Looking at Life
I have been laying here watching a movie called “The Last Dance” and have laughed with tears in my eyes and then it dawned on me that this is what I am doing with my children and my Sweetpea….trying to give them all I have of me. No I am not planning on dying anytime soon but when you reach the age of sixty and I am 63, the years left are not as long.
This movie is very poignant but also very profound. The older woman realizes that she is sick and will not live years and years and so she begins to look at her life. She starts giving away her treasured possessions to people that she felt would really enjoy them. She knew some of those closest to her did not care about them so she gave them to the bus driver, to friends she met here and there. She wanted her treasures to have a home with someone who she knew would love it and not just sell it or stick it in a closet. I have done that with my sons a couple of years back and what I knew they really liked, I gave to them. What I knew they would never really cherish or keep, I gave to friends that loved whatever it was I had.
And then in the movie, she started sharing her memories with those closest to her and she told the one that she was the closest to the following:
“savor memories..for that is all life is..a series of moments”
“will you take care of my memories for me? I want you to have them and to take care of them”
I loved that because it seems that for so many people accumulating wealth and possessions is the most important and yet all we really have when we leave this world is our series of moments between the birth and death date. Some call that the dash moments. But, they are our memories.
Yes, years ago, there was a family historian or story-teller that took care of the memories and kept them in their head and listened to and kept a record of sorts so that the next generations knew what life was like. We do not do that anymore. And many beautiful memories are lost.
We tend to wait until loved ones are gone to wish we had listened to them more and asked more questions about when they were young and about family. It is like we are too busy and rushing around and do not take the time, which is sad to me. Are our series of moments in life…our memories not valuable at all?
I remember sitting and listening to my great-grandmother and I was but a small child. She told me about the civil war and the soldiers walking through their town and how scared everyone was as a little girl but that she was not. I have heard the story of my granny Bellamy when she was five swinging on the picket fence in her little dress, whistling Dixie at the northern soldiers. I have even been told that I had her spunk. But, if that story…that memory had never been told, I would not know it today.
It is not just memories of family that we cherish but of friends. I have and have had some of the most treasured friends ever. I love the quote the woman said in the movie:
“The name of friend is common but true friendship is rare”
And some of those friends have entrusted me with their memories and their joyous and sad moments in life. I felt blessed to be the recipient of their trust and their words. They have enriched my life greatly.
What I love about this movie was it stressed the importance of filling each day with joy and love and the things that mean the most. We can not take that fancy house or fancy car or all that money with us. But, we can leave behind a legacy that will stay in the hearts of those around us for years to come and we can make memories that make each day we have on this earth so full and so joyous that our lives are enriched as well as those around us.
I recommend this movie for everyone. For me, it just confirmed what I wanted to leave as my legacy to my children is in the non material things. My hope has been that my fight and my drive have instilled in them the same fight and drive…and it has. I want to leave them the knowledge of how important it is to know that your happiness lies within not outside of us. I want to leave them the joy of just being with each other and slowing down. I want to leave them with the value of being honest, ethical and moral in all their choices in life. I want to leave them with the knowledge that they are very special and are loved so much. I want to leave them with a feeling of self-respect and the knowledge that I am so very proud of them.
And not only do I want to leave all that for my children, I want to leave it for those that come in contact with me. I want to leave those around me with the feeling that they are just as strong as they choose to be…that they are worth being treated right and deserving of having a life that is less stressful and filled with love. I want to leave those around me with the feeling that at least one person..me…cares about them and what they do and is willing to listen to them. And I want to leave all those around me with a feeling of having been part of my life.
I want to leave people with good thoughts in their heads. I think we have a choice. We can let the media bombard us with all the ugly, we can let those around us fill our lives with ugliness and arguing and fussing or we can fill our heads with good thoughts and make each moment in life special.
We have 86,000 seconds in a day. How many do you spend being thankful and saying thank you, being happy and joyous, making good memories and loving those around you? How many do you spend with all the negative in the world? It is all a choice.
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