I’ve been thinking a lot about the time we spend with the people we love and how we choose to spend the time we have.
My grandmother will be 100 shortly, my parents are in their mid-late 70’s and with Covid and the awareness that comes with realizing how many things can kill you, came the thoughts about how you never know what your last time to see someone will be. I recognize I am not the only one who has been thinking things like this. I also realize thinking like this is nothing new. I do, however, think that in current times it gets brought home a lot more when you look at it statistically rather than emotionally.
What do I mean? Glad you asked. I mean that we can imagine our last Christmas, our last summer vacation, our last anniversary or birthday, etc. far more easily than we can a random Tuesday in March. That doesn’t mean we don’t love spending time with our loved ones but big holidays or trips stand out much more than sitting and reading the paper or arguing over who should have won the Dancing With the Stars finale.
I found this site http://seeyourfolks.com which will take the information you give it and hand you back the average number of times you will see your parents again before they die. Obviously it is a guess. My mothers family are freakishly long lived and I assume I will have far more time with her then I do with my father. I suppose that may sound morbid, but you could also look at it as a way to remind yourself that every visit is important and every moment is worth savoring.
Is it wrong to want to know how much time you have left? No. Would it be weird to walk up to them and say, ‘So we have approximately 20 visits left in our lifetime, what do you want to do today?’ Yes. Super creepy actually. But holding the thought in your head to remind yourself that some arguments aren’t worth having and sometimes the important work we do and the busy lives we lead are less significant than we think in the grand scheme of things.
Essentially what I’m saying is that if I’m stopping to think about how much time I have left to spend with my parents, I’m hoping it makes me a better person to prioritize family over work to take advantage of the connections that come from spending time with them and the irreplaceable memories that come from those connections.