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Yesterday, I drove a relative to a major urban medical center for some specialized health care. We were there for most of the day, and there was a great deal of waiting involved. At one point, I saw a large family with a boy who reminded me a bit of Daniel, at least physically. He looked to be about ten, and his family had been to one of the clinics and were making their way through the maze that is the medical center, for the long trip home. The sprawling hospital complex is adjacent to a number of trains, and the boy wanted to go to see the trains. Of course, the boy should be able to take twenty minutes to see the trains come in and go out. Of course, the family wishes to get out of the city and have the bulk of their own long travel done before rush hour hits. So many times, we as adults, forget how fragile our lives and the lives of our children really are. So many times, we are embroiled in what we think is the real work of the world, when in fact, the stop and small the roses moments our family member needs, might be their last chance. The boy kept asking. Eventually, he said, "Can't we just look at the trains ?" They kept walking. I wanted to cry. I remembered in that moment, times when Daniel had exactly that tone. There were so many things he wished to do, and although we did some of them, there were many things as simple as trains at the medical center that were left for some future time, and then, of course, his future, and our own was simply suspended.
I am not suggesting we turn all of our children into indulged brats, but I am suggesting that when time is all you have to lose, that we hear their cries to do a particular thing, and try to make time when we can. Tomorrow might be too late.
Steven Curtis Chapman More to This Life