May the Life We Live…

This happens every time I attend two funerals in a week–Friday it was a beautiful celebration for Blanche, a high school classmate– my third one this year–and then Saturday, Pamela, a friend from church. I’m feeling a whole range of emotions today—sad, happy, inspired, and reflective, but I rejoice because their suffering has ended.

They were beautiful women, active, committed to serve every soul on earth, and young—65, and 61 years and one week, respectively. Their lives were worthy of emulation and the hordes who showed up agreed. Nevertheless, the funny thing about living is that we often forget that dying is a necessary part of this equation, therefore, it is critical that we live more thoughtfully and purposefully while we’re here (no, nobody’s getting up a busload to heaven today) so here are a few things to ponder:

Being present matters. I have a friend who’s always everywhere and nowhere. Wherever his body is, his mind is at the next or the next-next stop. He makes an appearance for appearance sake but is never fully engaged or involved.  Yes, we are all busy and often it would be simple if there were clones enough so we could be everywhere we want to be, but being a non-anxious presence wherever we are has great merit.

During times of disaster, great loss, and tragedy when we don’t know what to say or what to do, show up and do what Dr. Phil (McGraw) calls “what works and what matters.”

Chart a path of hope.  I’m not aiming to cure cancer or be the first woman on Mars (maybe when there’s a Dillard’s or Macy’s, but right now I am not fascinated by Martians). I have no interest in climbing Mt. Everest but I do plan to “scatter sunshine” as my friend Martha Campbell calls it, in every corner and hamlet.

I was probably 35 years old before I realized that spreading sunshine is a special gift from God and my goal every day is to share a smile, offer an encouraging word, or be a rainbow in somebody’s cloudy day. These humble goals won’t erase poverty, house the homeless, or end wars and chaos but seeing, hugging, and feeding a hungry child, might.

During Pamela’s service Saturday several speakers said she loved children and she‘d bring the children from the community in and give them odd jobs around her salon. She taught them to work and she had great expectations for them. I loved calling her phone and listening to the message.  It said “Tell me how I can make YOU SMILE today.”

Just listening to the message made me smile. Her clown ministry brightened many a nursing home, playground, or kindergarten birthday party. Ninety-nine and 99 percent pure love. What a legacy!

Every tub has to stand on its own bottom. As an eight-year-old, my great-grandmother’s words puzzled me because we had all kinds of tubs on our small farm—one for bathing, a foot tub for smaller jobs, etc., but I eventually “got it.” We must account for our own deeds– good, bad or ugly. Blanche’s family said she was strong, wanted them to stay in school, and she wouldn’t accept anything but excellence. Like Mama’s tubs, they said she’d hold you and hold you accountable. Indeed!

Please take a moment today and think about how you’re living your life. Are you loving and kind? To strangers? Neighbors? Children? Anybody? Everybody? You might as well be honest because we can’t fix what didn’t get fixed yesterday, but today we can vow to be better than we were yesterday. Our intentionality will make a difference–perhaps it will make all the difference.

How do you intend to make the difference? Share with me at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook.

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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