The above picture was taken in fern Gully Jamaica in 2019. Margie and I had met this very nice lady, I think her name was Stephanie, on the tour we were on. It was truly a wonderful vacation where we met a lot of nice people. I often reflect on what a good time we had and miss being somewhere tropical with my love. We are currently planning on taking another trip in February to somewhere warm and sunny. It is tricky not to have my mind back in 2019, or look forward a couple of months to our next adventure. It certainly helps to do that when the temperature was well below freezing and the weatherman was cautioning you to stay inside.
Having these little mental vacations is not only helpful, it is recommended to maintain your sanity. They were only made possible by creating those memories in the moment. In a world where many of us post pictures of every meal we eat, it is just as important to slow down and enjoy the meal as we eat it. What good would it do us to look back at a picture of a mouth-watering meal and not remember what it tastes like? The picture from Jamaica was taken because we really enjoyed this young lady’s hospitality and wanted to remember the good time we had.
Here is another picture from a trip Margie and I went on. This one was to a city about an hour or so from where we live. We did so many fun things while we were there. One of my favorites was discovering a coffee shop that employed people with mental and physical challenges, giving them valuable experience in the workplace and an opportunity to feel how important and valuable they are. I even have a sticker from that coffee shop on the laptop I write on. If I would have stayed focused on how much I enjoyed our Jamaican vacation, I would not have been able to enjoy this one to the fullest. That would have been a shame. Not to mention, I was lucky enough to enjoy both of them with this beautiful lady.
During the holidays, this can be tough advice to follow. Especially, when we lose someone we really care about. Above is a picture of my grandparents. I recall a house full of people. My grandmother, and other relatives, making enough food for at least twice as many people as were present. It seemed the whole family got together. They have long passed away. The family does not seem to gather like it used to. I not only miss them, but those moments. Then I remind myself to do one thing – look around the table. It is very hard not to let our sadness of missing those we love overcome our gratitude for those we still have in our lives. This is brought home every time that I scroll through my friends on social media. I notice how many people, young and old, are no longer with us. It would be a shame to be missing them and not be able to appreciate the long list of those still with us. While our hearts are longing for those who left us, please let us look up and feel a great deal of love and gratitude for those who we are still blessed to have in our lives. Next year the list may be smaller and it would do our hearts good to know that we took the time to appreciate them while they were here. Loss is painful, but it is only made worse by regret.
One way to ease the burden of loss is to know that we lived, laughed and loved with those who meant the most to us. It will not only help us ease the feelings of loss we have for those who have already gone, but help that same feelings of those we will tragically lose in the future. Love who you have as much as you can and your life will be full of joy and peace.