Friday, January 22, 2010

Love 'em like they are gone



     I had already rallied the troops from their slumber, let the dog out and got her some water, made coffee, set out my son’s clothes for the day, picked up a few things, flipped a few light switches, and turned on the TV for a few minutes of sipping coffee. This is my usual morning routine, all which occurs shortly before 7:00A.M. After a few minutes of a caffeine injection, and a shower, I will then start my drill sergeant regimen of getting the kids to complete their tasks, make sure my wife is alive (she sleeps soundly), and then make my kids lunches for the day, and get “pre-dressed” to take the kids to school and walk my son to class, then return home to do banking and email, enjoy more coffee, then get dressed for work. Whew!

     These tasks are usually met with my grunts and grumbles with a “time to make the donuts” type of sleepy demeanor. I will often whine like I am shouldering a tougher burden than I am, but it is just my role in the household, so I carry on. This morning I was making the kids lunches, and with my usual mindset that I must make the lunches with “love”, as for some reason, I feel they know it, and it has to be more nourishing than just tossing stuff in baggies, and then cramming them into their lunch boxes. Pre-coffee, this takes effort, but is always accomplished.

     As I turned the corner on my way to once again bark up the steps that “we were going to be late”, (my usual wake up cheer), my attention was averted to my TV as the Today Show had as a guest a young woman who was sobbing, and I was captivated momentarily, as intuitively I was told to stop and listen if only for a minute. I heard, (not verbatim, but I am giving you the message) “It is the greatest pain you could ever feel, and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. When you are tripping over the bicycles, or picking up the clothes, and dealing with the daily frustrations, it is so worth it as it could be taken from you at any moment.” She continued with more, further driving this point into me like a railroad worker driving spikes with a hammer.

     The woman was Diena Thompson, mother of Summer Thompson describing the loss of her daughter, who was abducted a few months ago and was found in a landfill as her final resting place. Her pain came through my screen. I was “tripping over bicycles” this morning. I was “picking up the clothes” and coping with the “daily frustrations”. She reached through the screen at me, grabbed me by the lapels, cocked her hand back and slapped me into awakening to the fact that they are still here, and to be thankful for that. Some are not as lucky; funny how our morning shifted. Okay God, you have my attention!

     This started a cascade of pondering how maybe I should evaluate many things in my life as if they may be or become “gone”. How would I feel if some of the things I take for granted were suddenly taken from me, or simply absent without a trace? Would I cherish them differently now?

     Aside from the above message; lately we have been delivered many “attention getters”. I do not need to share in detail what Haiti is dealing with after the earthquake. One minute a normal Tuesday walking the streets of a sunny community; the next minute rubble and thousands dead and missing. What was a poor country to begin with, now is simply praying for drinking water, food,  and pain relief. They need help and hope to simply survive. I saw too this morning, images of houses buried in mud in California. I bet a week or so ago, they did not think sandbags would be part of their landscaping.

     I am thankful now, as I am reminded to take yet another inventory that I can often dismiss with the other tasks I grumble through. I am warm, with a solid roof, beautiful people in my life, and all the amenities I need for the moment. I am thankful for right now. I love the statement of, “It is not having what you want, but wanting what you have”, and I appreciate today’s reminder. I have it pretty good God, and thanks for a wakeup call better than the Starbucks I am drinking.

Note:

I am including the link to the National Sex Offender Registry, as a father of two small children and a beautiful wife; it is nice to know who is living in the neighborhood that may be a threat. If you have people in your home, you wish to protect, check this out! (Sorry I do not know of others similar for my non-US friends)

http://www.familywatchdog.us/

There is also a link at the top of my page for Haiti relief, but here is one of the many who can help. This is for the Red Cross.

http://www.redcross.org/

     Finally, when discussing being powerless, or not having enough assets to share with others in times of disaster, I thought of this. We can always start by being thankful and grateful for what we have. We can also simply take a moment to say a prayer, and keep our eyes open for even the subtlest of opportunities to be able to open our hearts if not our wallets. That releases good energy, and we can all benefit from that!

17 comments:

Katherine Jenkins said...

I am sitting here drinking my morning coffee and reading your post.(three hours earlier in Seattle I think). Yes, I try to live like this daily. I appreciate all that's around me and live my moments full of gratitude. Every moment is precious and this take awareness of the moments to remember it and to live it.

Coffee With Marty said...

So ironic, that I wrote a post today with the same thought. Cherish what you have today, because it could be gone tomorrow. Thanks for another great post.

YogaSavy said...

We have a tendency to take people for granted. Its only when they are gone do we realize their importance.

Sandy said...

I've been writing a lot on this topic as well. Thanks for sending me over to check this one out! A great read indeed!!

Alone in Holy Land said...

It also happened to me this last few days, with my daughter Maya being sick and in hospital...We indeed take so much for granted.Now, I am grateful for what I have and enjoy every moment with my family...
Great post!
God bless,
Ramona

Aine Butler-Smith said...

If you haven't figured it out yet Tony, it goes by in a blink of an eye. My husband and I remark to each other on a regular basis how quickly it is all going by as we are not onto welcoming granchildren into our lives.
It's wonderful you are grasping onto those moments, especially as a father.
My husband, like so many men, was preoccupied with his career and though he has been a good provider he feels he missed out alot.
I chose my main career as being a stay at home mom and now I have all that wonderful time I spent with my children that I am so grateful for. Time well spent.
My husband is now making up for it by really being present with his grandchildren. I'm grateful on his behalf, and I know he is grateful too.
And by the way, love does get infused into the food we cook for our loved ones. I know this because no matter how many times my daughters duplicate my recipes, they tell me it still tastes better when mom cooks.

Aine

Aine Butler-Smith said...

typo in previous post, I meant 'now onto ....granchildren"
Sorry

Aine

Brent said...

Reminds me of the five remembrances:

"I am of the nature to grow old.
There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill-health.
There is no way to escape having ill-health.

I am of the nature to die.
There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love
are of the nature to change.
There is no way to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand."

livemorenow said...

Timely thoughts, as the recent holiday vibe sinks into distant memory and we get involved in work its important to remember why and who is important. Its not the daily grind that makes our life its the people who we undertake the daily grind for.

I left a tag for you @ my blog Tony, if you have time it would be a bit of fun.

TirzahLaughs said...

TOny--hope you got my facebook and email that I sent. If not, email me.

As for sex-offenders, one lived across the street from for over a year. He was rehabbing a house. A little overly friendly fellow. I have three dogs and an alarm system and never had any real issue with him but I don't have kids.

But you can't live in fear. You can only take care and go on. I don't look at the registry anymore because I live in a lower-economic neighborhood. The last time I looked, there were 7 sex offender with in five miles.


Let those you love know that you love them. Live your life. Be aware. Be careful. But don't live in fear.

Fear is the soul eater.

T.

JACQUI said...

Hi Tony. I like that you prepare your food with love. I remember reading a book (The Wind is my Mother) by a Shaman who said that this is how they prepare all their food, infusing it with energy and health.

My stomach dropped when I read about the story you saw on the news. Too painful. Yes, love them, love them, and then love them so much more. And then love them again - even if they are messy, noisy, and annoying and late. :)

Dawn said...

There are two families here in Knoxville who lost their son & daughter, respectively, two years ago in a horrific carjacking/rape/murder. I knew the young lady, worked with her father, even babysat her when she was wee. Her boyfriend was the other young person abducted, raped and murdered. Those two families' lives were forever changed and I am often brought to a sudden jarring stop when I am hit by a thought of, "Her Daddy will never walk her down the aisle. Their son will never stand at the front of the church, waiting on his bride."...and other similar thoughts. Then I reflect instantly on my own blessings and that the shell of life we lead is as fragile as a spun glass Christmas tree ornament.

Tony, your post was another moment out of time - I often feel those moments when something reaches through the tv screen and demands my heart be present. It is comforting to know other people exist in a mindful state and recognize when Spirit is connecting them in a powerful way to a "stranger".

~ Dawn

JACQUI said...

As recognition for your excellent blogging, I have included your blog in my list of "10 blogs I like" here: http://www.upliftantidote.co.uk/wordpress/2010/01/10-blogs-i-like-aargh/ If you wish to participate, simply list 10 things that make you happy and pass on the award to 10 other blogs (or vlogs) that you like. Thanks for making the world a brighter place. Namaste.

Tony Anders said...

In short "Thanks" - and i love sharing the love - as you all share it back, not only with me, but others. That makes it a real cool community here! Namaste' people!

Quixotic said...

Tony, thanks for visiting me, and I'm glad I decided to do the same! A very timely post, I am currently recovering from a frustrating and sleep deprived night (my lovely Hubby has taken 2yr old out for breakfast to give me a break. bless), and this reminder to appreciate your loved ones is a lesson taken. Thank you. :o)

Timberwolf123 said...

Thanks Tony, to me there's nothing more important then to enjoy every moment. I think at times we all "coast" through our day & don't realize that when the day is over it's done....lost, never to come back again. Enjoy every moment you never know what will change in an instant.

Finally as the father of 3 girls I am amazed at the terrible things that people do to children...I am grateful for mine everyday even when they are being difficult.

Thanks for sharing,

Hugs,

Bill

Heather said...

I stumbled across your blog while reading the Networked Blogs forum, and this item really spoke to me as a parent -- we do spend so much time just "surviving" when we should be appreciating our families as if there's no tomorrow. So thanks!!