What Are You Waiting For?
I keep encountering death in February which is why I waited to write this blog in March. Last year, it was my cousin, Sasha. She was barely 20, full of life and dreams and passion, and she slipped away on a Sunday morning when nobody was looking. Her grandmother returned from church and found her slumped over on the floor. The tough thing is, I hadn’t spoken to Sasha in a few months and two days before she passed, I told myself I was going to Facebook her but for some reason, I didn’t. I figured I had time…
This year, it was my friend Jackie Pearson. Her daughter and one of my best friends, Tecia, passed away during the same month (February 16) in 2009. Tecia and I had texted our usual good-night texts, and the next morning she didn’t come to work. I drove to Tecia’s house already knowing she was gone, and I was right. I found her in her bedroom, looking peaceful, but completely gone from this present world. We had made all these plans for the summer…trip to Seattle, return to Jamaica…more fun time and less work time…but now I have to make those plans with someone else.
So when Jackie passed, I had to take a minute and ask God what he was trying to tell me. I know dying is a part of living, but February was starting to have an ominous feeling about it and I needed some clarity. I had just visited Jackie and I had been doing so for the past couple of weeks. She was rehabing in a nursing home which she wasn’t very happy about. She was all smiles, as usual. Curtis was coming to pick up her in a little while, and she was happy to be going home for the weekend. We watched “Deal or No Deal” on t.v., laughed at the corny costumes, and talked about sugar-free candy (Jackie was a diabetic). I kissed her on the forehead, told her I loved her and I would see her next week, and I left.
The next time I saw Jackie, she was fighting for her life in the hospital. She was on a respirator, her body was breaking down, and after a few days of fighting, she too passed away.
I really, really needed God to explain all of these death encounters to me. I didn’t want to develop a phobia for February. It is one of my favorite months. I love it’s uniqueness. I begin to pray and reflect and I would like to share with you, what God told me:
“Danielle, each of these people impacted your life and you impacted theirs. You did well at times with managing those relationships, and at other times, you made excuses, refused to call, ignored the obvious, and avoided confrontation. Yet, Sasha, Tecia, and Jackie loved you and admired you. You gave them good memories and taught them life lessons. They taught you as well.
I am not trying to scare you or teach you. I just want to make you aware that your life as well as everyone else’s life is in my hands.
What I want you to do, Danielle, is live with a new awareness that tomorrow is not promised. Forgive, laugh, let go, and heal. Every idea, dream, gift, talent, and purpose that I have placed within you, start using it today. Don’t wait a moment later to write that letter, dial that number, develop that business plan, or prepare that sermon. Sasha lived. Tecia lived. Jackie lived too. Let them be your examples and stop waiting for the right moment…the right environment…the right person. I AM the right moment. I AM the right environment. I AM the right person.
Danielle, it is time for you to live like you were dying because you are. The day that you cease to be, is up to me. Until then, spring off the life boards of the people that have gone on before you, and enjoy the journey. The baton has been passed to you. Run. What are you waiting for?
The clock is ticking.”
This is definitely refreshing. I lost my mother in October 2001 but her birthday is February 11. Like clockwork, I always find myself feeling a little blue around that time but like you, I am no longer waiting for anyone to tell me that it’s okay to dream the dreams that others, both human and divine, lived and died to secure for me. I
I’ve wasted many years waiting–hoping someone would see my talent, my passion, my gifts, my anointing. I refuse to wait any longer. I have decided to spread my wings and take flight. If I crash, I’ve got enough wisdom to laugh at and enough fortitude to learn from my mistakes. Though I regret my mother’s early passing, the 21 years she spent pouring into me will not go wasted.
You are welcome. I feel like we are sharing this leg of the journey together through our cerebral connection and blog connection.
I got your back, Bro.
Whew, Danielle. How perfect is God’s timing. My email has been down for over a week and I am just now reading this blog. But, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was just sending well wishes to a friend who just lost her father-in-law and it hurt as I wrote with tears in my eyes. I too was beginning to see February the same way you were and was just thinking how I try to breeze through the month in my mind. So much so that as I thought of my friend’s FIL, I thought, “At least he didn’t die in February, too.” How sad, right? I know. So, your blog and God’s Word are exactly helping to heal me of my “February-Fears.” So, thank you for being transparent, honest, real, and willing to expose the devil and share with others what God is doing in your life. You remind me a lot of somebody I know well…That Bishiop O’neal woman :-)….continue keeping it real! Thanks D!
My pleausre Ty! I really want to use my experiences to helps others…no need to go through it, and keep all the lessons to yourself…
Thanks for sharing this…I too am typing this response with tears in my eyes! This morning I received news that at any moment my grandmother will be gone. I struggled for a moment because your February fears exist for me in March. I’ve lost several important people in the month of March and this will be my hardest to deal with. Thank you in advance for your encouraging words and thanks for sharing your heart with us!
My pleasure, and thank you for your support. I will be sending prayers up for you, your grandmother and your family. Cherish every moment.
I share your same February phobia as it relates to loss. I loss my mother two days after my birthday on Feb.6th and my grandmother on Feb.8th (2 years and 2 days apart). As a result, I always find myself dreading the month of February all together. I somehow wish we could skip the entire month. 🙂
Nevertheless, their deaths have given me a whole new perspective on life. I share your same sentiments in that I want to live each day as if it were my last. I want to love hard and forgive quickly. I want to soak up up moment and memory that I can with family and friends. I have learned has truly short life really is. In the words of Bishop O’neal,”this is not heaven.” The last 8 years of my life has been a constant reminder of that fact.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. It is needed.
I appreciate the support. I am glad to know that you are living every day like it’s your last. ( :