Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The things that matter

I just returned with all the children from driving to and from Michigan to attend the funeral of one of best friend's mother.  I'm glad it was close enough so that we could go and be there for her.  Sitting there during the service I was thinking about how both the beginning and end of life remind us of what is really important.  And what is important is not what we spend most of our time working on and thinking about.  It is the small things that we often don't give second thoughts to:  food, clothing, spending time with people.  Deep down we know that these basics are what are vital to us, that everything else is just window dressing.  How else can we explain the need to provide food to a grieving family or a family celebrating a new life?  Why else is it important to think about what we wear to a funeral service?  What else would explain the need we have to go and just be with the ones we love during times of celebration or grieving? 

The memories which the family shared of their mother and grandmother were mainly about the supposed little things of life.  How she was an encouragement to her children; how she would take the time to listen to each of them; of all the acts of service she provided and how through those acts her family and friends experienced her love.  It is how I would like to be remembered by my children... as someone who took the time to care and listen, not as someone who was too busy with other things.

If anything, funerals remind us that our time together on earth is fleeting.  Go hug the ones you love and spend some time with them, because in the end, that is what really matters.

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