June 7, 2011


The last couple weeks have been incredibly difficult for me.  On May 23, 2011, one of the most amazing men who ever walked the earth, passed away - my Grandpa Sam.  The last two weeks have been hills and valleys full of memories and emotions...gratefulness that he was ours to know for awhile, sadness that he's ours no longer. I am aware of how truly blessed I am to have known him...everyone who ever met him said that.  There are people in your life you just know have that special something...and he was one of them.  My dad gave the eulogy at the memorial today, and he said my grandpa squeezed life for every last drop. So true.  There was never a man who gave more generously, laughed more loudly, or loved more freely than him. Everyone who spoke today shared about his goodness and love, his generosity and kindness.  As my dad said, "If he had a dollar and you needed it, it was yours.  If he didn't have what you need, he wouldn't hesitate taking out a loan to help you out." On top of all this, my grandpa was a crazy character who was always pushing the limits and trying to stay out of trouble.  He always won the prize for the best Halloween costume, and he loved to play craps and pool.  He was the loudest person I've ever known, and would tease and embarrass you ever chance he got.

All this reflecting on life lately has really gotten me thinking.  At my funeral, will people say I squeezed life for every last drop?  That I gave generously, laughed loudly, loved freely?  I shared at the funeral today that sometimes when I pray, I ask God to make me like my grandpa, because he's better than I'll ever be. He wasn't forced or duty bound, but he had an incredible generosity of spirit and a kind heart.

I don't squeeze life.  I don't give generously.  I don't love freely. I don't enjoy life like I could.  I read this quote today -

"Humans are designed to seek comfort and order, and so if they have comfort and order, they tend to plant themselves, even if their comfort isn't all that comfortable. and even if they secretly want for something better." Donald Miller

I don't want to plant myself. Sometimes a whole week will go by, and I can't remember anything important I've done. That's not squeezing life.  Squeezing life would be remembering the conversation I had with the neighbor, calling my grandma to say hi, blowing bubbles every day with my son, jumping in rain puddles, taking a moment just to acknowledge I'm making a memory, stopping to smell the roses.  I don't want to let life happen to me, I want to make it happen. I want to stop caring what people think and march to the beat of my own drum.  I want to throw caution to the wind and not worry how it'll turn out. I want to leave people knowing they are loved by me. I want to take every good thing about my grandpa and take it to heart, so he can live on through me and my family.

A couple months back I started a photography company. It was scary, it was out of my comfort zone completely, and it was one of the most exciting things I've ever done. I was unhappy with my job and decided to do something about it.  I don't know what will come of my venture, but I do know that nothing ventured, nothing gained.  You'll miss every shot you don't take.  Sometimes it's ok to fail. It's ok to not be the best. The important thing is the attempt, to squeeze every last drop out of this life, to refuse to remain planted in the soil of discontentment. Who knows, maybe there is a bit of my grandpa in me after all?  I could only be so lucky.

After you read this, kiss someone you love.  Forgive someone who doesn't deserve it. Smell a flower. Eat that cookie.  Blow bubbles with your kids. Call your mom. Jump in a puddle. Raise your hands and dance in church. Book that extravagant vacation. Live it up. You only get to do it once. Make it count.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do that by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. " Mark Twain

1 comment:

  1. this made me cry....its so true. thanks for sharing that. i hope i can be like your grandpa someday too :)