Sometimes, don’t we all look back on things that have happened in our lives and think … hmmm … “Maybe I could have done some things differently.” 20-20 hindsight is always enlightening, isn’t it?
Then we think, “Man, I wish I had known that ahead,” or “I thought about that. Why didn’t I ever do anything about it? And now it’s too late.”
Many of us make silent promises to ourselves that we’re going to do better — we plan to call someone we haven’t seen in awhile, send that card or go out to lunch with a friend.
Sometimes we do what we think about. And lots of times we don’t. This is a story about someone who did.
A few months back, we had an unexpected death in our family. My SigOther, Mike, lost his sister Gail. Gail was a gentle soul, who lived a quiet life in a special home. She went to work every day; traveled to places like Hawaii, Alaska and Cape Canaveral in Florida. Heck, she had been on more cruises in her life than we have!
When she unexpectedly passed on, the inevitable thoughts came to Mike that come to everyone at some point in their lives: Why didn’t I stop and see her more when I had the chance? What more could I have done to make her life better? Called her more? Sent her fun things in the mail?
Hard when you look back to see the things you would liked to have done, but never did. And may have lost the chance to ever do again.
Both of my parents have passed on, and I know what it’s like to look back and wish I had done some things differently.
But Mike still had time. His parents are both still with us, and I encourage him to do whatever he thinks about, NOW … while he still has the chance. He took his experience, and our conversations, and channeled this into what I will call “The Fish Dinners”.
Mike’s parents are older. They don’t get out much other than to doctor’s appointments these days. Not usually many occasions to dress up. Yet after Gail died, he knew it was even more important to stay connected, even though he is already one of those good sons parents can rely on.
So, one Friday afternoon, after work, he stopped down to their house. He knew they liked to go out for fish on Fridays. So that first week, he talked them into going out with him for fish.
And so began the weekly ritual of “The Fish Dinners.” Initially his parents gave him a hard time about everything from his driving them to the fish place to paying the bill. But he would give them a hard time back, and make them laugh with his dry, sense of humor we all know and love.
Now, they are waiting for him, all dressed up ready to go, each Friday night, looking forward to those fish dinners.
Does this take a lot of time to do? No, not really. Just a little bit of planning ahead.
What kind of memories are those dinners forming? The kind that you remember in those quiet times, years from now, when you smile to yourself knowing you seized the moments, and made them count.
So go ahead and call that friend, make that lunch date or send that card (I know a cool keep-in-touch tool you can do this with!).
Make today the day.