Monday, December 6, 2010
Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.
How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you
watched 'Jeopardy' on television?
I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , 'How about going to
lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, it looks like rain' and my personal favourite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.
Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!
We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained.
We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.
Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,'
and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'
When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.
My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just
that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and
eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to..not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?
Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.
Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask 'How are you?' Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi'?
When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened
gift....Thrown away... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music
before the song is over.
'Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
December is the last month of 2010, the birthday month my older sister shares with Jesus. I always thought it would be cool to share Jesus' birth month. Or as the kids say today, "It would be really SIC!" No matter; it is my sister's birthday and for the first time in scores of years we can celebrate...
Although I sent my sister birthday cards most of the years we didn't speak, they were just a hollow attempt to stay in contact. This year the card really means something. My sister and I have been estranged for 16 years over an issue with her boyfriend. We did ostensibly resolve this matter after the first 8 years, but for some reason our so-called reconciliation never materialized because... now this is where it gets a little murky. Clearly there were more issues to be resolved and we didn't get to the bottom of them. I'm not exactly sure what they were or why we remained estranged (outside of the occasional faceless, impersonal, generic email) for another 8 years. I always suspected it had to do with our mother's passing, but could never be sure. We just didn't speak again. Very strange...
We didn't speak, that is, until my oldest daughter orchestrated a reunion this past spring. This impromptu get-together went unexpectedly well, subsequently my sister and I began visiting each other, picking up were we left off all those years ago. Again very strange... We've never discussed what went wrong, our grievances or why we wasted all those years. She hasn't shown any sign of wanting to go there and quite frankly, neither have I. But I wonder if we should? Is it healthy to ignore an intentional 16 year absence? Or would it just open up old wounds that are best left to heal? I like to think I'm being guided by God by my continual disregard of our 16 year rift. It seems almost normal to pretend we just got together last month instead of 16 years ago.
Aside from these concerns, I'm deeply grateful that my daughter set into motion a ceasefire. Without her intervention, I doubt either one of our egos would have allowed this meeting. I am convinced God used my daughter to accomplish his designs, but it does generate more questions. Why did God choose this time to facilitate a reunion between my sister and me? What is it meant to accomplish? Is there more I should be doing or saying? Which brings me full circle back to the question of do we need to rehash the past in order to move forward or is the past best left buried? My instincts say now isn't the time to bring up ancient grievances and wisdom tells me to leave well enough alone. I shall trust my instincts and be guided by wisdom at least, for the time being.
So it's Happy Birthday to both Jesus and my sister. I am delighted to have a rapport with them and both are God-given. One to save my life, one to share my life. Next to our mother, our sister is the closest and most complicated female relationship we'll ever experience. Until recently I'd thought I'd lost both, so I am warmed to the cockles (is there such a word?) of my heart that my sister and I have reunited. It is a relationship worth preserving. Time and wisdom have spun their magic so we have another chance to share the unique fellowship only a sister can reciprocate. Happy 16 Birthdays, Sis...