Death and the Day to Day

To start, a disclaimer.

The purpose of this blog is to provide exercise and dietary information to diabetics in an effort to help them live healthier lives.

And that’s what 99% of the content on here will be.

But, it’s also my blog, and if I want to write about something else from time to time, that’s what I will do.

Today, I want to write about something else.

END OF DISCLAIMER

Last week, I received news that the father of two of my closest friends (brothers) had passed away.

A heart attack, before bed, and he was gone.

They were devastated.

So was the family.

So was I.

I have yet to lose one of my parents, but I can only begin to imagine how hard it is.

Someone who had been a constant source of support, advice, and wisdom was suddenly gone from their lives.

Hearing their grief, and confusion, broke my heart for them.

It’s one of those situations where you want to do everything you can, but there really isn’t anything you can do.

Fast forward a few days later.

I sat in a chair in the back of a room filled with people who had come to celebrate the life of my friends’ father.

In the middle of the service, people had the opportunity to come to the microphone and share memories, or funny stories of him.

As this went on, I noticed something.

While most people began by telling a specific story, they usually finished by expressing sentiments that spoke more to his overall character.

“I remember one time we (insert specific story).  And that’s the kind of guy he was. (Insert their experience with his character in general).

Time after time, almost without fail, the same pattern repeated.

“I remember one time…

And that’s the kind of guy he was.”

The story they were telling wasn’t the real story they were telling.

It was a vehicle meant to express their overall experience with him.  The story just happened to embody the characteristic they wanted to remember, and share.

Because that’s the way life is right?

It’s not the specific stories, the grand gestures, or the memorable moments that define us.

Sure, we remember them and love to retell great adventures, but rarely is our relationship with someone able to be boiled down to a single experience.

More often than not relationships are built on seemingly mundane things.

It’s the day to day.

The routine.

The things we prove to be consistent with.

Grand gestures towards my wife on Valentines Day are  usually appreciated, but they probably wouldn’t mean much if I’m impatient, cutting and a jerk the rest of the year.

I can take my girls on fun vacations and have a blast with them, but I’m not being a good father if during the average week I’m too busy working or on my phone to give them regular attention.

Because that’s when you display who you really are.

Am I present when I’m sitting at the dinner table with my family?

Am I engaged with my girls as I help them get ready for bed?

Do I take time to connect with my wife and talk about our days on a regular basis?

Do I step out of my busyness to contact friends and tell them that I love them? (working on doing better with this one.)

If can regularly answer “no” to these, then I’m in trouble.

Because what my daughters will remember is a father who was too busy and distracted to invest in their lives.

My wife will learn that I’m not very interested in how she is, or in communicating on a regular basis.

My friends will get used to me not being there for them, and we will grow apart.

I really believe that there is no amount of “grand gesture” that can out do “day to day”.

People can get bored with routine.

Sometimes, life can seem stale when it’s just day in, day out.

I get it.

Sometimes you have to break things up.

But don’t miss out on the magic of routine.

Don’t miss out on the beauty of the day to day.

Because it is in the routine that you define who you really are.

And, it is in the day to day that you display that to others.

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