Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Beginning and the End

Today I learned a very valuable life lesson I would like to share. My mother, step dad and sisters came up this weekend to visit my Grandfather who is in a nursing home. He has been there a little over a year, and there are many problems which cannot be fixed with medicine. One thing he does have is Alzheimer's which has robbed him of his thoughts and memory. This to me is one of the worse things a person could ever have.

This picture was taken today. My Grandfather was giving Kaylin a kiss on the cheek during our visit. I will remember this moment for as long as I live because it was absolutely beautiful.

The lesson I learned today that I have always had in the back of my mind but never really thought about it was not to take life for granted. At the beginning of life you are born into a family that takes care of you, feeds you, changes you, and loves you. While growing up you learn right from wrong and how to treat others with respect. What people take for granted is that lesson we all learned as young children about how to respect one another. The golden rule, do unto others as you would have done to yourself. As we mature and gain a personality of our own, we learn many different emotions, love, hate, compassion, anger, and many others. One emotion I am guilty of having is anger. It took 27 years and a couple weeks to figure out that you do not get anywhere if your life is driven by anger. If your neighbor does something you do not like, what good does it do to get mad about it? You have just wasted an hour of your life with an emotion that does nothing for you, but cause stress. For what?

In the middle of your life after you have figured life out as a teenager and determined you are invincible, you have your own children. These children are your future and will need to learn right from wrong and valuable lessons in life just like we did as a child. If you are consumed by hate and anger, your children will also live this kind of life. If you remain calm and continue to treat people well, your children will be the same way.

Once we get old and retire, we get grand kids to spoil! I just had my first child so I cannot imagine how much love a Grandparent would have for their grand kids. Same lessons in life apply to this new generation as it has for the past three. This is also when health begins to deteriorate. From my experience, watching a very strong and loving man like my Grandfather go from a hard working man to a physically weak and memory deprived man, is very depressing. He never did anything but care and love his family and work hard so none of his children ever had to work. This is the end, and it happens to a lot of families the same way. It seems like such a long painful journey, but when it is over, it seems so sudden. I hate to see my Grandfather hurt.

After that being said, I have learned that fancy cars, money, looks, even friends all fade over time. Two things we should never take advantage of is family and your life. Holding grudges makes it impossible to seek forgiveness from those who you have wronged, and talking badly about people only makes life more stressful because you are worried about some meaningless situation. After seeing my almost 5 month old daughter and my Grandfather together today, it made me realize I need to cherish life and let the little things go. Time is so limited, live each day like it could be your last!