April 7, 2009
Funerals and visitations remind us this life seems too short—even for the oldest, but especially for the young who leave untimely, with so much work unfinished and boundless energy unspent. I always feel great sadness on these occasions, even though I believe in an Eternal plan for all. It is the current separation that is so painful, so ultimate, so final. There is no going back to say ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m sorry.’ During these times, I wonder if I am focusing on what’s most important. Here are a few things that make me very wealthy:
- Making strong, freshly ground coffee, grabbing a donut, and reading the Sunday paper with my wife, Mary.
- The love, mutual respect, and quiescent understanding that comes from a thirty-year partnership with someone I was lucky enough to marry.
- Any time spent with our children, especially if we can all laugh over a shared meal.
- Driving over the hills to see the palette of varied green hues blend and contrast against the powder blue sky as the trees bud, flower, and bloom once again.
- Playing with a puppy, laughing at her antics as she hops, bounds, and tumbles while bubbling over with the sheer joy of living.
- Growing in appreciation for the positive example, quiet determination and persistent, consistent life lived by my Dad and Mom.
- Music: listening to it, learning it, playing, but especially performing with my kids and friends.
- Still being able to get up and down the basketball court—sort of, playing with my son, and savoring the manly conversation with my buddies while we cool down.
- Dear, dear friends—the kind that even though you haven’t seen each other in years, one look bridges the gap, and time warps back to exactly where you were the last time you were together.
- The gift of faith and belief in God and Christ; the freedom to worship in peace.
There are many other things I could personally list, but it mainly comes down to relationships—with God, family, friends, clients, acquaintances, those I haven’t met yet—and enjoyment of the Creation. These precious gifts appreciate over time quite apart from the Dow and are unconcerned about interest rates or inflation. It is a good time for Americans to rediscover what makes us truly wealthy.