Imagine that your spouse or someone dear to you has died, and you worry whether that person knew you loved them. My Dad told me that he knew several people who were eaten up by that worry after someone had died — when it was too late to do anything about it.
My Dad and Mom were life-long lovers, best friends, adventurers, disciples, and happiest when they were together. He thought such worries were pathetically sad. He occasionally would say that to me — but he daily showed me via his relationship with my Mom, that there should be no doubt as to your love. You should often show and tell those you love how much they mean to you.
My parents’ love was infectious. Their love was so rock-solid that they could be generous to others. They were funny and caring, they would jerk you up if you didn’t behave according to Hoyle, they were kind to those who needed some kindness shown to them. Twice, battered women showed up on our doorstep, and my parents took them in, hid their vehicles, and tended to them until it was safe for them to go home. My parents volunteered much time and talent in teaching young people to read, in doing pro-bono legal work, in visiting the sick and infirm, in leadership and teaching within their church and in civic groups.
It doesn’t matter if you live to be 110 – it will still pass too quickly. Never put off until tomorrow what you need to do today. Does anyone look back on their life and wish they had attended another meeting, won another case, spent long hours on the job?
Think about and attend to what matters. Relationships matter. Laugh with your sweetheart. Say “I love you” often. Be exuberant. Invite a friend over for a meal. Meet your neighbors. Volunteer at the old folks’ home. Wish people a happy Tuesday. Look up at the stars. Send someone a party in a box. Take a walk in the park. Take a hike in the woods. Enjoy the swingset. Jerk your child up when they need it. Hug them often. Celebrate birthdays – the older you are – the longer your celebration should be. Give thanks to God for your life and the lives of those you love. Tell the truth. When you tell someone you will pray for them – write it down and pray and keep on praying for them. Never sell your vote. Clean up your language. Be the kind of person that others know they can turn to in times of trouble. Buy art from a struggling artist. Look up your old friends and give them a call. Tip well. Be generous with your talents and time. Share your passions. Teach someone a new skill. Share your hobby. Enjoy picnics often. Love your country. Be of good cheer. Recycle your books. Rub your honey’s feet. Offer to babysit so a young couple can go out on a date. Teach your kids how to read, cook, use power tools, sew, garden, change a flat, read before they sign, enjoy music, appreciate art, and remember birthdays. Make sure that they know that it is wrong to steal and tell lies, that they are chosen and precious, that they are children of God, that they are loved by you. Dance under the stars. Give your sweetheart full-body hugs. Be thankful for all of your blessings. Be generous. Be loving. Be kind. Have fun. Live Life!
You are as true wordsmith. Thank you
Wow, this is so thought provoking and it made the fountains of tears flow. Beautifully written and a loving representation of who your parents were. If only these were the main lessons we taught and learned today. So much to think about. It makes you wonder what have I really done, taught and accomplished with my life.
Your parents were gems Ann and I was blessed to be able to spend time, even though it wasn’t a lot of time, with them. They would be proud!
I love this <3
Oh dear !! How will I ever get all this done !!
A rolling thunder of all the GOOD we can do in life if we stop obsessing about the bits of “bad.”
And a great deal to ponder —