Archive for September, 2011

The Last Ordinary Day

September 10th, 2011 | no comments

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have
truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

~Henry Drummond~

As are so many, I’ve been thinking about the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  I told myself I was not going to write about the day, but rather be reverent, choosing to listen carefully to those who were directly affected, and the message they have for the world. So instead, I want to write about the day before.

I want to write about The Last Ordinary Day.

On this day ten years ago, we were trucking along, unaware that things were about to change forever.  The world on September 10, 2001 was more trusting, perhaps more naive. There was a certain feeling of security in what could and could not happen.  The world was far from perfect, but there was a basic assumption of an optimistic outcome if you worked hard and lived right.

And then it all changed  And  the 10th of September became the last ordinary day.

I’m not writing this to go into detail about the numerous ways that the world was altered since that fateful day.  I am instead asking all of us to explore the fact that we are all presented with numerous “last ordinary days” on our journey.

I believe we all have a series of those turning points in our lives, those forks in the road.  If you were to sit down right now, and chronologically review your life, you could point out at least three or four of these days. The days where everything in your life absolutely changes.  Nothing is the same, and it never will be again.  Some of these days are good, and others rip you wide open.

Let me explain.  For me, May 21, 1986 was a last ordinary day for me.  The next day, I both became a mother of one beautiful boy and a bereaved parent for another, all at the same moment. There were two days in April back in the 90’s, days where my parents were still there, holding the safety net for my life, as parents often do.  The days after?  The net was gone, and life became very real and very scary.

And finally?  July 3rd, 2009.  It was an ordinary day.  I had no idea the world was about to change, that the physical makeup of my family would be forever altered. The next day?  I lost my son.

Why do I bring this up? Because I know, just like me, you have those days, those turning points, just like September 10th.  The quiet moment before everything changes.

I believe these days can teach us, albeit through tears.

Perhaps the contrast of the peace of that Last Ordinary Day and the next is to show us that life is fleeting.  Perhaps, as my best friend pointed out, the lesson is to learn that the ordinary is in fact extraordinary, and we must appreciate ever ordinary moment.   We must not become complacent in our journey.  We will only get this ordinary day but once.

So, today, take some time to reflect on how to live each day as if it is extraordinary.

  • Tell the ones you love how you really feel.
  • Take nothing for granted.
  • Realize the best things in life are not things.
  • Choose kindness instead of judgment or anger. Every single time.  It will free you.
  • Be tolerant of the people who are different form you.
  • Love, and when you’ve finished doing that, love some more.
  • Find something to believe in.  It doesn’t matter about your denomination, or even if you have one.  But you have to believe in something bigger than yourself.  It gives us all hope.
  • Get out and live life to the fullest.


I bow my head in silent prayer and appreciation for all the victims of 9/11 and their families, as well as all the people in my own life that made me realize the value of an ordinary day.

To the extraordinary days ahead,




Person to Person…

September 7th, 2011 | no comments

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the
ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

~Mother Teresa~

I have been in a bit of a funk over the past week.  Not many would notice, but on the inside there is a gnawing discomfort.  I heard some news about an old friend that is

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. ~ Mother Teresa~

unsettliing, and I can’t get this person off my mind. I’ve been feeling helpless, not knowing what to do. So, as has been the case with so many times in my life, I start to write, in the hopes that the typed word may somehow make sense of the situation.

But, as we all know, sometimes in life, making sense of a situation is not always an option.  Sometimes, things just don’t make sense.  So what do we do?

These are turbulent times.  I find when I hear five or six sound bites on the news about the state of the planet and all that needs to be fixed, I feel like a very small ant at a very big picnic.  A speck of sand in the desert.  I just don’t feel like I can make a difference when I see a cumulative report in a thirty minute news program.  How could I possibly make a difference?

The answer?  Person to person.  Mother Teresa said it best,

Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in
your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t
only give your care, but give your heart as well. ~Mother Teresa~

In many of her teachings, she never preached of sweeping changes we could make in this world.  Her message was one of simple love.  She spoke of a love we could give even if we had nothing else to offer.  She spoke of a love we could share when the world didn’t make sense.

And maybe that is the trick.  We may never be able to make sense of the things that happen in this world that we don’t understand.  We just have to learn to love each other through them.

Take some time today to think about who is around you who needs some love.  A neighbor who is struggling in this economy?  Your spouse?  Your children?  A friend? Think about the people you know around you that are currently looking for steady jobs.  What about the neighbor who lost her husband or child last year?  Have you checked in with her lately?  As I look around my own life, I see so many opportunities where I can love in the way I was put here to do.

None of us can, with the wave of an arm change the world.  But we can change the world of one person.  We can impact the lives of the people within our circle of influence.  In the big picture, it is one of our greatest responsibilities.

Today, really notice the people around you, and give them the love they need.  It will come back to you tenfold.