40 Days: 031710-D29.0

Good morning. It is 5:51 a.m. (remembering my dear friend, Donnon, on this day of his passing 8 years ago. Not Fade Away, my friend. We will always love you)

My best friend is really going through some challenging times. We’ve been through every big event together in our lives, and this one is no different. His father is dying. Like my mother, he has made the most of his life after his spouse died years ago. But now, as we creep toward the anniversary of her passing, it is clear that he has begun the process of letting go.

My friend’s parents were, and always will be, my “second set.” They both helped me through many tough times in my own life, and I am grateful for their gentle, Christian guidance along the way. Ever-grateful.

I write this morning, though, about what comes of these challenges: opportunities to look at our own lives and to make choices regarding how we will spend our moments here on Earth.

My friend is not wasting any time in embracing them now. A recent trip to the west coast brought him clarity and vision for the quality of a single moment, an inhale of life. He called me while driving along Highway 1, sharing with me the beauty as it unfolded before his very eyes. Every turn, every peak he announced in 21st century Yawps that carried me 3000 miles to be by his side. That was a great gift, my Friend. One I carry with me daily.

When things settle here on the east coast, he wants to head back there and do that drive again, this time with me. I don’t know how many of the nearly 656 miles we’ll do — maybe all of them. What matters is that we’re going to do it at all.

For here’s the thing: We know all the cliches: life is too short to waste a single moment, carpe diem, your life is not measured by the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away. . . .We know all those, and yet, we hesitate to actually live that way.

Why? Simply put, we’re fearful of what others might think. We hesitate because we believe that the living of our lives will somehow inconvenience others or cause reactions that don’t support our beliefs or our actions. We go shopping for permission, for acceptance, for support.

It doesn’t work that way, though. We can’t live our lives looking for approval, asking for a general vote on whether our desires to live fully are appropriate or timely or even sensible.

YOU are given each day to live fully. Each of us. It’s through YOUR eyes and YOUR heart and YOUR mind that you determine what defines your carpe diem experience. No one else.

It’s time we all took a little drive on our own Highway 1. Roll the windows down and let life breathe through you. Live with the intent we all felt when we were 7 years old, where our lives were measured by the way we lived each moment — playground, sandbox, artwork, writing, sleepovers, pooltime, lemonade stands, dancing, TTFN and BFF and A&F.

Nothing has changed, my friends. They are still moments, and they are still yours. Capture them in all their glory, and live them as they were meant to be lived.

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2 thoughts on “40 Days: 031710-D29.0

  1. I truly love this post– might actually be one of my favorites yet. I teared up as I smiled and laughed and kept reading on. I sooo identified with this.
    Unfortunately for me, its not the “what will they think” that stops me from doing most things I want to, but finacial worries… but Ive found alot of things in life cost very little but time. Time to stop and say thank you, to smile at someone and wish them a good day, to take a walk and see all around you God’s splendor, to hug your child, to be thankful for another day to tell your parents you love them….

    This made me think of someone when I read this… not sure why but…. Everyday as I leave for work I notice this middle aged black man who walks up and down Tollgate Rd. I never noticed him at first because Im always to focused on hurrying to get to work, construction, etc. Then after a week or so of becoming aware of him there, I noticed he just waved at the people on their morning journey to where ever. He has a big smile and friendly wave to everyone… in the beginning I thought, oh a wacko… then I thought he might be mental challenged ( which frightened me cause Tollgate is a busy road and I was worried he would get hurt– or he would become lost,etc). So one morning I started waving back… he would smile even bigger and tip his baseball cap to me. This in turn started making me smile and just happy inside. When the big snows hit, I looked for him ever time I drove down the road and almost felt disappointed when he wasnt there. I know it was to cold out etc… but I started expecting him to just be there. I found I actually missed this friendly gentleman who gave everyone a happy send off each and every morning. I actually look for him on a daily basis and even on my days off, I find a reason to get in my car to drive down the street just to wave back at him. I feel sad and disappointed when he waves and the person driving by doesnt acknowledge this… are they just to busy? do they just dont see? do they just not care? do they not know what they are missing? He,one of God’s children, makes me smile and feel happy. I just hope I give him the same in return.

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  2. Highway 1, what a wonderful place for memories. My family doesn’t take trips, we go on “ventures.” My first venture was w/ my dad when I was 5 years old and part of it was along Highway 1. We did parts of that drive every other year 5 times until my grandmother died and my grandfather moved east.

    We always drive if possible. We take our cameras and try to stop at interesting places at least one direction of the the trip or the other. We also don’t get lost – we just “find alternative routes to our destination.”

    I too wish I had more time for those trips.

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