Tid Bits Gathered Here and There
A Story To Live By
.....by Ann Wells (Los Angeles Times)

The following was e-mailed to me by a dear friend, it touched her heart and she knew it would touch
mine as well. When I was reading this, I immediately thought of my mother. She is still in the living but
she always, always put things, any gifts she received no matter what, away for a "special occasion". At this particular time of celebrating Mother's Day, this, somehow seemed very appropriate. Hope you enjoy this as much as I. Thank You Patricia

My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister's bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped
package. "This", he said, "is not a slip. This is lingerie." He discarded the tissue and handed me the
slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an
astronomical figure on it was still attached. "Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion." He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. his hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me. "Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my
niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane
returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister's family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without
realizing that they were special.

I'm still thinking about his words, and they've changed my life. I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm
sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending
more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings. Whenever possible, life
should be a pattern of experience to savor, not endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I'm not 'saving' anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event-such as losing a
pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market if I feel like it. My theory is, if I look prosperous, I can shell out
$28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing. I'm not saving my good perfume for special
parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my
party-going friends.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. if it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I'm not sure what my sister would have done had she known that she wouldn't be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I'm guessing-I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing good friends whom I was going to get in touch with-someday. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write-one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and daughter often enough how much I truly love them. I'm try very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.
And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special.

Every day, every minute, every breath truly is,....a gift from God.

Editors note: Up until my divorce many years ago, this was what I did. Put thing away for a "special
day". I didn't think I was worthy to receive such pretty, or dainty or feminine things, regardless what they might be of from whom. My self esteem was almost non existent and so I saved to perhaps pass on to my daughter.

After my divorce, there was a big change in my life. Talk about transformation! Now whenever anyone gives me a creation they have made, or I receive a very expensive gift, or someone wants to take me out for a meal, all are accepted. The special item, gift, creation, meal is received with gratitude and love and immediately put o use in the present time. When a person gives you a gift, saying 'thank you' is OK and very appropriate. But....when you start immediately using, wearing, eating, etc, that says to the give much more than 'thank you', it says I like or love this enough to let the whole world see me.

Live in the NOW and show your love of others for what they contribute to your life. It maybe a gift they have created with their own hands, it may be something they bought, it may be a smile or a hug.
Accept it with the grace that our Creator does when we say 'thank you' for something we have received.

How often have we prayed for something and then forget to use when we received it and forget to even say 'thank you'.

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