“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”― Maya Angelou
Yesterday, I purchased a new car. My car was almost 9 years old so it was time and the interest rate was excellent. After online research and insights from family and friends, I narrowed my search to two models. When I went into the dealers, my first questions were about the towing capacity and the drivetrain. I don’t think he was assuming those would be my first questions, but I could hear my Dad asking these. This is the first car that I bought without him with me. He passed away in 2016 but remains a part of my day-to-day.
The lessons that are instilled were more from his actions and deeds rather than his words. He had quiet strength, humble confidence, soft-spoken with nothing to prove to anyone. Live a good life, work hard, be kind, generous and hone your critical thinking skills so you make good decisions.
After I finished at the car dealer, I went to show my Mom and sister and then drove to the cemetery to thank Dad for his help. I was excited about getting my first red car. It may not have been his first choice but he would have loved it because I did.
Each of us has the power to instill lessons, be a positive impact in our world and be remembered for our love and contribution rather than our opinion or judgment. What are you casting out into the world? What’s your mark?
Lecture or respectful exchange?
Judgment or acceptance?
Taking or giving?
Laughter or complaint?
Ego or empathy?
We will all leave our mark behind and how we are remembered will be in how we made people feel through our actions and deeds. Love, kindness, laughter, listening with full attention and how to pick a good car transcend time and place. Make your mark and desire to be missed deeply.
“Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest. The blessing is in the seed.” – Muriel Rukeyser
A beautiful Sunday drive brought Mom and me through the “old” neighborhood. First past her home on Sixth Street, then to Dad’s house on Earl Street where his parents landed after they immigrated from Poland. We finished the “tour” by the still white house on Ivy where they came together to raise our family. All three are within a few miles or so of each other. Families back then didn’t land too far from home. It was both familiar and distant.
“We come to beginnings only at the end.” – William Throsby Bridges
Many good memories with neighbors who remain friends still. Beginnings anchored in hard work, struggle, laughter and faith. By today’s standards, the houses are small and yet somehow we made it through with one bathroom, sharing a room with my sister and a small kitchen with no dishwasher. Those were the days with alleys where the neighborhood kids gathered to play boot hockey, ride bike and make forts from piles of snow.
“The journey is my home.” – Muriel Rukeyser
Every now and then, we need to go back to our beginnings to see how far we have come as well as be reminded where we need to return to. Seeds and roots.
“Time moves in one direction, memory in another.” – William Gibson
“And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.” – William Shakespeare
For safety reasons, my sixty year old silver maple tree will be cut down and ground to its roots tomorrow. A large limb dropped off two weeks ago from no additional force – no wind, no lighting. Fortunately, no one got hurt when the limb fell, crushing the fence and taking down the power at 2:00 am.
I will miss swinging in the woven rope chair, listening to breeze flow through the branches and the sound of laughing leaves. I will miss the canopy of shade and the beauty it gave freely without condition. For so many sentimental and the practical reasons, the tree will be greatly missed.
So, I’m having a tree funeral – food (no casseroles), guests and all. Material things, even trees, can be replaced. Family and friends are to be treasured. So a tree funeral to say goodbye and to honor the gift of majestic nature in my backyard for so many years.
The father of my best friend in grade school passed away from cancer and the funeral was today. Patty and I still connect a few times a year (not enough) and each time we do, it’s like we just talked yesterday, one of those rare connections that doesn’t fade with time. I’ve been reflecting a lot about the people and places that we grew up with and in – the neighborhood.