Saturday, December 14, 2013

It has been 10 years, but it seems like only yesterday.

 December 12 is an unusual anniversary date. An unusual anniversary because it was the 10th anniversary of the date that my mother passed away. In many ways it seems like it was only yesterday. And in 100 more ways it seems as though she is still here. She is still talked about and considered. “Mom would really like that person” or  “Mom would have loved that movie”. When I say that she was a big part of our lives, I do not mean just me. I also mean my wife, my children, my in-laws, my cousins and so many others who knew her and loved her.

 There are a lot of beliefs and theories about what happens to us after we are gone. But there is one form of “eternal life” that we can all agree on. The one way that we can live on after we are gone is to live in the hearts and minds of those who knew us best. That is certainly the case with my mother.

 Was she a little bit eccentric? Crazy? You bet and that is how and why she is so fondly remembered. We all have so many wonderful stories to tell about her. So many that it allows any negative thoughts to fade away and what we are left with are happy, joy filled memories. Who wouldn't want to be remembered that way? I don't think that while she was here with us she ever gave a thought to how she would be remembered. But her constant consideration of those that she loved and cared about most of all were certainly her hallmarks.

Maybe that is the answer. Perhaps if we want to be remembered by those who we love most of all, the best way to do that is by a constant consideration and caring for them. It certainly worked for her.

My father told me the story of having attended a funeral and afterwards he approached the woman whose father had died and said “I am sorry for your loss”. Her response was extraordinary. She said “I haven't lost anything. I have just stopped gaining.”

I can only hope to be remembered as fondly as my mother and in the same way this woman loved her father.

 ( After I wrote this I realize that I wrote a similar piece 2 years ago called “Lasagna in your trunk”. I hesitated to publish this and then thought that if I feel the same way, then I should publish it anyway. I hope that you agree.)

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Best New Year's Resolution Ever.

 That's a bold statement. But it is true and it will be my New Year's resolution again this year. "Resolve to do more”.  I wrote about this a few years ago and thought that it was appropriate to publish it again.

 I hope that you agree and that you will resolve to do more.  

This year, I resolve to do more.

I will love more.
I will laugh more.
I will sing more.
I will participate more and I will make more of a difference in the world around me.

Life is a journey. If we pay attention along the way, we find that it is also a great teacher. Below are some of the things I have learned on my journey:

We all have something.
I have learned that nothing holds us back except ourselves. I have learned that we either have results or excuses as to why not. I have learned that we all have the same amount of time, and that we all can participate more, and do more to make a difference in this world. Whether it is an hour a day, an hour a month or an hour a year, we can all do something to make this a better world.

We can all do more.
Doing more requires only one thing: making the decision to do more. I have decided to do more for the MS Society. I will also do more for my wife, my children and my friends. I will do more for the world around me.

Doing more means participating more. Showing up is a good start, but it is not enough. Participating means rolling your sleeves up and getting involved both figuratively and literally. It means asking questions and learning more. It means listening when a listener is needed and teaching or counseling when called for. It means helping out and contributing time and attention to someone or something. It means caring.

We can all make a difference.
We can only make a difference when we care. Whether it is family or friends, work or a cause - my favorites are the MS Society ( ) and Chelsea’s Hope ( - Please visit this website). Find something that you care about and be a participant. If we participate, we can make a difference. When we make a difference, our lives have meaning and purpose.

Resolve to do more. That is my New Year’s Resolution. I may or may not lose weight, exercise more or save any money. What I will do is MORE…more of what is needed to make this world a better place. I hope that you will make that part of your list of resolutions too.

These are my New Year’s Resolutions and I am planning to have a great year.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.