If I just had one more chance to stop by her house. If I could only call him, or sit on the porch swing and talk.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize I have taken some of the most important people, places, and things in my life for granted. I’m sure it has happened to all of us at one time or the other.

My Maw Maw used to call me every single day when I was driving home from college. Often I would race into the house, and the phone would be ringing off the hook. Wow! I’d love to have one more chance to talk with her and say thanks! The lady loved me so much, and I don’t believe I ever properly cherished it. Looking back and looking forward, no one is going to check up on me like she did!

I grew up in Sugar Hill, near the Mall of Georgia, and a lot of Sunday afternoons we would get into the car and drive to Gainesville to see my dad’s family. Almost every time we left, my Papa would give me and my brother, Keith, a $5 bill and tell my parents to take us by Kentucky Fried Chicken and get us a box of chicken. I’ll never pull in a KFC or go by one that I don’t think of all the Sunday afternoons. I had no idea those moments would pass by so quickly.

Now let’s talk about my mom. It has been 34 years since she went home to be with the Lord on August 11, 1986. As the years roll on, I’ll confess tears still trickle out of my eyes as special dates come and go. Where could I start? Where could I end? Honestly, I’d love to relive all the good memories we shared during our time together. I’d love to go shopping with her. I’d love to go to a seafood buffet and eat until we were about to pop. I’d love for her to scramble us a couple of eggs and make a piece of toast. I’d love to sit and watch television on Friday evening as we shared a bowl of popcorn and finished the evening with a cup of Breyer’s peach or strawberry ice cream. We’d sit together and the conversation was so sweet; it was so easy. I’m sure many of us would agree, there is nobody like Mama. Now I’m not throwing off on dads; mine is such a fine man and I know many of you think the same of your father.

As I look back on my life, I sure do miss my family and friends who have gone on before me, but I am not discouraged. I am encouraged that the Lord blessed me with knowing and learning from these precious people. Even greater, I have the hope of a reunion in heaven!

These memories also remind me, and I hope it reminds all of us, to seize the day and cherish the people who are in our lives now. I can sit on the porch with Chris as night falls; I can answer a call from a loved one when I’m right in the middle of cooking supper. I can drive out of my way to see someone who is significant in my life. Yes, all of us have the opportunity to make memories today that we can cherish forever. My prayer is that we will take the time to do it.

Sherry Lewis is pastor of New Beginnings Worship Center.

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