Friday, November 6, 2009

He Didn't Take Any of it With Him

My last post was a segway into this post. I first wanted to get the point across about what a wonderful man I have for a father. I felt it would make this post more meaningful to my readers.

Last week I called my dad in tears, wondering how I was going to keep it all together. It felt like every time I would take one step forward in my life, I would be knocked back two. I never lost sight of what is most important to me, but the line between what was a priority and what wasn't had become too gray for my sanity. We have talked more frequently since my daughter was born and I started dealing with PPD. He has been there for me every step of the way, helping me find my way back, helping me put everything back into perspective.

During our conversation, I remembered what I had temporarily forgotten. This life is not about money, it isn't about clean houses, it isn't about job titles, or possessions. It isn't about looks, weight, or wrinkles. It is about family, friends, love, gratitude, and everything immaterial. All of the stupid things I was worrying or crying about when I called him would be a non-issue weeks, months, or years from that moment. They meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. They were just... things.

One of the last times I saw my grandmother before she died, she gave me some of her prized possessions. She knew that in a short matter of time, they would stay here, and she would depart this mortal coil. It was in that moment that I realized everything is just stuff. We can't take it with us. None of it.

I was relating this to my dad when he told me about how during the days after his father passed, he was standing in front of his dad's closet. My grandma came in and asked what he was doing. My dad replied, "Just looking at all of dad's things. He didn't take any of it with him."

Sure, things can bring us joy and pleasure during our existence on this earth, but they are not the end-all-be-all. They are certainly not anything to fret over. In the end, they mean nothing. Our relationships and who we learn to be during our time here is what matters.

Maybe there isn't anything after this life, and maybe there is. If there isn't, doesn't that making enjoying this life even more important? Why waste it lamenting what isn't? Why not enjoy the things we do have, but most importantly, our relationships with others.

I find myself being kind to everyone. There is worth in everyone. Sometimes it is hidden under the layers of of the person's experiences in life. Sometimes, and is rarely the case, the worth can be very minute, but it is still there. But in general, people are good. We're all here to be happy, to find joy. I find more often than not, people get joy most by bringing joy to others, myself included. Isn't that what it is all about?

If I could teach my daughter just one thing in this life, it would be to find the joy in life, not in possessions. To never let the line between them become gray. Because that is where true happiness lies.


Jill said...

What a beautiful post :)

Life Happens said...

You are so right when you said, "Our relationships and hwo we learn to be during our time here is what matters."

Building strong relationships and learning through life is what matters most in the end. We can't take anything else with us into the next life.

Thanks for the reminder to find joy in the journey.

Potters said...

Very well said. Things in this life are just what they are...things. It is important to remember that. I love how you put things in this post.

Lut C. said...

Popped in from the crème de la crème list.

Very beautiful post. It is difficult to stay focused only what's important though. I struggle with a good balance between work and family, even though I've already scaled down my professional life.