I received the following email from our classmate Al (Smitty) Smith, shortly before his mother passed away earlier this week. I asked Smitty if I could publish his email on our website.
While Smitty states within his email his words are not profound, I respectfully disagree, and believe his message is nothing but profound, and a very compelling message and reminder we may all use. It has been a powerful reminder, personally, for me.
While this is an uncommon entry to see on our website, so too was Marian Smith … an uncommonly wonderful woman. I’m proud to say I had the honor and pleasure of knowing her for many years growing up, as many of you did. You and your family, Smitty, remain in our prayers, and have our sympathies during this difficult time. Tim.
Some of you are friends, some of you are coworkers, some of you are acquaintances and some of you are people I hold in particularly high esteem. In any event, most of you know that my mother is passing from terminal cancer after a brave 15 year battle. She is comfortable, well cared for and this message is not intended to seek your sympathy or your regrets – my mother has had a very rich life. I simply wanted to share something positive I “took” from my recent visit with her. This is not profound; in fact, it is patently common observation. Still, reminders are sometimes useful in our busy lives. Hopefully this reminder will be of use to you.
Death and its approach necessarily help to provide improved perspective. My wife and I got a chance to talk face-to-face for the first time in nearly two weeks after taking shifts comforting my mother. We shared our experiences and expressed our shared disbelief that, over a two-week period, neither of us heard her complain once. For those of you who do not know, she is blind, wheelchair bound and totally dependent upon others for her care. I watched with amusement while something as small as an oatmeal cookie brought her real joy !
The point is this – the next time any of us wants to complain about the circumstances of our busy lives, let’s all endeavor to remember our respective blessings. In the words of my mother, “Life is good;”. . . so let’s enjoy it! Take time to watch the sunrise, buy a cup of coffee for the guy standing behind you in line (I love to see the look on their face), call a lost-long friend, forgive someone who wronged you and remind your loved ones that you, in fact, love them. I think this will make your week a little brighter. Who knows, maybe it will become a habit.
For those of you who pray, pray for Marian Smith. For those of you who drink, raise a glass to Marian Smith – but remember, please pray responsibly J
Al “Smitty” Smith
January 16, 2008
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