A Daily Practice You’ll Never Regret
Do you take the people you love for granted? Do you just assume they will always be there? Do you tell them often enough that you love and care about them, or do you feel there is no need as they probably already know? A young man, Greg, recently had an experience that truly opened his eyes to the importance of appreciating those we love on a daily basis.
Greg had some buddies at a bar that was around the corner from where he lived. This bar apparently became like a home to him as well as his buddies. They would gather to watch sports games, talk, and of course drink together.
One day, Greg came to the bar after work and was told that an older friend, Luke, was taken to the hospital. He rushed into Luke’s room only to find his friend dying of liver failure. Luke had never told anyone he was sick. Greg tenderly told Luke how much he had loved him over the past years and that he was like a father to him. The older man smiled at him and shared how he loved Greg as a son. The two men had never shared their feelings like this before. Luke died that night. Greg felt devastated. All those years they had spent time together and yet had never spoken about anything deeper than the football game. It seemed like a waste to have not shared more meaningfully.
Several nights later, Greg had a dream in which another friend from the bar, Jeff, was killed. The very next day Greg went to the bar and found Jeff. He sat with him and told him how much he appreciated him. Greg was moved to fully share his feelings of friendship for Jeff. Jeff was very appreciative and the two men hugged for the first time ever, even though they had known each other for years.
The next evening Jeff was out in his boat and somehow fell into the water. His body was found the next morning. Greg told us that his life will be forever changed from these two experiences. He feels that he truly knows now the value and importance of sharing true feelings of love and appreciation on a daily basis.
Thirty-five years ago, I read a book that helped open my eyes to this valuable truth about sharing love and appreciation on a daily basis. In “Song for Sarah,” Paula D’Arcy was pregnant with her second child. One day, her beloved husband and little girl, Sarah, were riding in the car with her to go on a fun outing. A drunk driver ran into them and in one awful moment her daughter and husband were killed. The book follows the course of her grief and the ultimate wisdom that she found from the experience. In her words, “I see people taking loved ones for granted and I want to scream at them. Isn’t there some way to know what I know without having to go where I’ve been?” On her road to recovery and wholeness, she concluded that to spend one day without appreciating the people in your life is in essence to waste that day.
I read Paula D’Arcy’s book at the very beginning of my motherhood, and I believe that it helped me to be a better mother, partner to Barry, and better person. I think of her words often. At the beginning of each day I think to myself that I do not want to waste even one day by not appreciating and loving. As Greg found out, sometimes we have only a short time left to speak that appreciation. And sometimes we don’t seize the opportunity and it is too late.
I encourage us all to reach out and share our love and appreciation every day. You’ll never regret you did!