For the past two weeks, I’ve let my weekly check-in email to my online list go. It’s the first time since I started working online that I haven’t sent a weekly email of some kind. But it just wasn’t something I could accomplish. It required a personal note from me and I couldn’t share what I was going through in a few short paragraphs. Plus, taking the time to put the email together wasn’t something I chose to do.
Many of you know that after a 2 1/2 year long journey with Metastatic Melanoma, my amazing, positive, sweet husband Johnny passed away Sunday morning.
For almost three weeks, John was ending his cancer journey in a hospital bed in our dining room on hospice. I worked a little here and there, but I honestly didn’t get much accomplished. There were his medical needs (which were significant), and the fact that, whenever I was in my office working, even though I could see him from here, I felt like I needed to be there with him instead.
And I listened to that intuitive push. I spent hours just sitting and holding his hand or laying down with him and cuddling, talking and laughing and crying. In the end, when he passed away on Sunday morning, I felt as though I had said all I could say and heard everything he needed to tell me.
This cancer journey and loving him through it has changed me profoundly and in so many different ways. The biggest thing I’ve noticed over the past month is the way I work (or refused to allow work to run me). I have gone a few days without checking my email (something I would never have dreamed of doing previously). Nothing fell apart. The world didn’t end. The issues I needed to deal with were waiting for me when I finally opened my email.
We turned off the T.V. and rarely had it on while John was dying and no one missed it. It forced us to talk, to each other and to him. We were more present and there for each other because the background noise was turned off. It was such a gift and it made our final days with John more sacred.
I let go of worry about work or money, knowing that his life and making sure he got to see it out in his way with all of us around him, was far more important. I can always work, can always earn money, I’ll always be fine. What mattered during this time was my other priorities.
John totally “got” this too. As I would be busily and efficiently taking care of him, changing a bandage, helping him change his clothes, or getting him out of the shower, he would stop, make me look at him, hold me, lean his head against my chest, and take a moment to just love me and force me to slow down and feel it. Those moments mean the most to me right now.
I wanted to share this with you because you may be a workaholic like I was, constantly being available to your customers or team, incessantly checking email or Facebook on your smartphone when you’re supposed to be present with your family and loved ones.
NOTHING you’ll see on any screen is as important as the people who are right in front of you. Create time to work and then put it away and invest yourself in those around you. Because, trust me when I tell you, they can be gone in the blink of an eye and you’ll never regret any time you spent with them.
If I could have just one more day, one more hour, one more minute with my beloved John, I’d give up anything for it. The finality of his absence from my life sinks in daily. He really is not coming back and the memories we shared, memories I made by stepping away from my computer and into our lives, I will cherish. I have no regrets about putting my business on the back burner and feel blessed that I was able to do that.
Life is short. Seize the day.