Take Each Moment
This post is about Moments. And it is something I think about each and every moment I possibly can. So I've put a lot of thought to what I want to say about this subject...and I hope and pray I can somehow find the right words below.
A few years back, I had a contract position working one on one with a person who suffered a traumatic brain injury. Now the part that will blow your mind is how he suffered his TBI--by a tiny mosquito bite--which resulted in encyphylitis which resulted in him having no short term memory, being epileptic and needing 24/7 supervision. He was 14 when he "got sick". I was told it was sudden and life altering and when he finally came to in the ICU weeks later, he wasn't the same person. He went from being a star athlete on the varsity team at school to being mentally the age of a 5th grader and not being able to retain any new information. At first, his grand mal seizures were few and far between, but the more he had, the bigger toll it took on his brain, which resulted in more seizures. I met him and his family when he was 22 years old. By then having as many as 13 seizures a day while I was on a 6 hour shift with him was not uncommon.
As I got to working with him, his mother told me that with her son it was best to make each moment the best possible moment you could make it. You see, he no longer had the capacity to remember the sweet gesture you gave him just a few moments ago. His brain reset constantly. So each moment, was a new moment, and it would soon pass. He never remembered my name more than 10 or 20 seconds every day that I seen him. He never remembered where we went 20 minutes ago or if he ate breakfast 5 minutes ago. Once something happened, for him, it was lost. But I think, although can't prove, he had some small recollection of how a person made him feel. Because each time he saw me he would smile and say, "I like you." (His vocabulary resembled that of a 18 month old by the time I worked with him).
There were days he was in bed most of the day, and on these days I stood by waiting for his next seizure and in-between episodes I would get to know his mom. His mom was a great person. She had such a great attitude given her son's situation and I often asked her what it took to keep going...and she would tell me that she could chose to be bitter and upset about her son's situation and her plot to take care of him, or she could embrace it and try to be the best mother she could be, and she strongly felt that is why God put her here. What I admired about her was her positive outlook, her "way of seeing things" was always upbeat and uplifting. She wouldn't let you have a negative attitude about stuff she would always flip the coin and make you see things a different way, a better way, a way that was always shed light on the upside to any situation.
And that is when I got to thinking heavily about moments, not just moments I spent with her son, but each moment I encountered throughout the day. How do you go about your daily life and make each possible moment the best moment you can?
I don't have a specific answer for this, other than to say one has to be aware of each moment as it comes and goes. Moments past cannot be retrieved and so dwelling on them doesn't really make sense. And moments to come, well as much planning and worrying as you put into them, doesn't change the fact that they aren't here yet. So concentrating on the moment at hand and trying your best to make it the best moment possible is all any of us can do. But how much thought do each of us put into it?
As I started this "moment" thing, I quickly realized that most of my thoughts had always been directed toward what was past and what was to come. They never focused on the here and now....and on the off chance that I did focus on the here and now...I wasn't doing a very good job at making those moments the best moments possible. Over time, as this conscious thinking of moments stirred in me...I quickly found out how much easier it was to deal with the moment at hand. I can't say that I am anywhere near mastering the "make this the best moment possible" each and everytime the moments come and go...more likely I don't do a very good job of it at all...but I am making an effort toward it. I take each moment as it comes and hopefully I've done something to make it the best possible moment.
Things like, a kind word, a smile, a sweet gesture, helping out, encouraging another, praying, having more patience, reassuring another, giving the benefit of the doubt, making someone laugh, giving a hug, and on and on. There are lots of ways to make each moment count...to make the moment memorable.
I believe that in my minds eye these moments will eventually add up to minutes, that will add up to hours, that will add up to days, and years and eventually a lifetime of moments. I imagine, that in my final moments here on earth, as I am waiting to meet my Maker, I might be fortunate enough to have a flash back of my moments. I am hopeful that if I keep trying to make each moment the "best moments possible" that I might somehow see them replay on my way out. And maybe it will have made the world a better place maybe it will not have, but it will definitely have me leaving here knowing my life was worth living. (I sure don't want to have a flash back of the worst moments...that would be rather a scary scene on my way out...wouldn't you think?)
So I decided to share with you my thoughts on the here and now.
What is your take on this subject?
Have you ever given it much thought?
Would the World be a Better Place if we all tried to make each moment the best possible moment?