~ Rogue River, Oregon salmon fishing ~According to this site and the person writing the post, the top five regrets of those folks who are in the last stages of life are
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
If you visited the link, please know I'm not recommending the site and know nothing about the site but happened upon it when wandering around reading something else somewhere else. How's that for nailing it down for you, eh? -smile-
~ haggling in the Marrakesh souk ~All I want to say is, choose happiness. We're all battling some kind of something or other...physical, mental, emotional, financial or combinations and battles we wouldn't wish on enemies. When your friend, spouse, partner or love does something, intentionally or unintentionally, unkind...choose happiness. When we allow someone to make us angry or annoy us, we lose. We lose happiness and all those losses may not seem like much time lost now, but when we're sick or on our deathbed, those minutes will come to us, unbidden, and we will anguish over those opportunities of, now forever, lost happiness.
~ in Alaska ~Dave lived a life of his choosing and not the life others expected of him. I think there are those that resented him for that; they begrudged him his happiness because Dave chose the path less traveled and did well in life. For those who are obedient, always doing the "right thing"...usually as perceived by their parents or others in authority...someone else doing well by taking the path less traveled can irritate. Dave taught me to live likewise and, more importantly, he encouraged and supported me in that quest.
~ kayaking, Inside Passage, Alaska ~Dave worked smart, rarely hard and was always amused because I loved working hard. Physical labor thrilled me and a barn cleaned of muck and manure and put back to rights was a joy to me. A garden full of food, pantry shelves with home canned goods, a quilt on the frame, wool on the spinning wheel...those things that made our house a home and our lives whole, they pleased me to do well. Quiet joy and a complete sense of satisfaction was my reward; that and knowing, at the end of the day, I could face God and Dave with a clear heart and conscious made my life whole. Dave, on the other hand, would spend hours and hours in quiet contemplation figuring how he could earn his living, what decisions would best suit him, us, the company for which he worked. Dave put together a great team and they are feeling his loss.
~ camping in Sahara Desert, Morocco ~
As I'm typing this, so many of you are running through my mind...your situations, circumstances, prayer needs...yes, you're tucked into prayer and thank you for your prayers. "This" is the hardest thing I've ever done, this treading of a path unknown, empty of comfort and full of longing. No one can explain and no one can prepare another; it's a membership I'd gladly give up my rights. I'm trying to choose happiness but, truth be told, most days I simply put one foot in front of the other and plod, plod, plod.
~ Arno River, Florence, Italy ~I do know I'm rather tired of people telling me they understand or they know what I'm going through. How can they when tonight, they will slip into bed beside their loved one and cuddle against the cold darkness? How can they know the overwhelming vastness of the loneliness that threatens to submerge me and press the breath out of my body? A beloved friend asked, "do you start to speak to Dave and then realize he's no longer there?" Not even hardly. The black hole of emptiness he's left behind is always surrounding me; I'm never unaware he's gone, always aware I'm now one. Sometimes I say something shockingly rude, ugly even, just to make people focus on how bad I am but, at least, then they stop with the platitudes. That's a relief and, frankly, I can hardly care what anyone thinks right now. It's too much effort to care and I am empty of effort.
I'm trying to choose happiness but success isn't mine to claim. Later perhaps, but not right now, and that's the best I can do.
Blessings ~ memories ~ photos ~