Posted by: endithinks | September 4, 2010

Without a trace

One of the things that has struck me these last few weeks is the idea of our trace that we leave.  My family came to visit these last few weeks and it was the first time we were all together in a few years.  My family lives in Ohio and I’m in Washington and neither the two shall meet is just how it is in my family.  It is simply a matter of money, but it gets to your guts how much you miss them.

My mother, sister and brother all came with their perspective families.  I got to meet my nephew and niece whom I have only spoken to on the phone and I once again began throwing out parenting advice to the amusement of my brother and annoyance of my sister in law (sorry about suggesting baby leashes so many times).  I guess I just wanted to prove to them all that I actually do know a thing or two.  I may even know three.

The family spent the majority of the time around the dining room table yelling, laughing, carrying on and what not as per usual, but it was a different feel to the gathering this time.  My grandfather had come with a mission, a mission to get me to live a life more in accordance with his own ideas about what makes a life worthy.  He is a Baptist minister and has been preaching since his navy days in World War the sequel.  He had his eyes piercing me the entire time I saw him and I knew he had a message for me that he was holding in throughout his three day train journey across the northern path through Montana and the Dakotas.  I kept on refilling my glass and snagging extra peach cobbler just to keep my mouth full.

Unfortunately, that technique only works when you are in your early twenties, not your thirties and eventually I was cornered.  I’m not going to share the message as it was strictly for my ears only, but needless to say Grandfathers know how to hit you in the pit of your stomach better than anyone.

It’s an interesting idea that your own life should be measured by other people’s standards, but we all fall for this quite often.  How many times has an off color comment or question from a loved one or even a stranger gotten so deep into your mind that you stare at the ajar refrigerator in the middle of the night?  What kind of life are we living?  What is the reason behind it all?  These questions always arise when faced with challengers, changes or churls who wish you ill.

It is time to decide what kind of life I want to live just as every action, word and deed decides day to day.  We are what we say, do and intend and sometimes those intentions and actions are on auto pilot.  It is so easy to just wake and go through a routine of a day without stopping to examine the wonder, mystery and pure fun of the day.  We so often refuse to recognize how time waits for no one.  We have to seize our lives and live each moment as if it is a moment that will never return.  In fact, that is actually true.  We cannot get back what we’ve done or even more true, we cannot get back what we have not done.  Let’s go do something.



  1. Family time is the most comforting and re-energizing remedy. But you are absolutely right – what family (and close friends) say can really get to you on a level so deep it pains for a long, long time. They mean well. And it is possible to take their advice and adapt it to the best use in your own life, without compromising your own path and convictions.

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