Do it, regardless of the minor differences you might be having at the moment. It might be the last opportunity you have to kiss a loved one.
In the 1990s, I used to help an elderly lady in Portland with her garage and/or yard work when my family attended Trinity Apostolic Faith Church camp meetings. That was after Ruth’s husband had died and she was too frail to take care of her property. The couple had been close to my family since we met them during our first camp meeting in 1987.
However, one day Ruth asked me to help move and rearrange things in her house. I found a closet with guns that I could tell had not been used for years. She saw me trying to wipe the guns before arranging them. That’s when Ruth told me what had happened many years after her husband returned home from World War II.
He and a friend left home at about 4 a.m. to go hunting. After a while, when it was still dark, they noticed an object that moved like an animal. The friend, since he was not driving, decided to get out of the vehicle and check what that object was.
Soon, Ruth’s husband saw something leap from behind a bush. He got his gun and fired directly to where, whatever leaped, was. He killed his friend.
It devastated him. He never used his guns again for the rest of his life. That man, who had rescued Jews from Nazi concentration camps and seen the worst effects of human atrocities, never recovered enough to move on with his hunting again, something he had done since he was 9 years old.
There was something else that saddened Ruth as she shared the story. The wife of the man who was killed told Ruth that she had not kissed him when he left home to go hunting since they had an argument before they went to bed. That woman knew the death of her husband was an accident, but regretted for the rest of her life the decision to not kiss him. That saddened Ruth because the woman was her close friend.
There is an old Christian song, “One Day at a Time,” that says, “…Yesterday is gone…and tomorrow may never be mine,” that I think of often. There is always the last, to everything. But the memories of the last time when we were with our loved ones stay with us until we die or lose our ability to remember. And while time heals the loss of a lot of things in our lives, there can be an ever-present unsettling feeling.
You know, deep in your heart, given another chance, you would do things in a different way. You would kiss that loved one. You would say encouraging words. You would listen and/or visit them. Yet, each moment we have, regardless of the minor hiccups of life, we can show our loved ones that we care.
Tomorrow may never be. Kiss them today.
Vincent Muli Kituku is an author and speaker for business organizations, schools and Christian groups. He is the founder of Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope and Caring Hearts High School, a vulnerable girls’ boarding school in Kenya. Contact him at (208) 376-8724 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Idaho Statesman’s weekly faith column features a rotation of writers from many different faiths and perspectives.