Life is short and we do not have much time
To gladden the hearts of those who travel with us.
So, be swift to love,
Make haste to be kind,
And go in peace
To love and serve the Lord.

A Blessing

Find joy in the moment, no matter the circumstance. Laughter and singing are life-giving. The below is written by Frances, age 14, one of the wisest and bravest people I know. Sing along as her extraordinary surfing, lover-of- life grandfather did. Create joy. And “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:34)

Love. All ways.

~ ~ ~

        I sat in the hospital room in silence. Everything was quiet except the steady beeps coming from the heart rate monitor. After sitting still in the corner for a few minutes, I pulled my chair over to my sleeping grandfather, sat down, and looked at him. I wrapped my hands around his and rested my cheek on them. I cried.

       The past several days had been a blur. In one quick week, my grandfather went from painlessly swimming in the waters of Mexico to lying in a hospital bed waiting for the minute to come. He was alive and well, and then he wasn’t. Just like that everything changed. Just like that, his life slipped right through his fingers.

       My curiosity took me across the hospital room, leading me to my brother’s ukulele case. I opened the case and brought the instrument out. My palm rested on the smooth, shiny wood of the ukulele as I fumbled my fingers across the unfamiliar strings. My lost fingers started to find a bit of rhythm, and sound filled the room. A close friend of my grandfather’s, Grant, walked into the room. We said hello, and he told me he would help me play. He taught me some basic chords, enough to play my grandpa’s favorite song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

        The starched hospital smell left my nose. The room suddenly felt much happier. My grandfather’s once-stiff body moved with a quiet rush of joy. As the music spread throughout the room, his toes started to move, tapping the air. This lively joy spread up his feet and legs, passing through his whole body. The soft sound of my grandfather’s humming lips brought a smile to my face. Tears fell down my cheeks.

        As I stood in the hospital room, playing the ukulele and watching my grandpa in the bed, I realized we were powerless in this war, and what was inevitable. That didn’t stop our toes from tapping. My grandfather died three days later. Just like that, he was gone.

       As my grandfather would say, enjoy life while it lasts.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Tom

    A powerful post. Plumbed beyond protective gates uncovering sadness & joy. Thank you.

  2. Jay sidebotham

    Nice blessing. Great blog

    1. 40waysofpeace

      “your blessing” + ukeleles make blogs great (again)!!

  3. Liz

    Simple beautiful

  4. Jen Pen

    Seize the day!!!!!!
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Love the visuals in this piece.

  5. Hart

    Beautifully done Frances. What a signifance for me today. Truly life is short. And living it each day is so important. Today 7 years ago grandpa Guy died. Your feeling, love and care are so heartfelt.

  6. Marina Carney

    Thanks for remembering that song! It brings back strong memories!

  7. Aunt Cindy

    You are a treasure Cookie! Your Grampa was so proud of you as am I. Keep writing sweetie…you are very gifted . Love you

  8. Marshall

    Bravo , it all goes by so quickly, and I find myself numb to it far too much. Thanks for this wonderful blog. A gentle nudge to embrace what we have rather then just survive and get thru it. Thank You

  9. Mia

    Wonderful blog E! I’m hooked. Beautifully written and so moving. Aloha !!! As Grandpa Tim would say.

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