The memorial service started at 7pm. We were late, of course. But it was important to be there. I wanted to show my support for my friends as they said goodbye to their youngest child, a 21 year old daughter.
What I saw and heard from those who shared who she was in that hour-long service made me realize my reason for being there wasn’t for them at all. I had a lesson to learn. Here it is:
What we make of our days is up to us. Period.
I’ve had a handful of what I formerly called “really good days”. Like the day our newborn adopted daughter was handed to us in the carseat we brought to the hospital. All 5 lbs, 6 ounces and 18 inches of her. That was a pretty good day. Like the day just a few weeks ago when our attorney called after a judge ruled in our favor. That was a really good day. Or like the day when, after years of living at less-than-quality-of-life my health changed and began to drastically improve. That was a really good day.
New jobs. A cool new car. A great vacation. Tickets to your favorite musical or sporting event. A new romance. Winning the lottery. We look for these “over-the-top” events in life to wait to have a good day.
But Kaitlyn lived life differently. She knew something about “good days” that 50 year old only learned recently. She made every day a good day. Her legacy can be summed up in a few words. First, she lived to serve others. It didn’t matter how she felt or what else she had going on. Others were more important to her. A few days before she passed away her life-long friend visited her in the hospital.Even though she was sedated, Kaitlyn lifted the IV tubes out of the way, pulled back the covers on her hospital bed and invited her friend to climb in next to her. She then pulled a pillow from behind her own head and placed it under her friend’s head. And then she buzzed the nurse. “We need ice cream for my friend.”
And she had an amazingly positive attitude. Even when she knew several months ago that her time on earth was soon to end, she saw the positive in every situation. Did she ever feel down? Yes, no doubt. But she had a vision of the bigger picture.That vision allowed her to view every experience, every relationship in her life differently. She had a great sense of humor and truly enjoyed life. This was not a young person who wanted to die. She wanted to live a long life with her husband of 3 years. She wanted to be a mother. She wanted to stick around and enjoy her parents and brothers and sister. But even when the reality that those dreams were not to be, she was positive. Always smiling.
Make all of your days good days.
LeAnna Thomas has been a wellness advocate for 16 years and specializes in health-recovery, athletic performance and anti-aging. To connect with her please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website.