Today Is a Gift

by | May 21, 2006 | Gifts

Four years ago life was just shy of perfect for Carol McMillan. At age seventy-five, the Miami, Florida, resident enjoyed good health, a fifty-four-year marriage, a son who had just turned thirty, and three grandchildren whom she believed to be the smartest, most beautiful kids in the world. But within three months her world turned upside down. It started on a November day when her husband, a cancer victim, said good-bye for the very last time. One month later, just after Christmas, the news worsened. Her only son had taken his own life, leaving behind three beautiful children. Children with far too many questions. While she was grieving, her house was broken into and most of her valuables taken. “A dark cloud enveloped my life,” Carol told me.

Feeling alone, abandoned, and afraid, she sat at her piano by the hour playing through an old hymnbook, the tears streaming down her face. One day while doing the dishes, a voice on the radio seemed to part the clouds and reach through: “Yesterday is history,” said the voice. “Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”

For the first time in months, a smile stole across Carol’s face. “The phrase marked a turning point for me,” she said later. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow may never arrive. But I have the gift of today. I guess you could say I had a faith lift that day. And a face-lift too!” For the first time in over a year, Carol began going to church again. And a few Sundays ago, a young, dashingly handsome seventy-three-year-old asked her out. Carol said Yes.

One Sunday night the two sat in her living room as she played through that old hymnal. “You play beautifully,” he told her. “I’m glad the piano was too big for those thieves to carry away.”

When she visited her ninety-six-year-old mother in a nursing home and told her that she was dating, Carol couldn’t help but laugh at her response. “I think you’re robbing the cradle!” Said her mother with a twinkle in her eye.

Callaway, Phil. Laughing Matters. Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 2005, p. 61-62.


Today Is a Gift