A Moment in My Life – Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Every day is a celebration of life, in my opinion. Still, being the human I am, I find I tend to mosey on through my life day-after-day, surviving, to getting things done, instead of living my life purposefully and enjoying each moment fuller. As a new year begins, it is the perfect time to start anew. Leave behind what didn’t work, reassess, and make new plans to move forward. The beauty of each year and each day is that every day is a clean slate, which I plan to create a masterpiece of a day well-lived. When I realized I didn’t know how to accomplish that because I am a doer with my eyes fixated in my planner and my hand was scribbling to-dos faster than I can read on my ever-growing list, I knew I needed to reevaluate how I have been living my life. I realized the answer was right under my nose.
Two years ago, today, I held a Celebration of Life in honor of my late husband, Mark, who requested attendees wear colorful clothing and fun hats to the event. He wanted his friends and family to fill the room with laughter instead of tears. I know Mark was smiling from above and chuckling at times, along with the room full of 200 plus familiar faces reminiscing and sharing memories of Mark, and much laughter resonated through the halls of our church where we held this service.
The man who I loved so dearly for more than half of my life provided me with an example of how to live my life well, but I was too busy keeping busy to notice. Like the old saying goes, ‘better late than never,’ and I’m grateful that this is late and not never.
For as long as I’ve known him, Mark typically drew the short straw, but he always managed to keep an even keel during trials and adversity. He was patient and unwavering and was the master of letting things roll off his shoulders. Mark was a smart worker who was highly regarded and entrusted to delicate jobs such as church treasurer and executor of an estate and was well-loved and respected by his judokas. He befriended people with his willingness to listen and ability to hold a conversation. It was never a wrong time to talk with anybody about anything. Once a salesman sat next to him on a flight from New York to San Francisco, and they yakked non-stop the whole flight home. Mark was 100% introverted, but he enjoyed conversations at any time.
He showed up at gatherings in the ‘Cat in the Hat’ hat that he was famous for and sprinkled smiles everywhere. If it weren’t his fun hats, it was Mark’s wittiness that attracted smiles. He was even cracking jokes with the nursing staff just hours before he transitioned to heaven. Sometimes I think he missed his calling for standup.
I was most impressed with Mark’s ability not to let anything stress him out. He managed to live a balanced life each day and took everything that came at him in stride. He took care of his responsibilities and made time to enjoy his favorite things such as movies, good food, and time with loved ones. His unspoken goal was to live each day well and be happy.
I finally realized that his daily goal was always my goal, too, but I was too busy to notice. I’m out of time, but tomorrow I’ll tell you how I’m incorporating Mark’s techniques in my quest for a celebration of life.