We don’t know about tomorrow. All we know about is today.
I sat at the edge of my grandmother’s hospital bed and listened as she told me about her pain. She recently broke her hip, and due to her age (she’s 93), is unable to be operated on. So now she’s in a rehab center, and not quite thrilled about it. She’s stuck, in a bed, unable to move. I wouldn’t be happy about it, either. I don’t know who would.
But my grandmother is different.
This is a woman who’s crossed oceans to be with the man whom she loves, this is a woman who stomps on wasps with her bare feet. This is a woman who quite literally yelled at the Nazis. This is a woman who built a life with her own two hands – brick by brick.
Stillness doesn’t work well for her. It’s not in her bones. It doesn’t sit well with her spirit. I understand this too well. It doesn’t sit well with me either.
So, I go to visit her as much as I can. And she tells me stories of what it was like growing up in World War II. She thinks about her homeland, and what it was like to leave your country behind. She reflects on her parenting skills and her marriage. She tells stories of the ones she has loved who are no longer walking this earth. She tells me that old people like to talk about the past so much because they don’t have a future, that their memories are where they live.
She says, “we don’t know about tomorrow, baby. All we know about is today.”
And so I listen to her words, I repeat them as she says them. I let them roll around in my mouth, I let them rest upon my heart. It becomes a chant of sorts, a soothing rhythm for my worried heart.
We don’t know about tomorrow. All we know about is today. We don’t know about tomorrow. All we know about is today. We don’t know about tomorrow. All we know about is today.
I say this, and she laughs.
I try not to worry about what life will bring her tomorrow.
I commit this to memory – my grandmother, in her hospital bed, laughing because of my cheesy delivery, telling me the stories about her youth, her journey, the moments of her life that she has committed to memory.
I burn the sound into my brain, my grandmother telling me to enjoy today, and stop worrying about tomorrow.
I listen to her stories of the years gone by and know that it’s up to me to weave her into future memories.
And for a moment, we both are still.