We can imagine that parents who have nearly lost a child—or parents who tragically have—operate on a different plane of consciousness than those of us who have not. A parent who had a health scare, a parent who helped a child claw their way back from an addiction, a parent who has been estranged but reunited, these people know what they missed or almost missed.
To take anything for granted? Even just an ordinary minute with their kids? This would be to reject the hard-won insights of their experiences.
We can try to envision going through that ourselves—how would seeing your son with tubes coming out of his nose, in a hospital bed change you? How would waiting for the phone, not knowing if your daughter was in the car when it crashed, feel? Think of what you’d be saying to yourself in that moment, all the things you’d be promising, if they could just get through this ok.
But here’s the thing: That is what happened. It might not have been so immediately obvious or dramatic, but the last year was one of those events. You could have quite easily been one of those families rushing to the hospital, you quite easily could have been one of the thousands of families who buried a child in 2020, or the hundreds of thousands of families that buried a spouse. You dodged a bullet, you dodged a more serious case, you dodged a tragedy. There was—and is—a deadly virus in the air. Luck spared some and not others.
Let that be a wake up call. Let it be a transformative experience. Let it change you. It should make you present. Make you aware. Make you love. Make you feel lucky. Because you are.