I was helping a friend of mine clean out a bedroom when he went
over to some dressers, opening up a drawer in one of them that
held some of his wife's clothing. He saw a wrapped package that
was among the garments and proceeded to open it, standing there
and looking at its contents.
"She got this the first time we went to New York ,
eight or nine years ago," he said holding the object.
"Yet she had never put it on . . . saving it was for
a special occasion, she had remarked. Well, I guess this day
is now her special occasion."
He walked over to the bed and placed the box's contents next
to the other clothing he had pulled together. His wife had died
unexpectantly just a few days before, and he was taking them
to the funeral home for the next day's service. He turned to
me and said,
"Never save something for a special occasion. That's
because every day of your life could have been that special
I still think today about the words he spoke to me then, which
have now changed my life forever. The contents of the box he
found? A lovely dark-red dress she said she would wait to wear
on their tenth wedding anniversary.
Because of that afternoon I now read more and clean less. I
sit on a porch swing without worrying and spend more time with
my family and less time at work. I have come to understand that
life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not
survived through. And if I feel like it, I'll even wear fresh
new clothes to go to the supermarket removing the two words,
someday and one day, from my verbal dictionary.
If it's worth seeing, listening, or doing, I want to see, listen,
or do it now. I don't know what my friend's wife would have
done if she had known she wouldn't be there for him the next
morning. I think she might have given him a final special hug,
later calling relatives and close friends. She might have also
called past friends to make peace with old quarrels, and then
put on that dark-red dress in the evening when simply going
out for Chinese, a favorite fast food.
It is these kinds of small things that I would regret not doing
if I knew my time had come, leaving thoughts of "One
of these days" far behind me. I would feel sad if I
hadn't made time to tell my brother and sister or son and daughter
how much I had loved them.
So today I try not to delay, postpone, or keep anything that
could bring laughter and joy into my life before I would go
to sleep that night.
And then if I was privileged to see a new morning, I could
remind myself as I woke,"This is going to be another
special day for me." We all need to remember each day,
each hour, and each minute as special and that when they are
gone, they too are gone forever..
If your day is done and you're satisfied with
all that has happened, why not go out rent the movie"Frequency"
to see another's view of what life could be like if you
could only go back and change it.
- reedited from a discarded e-mail.