Just Another Day….

Remember the song Another Day by Paul McCartney? It’s been going through my head off and on all day. Catchy little tune but the lyrics are rather sad. A woman living each day the same, over and over while waiting on the man of her dreams to come and break the sad spell cast over her life. The song ends the way it began. Without her hero. Just another day.

Today, November 29, has been in many ways just another day for me. I woke up at the usual time which is always 10 minutes before the alarm goes off. I fed and walked the Doodle. Got showered and dressed to go to my retirement job (which honestly is a blast) at my daughter’s play cafe for kids called Hoot Studio. Came home, fed and walked the Doodle again. Paid the end of the month bills and am now settling down to write a little before going to sleep. Just another day.

But also today a number of uncommon things came my way. You see today is the 30th celebration of my 29th birthday and I’ve been blessed by many birthday wishes from some pretty fantastic folks. A group of preschoolers singing happy birthday for me. A good friend taking me to lunch. Facebook comments and birthday well wishes. Happy Birthday texts from family and friends. All wonderful reminders that today was just another day which was made very special by the kindness of others. And there lies the answer for the woman in the song, for me, and for each of you. Just another day of kindness.

There were a couple of moments today between the happy birthday wishes, where I felt sad and even lonely. Sort of like the woman in the song. Remorse crept into my emotions as I thought about another birthday, another day, without the loved ones I’d lost over the past few years. Tears began to swell up in my eyes and I had to find a quiet place to be alone for a few minutes. I had not expected these emotions to come to me today but they did and tonight I’ve been reflecting on them. And with that, another song has started playing in my mind.

Three Dog Night did a song back in the 70s called One. It’s a reflection on missing someone that was in your life but is not there anymore. There are two lines from the song that have been resonating with me tonight; “It’s just no good anymore since you went away, Now I spend my time just making rhymes of yesterday”.

When you miss someone very much, perhaps with all of your heart, it’s easy to spend your time, your thoughts, living in the past. Clinging to the past. Missing what has been.

Memories of those we’ve loved are wonderful things to be cherished but what I have learned is that continuing to focus deeply and entirely each day in those memories keeps us from living the life we have now. A life that has been created from and because of those past loves and experiences. A life that needs to be lived in the now. To its fullest. Not as one just getting through another day but with hope built up from the kindness of others that has been given to us.

So with tomorrow and the beginning of my 31st year of being 29, I am choosing to live each day not as Just Another Day of being One but as a day to be thankful for the lives and loves in my past. Living in the now with the hope, the joy, of the kindness that has been given to me. And choosing to do my best to bring kindness into the days of those around me. How about you join me.

See you down the road….

Front Porch Sittin’

It seems summer has come early to Central Ohio. Today, the temps were in the mid 80s as it has been for the past four or five days. Tonight there’s a cool breeze as the Doodle and I enjoy the front porch. That breeze also has the scent of rain so something is coming our way it seems.

Today was a really good day. Actually, the weekend has been very special.

Our family celebrated Mothers Day this afternoon to honor all the mom’s in our family. Three generations. This morning, our extended church family stood and affirmed our commitment to 10 young children being dedicated by their parents. Two were my grandchildren. That commitment of love makes my heart full.

Today was also my two-year-old granddaughter’s birthday and last evening we partied like a two-year-old to celebrate her presence in our lives. She and her little brother bring incomparable joy to my life.

And Friday night I was able to go with a group of friends to see a band perform the hits of Fleetwood Mac. One of my favorite groups from my youth. Music has always moved my soul.

So tonight while doing some front porch sittin’, I’m lingering in the stillness of the evening with a full heart, a joyful spirit, and a soul that is singing a song of gratitude and thanks.

Oh, how I wish my wife Barb was still here with us to celebrate these precious moments. They are the life events she loved. From the hanging out with friends to celebrating special days with her family, she deeply enjoyed times like these. And you know, I’m confident she did so this weekend.

I don’t really know if our loved ones, who have passed on, do have some heavenly view over our lives but I like to think so. Even though she is not physically present, I can sure feel her with us.

I felt her Friday night at the show and could visualize the two of us dancing away the night like we used to. She was with us last night as we enjoyed and celebrated the blessing of our granddaughter, and her spirit was with us today during the dedication of our grandchildren. Her joy tonight must be beyond abundant.

I find comfort in knowing Barb’s joy is abundant and complete. How awesome that must be. I can’t wait to experience it for myself some glorious day.

But for now, I remain here in this life. And I have to say it’s a pretty good one. I’m surrounded by family and friends that love me and one another. And with that love and grace, there isn’t any storm that can overcome the hope and joy I have.

So tonight I’ll leave the windows cracked and let the breeze blow in as I listen to the rain on the roof. It will give me peace. And there again I’m reminded of Barb and her love.

Peace to you my friends.

See you down the road…

When you’ve only got a hundred years to live

The song 100 Years by Five For Fighting has been playing in my head almost all of 2017. Thoughts about life and living have been very prevalent this past year due to Barb’s passing back in March, her dad’s passing at the beginning of November, and now today, reaching my 58th birthday. Saying it’s been an eventful year is a bit of an understatement.

For me, today hasn’t really been anything out of the ordinary. I woke up before the alarm went off, had to chase my dog Izzy back home from her morning walkabout, went to work, sat in meetings almost all day, came home, let Izzy out and chased her back home again (need to get the invisible fence working), made supper, and then went to choir practice since it’s Wednesday night. Just another day and I’m thankful for it. And I’m thankful for the Graeters Buckeye milkshake I picked up on the way home. Happy Birthday to me!

Today there have been moments of laughter and happiness as friends wished me a happy birthday but also moments of sadness as I experienced this first birthday without Barb. The year of firsts continues.

I missed her smile today and the way she would say happy birthday to me. I missed her annual reminder that on my 30th birthday, she gave me the best birthday present ever. The birth of our son. And a week late at that, as she had ‘held him in’ just long enough to be born on my birthday. She usually had a loving smirk on her face when making that statement and I really missed that too. I missed just being with her today.

When you find that one person that really does complete you and you spend many, so many loving years with them and then they are gone, it’s, well it’s like part of yourself is gone. You’re only part of a person and everyday happenings really feel kind of hollow. I’ve used that word hollow quite a lot lately as it feels like there’s a hollow place, a hole, inside my chest. Good things and happy times are still happening but they just don’t feel the same.

At the end of the song 100 years, the lyrics go like this:

“Fifteen there’s still time for you
Twenty two I feel her too
Thirty three you’re on your way
Every day’s a new day….
….Fifteen there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey fifteen, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got hundred years to live”

The line “Every day’s a new day” has always resonated with me. No matter what the past years have been like, no matter what today has brought, no matter the good times or the bad, every day is a new day. Barb believed in the hope of the new day and she lived out that hope each and every day. Through the years of raising our kids, during the challenges of our marriage, and through her months of living with cancer. She never lost the hope of a new day.

Two of Barb’s go to scripture verses were Lamentations 3:22-23:
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

I’ve also learned to go to these verses during times of doubt, fear, and loss. Who wouldn’t want mercy and compassion every new morning. And to know that the one who created all things and holds the future in His hands is faithful. Faithful to me and to you. That is where we find the hope and strength to move on to the new day and live.

Those of you that have wished me a Happy 58th Birthday today, I truly do thank you. Your kindness helps to fill that hollow feeling I have. Will I live to be 100? I don’t know and honestly don’t really mind if I don’t. I’m going to greet each new morning one at a time and let each new day come to me as it may. And make that not just my wish but my way of living. When you’ve only got hundred years to live.

See you down the road.