Thursday, December 8, 2011

Living in the Present

Christmas is stressful.  We all freak out about it,  whether it be gifts,  decorations,  holiday parties,  or crazy families.  And then you get a message out of the blue that puts everything into perspective. Tuesday,  I went to the memorial service for my friend's husband.. Charlie.  Charlie was only 63,  which now that I am 52.. I can say is way too young.  This was unexpected,  and no one was prepared for it.   Family and friends had an opportunity to talk about a man they had all loved.  It was a service that truly was a tribute to a life well lived.  And that was the one thing that struck me... everyone was laughing because they all had Charlie stories and the common theme was Charlie always lived in the moment.  His goal in life was to enjoy it and to make sure those around him enjoyed it as well.   Every statement was a joyful remembrance of this man's life.  I was struck by all those who related how much they would miss Charlie's laugh the most.  What a life lesson I got.  I was prepared to go and grieve and to leave feeling wrung out and miserable.  Instead I left much more light-hearted than I had when I arrived.  

Charlie was also the man that taught me how to program computers almost 30 years ago.  His patience and laughter during my beginning attempts as a programmer provided just the balance to my frustrations at learning this new task.  But he believed that I could do it,  and because I respected him,  I believed I could as well.   His belief fueled a 30 year career that has provided for my daughters all these years as a single parent.  To say I owe him much would be an understatement.  And at his memorial service,  I received another lesson from him... to live in the present.  To focus on joyful moments with friends and family because those little moments become the memories others have of us.. and wouldn't you rather want them to be positive ones!  Charlie you are already missed,  but your friends are already talking about this years Christmas party and how you will be there in the stories that are told about you at past gatherings.   You lived life well,  thank you for the reminder to all of us on how to do this.

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