My sisters and I had to rush south to visit our aging "second mom," whom we call aunt, and to whom we are "her girls!" She fell and broke her hip and femur and is in rehab now, trying to get back on her feet. It was a terrifying event but she has always been strong and independent. She has inspired many over the years and has been a faithful friend.
In some ways it wasn't a "convenient" time, but it was imperative we go, and we are so glad it worked out. We raised her spirits immeasurably and her smiles were electric. Hopefully she will continue to heal. She has been very important to us and to see her energized by our visit was deeply touching.
On the way home I reflected a lot about what lessons we can all learn about living and giving when life hands us the tough times. These are some of those thoughts....
I think, no matter who we are or what we do--one thing is certain: As writers we are always looking DEEPER into life.
So here are some of my THOUGHTS ON LIFE.....
1. Try everything twice.....if you can! On a tombstone was this epitaph: "Tried everything twice...loved it both times!
3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Or take up a foreign language and get your mind working on new pathways and vocabulary.....Never let the brain get idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop."
4. Enjoy the simple things. Especially sunsets, sunrises, books or music, children, a walk in the sand or in the woods or a park, or even down the street. Look for people to smile at and bring a smile to......And, think on things that make you smile!
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER. Or listen to children laugh....it's contagious and absolutely PURE.
6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with you your entire life, is yourself. LIVE while you are alive. Know that God gave us rainbows as a way to look back on the rain and realize that life is a promise and a gift.
7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge, and if it's not, find a place of refuge -- or make it a place of refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. As we age, it's even more important.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, even to a foreign country, or to a friend's house, OR to some place where YOU can help someone ELSE get through something...but do not NOT go to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. Tell them when they least expect it and when they least deserve it. If you think they won't appreciate it -- think again. Perhaps it's good to remember that even God loves us -- no matter how many mistakes we make!
11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance. It's terrible to live with regrets......For me, I had to remind myself that God chooses to forgive me when I don't deserve it.
A simple list, and certainly not complete, but a list that might give us all pause to reflect on those who are important, those who have inspired us, those to whom we might even OWE a little -- or a lot of -- gratitude!
ACROSS THE SWEET GRASS HILLS
For more on Gail, check out her website: www.gailjenner.com
Or read about her on prairierosepublishing.com