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A Gift from God

My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister's bureau and  lifted out a tissue-wrapped package.

"This," he said, "is not a slip.  This is lingerie." 

He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It  was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The  price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. 

"Jan  bought it the first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years  ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion.  Well, I guess this is the occasion." 

He took the slip from me and put  it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician.  His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he slammed  the drawer shut and turned to me. 

"Don't ever save anything for a  special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that  followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores  that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane  returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister's  family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or  heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without  realizing that they were special.

I'm still thinking about his words, and they've changed my life. 
I'm  reading more and dusting less. 
I'm sitting on the deck and admiring  the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. 
I'm spending  more time with my family and friends and less time in committee  meetings. 

Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience  to savor, not endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and  cherish them. 

I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and  crystal for every special event-such as losing a pound, getting  the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom. 

I wear my good blazer  to the market if I like it. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can  shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing. 

I'm  not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware  stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my  party-going friends. 

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing  their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or  doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. 

I'm not sure what my  sister would've done had she known that she wouldn't be here for the  tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called  family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few  former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I  like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her  favorite food. I'm guessing - I'll never know. It's those little  things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours  were limited. 

I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that  would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I  open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special.

Every day, every minute, every breath truly is... a gift from God.

See Also:

 I am So Grateful
An inspirational and relaxing poem.

Which One Are You ???
Inspirational story. When problems come (and they will) how will we react? Will they make us weak, hard hearted or will they cause us to change into something worthwhile?

Importance of Time
Inspirational Story. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.

More Inspirational Articles

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