It’s been a while since I’ve written. Gail and I took a vacation the past two weeks and we did our best to unplug and enjoy our family. It was a wonderful experience.
One of the best parts of this vacation with our family, was how little time we spent watching television. I’m not dissing TV, but I will say that every hour spent with the flat-screen is an hour not spent talking and laughing and, in our case, crying, with those we love the most. I wonder if we will get to the end of our lives and bemoan the amount of time we didn’t get to watch television. “I just wish I would have watched more TV!” is not likely a statement heard often in hospice.
It seems that serious illness opens our hearts to one another in a way that nothing else does. At least for our family, we don’t want to waste too much time with endeavors that do not bring us together in meaningful ways. And, to my surprise, games and cards work better for this than TV.
I have not been a card or board game aficionado since I was young. I don’t know why, but these kinds of games just didn’t interest me. But in the last few years, my daughters have pulled me, kicking and screaming, back into the “sitting around a table with a deck of cards or a board game” world. I am grateful. We actually spent, what would be television hours, talking and laughing and arguing about whether my made up “Scattergorie” was real or not. It’s worth the time just to have an argument about something totally meaningless.
The games may be meaningless, but the conversation and laughter are profound. Now let me be clear: we still watch some television, but much less. Gail’s illness has done exactly what the Bible teaches. It has made our family closer and more purposeful about our relationships.
My suggestion: Don’t wait for cancer to turn off the TV. Do whatever allows your family time for conversation, laughter, prayer, and just good old fun.