Savoring The Gifts

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Gift Box

I was standing in my kitchen today thinking about my nephew who recently died. I remembered how he lived with us for a week this past January. Due to a mix-up in communication with his coach, he arrived at college a week early. Rather than traveling back six plus hours back with his dad and only to make that same trip a week later, he came and stayed at our home, about an hour from his campus. I can see him in my mind’s eye, sitting at the dining room table each morning, telling me stories about his friends and teammates at school, laughing and joking as I worked in the kitchen.

I’d like to think that I fully soaked up the gift of time with him that I was given. Listened carefully to each word, mindful to each moment, noticing how he smiled and how he looked. But I am afraid that many times that my mind was off doing its own thing. I was there physically but I may have been mentally checking my to-do list in my head or wondering if I thawed out the chicken for dinner.

This rehashing of memories is what we do when someone we loves die. Wonder if we should have done more. Been there more. Listened more. Loved more. Those kind of thoughts will haunt me for a long time. But they also help me to realize that I am given so many gifts each day and that I can make a choice on how to savor those gifts. Stopping whatever task I am doing and truly listening to my child, noticing how my husband’s eyes crinkle beautifully as he smiles, being grateful for the calm silence of the dark autumn mornings and enjoying the company a good friend.

Each loss and each lesson that I have received along the way has shown me that the key to a good life is to recognize the gift when it is in front of me, be mindful to savoring each moment of it and be grateful for the gift because you never know when it will be gone.

What are the gifts in your life and how are you savoring them?

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