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Kathleen,
Thank you and may you have a wonderful and prosperous holiday and new year.
Dennis Wish PE

>
>Hello all,
>
>One of my friends in the humor network sent this article along, and
>since it addresses a subject that has lately become of some importance
>to me I thought I'd pass it on to all of you.  I know that I count
>myself lucky to have survived long enough to finally realize the urgency
>of living each and every day.
>
>Happy holidays, and may the variable forces be with you.
>
>Phil
>
>-----------
>
>My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister's bureau and
>lifted 
>out a tissue-wrapped package.  "This," he said, "is not a slip.  This is 
>lingerie."  He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip.  It was 
>exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace.  The price
>tag 
>with an astronomical figure on it was still attached.  "Jan bought this
>the 
>first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago.  She never
>wore 
>it.  She was saving it for a special occasion.  Well, I guess this is
>the 
>occasion."  He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the
>other 
>clothes we were taking to the mortician.  His hands lingered on the soft 
>material for a moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to
>me.  
>"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion.  Every day you're
>alive 
>is a special occasion."
>
>I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed 
>when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow
>an 
>unexpected death.  I thought about them on the plane returning to 
>California from the Midwestern town where my sister's family lives.  I 
>thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or heard or done.  I 
>thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they
>were 
>special.
>
>I'm still thinking about his words, and they've changed my life.  I'm 
>reading more and dusting less.  I'm sitting on the deck and admiring the 
>view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.  I'm spending more
>time 
>with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings.
>
>Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to savor, not 
>endure.  I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.
>
>I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every 
>special event-such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the
>first 
>camellia blossom.
>
>I wear my good blazer to the market if I feel like it.  My theory is if
>I 
>look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries 
>without wincing.  I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties; 
>clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function
>as 
>well as my party-going friends'.
>
>"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my
>vocabulary.  
>If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do
>it 
>now.  I'm not sure what my sister would have done had she known that she 
>wouldn't be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted.  I think she 
>would have called family members and a few close friends.  She might
>have 
>called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past 
>squabbles.  I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese
>dinner, 
>her favorite food.  I'm guessing-I'll never know.
>
>It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew 
>that my hours were limited.  Angry because I put off seeing good friends 
>whom I was going to get in touch with-someday.  Angry because I hadn't 
>written certain letters that I intended to write-one of these days. 
>Angry 
>and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and daughter often enough how
>much 
>I truly love them.
>
>I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that
>would 
>add laughter and luster to our lives.  And every morning when I open my 
>eyes, I tell myself that it is special.
>
>Every day, every minute, every breath truly is...a gift from God.
>
>    by Ann Wells     Los Angeles Times
>
>
>