasn’t going to be around? Perhaps she might call all her relatives and closest friends and tell them all the things she planned to tell them “someday.” She might call estranged friends to make peace over past quarrels. He’d like to think she would go out to a Chinese restaurant, it was her favorite food.

Believe it or not, it’s these small things that we’d regret not doing if we knew our time arrived to leave this life. We would certainly regret not being able to see the friends we hadn’t taken time to visit, make phone calls we kept putting off for later. Instead of saying, “sometime,” we should say “how about tomorrow?” We would no doubt regret and feel sad because we didn’t say to our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters how much we love them instead of waiting until they called or visited us.

Now, the lady cousin told other members of her family, I try not to delay, postpone, or keep anything that could bring us laughter and joy into our lives and those I love. Now, each morning she keeps reminding herself that today will be a special day. Each day, each hour, each minute, will be special now. Remember, if we keep waiting, that one special day might never come.

Not only is this true about our family, friends, acquaintances, workmates, and others, but also about our God, our church, and our work for Christ. Even though I’ve been in ministry for over 55 years and now reached to the ripe old age of 80, I still think from time to time about opportunities to minister that I wanted to do but kept looking for a better time or date. Every time I’m reminded about being a father, my heart aches because I often prioritized my travel schedule and kept saying, “When this is all over, then…..” But that time never came.

It was too late to do all that before I realized I shouldn’t have waited for the special time but had taken the time. Just remember, you may find out one day that the special china in your glass cabinet and fine crystal in your will be emptied out and given away before you even had that “special occasion” on which to use them. So why not make today, a special occasion for yourself, your spouse, your family, or your friends, but especially for your God. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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