Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:25-26 (NIV)
As I write this, fireworks are going off in my neighborhood. They start celebrating early around here. The dinner dishes are done, and food put away after hosting our parents and youngest son and his girlfriend for dinner. Ham, black-eyed peas, collard greens, German potato salad, carrot soufflé, lima beans and salad. And lemon pound cake and ice cream for dessert. We ate like there’s no tomorrow. They are all gone home now. Parents to an early bed, youngest son and his girlfriend to the New Year’s Eve celebration in Sarasota. Summer is asleep at my feet; Lucy is watching television with husband. A quiet evening at home just like we like it. And before we also go to sleep, I have a moment of reflection to be grateful for all 2011 brought to us. How blessed we are to have all four of our parents still alive and active! In their eighties but still in their own homes, still driving, with only minor health issues. How unusual is that? Two grown boys, healthy and busy. Both of them in careers that they love, though still seeking full time jobs, not content to twiddle their thumbs while they are waiting. A future daughter in law who is a delight, hard working, loving and kind. And a family who welcomes us to be a part of their lives. An adopted daughter who changed jobs and is doing more of what she dreamed of doing for a career. With a special someone and a chance to experience some of the joys she should have had as a child if she hadn’t been robbed of them by family circumstances. Seventy eight Guatemalan “grandchildren” to love in person whenever I can and to bless long distance when I cannot. Sisters and brothers in law, nieces and nephews, in-laws and out-laws. A church full of “family”. Great co-workers. Friends I can depend upon. New friends to be made as we feed local children. As I count my blessings, I see it is all about relationships rather than stuff. We’ve been blessed in other ways, travel, jobs, home, automobiles, horses, dogs, but when you get down to the nitty gritty of what is most important it is all about the people rather than the possessions. If you were to strip everything away of my life, that is what I would chose to hold on to. But, as time marches on, those are exactly the ones I cannot hold onto. Oldest son has moved far from home. Youngest son is making plans to leave. Parents are aging. Who knows who will be at the dinner table this time next year? Only God. I could live life in fear, worried every minute. But, worry will not help. The only thing I can do as 2012 approaches is to make it a priority to spend as much time as possible with the people I love. And let nothing get in the way. Because there might not be a tomorrow.