It Still ‘Hurts’ [v168]

FEBRUARY 2013

It Still ‘Hurts’

The Auto Show was here in Detroit a few weeks ago, and as a ‘certified’ car nut, I very much look forward to going every year. But, this year was the first time I missed going in over 20 years. Now, I was pretty busy at work that week, but that had never stopped me in years past. It was because my dad didn’t call me to go—because he’s no longer with us; he passed away about 7 months ago. I was just not that ‘motivated’ to go—it just wouldn’t have been the same going without him.

Being the “New Body Manager” for large car at Ford Motor, he would point out all the ‘imperfections’ in the car bodies of the concept cars, and cite what couldn’t possibly be built—but then, he would tell me how it would have to be changed to “see the light of day.”

[ http://www.autoweek.com/detroit-auto-show ]


Then it ‘hit’ me. In thinking a little more about it, I realized how much I did with my dad—especially in the past few years—and that I REALLY MISS those times we spent together. It’s left sort of a ‘hole’ in my life—one I ‘fill’ with GREAT MEMORIES!

I previous years, just about now, he would remind me that I should “slowly start a stretching program” to prepare for spring golf. Sometime in mid-February—if I was ‘faithful’ in my stretching program—we would meet every other week and go to the golf dome to start “swinging easy.” If it was snowing out, we would ‘retreat’ to his basement where he had a putting ‘green’, and he would help me with my putting stroke ‘tempo’ and ‘feel’—after which we would go to his favorite restaurant, Kruse & Muer, just a few miles away in downtown Rochester, and both have a ‘mess’ of fresh lake perch. What a treat! (“Best in the Detroit area,” he would tell the waitress—this coming from a professional chef in his days before Ford, and a lifetime food ‘connoisseur’).

Most every week he would visit me at my office to drop by a few golf clubs to sell online (that he had put together from the parts I bought for him the previous weeks on e-Bay), and we would visit another local seafood place in downtown Royal Oak, “Tom’s Oyster Bar,” for some more perch (with a Groupon, of course!). “Not as good as Muer’s,” he would say.

When we weren’t golfing or eating, we would be picking up some ‘deals’ at the local Walmart or Bed, Bath, and Beyond, or just making something together—usually some kind of wooden ‘creation’ or a golf club.


In the past month or so, I’ve been feeling ‘waves’ of emotion here and there—usually due to something that piques a ‘special memory’ of a time we spent together. Like when he took me golfing to “Mystic Creek” (Camp Dearborn) on my birthday—in November…in Michigan!

It was an unseasonably warm day (usually 45 degrees; got up to 77), and we were playing the “Lakes” course. When we arrived at the 7th hole tee box, I commented that there were a lot of those dandelion ‘puff-balls’ out on the lake bed (the water had receded at least 20-30 yards). Well, very calmly and nonchalantly, my dad said that those weren’t dandelions—they were probably golf balls (no big deal to him, since he worked at Oakland University’s golf course, and picked up dozens of balls every day). I thought I had died and gone to Heaven!

Since we were the only ones on the course, I suggested we go out there and pick up “a few.” An hour or so later, we had FILLED BOTH of our golf bags full of balls! (probably over a thousand!). What a GREAT MEMORY!


A former nurse, Bonnie Ware, who looked after dying patients, wrote a book about memories and the top five “regrets” people expressed on their deathbeds. One of them was that they did not spend more time with family and stay in touch with friends (another was “working too hard,” which of course, limits the time you can spend with others!). She ended her book with: “Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.” (i.e. do things you enjoy to ‘create great memories’!).


Even though IT STILL ’HURTS’ a bit when my dad comes to mind, I am ‘comforted’ when I remember all the fun and interesting things we did together over the years (though, I wish we had DONE MORE!).

The psychological ‘industry’ suggests that “yearning” is the dominant negative grief indicator between six to eight months post-loss of someone close. They also note that ‘reviving’ good memories of activities one had with that person usually helps from feeling depressed and lonely—even though it may bring you to tears, it will, more often than not, likely serve as a soothing ‘bandage’.

[ FYI: Be comforted by Jesus Himself. When Lazarus, Jesus’ close friend had died, “Jesus wept.” (Weeping is more than tears, it’s deeper. It’s what’s going on inside the ‘heart’) ].


Now, granted, I have no daily ‘intimate’ connection with a spouse or a family member at this time (I’m a bachelor, and my daughter, Arielle, is ‘married off’, and son, Tyler, is going to college out-of-state), and this kind of need can’t be ‘satisfied’ by work associates or even close friends. But I have found a “peace that surpasses all understanding”—my faith in Jesus, and God’s promises, that comfort me in my ‘down’ moments. I just can’t imagine going through the grief process of the death of a parent—or even ‘worse’, that of a child or a spouse—without a relationship with Jesus Christ, and the absolute certainty that you would ‘see’ that loved one again in Heaven!

[ If you don’t have that certainty, let me suggest that you can have it—right now! There are no ‘special’ words to say, just ask Jesus to be your “Lord and Savior, and be your ‘guide’ in this life. It could be the MOST IMPORTANT ‘MEMORY’ you will ever make! This web site could be of some help:
http://www.TheSearchForMeaning.com/sfm_pres/sp_q12_d1_1of10.html ].

Since I have asked Jesus to be my “Lord,” He has helped me find solace and an unexpected strength going through this grieving process. In the words of Jesus, He said that, “I’ll be with you as you go thru this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age” [Matthew 28:20]. What an AMAZING PROMISE!


Now, as we all know, life is ‘short’ (compared to ‘eternity’), and it’s the MEMORIES you create for yourself and leave with your wife or husband, children, grandchildren, extended family, and friends that WILL LAST. It’s not usually the ‘big’ things that you do together that create the best memories either. Oh, the big ones will be remembered, but it’s often those little daily, weekly or ‘holiday’ things that you do over and over—that usually don’t cost much—that are treasured, special, and will be remembered most.


So, let me encourage you to go out and create some memories—since they may inspire you investigate a past event, or bring strength and joy to you today—but will definitely be a ‘comfort’ to you sometime in the future in your time of need!

God gave us the ‘gift’ of memory, and He reminds us in Proverbs that, “The memory of the righteous will be a blessing…” So, go live life in such a way that you create good memories that will be a ‘blessing’ to others while your here—and when you’re gone, too!

Twentieth-century Italian poet and novelist, Cesare Pavese, once said: “We do not remember days; we remember moments.” Think about the lives of people close to you. What stands out? Usually, it’s an experience you shared with them or a ‘moment’ in time. The days become a ‘blur’, but the best of memories seem to be when time ‘stands still’—a shared experience that will never be forgotten.


Someone once said: “Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.” Memories are not only etched into our ‘hearts’ for the future, but your life now will be so much more meaningful because of them!

The “King of Country,” George Strait, wrote a song, “The Breath You Take,” that uses Pavese’s quote as an inspiration for the chorus.

“Life’s not the breaths you take
The breathing in and out
That gets you through the day
Ain’t what it’s all about
Ya just might miss the point
Try’n to win the race
Life’s not the breaths you take
But the moments that take your breath away.”

The song is about realizing the important moments in life—whether they be large or small—and ‘filing them away’ as precious memories to be ‘savored’ later! It’s told through a father’s eyes—starting at the baseball field of his boy’s youth, and moving to the more emotionally jarring times like birth and death. [ The video of the whole song is worth listening to—just be sure you have enough ‘kleenex’ ].



So, I’m sure I’ll go to the Auto Show next year—maybe I’ll have a client that ‘requires’ that I go—or maybe I can just start some new memories with someone else that I can leave a ‘legacy’ for!


[ Excerpts from: Yale Bereavement Study; Billy Graham; Pastor Perry Fruscella; Rabbi Daniel Cohen ]


[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further what the Bible says about the “most important decision”—i.e. “memory”—you will ever make, visit the following link:
http://www.TheSearchForMeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q12_d1_1of10.html


Blessings…
Mark



LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v168) for FEBRUARY 2013
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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“God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.”
[J.M. Barrie]

“In memory’s telephoto lens, far objects are magnified.”
[John Updike]

“Life is a rough biography. Memories smooth out the edges.”
[Terri Guillemets]

“A memory is a photograph taken by the heart to make a special moment last forever.”
[Unknown]

“Always have old memories, and young hopes.”
[Arsene Houssaye]

“Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.”
[Kahlil Gibran]

“So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.”
[Helen Keller]

“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.”
[from “The Wonder Years” TV show]

“Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.”
[Oscar Wilde]

“Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.”
[Bob Dylan]

“A life-long blessing for children is to fill them with warm memories of times together. Happy memories become treasures in the heart to pull out on the tough days of adulthood.”
[Charlotte Davis Kasl]

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
[L.M. Montgomery – from “The Story Girl”]

******************************
MEMORIES
Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind,
Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine.

Quiet thought come floating down,
And settle softly to the ground,
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet,
I touched them and they burst apart with sweet memories, memories.

Of holding hands and red bouquets,
And twilight trimmed in purple haze,
And laughing eyes and simple ways,
And quiet nights and gentle days with you.

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind,
Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine,
Memories, memories, sweet memories.

[Elvis Presley]

******************************
MAKING MEMORIES
As you turn to see,
Where you have been
Will it be a memory,
Of a life lived within.

Surely not, for each destiny,
Includes the lives of others.
Unless each second was empty,
Without even a laughter.

What do you remember most,
A scene, a sea, a painting.
Or a friend who was a host,
When you were left wanting.

Neither is wrong, neither is right,
Live as you would, without constraint.
Simply remember, when comes the night,
None of your choices can be a complaint.

For your life to matter to all,
Live it fully and create memories.
As each experience will recall,
All that is good in our stories.

[Frederic Moraillon]

******************************
LIFE MEANS SO MUCH
Every day is a journal page
Every man holds a quill and ink
And there’s plenty of room for writing in
All we do is believe and think
So will you compose a curse
Or will today bring the blessing
Fill the page with rhyming verse
Or some random sketching

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Every day is a bank account
And time is our currency
So nobody’s rich, nobody’s poor
We get 24 hours each
So how are you gonna spend
Will you invest, or squander
Try to get ahead
Or help someone who’s under

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Has anybody ever lived who knew the value of a life
And don’t you think giving is all
What proves the worth of yours and mine

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much

Every day is a gift you’ve been given
Make the most of the time every minute you’re living

[Chris Rice – from “Smell The Color 9” album]

******************************
DEEP THOUGHT:

“Sharing tales of those we’ve lost is how we keep from really losing them.”
[Mitch Albom – from “For One More Day”]

**********************************************************
Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Never forget the day when you stood before the Lord your God at Mount Sinai, where he told me, ‘Summon the people before me, and I will personally instruct them. Then they will learn to fear me as long as they live, and they will teach their children to fear me also.’”
[Deuteronomy 4:9-10].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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