Someday you will say…

Someday you will say…

I wish I had.

– or –

I’m glad I did.

Which one do you want it to be?

You get to choose.

You get to choose to…

…spend time with the ones you love. Or not.

friday worked late 404x404

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I need to share these thoughts with you, because…

…my father died this year. And my former wife, Joyce, died this year.

This is a new experience for me. Losing people so close to me.

And, maybe, this will help you.

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When this happens…

…you start thinking differently.

At least, I’m thinking differently.

About dad and Joyce.

About why we are on this earth.

And about how I want to be remembered.

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time with the ones who matter ver 2.0
one of dad’s favorite things

My father lived…

…a long and full life. Dad was a rock. And a leader. A leader by example and leading from the front. And an example of Christian living. With meaningful values.

Your son needs to see you lead - by example - from the front.

And, after a short illness at age 90, on his final night dad defiantly sat in his favorite recliner. He argued with the hospice staff about the hospice bed. Dad made it clear that he was not willing to use the oxygen nor the medications. Nor the hospice bed.

Dad even yelled at my sister-in-law, Cynthia. He has NEVER done that. Ever.

And dad died that night. Sitting in his recliner after he refused to get into the hospice bed, refused to use the oxygen tank and refused his medication.

Vicki Alvin Weiss Danica Spence ver 2.0
Victoria Ruth and Alvin Eddinger Weiss

I joked with my mother the next morning that dad had a scheduled “tee time” in heaven at 7:00 that morning with his favorite foursome, and he didn’t want to be late for that important 7:00 a.m. reservation.

This is probably pretty close to the truth. Dad didn’t want to keep his golf buddies waiting. And he was in charge. Not the hospice staff.

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Joyce’s situation was… 

…quite different.

Joyce’s situation was quite different. Unlike dad, Joyce died much too young. Joyce died too young after years of struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease.

With four children and six grandchildren, Joyce is missing all of the joys of being a grandparent.

Joyce should be enjoying this special time in life. 

Joyce is missed…

…and is missing the fun in that messy kitchen where she created such joy and laughter. Some call grandparenting the “sweet spot” of life. Sadly, Joyce has missed this joyous time in life. Through no fault of her own.

Have a meSSy Christmas. Just say NO to Pinterest-Perfect.
Joyce’s kitchen l00ked like this – except with more children in it

Joyce’s kitchen was always messy. And lots of fun. 

And that’s a good thing.

Joyce always let me know, “Life’s too short to have a clean kitchen.”

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Joyce is missed by…

Drew | Lucas | Tristan | Daniel | Vivaka | Ely
Drew | Lucas | Tristan | Daniel | Vivaka | Ely

…her children and grandchildren. Sisters and mother and cousins. And nieces and nephews. Missed by her husband, Earl. And a host of many friends. She was a high energy person who always brought a flurry of activity and joy to her surroundings.

Designing and creating crafts, baking cookies, delivering balloons, working in her garden, creating Ginger Bread houses, saying just the right things to encourage people, and hugging everything that could be hugged.

Joyce Elaine ver 2.0
Joyce and Lilly

Our backyard was always “the place to be” for the neighborhood children. Hot chocolate and brownies during the winter. And cold drinks, popsicles, and cookies during the summer. And some kind of water activity.

Whenever I came home, Joyce had at least 8 to 10 children in the yard or in the house. This was just normal for her.

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grandparents model loving behavior
I’m sure glad I did – how do you want to be remembered?

Friends and family have talked a lot about dad and Joyce since their passing.

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As we review their lives…

I am consumed with…

…these two penetrating thoughts.

I wish I had.

– and –

I’m glad I did.

– and – a third question.

How do I want to be remembered?

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These are difficult thoughts to consider. But, once you do, you…

You realize that you want to be able to say, “I’m glad I did” more often than “I wish I had.”

The good news is…

During the times when I’m struggling with those “I wish I had” moments, I discover ways to create some more “I’m glad I did” moments.

How do you want to be remembered?

blooper moment 296 x 200
our crazy moments matter – they create memories

When I reflect on how my father and Joyce have impacted my life and the lives of many others, I recall all the good times and some of the challenging times.

And the memories of the triumphs and struggles that we shared.

At the end of this reflection, I turn to thoughts about…

How do I want to be remembered?

What memories am I creating today?

Am I creating “I’m glad I did” moments?

Or creating one of those “I wish I had” moments?

By focusing on the wrong priorities. Like too much time at the office.

Or being too focused on a neat kitchen.

Or by responding to the urgent (work) but not really important (family).

Or by not doing something.

Or by not saying something that needs to be said.

Someone once told me, “It’s the things that go unsaid that destroy relationships.” Creating some more of those “I wish I had” moments.

I’ve had too many “I wish I had” moments of “unsaid things” with both my father and Joyce. I wish I could change them all to “I’m glad I did” moments.

fun things to do with your kids
I’m really glad we did

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Legacy of Memories

We create our legacy everyday.

fun things for kids to do
dad and Joyce left a legacy of wonderful people

When we are creating our legacy, we can only leave a legacy of memories. That’s all. Not money. Not creating statues of financial monuments.

When people speak of dad and Joyce, they all talk about special moments and memories.

What memories are you creating? Today?

Both my dad and Joyce have left quite a legacy of memories.

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Dad and Joyce have both created…

…timeless legacies that remain and grow daily.

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They remind me of a quote…

Only one life to live and love.

‘Twill soon be past.

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

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chocolate bowl baby 400 x 300
“Life’s too short to have a clean kitchen” – Joyce

Their legacies are living and breathing through their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Every time I see and hear my children, I see their mother – right down to the messy kitchens and fun events and family traditions. And our annual Ginger Bread House event at church.

I am grateful. For all of the memories.

And even some of the messes.

I still have some “I wish I had” thoughts about dad and Joyce. And you may have some, too.

Even though, “I wish I had.”

I am grateful for every “I’m glad I did” moment we shared.

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join us

don’t miss any KooL stuFF. EVER.

you will be glad you did

Have a meSSy Christmas. Just say NO to Pinterest-Perfect.

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