A few months ago I found an article in an old magazine. I tore it out so I'm not even sure which one it was (I think Redbook), what year, etc but it was such a touching article that I photocopied it and gave it to my mom.
A few weeks ago an aquaintance of mine passed away from cancer. A few days ago, a neighbor of mine passed away. I can't help but think of my family and close friends and what I would do if/when one of them passes. I think about how important it is to treasure every day. We always say that but how many of us really live it? I know I don't...not enough.
This article is really amazing and I hope you take a few minutes to read it and think about your life being a special occassion as well.
Life is a Special Occassion (author unknown)
"The morning of my mother's funeral, I moved mechanically aorund the kitchen of my childhood home, preparing the house for guests. A friend had brought a coffee percolator, so I went hunting in the corner cabinet for some cups. What remained was a motley collection: two plastic mugs, bright orange; the same green pottery mug I remember Mom bringing to Dad in bed each morning. Nothing that would do for company.
I walked over to the lowboy cabinet just off the kitchen that held my parents' wedding china and slid open the door. The china had a whiff of the forbidden. The set was eggshell white; the plates, a spare elliptical shape. I'd never seen it used. Even for the best company, it was always the rustic brown plates - for friends, for Dad's clients, for holidays.
I thought back to when I'd cleaned out my grandmother's apartment after her death, discovering a wealth of untouched luxuries; vials of Lanvin perfume, beautiful clothing with tags hanging, endless crystal squirreled away. All the while, she dressed in threadbeare polyester pants and ate off cheap plastic plates.
I was not immune to these habits. My best clothes hung in my closet, waiting for events of great enough consequence. Good wine was never opened - which occassion was weighty enough? I even had my own unused formal china; the gold-rimmed set for 12 I had rescued from my grandmother's place. It had gone from her dark cabinet to mine, still waiting.
I knew I was breaking some sort of rule now as I reached into my parents' lowboy. I removed the fragile cups two by two and arranged them carefully on the counter.
Dad had been wandering around the yard, lost in thought. Now the door slammed as he strode inside. He looked at the counter.
"Not those," he started to say. He picked up one of the cups and looked at it. In that moment, we both had the same realization; whatever he'd been saving them for was never going to happen. He put the cup down and walked out of the room.
The first night after returning home, I made dinner for my family, then set the table with my grandmother's green, yellow, and gold china. No occasion, no guests - just my husband, me and out 3-year-old daughter, eating a decidedly ordinary meal of roast chicken and sweet potatoes. And I noticed something; finally using those plates made them seem less imposing, and yet more special. They became something truly useful and beautiful.
Now I put out that set of china whenever the mood strikes. Because always saving one's best things for a better day, a different day, carries with it a judgement; that the life you're living right this moment doesn't count; that it isn't good enough. And I've decided it is."
I hope you feel that you're life, right in this moment, is good enough.