Happiness and Saying Goodbye
We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty. ~ Mother Teresa
Sometimes it hits me just how old I’m getting, more than that I think about my parents, and my still living grandmother and how hard this thought must cross their minds, people who are twenty and forty years older than I am. It’s been a tough last six months for a number of people that I love, there was serious concern about their health and I wondered seriously if we might lose them. Gratefully we did not and I’m truly thankful for that. However, whether it’s a month, a year, a decade it is only a temporary reprieve. As the old saying goes none of us are getting out of here alive.
I live a significant distance away from most of my family and when all of this was happening a friend asked if I was heading East to say goodbye. My answer seemed to catch her off guard when I told her I was not. She seemed confused and distressed by this answer and I saw a question cross her mind, could it be that I didn’t care about these people enough to rush to them and say goodbye? I answered the unasked question by explaining my philosophy on goodbyes. They are not necessary, they are a nice thing to do when possible but if you have truly been present in your life and theirs, they are not necessary. Too many people live their lives as if time is infinite and that tomorrow will always come, it will not always come. I have tried, even over great physical distances, to remain present in the lives of those I care for, this includes both my biological and adopted families, some people are not merely friends.
Were I too rush to their side when things didn’t look good it would do two things. First, it would make them think things are hopeless and I don’t want to put that idea in the mind of a person who is fighting to stay alive. Secondly, because I have been present in their life there isn’t anything new to say, we won’t gain anything from that experience. However, let me be very clear, I would never let someone I love die alone, were they not already surround by loved ones I would be there. A last chance for a smile, a touch or a kind word would be wonderful, but what is truly important my friends is the impact made over time, the day to day niceties, the phone calls for no reason out of the blue, the small kindnesses. No visit at the side of the death bed will ever make up for that kind of love.
So my wish and hope for you today is two-fold. First that you are finding the time to do these things, it is all too easy to have an idea cross your mind for a way to be nice to someone, only to have that idea slip into inaction because of the distractions of a busy day. Stop letting that happen, we have talked before about how what you put out comes back to you ten-fold or more. Secondly , my hope is that someone is doing this for you as well, there is nothing better than that unexpected call, card, the little niceties of life that make a day so much better. Even a smile to a stranger can positively impact their day. So, make someone’s today and hopefully someone will make your day tomorrow, and as always, have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane