In the Blink of an Eye

Our pastor mentioned it several times that morning. In the blink of an eye everything can change. Irreversibly change.

But we really don’t believe it. We don’t think about it.

Until it happens. And we wish so hard…pray so hard that we could take those last few seconds back. But we can’t.

And in the blink of an eye, someone’s world…or many someones’ worlds…has irreversibly changed.

That Sunday morning, we received word about a young man whose world…and his family and friends’ world…had irreversibly changed in the blink of an eye. He had just gotten off work and was riding his motorcycle home when a car suddenly pulled out in front of him. There was no way to stop, and nowhere or no time to swerve out of the way.

Now, some three weeks later he’s still in the hospital in ICU with head injuries (even though he was wearing a helmet), collapsed lungs, pneumonia, broken ribs, finally healing from bleeding from several internal organs, and two broken hips.

He was in an induced coma for over ten days and is finally starting to come around. He’s had multiple surgeries already, and facing many more, and most likely two hip replacements. He will be in the hospital for quite some time and then face a long rehab process. His parents are worried sick and his young daughter, well, you can only imagine.

In the blink of an eye, the course of so many lives changed. Not only this young man who is still fighting for his life, but his family and friends, as well as the driver of the car who pulled out in front of him. Was our young man in a “blind spot” that prevented the driver from seeing him? Was he/she not paying close attention? Did he/she not look carefully enough to see him? Perhaps He/she was momentarily distracted? We just don’t know, and may never know. But the driver has to live the rest of his/her life with the consequences of what happened as well.

Tonight, three weeks later, as I look around me I’m seeing far too many similar instances.

A massive stroke suddenly claimed the life of a friend’s mother in law. Tuesday morning she was fine and planning the rest of her summer; Tuesday afternoon she was fighting for her life. Wednesday evening she was gone.

Another serious stroke has left another friend of ours in ICU fighting for his life. Doctors finally stopped the massive brain bleed with surgery but after four days he is still not totally conscious, the plans he and his wife had made with their young children suddenly put on hold, perhaps permanently.

My sister-in-law suddenly lost her husband a few evenings ago. They had recently returned from a wonderful two week cruise and were talking about a visit to see us and meet our granddaughter.

One of my best friend’s 90+ year old father is back in the hospital fighting sepsis and potential pneumonia.

There are a few more stories as well, just in our circle of friends and family. But I’m not going there right now.

My point is simple. As I’ve said in other blogs, tomorrow is not promised. Ever. We do not know what is in store for us when we wake up each morning. Or when we get a phone call in the middle of the night.

We think we have time to rectify petty squabbles and disagreements; to apologize and start over. They can wait another day or two.

Until that day cannot come any more, because that person you wanted to make amends with is no longer here. In the blink of an eye they’re gone. Forever.

We put off making decisions for our life because we’re afraid, or scared. There’s always tomorrow.

And tomorrow never comes. Someone blinked, and the world changed forever.

We’re all equally guilty. In the time it takes to blink our eyes, lives are being totally and sometimes devastatingly changed.

Tomorrow isn’t promised. Live your life like it’s the last day you’ll have. Take the time to appreciate everyone you love, and tell them you love them. Show them you care.

Because you…or they…may not have tomorrow.

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