Last night we attended services for a friend. He was only 44. As I sat in the church, viewing the photo slide show I began, again, contemplating all that has been, is, and will be my life. And with that sorrow, I found joy.
With the many twists and turns my life has taken, especially those recently, I have found something. A profound sense of now! Life is about now. It’s about doing what makes you happy NOW. Being healthy NOW. Enjoying your life NOW. Celebrating NOW.
For many years I have been writing about my passing. I know that sounds ridiculous and morbid. Perhaps it is. But I am somehow at peace with it. Somehow, it makes me appreciate my life more.
My journals are filled with letters, stories, ideas and dreams. But there is one that I will soon hand off to my family. Not because I think they will need it anytime soon. I plan to sit in rockers with the mister on the big covered porch watching the great grand children play in the field and orchard.
I will hand it off so that they know what to look for when the time does come. So that they can be comforted in knowing that I am at peace. And most importantly so that they too can be given the opportunity to live in the NOW. To write letters they would have wished to as well. To tell people how they feel about them. To know to take the time to experience life every day.
Someday soon I will tell you of the letters to my children, but for today I want to focus on living and remembering.
I have been to far too many services for those I love. Have watched the tears and the sorrow. Felt the remorse cling like wet linen. Sticky and heavy. And every time it has brought me closer to this dream, this vision.
Perhaps the loss of my father at such a young age has been a blessing in ways hard to explain. There wasn’t anything left. He was just… gone. No artifacts. No words. Just a few photos and fewer stories. But my father taught me my very greatest lesson. To appreciate life and those in it. To never take any of it for granted and never, NEVER leave anything unsaid. To be mindful of what you leave behind.
I want my family and friends to celebrate my life. To cry tears of joy and laughter as they remember all that we did, all that we were. I don’t want regrets. I want them all to be comforted in knowing just how much I love them. And that I know just how much they love me too.
I want women to wear flowers in their hair. I want those I love to strap on their guitars and beat on drums. I hope it is a warm Summer day so they may dance barefoot in the grass. I want wine to flow and the sweet scent of herbs to linger. Stories to be told under the stars. A fire and candles. Songs to be sung.
I want my words to be read. One final chance to tell everyone how much I appreciated them. How they filled my life with hope, comfort, laughter and happiness. I want them to tell tales of our adventures through life. Some perhaps when the youngest of the grandchildren aren’t listening.
And above all, I want those I leave behind to hear ME say “I will always love you. I will always be with you. I will be the wind in your hair. I will be the tickle behind your ear. And I will always, always be proud of who you are……
To a life well lived