Yesterday was one of those days that reminded me about things that are really important in life and how fast it all gets by you. Here are just a few examples, all occurring in 12 hours on Saturday, 15 FEB 2020.
- I woke up feeling sorry for myself. I turn 60 in a few weeks and the arthritis I have is a fairly constant reminder that my tennis, running and firefighting days are long behind me and but a memory. There is no denying I have more days behind me than in front of me. My years in funeral service and Fire/EMS have taught me that death has a way of sneaking up on you. I am psyching myself out, thinking 60 is old. I need to get myself out of that rut, and fast.
- While searching for some papers, I came across a surprise. It was a short note from my father that he sent back in July of 2012 (date stamp on envelope). It simply said: Ray, Thank you for being you. Love you, Dad.
Wow, seeing that was a shock as I have no recollection of receiving it. My father was a loving, great guy, but writing a note like that was uncharacteristic for him…especially on that kind of paper. I wish he was still alive so I could ask him what I did back in 2012 to deserve that note. It has now become another treasured keepsake. I miss talking to him each day and feel for my mom who lives alone after 65 years of being married to the man. As I thought about it and felt a little Saturday morning self-pity…While lots of people have conveyed appreciation for something I may have done, I can’t recall anyone else ever sharing that exact sentiment with me. Conversely, I then asked myself when was the last time I ever said that to anyone or sent a note like that? Time to send a few notes and make a few calls.
- The women in the family are scrambling around, primping and preparing for the upcoming wedding of our youngest daughter. Being the father of the bride, my only remaining responsibility is to prepare a welcome/Father of the bride toast (which will be a classic, although no one will remember it) and to decide which pair of cufflinks I will wear. I probably should get a haircut, too. In situations like this, it is always easier being a guy.
- We spent a few hours Saturday morning, visiting with Elissa, Cole, Adeline, and Selby. Our oldest daughter, Kelliann also came by. Being with the girls is always a treat and we are thankful that two of our three daughters are less than an hour away.
- Last night, I referenced a decision I made regarding a telephone call, When In Doubt, Just Do It. That was such a profound lesson for me, increasing my awareness of the feelings of others. Now I just need to put that into practice, starting at home.
- Alicia and I went to 5pm Mass at our church as it was being offered for my dad, at the request of friends from town. Praying for the deceased is part of our Catholic faith and anyone interested can read a very cogent explanation here. Why Do We Pray For The Dead?
- I also learned of another coincidence (Coincidence: When God does a miracle and remains anonymous)… at the same time Megan and Andrew are getting married in Houston, another Mass for my dad will be offered at our church, requested almost six months ago by another couple from our parish, having no idea that date would be Megan’s wedding. For me at least, it is a way (abstract as it may be) to tie my father to the first, big family event since his death in September of 2019.
- Here is a funny picture from yesterday. Elissa was holding Adeline and Kelliann was on the couch talking to her and good, ‘ol Selby climbed up on the couch to be part of the conversation. That dog, except when she goes out for a walk, never leaves that baby’s side, and I mean never. Enjoy the funny moments.
- So, I’ve shared some of the ups, downs, and wisdom I gained in just one day and …it’s a good day when you pay close attention to what is going on around you!
I will sneak in one of my favorite Steve Forbert songs, performed live in 1989, to wrap this up.