I will tell you about the day I took Jacob to the doctor. Just he and I. A trip from the East Bay where I lived at the time, across the Bay Bridge and into San Francisco. I drove Jacob because he didn’t see too well in those days. He still drove himself places, occasionally. But, he probably shouldn’t have. His eyes were failing, and so were his reflexes. Jacob was the father of my wife, and one of the men I most admired in all the world.
And he had old hands, because Jacob was ninety years old.
Jacob’s age is important to this piece, because as we drove to the doctor in San Francisco, I noticed his old hands. And my noticing prompted me to ask him what I thought was a witty, ‘ninety-year-old question.’
Actually, what I asked him was, “When you go to sleep at night, since you’re ninety years old, do you assume you’ll wake up, or do you occasionally think you might not wake up?” With an impish grin on his face, he said, “One way or the other, I know I’ll wake up. I’ll either wake up here, or I’ll wake up ‘There.”
As we drove along, I began to mention lots of other stuff to Jacob. Not witty things. Not even profound things, I suppose. But important things. I told him that he was a most influential man in my life; that I had watched him and admired his humble walk with God. I told him the sorts of things I wanted him to know, just in case, well, you know, just in case he perhaps might go to bed here one night and wake up ‘There?’
Got anyone you need to have that kind of ‘waking up’ conversation with?
Whatever you do … don’t wait.