How many of you have read the chain e-mails that go around telling of stories of people who were “saving” things for just the right time – and that time never came before they passed? I have received many of them – it was an ah-ha moment when I read them, but not sure I ever really changed my ways. I said I would. I thought about what I might be saving – always landed on the idea that I was doing just fine, and kept going on my merry way.
Peter has tested that reality from the moment he was born! We never knew if we would have another day. But, when it seemed we overcame all thrown at us, we fell back into our “normal” routine.
Many years ago my family gave me a beautiful set of dishes. Each birthday and Christmas they added to the set. A thick, heavy set of white ceramic dishes with blue and yellow flowers. I was ready to change my kitchen around these dishes – I loved them so much! I cherished them and kept them safe – bringing them out for only the “really” special occasions. Instead of enjoying the them, I fretted about a little one dropping and breaking a cherished dish. And we’ve had a steady string of little ones. I would not have anything to pass down if the dishes were all broken! So safely they stayed put in the buffet.
Then came the Leukemia and weeks of Peter on the ventilator. I pulled out my “nice dishes”. Every Sunday we use them – our reserved “family day” – when we enjoy an extra nice meal together. I was throwing caution to the wind and enjoying right?! Well, yesterday G challenged me to think even further outside of my comfort zone.
Those who have been following our CarePages for some time remember the shoe shopping experience with G where the only thing she would even try on were the bright pink party shoes with the bows. “OK G, we can make these your church shoes”. Yeah – right! G has a mind of her own. Like Jack several years back and the cowboy boots he even wore into the bath tub – G wore the shoes all the time! ALL THE TIME! Even after baths and putting on clean PJ’s, the dirty pink shoes went back on. Yesterday she played in the sand and her shoes filled up. As I took them off to brush away the sand stuck between her toes, I stared at her shoes.
Something new….became something used – very used! …..because they are something special. G didn’t try to extend the life of her shoes by wearing them only on Sundays. She didn’t keep them safely away from others. She loved them, enjoyed them, and used them every day. As they become scuffed, the bow started to come lose, and they were no longer shiny new shoes – she loved them even more – they were hers and she saw the beauty in the shoes that were part of so many fun memories. Like her dirty but well loved doll, these shoes enjoyed a full life – albeit likely short – they have experienced life to the fullest!
We never know how long or short life will be – and sometimes we can be like Peter and defy the odds while confounding those around us. If you are anything like me – you save, your protect, you keep your eye on the future to define the purpose of today. I won’t stop being me – I know I will always have my eye on my goals to define the purpose of today…..but I want today to be full of something special being really enjoyed before it is too late.
I talked to a counselor last week who shared with me her zip lining experience. Petrified to take the leap, someone told her to stare at the platform she was to land on. As she zipped through the air, the platform became larger and larger until her feet were firmly planted on it. “I had a goal – and I made it!!” she thought to herself. Then as those behind her joined the platform they excitedly talked about the mountain range on one side, the flock of birds in the sky, the size of the trees below them, the view of the water to the other side. She had a goal, she made it, but she didn’t enjoy the journey getting there because she was too scared.
She was scared of the journey, I was scared of “using up” that something special – so in our own ways we didn’t enjoy what we were blessed with. At the end of my life – when ever that may be – I want lots of “worn, scuffed, pink party shoes” that hold memories of fun had on the journey to the other side.
What “something special” are you saving for that right moment? is that moment today?