An elderly woman recently died. She was an active cheerful positive pillar of my church community. Her name was Merle Killinger. And I feel bad that she has passed, not only because I’ll miss her. I will. But also because I wanted to get to know her better. And I meant to. I had every intention of doing just that. For months, I had been telling myself that I should visit her, take lunch over to her house and just sit with her awhile, get to know her better, glean all I could from her life experience-earned wisdom. Merle was a writer. A poet. I knew I could learn from her. And I didn’t even realize she was a teacher until I read her obituary. I wanted to spend time with Merle. Keep her company for an hour or two. Maybe make her day and bring a smile to her face while she did the same for me. Merle had recently mailed an anniversary card to Bob and I, and I kept meaning to thank her for it – next time I saw her. Merle had several health issues and was often hospitalized. With each hospital admission, I had wanted to go see her. I told myself I would. I know firsthand how much these visits can mean. I truly intended to go to that hospital and visit her, but . . .
But I never did any of that. Life happened each day and I never took the time. I never made the effort. I guess I always assumed there’d be another day.
And now I’ve lost the opportunity. I’m sad about that.
Friends, time is fleeting and fickle. We can’t afford to put off until later what we feel called and compelled to do today. Just make the time and do it now. In the end, relationships and how we connect with people are all that really matter.
So here’s to Merle. I hope I get to know her better – someday – on the other side.