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If Tomorrow Never Comes...Contemplating Upcoming Surgery

Updated on July 4, 2017


I am having outpatient surgery tomorrow. It's not a big deal really...just hernia surgery.But I have been thinking a lot today about the stories I sometimes hear. People will sometimes go in for surgery for something simple and have trouble with the anesthesia, and they never wake up. I guess I am a wee bit anxious about that happening. And I have been contemplating what would that mean for others in my life.

There's a song that I will put in a video down lower in this article called, "If Tomorrow Never Comes." I have listened to that song, and often thought I should tell those I love what I really feel. And so here's my chance to do it. This is my chance to tell the people I care about how I really feel, just in case tomorrow never comes....or in this case, the following day never comes due to complications with surgery!

And after reading this, I encourage you to do the same...to write to your loved ones how you feel about them, just in case tomorrow never comes. Because there is no guarantee for any of us that it will come...surgery or not!

My husband and I on our wedding day, 8/1/2010.
My husband and I on our wedding day, 8/1/2010. | Source

To My Husband:

I would want my husband to know how very much I love him. And that even though we have only been together for such a short time on this earth, I feel we will be together for all eternity. I know in my heart that we were very blessed to find each other, for the second time, and that no other man on earth could have ever treated me better, or loved me more. Ours is a love that grew out of a friendship from years earlier. And that friendship helped solidify our love for each other when we met again and were both going through troubled times. I could not imagine loving any other man more than I love him, and I would want him to know this, and to thank him for all of the joy he has brought into my life. And as we often have said to each other, words cannot express the true depth of our feelings for each other. But we feel the love in our hearts, and I am forever grateful to have known a love like this in my lifetime.

To My Children:

My son

I would want my son to know that even though he might not think so, I am proud of him. I haven't always approved of the choices he has made, but I'm proud of who he has become today. He is a young man with a wonderful sense of humor that has made me laugh in the direst of situations. And I can sense, even when he doesn't say it, how much he loves me. I love his enthusiasm for what he loves. And I enjoy and am proud of his affectionate side because it's a characteristic we both have in common.Because he was my first born child, I have always felt a strong bond with him. He was the person who made me a mother. That role is one I always have and will always cherish as a God given gift. And I just want to help him understand that no matter what decisions he has made in the past, or which ones he will make in the future, I love him with an unconditional love that will never end.

My Oldest Daughter

Now this one's interesting because I have twin daughters! But one was born one minute earlier than the other and although I have tried to help them forget that, they will not. My oldest daughter has always been extremely active. A go-getter from the time she was in my womb, I said extra prayers for her because I thought she was going to be a handful. And that she was until she reached school age and settled into a routine and an arena that she could excel at. I want my daughter to know that I am so proud of her and all she has accomplished. She is one that never gives up and strives to be her best and do her best, no matter what the obstacle. And although she has had some obstacles in her young life, she has always overcome them with an optimistic spirit. My daughter is probably the least like me out of my three children. But in ways, I am proud of. She has always known how to lift me up when things weren't going well, and I am so glad I was chosen to be her mom. I would want my firstborn daughter to know that I love her and am proud of her for having the courage to be herself and to go after what she wants in life. And also, of course, that I love her unconditionally.

My Youngest Daughter

My youngest daughter ( the second twin) is a lot like me, although I am sure she would not be happy to hear that. We both had quiet personalities growing up, and were shyer than many others in our age group. We both have a passion for animals, enjoy writing and photography. She has had a tougher time in life than I did because she is fiercely independent and has chosen to live her life on her own terms much earlier than I did. I admire her for that...for knowing more about herself than I did and that she would be more fulfilled if she broke away from her family to live her own life earlier than most teens do. I am so proud of her because living with her choices has at times been tough, but she has hung in there, and even asked for advice from dear old mom. This shows me that she is growing up and maturing and I am so proud of her for fulfilling her destiny. And also, of course, I want her to know that in spite of our frustrations with each other over the years, I love her unconditionally.

If Tomorrow Never Comes Poll

Have You Written to Your Loved Ones to Tell Them How Much You Love Them Before You Die?

See results

A Good-Bye Letter

Years ago, in my twenties, I wrote a letter entitled, "If I Die Tomorrow" and photocopied about 25 of them. I added an extra line or 2 to each person I gave it to, telling them something personal they had added to my life and how much I appreciated them being in it. Some friends and relatives took it well and cherished it. Others thought it was gruesome and didn't want to read it. I thought it was important to tell people before I died how I felt about them because afterward, it's too late. I am sure that I feel this way because my grandmother died after a long battle with cancer and I had a lot of time to talk to her about the importance of letting people know how important they are to you. I wrote a hub about it...see below! But please take the poll here, and we'll see how the rest of you feel.

Me and my 3 children!
Me and my 3 children! | Source

When this song came out by Garth Brooks, I felt a real connection with it because it struck a chord with me about the importance of telling and showing others how you feel about them when you are still with them. Here is Ronan Keating singing it.

My husband and I flanked by my parents on our wedding day.
My husband and I flanked by my parents on our wedding day. | Source

My Parents

I realize that not everyone is still fortunate enough to have their parents alive, but I am one of the fortunate ones who does. And I want to tell them how much I love and appreciate all they have done for me. It has not always been like that. We went through some tough times when I, as an adult was frustrated with their efforts to continue to parent me. I tried so hard to shrug off what I felt was an overbearing effort by both of them to tell me how to raise my own children, that I forgot what a good job they did of raising me. I would want my parents to know how much I love them and appreciate all they have done for me, both past and present. Growing up, I always felt I had what I needed to live a good and happy life. As an adult, I learned that they struggled to give that feeling of happiness and security to my brother and I. My parents did a great job of raising us to be loving, to still haverespectful, honest and independent adults. Not all parents can say that in this day and age. My parents worked together as a team to provide a stable environment for me to grow up in, and to this day I am grateful for that. I am grateful for the love they have continued to give me, my children, and my new husband. I am a fortunto have still daughter the time to tell them how much I love them and to thank them for all they have done for me.

My Brother and His Wife:

I only have one sibling. My brother is four years younger than I am and when we were young, were very close. I actually considered myself a second mom to him until we were both in elementary school. At that point, we did not get along. We fought a lot, verbally and there was some kick-boxing going on on his part during those nights. Once I went away to college, I realized how much I missed him and since then we have been close again. I would want my brother to know that I do love him so very much and appreciate being able to share our childhood together. It was nice to have someone with whom to share the memories, the holidays, the birthday parties, etc. And a peer to laugh at the funny things our parents did and still do. And I love and appreciate his wife because she loves my brother so much and has helped him create a loving and fulfilling adult life.

My Friends

I have a good group of friends, but some I am closer to than others. I would want to thank each one of them for their support and love over the years. Some of my friends have been with me since 5th grade, and others since high school. My friend since fifth grade has been with me for 43 years...so hard to believe. We know each others families and their struggles as well as our own. We have helped each other though marriages, pregnancies, divorces and remarriages. Through good times and bad ( sounds like a marriage ceremony there) and we have always loved and supported each other. I am so grateful to her for always being there for me. Since I only had a brother, she is like the sister that I never had.

Another of my friends was one I met when we were in a Christian singing group together in high school. We encouraged each other as our faith grew. And although after graduation from high school, we went our separate ways, we reunited as adults. And she encouraged me as an adult as I navigated the waters of dating after divorce. She has shown me the example of true and long lasting love in her longstanding marriage, and I am grateful to know her and to have rekindled our friendship. One friend has been with me since we were both pregnant with twins, and we went through a lot together raising our kids. We encouraged each other through the tough days of sick babies with runny noses and too many diapers, and the good days when we took our six children camping together. We have watched each others children grow up and withstand challenges we never thought they would go through as babies and I am grateful she was there for me in those challenging times.

I am so thankful for my girlfriends who have seen me through the worst of times, and the best of times. Their are friends I have met through jobs, through other friends, through our children. And I love you all and am grateful for your presence in my life.

And There Are Others...

There are others...like the pediatricians for my children who were always there for us, whether it be on a Saturday morning or late on a Wednesday night when my child was burning up with a fever. I always knew I could count on them to put my children's best interests first. And my favorite Pastor and his wife, who as a couple showed me what a real Christian marriage should look like, and they still do this to this day. And since I have already written a hub about the special people in my life and what they mean to me (see below) I will stop my part now, but now it's your turn...will you write a special letter to those you love and tell them what they mean to you, even if you aren't having surgery? There's no time like the present to share this message with people because we never know if we will have another chance...


Epilogue:

I have survived surgery! I actually published this after surgery but wrote most of it prior to going to the hospital. I wanted it to be true to life and to my real feelings, but in the rush of preparing to go to the hospital, I hadn't finished this article. I did want to let readers know I am okay, and recuperating and have shared this with my loved ones.


My friend from high school that I reunited with as an adult(left) and my friend from 5th grade who I also wrote a hub about (right). See hub below!
My friend from high school that I reunited with as an adult(left) and my friend from 5th grade who I also wrote a hub about (right). See hub below! | Source
My friend with the twins and her husband. Our twins are now 18 years old which is a testimony to a long and encouraging friendship.
My friend with the twins and her husband. Our twins are now 18 years old which is a testimony to a long and encouraging friendship. | Source

This CD helps patients prepare for surgery, and I found it useful prior to mine...

My brother and his wife...happy together.
My brother and his wife...happy together. | Source

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    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      First of all, thank You, God, for keeping Karen safe through surgery. Secondly, this was a very beautiful idea. Even if a last will and testament said something like, "Go read my hub about..." that would suffice. But if there are hard copies of each kind of "last goodbye" letter, would they be kept in a safe deposit box? Would someone have been told ahead of time where to look for the letters? And what if something happened to that designated person? Is there a backup plan? Not trying to complicate things, Karen--just wanted to see how you thought this through. Congratulations on getting another hub done. Now I gotta get back to the drawing board...: ) See ya, Karen!

      Joe

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Karen this was a very touching hub. You have expressed your love and appreciation for all the special people in your life so beautifully. Your images are absolutely lovely. As far as your hernia operation goes, I have known many people that have had it it done without any problems at all. Please, try not to worry because this is a very common procedure and you will be up and about in no time. Thank you so much for sharing and God Bless! (Voted Up) -Rose

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well that was just lovely. What beautiful words of love for all in your family and your friends.

      Best wishes on your surgery. Come back healthy and ready to write! :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, my goodness, this is so beautiful it has brought tears to my eyes!!! What a great idea here. I am thought about it and now this has inspired me to do so.

      Prayers on the surgery and speedy recovery

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless you, Faith Reaper

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Certainly happy you survived the surgery so you can tuck those letters away for a very long time.

      This is a fantastic idea. And a great hub.

      Rest well

    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 4 years ago from Florida

      Karen, I'm thanking God you're still here and I'm sure your family is thanking Him too. Hope you continue to heal quickly and completely. It's true what you say, we must tell our loved ones we love them before it's too late. Voted up and sharing.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hello everyone! I have realized by just popping back in over here that I did not respond to anyone's comments individually. I think this hub was very emotion laden for me to write, so it was hard to go back and respond to everyone's comments. I thank you all for commenting, and for your good wishes. I am doing much better now that it has been 13 days since the surgery. In fact, I would say I am 95% recovered. That Laparoscopic surgery is definitely the way to go. My family has all read this by now, so they know my message to each of them and I am happy with that.

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