While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground. “That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.
“He’s a fine-looking boy,” the man said. “That’s my son on the swing in the blue sweater.” Then, looking at his watch, he called to his son, “What do you say we go, Todd?”
Todd pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.” The man nodded, and Todd continued to swing to his heart’s content.
Minutes passed, and the father stood and called again to his son, “Time to go now?”
Again Todd pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.”
The man smiled and said, “Okay.”
“My, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman observed.
The man smiled, then said, “My older son, Tommy, died by suicide last year. I never spent much time with Tommy, and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Todd. He thinks he has five more minutes to swing. The truth is…I get five more minutes to watch him play.”
You do not know what a day may bring, so enjoy the day you have with all your heart. Much of what may seem like a waste of time may be the best memories, and much of what seems so important will be a waste. Take five minutes enjoying it all.
Originally published on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and reprinted with permission.