“Always Kiss Me Goodnight.”
Have you seen this sign? Like, everywhere? Me too. Sometimes, it is annoying. “This again? Can we find something more clever to cross stitch? We get it. Do not go to bed without expressing affection.”
Last May, however, the phrase stopped annoying me. Now, I see it as a reminder that the kiss we share tonight may be the last kiss. Will it be the last? Likely not. But, if tomorrow “never comes” for us, let us make sure tonight is sweet.
As I have mentioned several times this year, my godfather passed away suddenly last May. My godparents’ story is why the phrase, “Always kiss me goodnight,” holds new and lasting meaning.
Tuck My Feet In
On a Tuesday night like any other Tuesday night, my godfather tucked my godmother in before he drove their son somewhere. As was their ritual, he tucked in her feet, and I am certain he kissed her goodnight.
For some reason that night, she just could not sleep. She waited for him to return. The more time passed, the more concerned she became. Several grueling hours later, her worst fears were realized. He and his crashed car were found. It is still hard to believe he is gone. I rest in the hope that he was taken extremely quickly and that he was taken to be with his Lord and Savior.
Our Last Words and Actions Speak the Loudest (and the Longest)
If I could somehow take the pain away from my godmother and her son, I would do it. As many of you know, it is a helpless feeling to watch someone you love suffer such gut-wrenching grief. Still, as sad as we all our, I am thankful for their last interaction. An act of love and affection – tucking in her feet – a physical act that said, “Honey, I love you.”
Their last few minutes spent together could have involved shouting. They could have hurled insults at each other. He could have stormed out of the house without telling her where he was going. But, instead, her last memory of him will always be him tucking in her feet. That is so precious to my heart.
More than twenty years ago, just before my grandfather died suddenly due to complications from diabetes, he walked into the kitchen, looked at my grandma and said, “I love you.” She was stunned because he was not one to spout off affectionate comments. She told him she loved him too, he went to their room to take a nap, and never woke up again this side of Heaven. She was able to take that last phrase with her – and I know she did, because she told me about it several years later.
We do not know what tomorrow, or even the next five minutes, holds. Every breath is a gift. Sometimes when Eric is sleeping, I stare at him to make sure his chest is moving up and down. I think of the foolish fights we have put each other through and I am thankful God did not see fit to take us from this earth during one of those times.
One More Hug
I almost never leave the house without hugging Eric goodbye – something Mom instilled in me, possibly by accident. ~smile~ When I am tempted to do so, I am struck by the thought that it could be my last chance. I never regret the few extra seconds it takes to turn around and embrace him.
So, the point of this post is rather clear. Leave each other in good standing. Keep short accounts and clear up disputes quickly. Never leave each other’s presence without reaffirming your love for one another (assuming you are in a committed, life-long relationship and not a casual dating situation). Take the time to give him or her one more hug. And, when you are married and rolling over to sleep, turn once more and give your honey one more kiss. You will never regret doing it, but you may regret it if you do not.
May we live our lives in such a way that we expect greatness from tomorrow, and yet understand that we may never see it. May our hearts be right with God and our relationships with loved ones be solid. When the time comes to say goodbye, may we have no regrets.
Maybe we should all post this up in our homes as a constant reminder:
“Always Kiss Me Goodnight.”
Do you make sure to show your sweetheart affection before you leave him or her?