Thoughts on grief

My friend Tara’s mom died on Monday. Nancy was also my college professor and mentor. This post was originally going to be about how sad I am and how her death put me back in a place of grieving for my grandparents, whose deaths I have yet to process. But then I heard this on story on the radio on my way home from work. Treasure your moments on the earth, my friends.

From John Maxwell:
“My friend Dwight Bain sent me a story of a ham radio operator who overheard an older gentleman giving advice to a younger man.

‘It’s a shame you have to be away from home and family so much,’ he said. “Let me tell you something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities. You see, one day I sat down and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about 75 years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and came up with 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in his lifetime.

‘It took me until I was 55 years old to think about this in any detail,’ he continued, ‘and by that time I had lived through over 2,800 Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be 75, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.’

He went on to explain that he bought 1,000 marbles and put them in a clear plastic container in his favorite work area at home. ‘Every Saturday since then,’ he said, ‘Ihave taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There’s nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.’

Then the older gentleman finished, ‘Now let me tell you one last thought before I sign off and take my lovely wife out to breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday, then I have been given a little extra time.’

We can’t choose whether we will get any more time, but we can choose what we do with it.”


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