All dating analogies and horror stories aside, this is a rather serious post. Recently, I went on a few dates with this guy I had just met (two dates to be exact). I'm not sure if there was any potential for a love connection, but he was definitely a sweet guy that seemed to enjoy or at least put up with my snarky comments and he was fun to be around.
A few days ago he sent me a text asking for another date. I know - a text asking me on a date. But given my disdain for talking on the phone and our mutual hectic schedules, it was fine by me. I hadn't played my cards right in any of my last date-ships (because I certainly can't call them relationships as they ended just as quickly as they started), I thought I'd take a more casual approach and wait until the next day to respond. You know, give him a little time to wonder what I was up to and if I was interested. Except the next day was too late. Literally.
I responded to his text a mere 15.5 hours later (which in my world is forever) and was met with a phone call in return. I answered with a snide response something to the effect of how he must have missed my voice already but was caught off guard when I heard a woman's broken voice on the other end. She started by saying she was sorry to have called instead of text, but she wasn't sure how to tell me over text. We both quickly realized she wasn't sure how to tell me over the phone either. But she now had possession over her son's phone. He had died the night before in a car accident.
I was stunned. Partly because I didn't know the feelings inside my own heart and head, but also because I didn't know how to handle being on the phone with this loving and distraught mother. She sounded like she was still in shock and just wanted to know who I was and how we met. She wanted to know if he treated me like the gentleman he was raised to be. Every second of that seventeen minute conversation broke my heart and still replays in my head. His mother was desperately trying to hold onto some of the last moments of her late son's life.
Today is his funeral, which she kindly asked if I'd attend. I don't know what frightens me more - the fact I'll be surrounded by people that got to know him - something I will never have the chance of doing myself or just how close this hits home.
What if this was my boyfriend, or my husband, or my bestfriend? What if I hadn't made time to return my mother's phone call or respond to my bestfriend's text message? What if the last chance I'd ever have to respond to someone was taken away in an instant and I never got the chance to say yes to a date or tell someone I loved them?
For the past few days my head has been inundated with these types of questions all starting the exact same way: what if?
I just pray that in his last moments, he left this earth a happy man. Knowing that his friends and family loved him and knowing there was a girl sitting on her couch next to her chihuahua ready to say yes. I pray that his friends and family find comfort and have no regrets. And most of all, I pray that each and every one of us remembers to tell our friends and family how much we love them on a daily basis, for you never know when it'll be the last chance you have to say anything.