Taking Time for Granted: Her Last Lesson

September 6, 2022

How naive were we to take life and time for granted? How silly were we to think tomorrow and each day to follow were going to be just ordinary days? How are we taught so many things in life but never taught how fragile life can be and how quickly someone can be taken from you until it is too late? I didn’t learn any of those things until I lost someone irreplaceable.

I look back at all the years that preceded my mother’s death and the thing that shines so boldly is the way I failed to comprehend how quickly time was evaporating right in front of our eyes. When there was only a decade left, I had no idea, not even a warning– the thought of life without a mother never entered my brain. When there were five years left, I had no idea the pain that would start to find us. When there was a year left, I held denial and when there were only days left, I held unobtainable requests for miracles.

I had no idea how finite life was until the moment I lost the person who gave me mine. I had no idea how fast air could escape lungs for the final time or how silent a room could sound when it held one less heartbeat. I had no idea how much time I had spent not understanding the value of time and the meaningfulness of each simple moment. 

I never knew the true value of each minute until it was too late.

I never knew that I should pay close attention each time she baked one of her well-known recipes.

I never knew that I should memorize the way she said my name and each line on her face.

I never knew that I should listen carefully as she gave advice or cheered for me from the stands.

I never knew that I should ask for more hugs and more kisses than what she already gave.

I never knew that I should study the way she looked when she laughed or was mad or was fearful. 

I never knew to ask the important questions and listen intently to her advice and opinions.

I never knew that I’d lose her so soon and so early. 

I never knew that one day these things would be only memories. I never knew that one day soon, these simple everyday things would be the big things, the powerful things, the things I missed the most. 

I simply never knew. I wasn’t taught about the value of time and the fragility of life. The world taught me so many valuable lessons but it taught me how to live this life without my mother, even now I do not know.

How naive are we to take life and time for granted? How ignorant are we to think tomorrow and each day to follow will be ‘just another day’? How are we taught so many things in life but never taught how fragile life can be and how quickly someone can be taken from you? 

The very last thing my mother taught me, the very last lesson she gave, was to never take time for granted, to value the simple things, and more than anything that one day tomorrow won’t just be ‘another day’. It will end up being the day that changes everything and the day that everything changes.

Time is limited. It’s fragile and it’s finite. Let’s never forget that and let’s never take it for granted.

xox, Chels

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One response to “Taking Time for Granted: Her Last Lesson”

  1. Colleen Leitschuck says:

    Oh your stories have brought so many memories back. I was 17 when I lost my mother to cancer. She was 46 years old, and passed in 1975. I grew up as the youngest of 5, it was hell many times. I so feel your pain and sorrow. I just lost my sister that I was closest to in June of this year to cancer also. She had 3 daughters and so many things have came back to me as if I lost my mom all over again. Hugs 🤗 yo you!

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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