Friday, August 25, 2006

Reading More and Dusting Less

This is a forwarded email and it is such a beautiful story I wish I know the author to give credit to. It's a little long but really worth the read.

A Story To Live By

My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister's bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. This, he said, is not a slip. This is lingerie. He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion. He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me. Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special

I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister's family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special.

I'm still thinking about his words, and they've changed my life. I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings.

Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to savor, not endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them. I'm not saving anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event-such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market if I like it. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends. Someday and one of these days are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I'm not sure what my sister would've done had she known that she wouldn't be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I'm guessing - I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing good friends whom I was going to get in touch with - someday. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write - one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and daughter often enough how much I truly love them.

I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special.

Every day, every minute, every breath truly is... a gift from God.

If you've received this it is because someone cares for you. If you're too busy to take the few minutes that it would take right now to forward this to people, would it be the first time you didn't do that little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won't be the last. Take a few minutes to send this to a few people you care about, just to let them know that you're thinking of them.

May love litter your life with blessings!

You've got to dance like nobody's watching, and love like it's never going to hurt.

People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there.


  1. A reminder not to procrastinate and to make good use of every breath in life, so that we have no regret in death.

  2. Anonymous10:55 AM

    We all know that this is true, but we tend to think to much of tomorrow... or yesterday
    I'm guilty of it, no doubt...
    I am trying very hard to live to day, not yesterday nor tomorrow...
    That's the way we can live life to the fullest... no regrets!!!

  3. Great advice. Now, get back to work.


  4. very true lor...i've received this mail few mths back..and since then, i've always tried to put the moral of the story in mind whenever i try to save a certain new dress i just bought for a certain occasion...we just never know what might happen b4 the occasion?

    but then again...saving something just for a certain day makes the day even more special doesn it? ;)

  5. Joe, that is wise.

    Z, come to think of it, to be alive is today, not yesterday nor tomorrow for yesterday is gone and tomorrow has yet to come.

  6. "saving something just for a certain day makes the day even more special doesn it?"

    PC, I do agree. Makes it exciting even. ;)

  7. Yes ma'am, my little peach, Momo! Are you saving up some of your bones and toys too for special occasions?

  8. I was trying to think of some kind of smart-aleck comment to say, but I just can't think of one. Friendship is just too good of a thing.