It was brought to my attention over the weekend that in the craziness of day to day life we tend to take important things for granted. Things that you really must stop everything you’re doing sometimes to see.
For example, the last time you saw a bee, did you look for the insect spray or did you stop to think how important that bee is to the food we eat? Let me tell you, when I hit a yellow jacket nest with my lawn mower a few years ago, it was difficult to be thankful for their pollination work while I was trying to shake them out of my shorts.
I can’t count the times that I have been late for an appointment because I got stuck behind a farmer moving huge loads of hay from the fields to the barn, and rather than being thankful for the livestock that hay fed which provided the meat, milk and cheese on my table, I growled and complained about the slowing of the traffic.
During a semi-annual business meeting at my church over the weekend, I was reminded of all the things that people do to keep the church clean and operating smoothly that you never hear about, but you would surely notice if they stopped doing it. Things like cleaning the bathrooms, or making certain the trash was taken out, or the grass was mowed and the trees on the property were cared for.
It also occurred to me how much actually gets done in this world with so little pay back or even a thank you. There probably would not be enough money to pay for it if an invoice was ever produced for compensation for those services.
As an observer of life and people it is easy to see humanity’s short comings. However, the most difficult thing is to turn the magnifying glass around for some self-examination. It’s easy to point a finger, but it is so difficult to point that finger while looking in a mirror. Someone once said, “We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us!”
I had some time over the weekend to do some inventory checking of those things for which I am most grateful, but most often don’t acknowledge. Things that are done in my life that make life worth living. A closer look found that for the most part, all these things are performed by one person. My wife.
For years now Patty has filled my home with love, she has cooked, cleaned, saw to my every need, given up things she really wanted, some of which she needed and worked more hours than I do (and sometimes I work around the clock) just to help me realize my dreams. And just like great wives and mothers do, all she ever asked for in return was unconditional love and respect. All of which I so often fall dreadfully short in delivering.
Patty is a wonderful mother and an even greater grandmother. She so reminds me of the painting of a bear chasing a child and a mother not only chasing but gaining on the bear. If anyone even thinks of slighting one of our grandchildren, or children for that matter, they have the deal with the wrath of Mamaw Patty.
She has a heart that can overfill the universe and never says no to anyone who needs help. When we are out, she tips everyone, even those who aren’t supposed to accept tips, and she can’t pass someone along the street holding a sign asking for money.
For eight years now she has been the one source of light in my life and has never asked for compensation. Unfortunately, upon close self-examination, I found that all too often, no compensation was the compensation I have given. For that I am truly regretful.
True love never asks to be repaid. However, it does need to be cared for, acknowledge and nurtured or it begins to die.
Take time today to do an inventory in your life. Acknowledge the things that need acknowledged, nurture the things that need nurturing, and love those who need to be loved even better than before.
To my wife, thank you and I love you.
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at http://www.HerbDayVoices.com and http://www.HerbDayRadio.com.