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Friday, November 18, 2016

Finding What Is Important

If you read my blog you may have been seeing my posts about trying to make everything appear perfect in the house.  I had planned on having everything completed by noon today with the remainder of the day for cooking and decorating. As happens so often, when we carefully plan, life makes other arrangements.

Wednesday I got a phone call that a friend of our oldest son had died in a wreck.  We had been close friends with his family since the kids were little fellas but had lost touch lately except through FaceBook.  We are still close friends with his father  in law and mother in law, and see them every few weeks and it would never occur to us to not acknowledge his passing.  So last night I stopped cleaning to make some food to help with their extended family  lunch today and this afternoon I went to a funeral for a young man who died too soon and leaving a young widow and 2 young daughters and a broken hearted mom, dad, brother and sister. While I was going through the receiving line at the visitation before the services his dad hugged me, told me old friends are the greatest friends, and said nothing mattered but hugging my boys.

On the way home I was getting cranked up because I was sitting at a dead stop on the interstate, making a mental list of things I had not finished yet. In the middle of the stand still I mentally heard Bob's voice saying again, nothing mattered except hugging my boys.  The frenzy I had been feeling was gone and replaced by an internal peace, because life is uncertain and nothing matters except hugging my sons, dil and of course granddaughter.  The house is pretty darn clean and it might not be  exactly what I envisioned, but instead of seeing something askew  or not quite perfect I am going to heed Bob's advice and know that nothing matters except hugging them and enjoying our time together. Because  Nothing. Else. Matters

I know his entire family would give anything in this world to have Thanksgiving in a crappy dirty house all together instead of facing the empty place at the table. So I am now ashamed that I believed for even one moment that this Herculean cleaning frenzy was necessary.  We will be together and laugh and enjoy each other, and eat too much, and since I have sons will have some toilet humor, loud sounds and unseemly fragrances and it will be enough and it will be good!

36 comments:

  1. It will!

    A loss around a holiday always seems especially cruel but I think for the families it is such a vast thing, the timing is irrelevant

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    1. I know it is near Thanksgiving but I am so thankful for the girls that their dad did not pass away during the Thanksgiving week. At least they will not have to think of the holiday later in their lives as the week Daddy died.

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  2. Definitely hug those boys and I'll be hugging my girls. It will be a blessed holiday for which we will be thankful.

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  3. Well said. I am so sorry for your loss. It is devastating when someone close dies around a holiday. It is the people in our lives that are the most important and most don't care how your house looks, it is the being together that is important.

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    1. It just breaks my heart for his entire family, and being together is important!

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  4. My heart is breaking for that young family. Thanks you for sharing, and yes, hug those boys tight, and the little miss, and know you have the world in your home this weekend.

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    1. I will be hugging them starting tomorrow night when their late flight gets in, then hug the NYC delegation when they fly in Wednesday am.

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  5. I am sorry for the loss of the young man. I know I run around when family is coming and really they visit is see us not how clean my home is. Good food, laughing, and remembering when we were kids is the best. When Christmas eve rolls around I'm going to try and remember this post and not drive my family crazy wanting everything perfect.

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    1. Cheryl I think we have been fed a false bill of good about the quest for perfection. I remember Christmases at my grandmothers and things were put away but nothing was bright and shiny except for everyone's smiles. I think Ive been doing this all wrong.

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  6. I am so sorry.
    And those reminders smack us down more effectively than anything I can think of. I wish we didn't need them, but too often we do. Focussing on the trivial.
    Enjoy your time with your family. And hug them tight.

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    1. I am old enough and have seen how fragile life is. I should have not needed a smack in the face to remind me, but I did. Extremely bad form on my part.

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  7. Oh, I am so sorry this happened. I am sure your house is clean enough and not why your children are visiting. Thanksgiving will be even sweeter because of the recent reminder that life is fragile.
    pparsimony

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    1. The house is cleaner than it ever is, just not perfect like I wanted. Now I am not worried about it, because it just doesn't matter.

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    1. It is sad Jess. Hug your son tight and tell everyone you love that they are important to you.

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  9. That's a really tough way to have that message passed on to you. I am so sorry for the loss of a close family friend and I'm sure they appreciated having you there. Take care.

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. And you are correct, a very painful way to get a reminder about your own priorities. Our families are all we really have or need, despite all of our own expectations about achieving other goals. It takes a lot of strength to accept less from yourself & focus on the things that matter most.
    Big hugs to you.

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    1. I am trying very hard to realize that all I have been doing is just the frosting on the cake. The family togetherness is what is critical.

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  11. Such sad news... heartbreaking. I commend you for stopping to realize that all those little things don't matter. Your holiday will be absolute perfection because your family will be together. Thank-you also for helping me to look at our family gathering a bit differently...

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    1. I keep thinking about the 2 young daughter who will have a difficult holiday season and how silly it was of me to worry about having clean curtains.

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  12. Yeah, puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

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  13. I am so sorry for your loss and theirs, reality hits home in a hard way. Hug you.

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    1. Yes it does. I am broken hearted for his sweet family

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  14. I really needed to read this post tonight. I'm stressing about the unnecessary and really need to refocus on what truly matters. So very sorry for this family's loss. Hugging my son extra tight.

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  15. I hate I had to get the "message" the way I did. Son1 and his family came and things were clean but not perfect and I am enjoying it all! Son3 and guest get here Wednesday morning and I will tidy and clean the toilets and that is all then. It might take me a long time to learn a lesson but once I learn I generally don't forget it

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  16. My deepest sympathies on the loss of your young friend. A dear, long-time friend of mine died of a stroke this last week. Life is fragile and what is important is having family and friends getting together, not a shiny house. I am getting ready for an event at my house in a couple of weeks time and going a bit crazy cleaning, etc. Thank you for this timely reminder to focus on what is important. Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family and loved ones.

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    1. Doesn't it say a lot about our priorities when we can embrace frenzy until something stops us in our tracks to remember what is truly important?

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  17. Exactly!!!! Enjoy your time with them!!

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  18. And I just reread your post. I forgot to mention that I"m so sorry about your son's friend. My nephew's best friend died in a motor cycle accident a couple months ago. It hit him pretty hard. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving and enjoy.

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  19. Oh my goodness, that puts things in perspective doesn't it. How terribly, terribly sad - I am so sorry. Six years ago this week 4 of my kids' friends were in a car crash - the car actually ended up in a tree. Two died, one almost lost his arm and the only girl had multiple broken bones. No drink or drugs involved and no speeding - just an accident black spot that has since been dealt with (though too little, too late). This is a VERY small village and those kids were in my house the night before playing Risk. The horror even now is unbelievable. So yes, you're right - the house should be clean enough to be nice and dirty enough to be happy. My eldest flew back from the States on Friday - said it was the most turbulent flight he had ever had. I was so glad when he got back. It's a sad way to realize what's important in life isn't it. Anna

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    1. It is sad, but it seems to be universal. We get caught up and focus on the trivial while forgetting what is truly important.

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