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A Story To Live By

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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 occasion." 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. 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 feel 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 have 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 and it means there is probably at least someone for whom you care. If you're too busy to take the few minutes that it would take right now to forward this to ten 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. I don't have to make up silly stories about people being hit by buses or crushed by falling disco balls for not sending this letter on. You've seen the result of this neglect in your own relationships that you have allowed to fade, dissolve, and fall into disrepair. Take this opportunity to set a new trend. Take a few minutes to send this to a few people you them. It's even better if they're not the people you already correspond with every week. The more people that you send this to, the better luck you will have. And the better you'll get and reaching out to those you care about. I know maybe 2% of you, and there are *alot* of you! But I care for everyone, and I wish everyone will be able tolearn to live in the moment and cherish it and take the risks and say "I love you" or "I'm sorry" or "I forgive you" or "I appreciate you," to people they might take for granted, not see often, hold a grudge against, or simply have as a close friend or colleague. Self Care means giving and getting and attracting all the love and good one can in their life, for it leads to success and prosperity and true happiness. If you have people who you care about and whom you might just wish to share this letter, forward it to them or send them a copy. You will be giving them a gift that is free yet priceless. All the Best To You All, Dennis
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Entered on: 05/11/1998
Send it: Allegedly perpetrated by:
Copy and paste this into an email to a friend. We can make it easy for you. Mail it off with the Netscrap(TM) MailTool. by Ann Wells (Los Angeles Times)

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