12 years ago, today I received a call that changed my world. My father passed. Gone. The day started like any other day. Busy with work and going about the normalcy of the day. And then it was no longer normal, he was gone. Two months earlier he had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and the doctors said if he did well with treatment we had five years. So, although I knew my time with my dad was numbered, I expected 1,780 more days…not 60 days. I wasn’t ready.
Much of my life with my dad was amazing. I learned so much from him. I learned to greet everyone with a smile and learn something from them. I learned that people are just people regardless of race, religion, or anything else that seemingly divided us. I learned my LOVE for the St. Louis Cardinals from him. I learned the importance and privilege of voting from him…even though our political leanings were different, voting was still important. I learned you can deeply LOVE someone and disagree. I learned by his example of what a good man looks like, flaws and all. I learned even when life is hard, you show up and do your best.
I didn’t realize even in his death I would learn from him too. I learned what annoyed me much of his life, his smoking a pipe, would be the very thing I sat in his car days after he was gone wishing I could smell again… smelling him. Perhaps my biggest lesson was learning how very precious life is and to not take a moment for granted as five years can be just a few months in a moment’s notice.
We often all wait for the big exciting things to happen in our life and yet it’s in the small seemingly insignificant moments that gathered together create a life of meaning.
Moving forward, I encourage you to live life’s moments by:
Truly letting go of the small stuff. And sometimes the ‘small’ stuff seems big in the moment, but it’s not. Let it go and find something you appreciate in the moment.
Let people who you love know it. You truly don’t know when your last moment is, so use them wisely and let people know how you feel.
Be kind. Being kind doesn’t mean being a doormat and letting people take advantage of you. You can still stand up for yourself AND be kind and respectful. How do you want to be remembered when your moments end? As someone who lifts up or tears down?
Appreciate life fully. Get into living in deep appreciation as EACH moment is ever so precious and won’t return. The next moment or the next moment may seem so similar that you can’t tell them apart, but they are different. The more you can live in appreciation, the more you will grow reasons to appreciate. Even when we’re mired in a challenging time in our life, there are things to appreciate there too. Look for them!
Mostly, my wish for you is wherever you find yourself in life, whether you are in great celebration or if you find yourself in deep sorrow, you are LOVED and so worthy of cherishing each precious moment.
Until next time, you are precious, breathe that in.
I live and love in the moment
Words to LOVE By:
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to LOVE”. – Marcus Aurelius
“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” – Earl Nightingale
“But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.” – Benjamin Franklin