I think of a mother asking about a late assignment not turned it while wiping the grape juice stain from her son’s face. Of a father urging his daughter to grab her coat while checking his watch, realizing that he’d now be late to his meeting after dropping her off at school. I think of the child who woke to his parents arguing or the one who awoke to silence, no parents there to wish him a good day as he trudged off to school. None of them knew that it would be the last interaction they had with the ones they loved. We never know. Life is so uncertain.
The fabric of so many ordinary lives ripped asunder this morning by the arbitrary actions of one individual. Because of him, so many parents will not have a child to tuck in tonight. Instead, they’ll be making funeral arrangements. So many children will not have a parent coming home – the foundation of their world forever shattered – not only by the loss of a parent, but the loss of financial stability and security of home life.
It reminds me that none of us have another day, another moment to tell those around us how much we love them. There will never be a better time to put aside the grudge we’re holding against a loved one, to stop holding out for someone else to make the first move. We are not promised another day, so maybe today is the best time of all to lay aside the chores and the things that seem to be so pressing in the moment to take the time to tell someone they are loved. We may have tomorrow with those we love; we may have a lot of tomorrows. But it isn’t promised, and it isn’t certain.
So as we think of those families grieving tonight, who will be grieving for a long time to come, let’s keep them in our prayers. And let’s hold our own loved ones dear. We only have today to make sure others know they’re loved.