As I’ve written many times, I grew up in a large family. There were ten kids and I was the second youngest. There is a twenty year difference between the oldest, Donna, and the youngest, Jeff. Big families are like that.
I remember that each Sunday, our family would sit on the left for the 9:15 AM mass, usually in one of the first ten pews. All of us, all together. Once a month on a Saturday, dad would drive us to church for confession. Not exactly sure why the frequency, but it was important to dad so we went.
My brothers and sisters and I were the youngest there by light-years. Even my dad would be considered young in comparison to those kneeling in pews or in front of votive candles. I remember mentioning this to my dad. He thought about it in silence for a bit and then mentioned something to the effect that as we get older, we realize better how we erred. We realize that the end is near, and we realize that we need to make amends.
I must have looked up at him with a furrowed brow or at least an unspoken question on my lips, because he smiled and said something like, “When you get older, you’ll understand that you’ll look back on your life, all the mistakes you’ve made, all things you said or did, and you’ll want to say, ‘I’m sorry.’”
Hmmm . . .
I’ve always been a spiritual kind of guy. For most of my life, I’ve been a religious kind of guy. I guess it goes back to being raised in the family I was born into, being taught by nuns from first through eighth grade, and then going to the high school I went to, which was a co-ed boarding school that used to be a seminary.
But it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I had More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows left in me. That’s a sudden and stark realization.
There was no one incident that caused that realization. There is no illness other than a few more aches and pains. I’m in pretty good health. I’m happy. Life is good. Kim and I are faced with being empty nesters in August and neither of us are quite sure what to make of that. So, no, there wasn’t one thing I can point to that caused me to say to myself that I have More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows. Yeah, being sixty-two, I really am on the downhill side of the mountain.
And aside from retirement accounts (in about six years, I figure) and life insurance and such, I have to consider what I’ve left for Kim, for Hannah, and for Emily.
Did I do enough for them? Was I a good example for them? Am I someone they tolerate and kind of ignore or do they like having me around? Was I a good enough dad for Hannah and Emily, and as I interact with Kim, who is my best friend, am I showing Hannah and Emily what a good husband might be?
Knowing that I have made, and will continue to make, mistakes, do I own them or place blame on others? Are my words meaningful and loving or are they careless and hurtful? Do I smile enough, laugh enough? Is my heart full enough and do I freely and lovingly give all that is in my heart away enough? Do I continue to trust even though I might get burned from time to time?
Do I forgive . . . others . . . myself . . . for all that I did do, didn’t do, and did say or didn’t say? Have I used the gifts I was given? Did I share my gifts with others and help bring out the gifts in others?
So many things for me to consider. So many questions to ask myself. And . . . so many things for you to consider and so many questions to ask yourself. Something . . . many things, actually . . . to think about . . .
Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!
For My Readers:
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If you would like to read a recent interview of me and my work, you can find it at http://bit.ly/29yA9IT
If you like to read thriller/mystery, check out:
Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved. http://tinyurl.com/Stolen-Lives-J-Lewis
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them. http://tinyurl.com/Shattered-Lives-J-Lewis
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
The FBI knows a 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t. With no leads and with nothing to go on, the FBI gambles and sets up the boy and his family as bait in order to catch three dangerous and desperate men with absolutely nothing to lose.
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out. http://tinyurl.com/Taking-Lives-J-Lewis