My dad has always been the rock keeping our family together--not just my immediate family, but the extended relations of cousins and aunts and uncles as well. He's been the root connection, a constant blur of activity and positive energy.
Now he's been lying in a hospital bed for two months after suffering three major strokes. He has a hard time swallowing, thinking logically, seeing, and walking. His prognosis isn't good.
I find myself thinking about him and all that he's done for others. He is a kind man--a generous one. Yet those golf buddies he met every Tuesday and Thursday for decades haven't come to visit. Those cousins he helped support here and there over the years have been rendered mute. His finances are in disarray despite a lifetime of hard work.
And I wonder...
If our legacy is kindness, which I believe it is, then why does it sometimes feel so empty? When people forget the kindness...when they turn a blind eye for whatever reason...when you're all alone in a hospital bed trapped within your own mind, was it worth it?
If all those dreams we put off so we could work those long hours for someone else never have a chance of coming true because your time is up, was it worth it?
If all those moments lost to insecurity, anger, or regret are all we have, were they worth it?
If all that effort put into playing by the rules leads to you getting screwed over at the end of the day, was it worth it?
If today is the last day of your life, I'm asking you, are you happy? Are you able to look at your life up to this moment and say, "Yes, it's all been worth it--every scrape, every tear, every joy, every heartbreak, every triumph, every betrayal, every sunset, every laugh, every sunrise, every storm, every blue sky--it's all been worth it"?
Because my dad does. Despite those unfinished plans, he looks at us with love and says, "It's all been worth it. I can die now because it's all been worth it."
I can't say the same. I've allowed regret and anger to cloud my vision sometimes. I've often felt myself saying that I'm stuck or in neutral and waiting...just waiting...while time ticks away.
But what if there is no more time? What if this is all you've been allotted? Has it all been worth it?
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. She also writes five different blogs, volunteers for children's literacy, and advocates for suicide awareness. In addition, she is a professional editor and mother of two extraordinary human beings. She currently lives in a small cabin high in the Rocky Mountains where she is completely aware of how lucky she is. To find out more about her books, please visit http://www.amberleaeaston.com.