Dear Son, Words of Wisdom #2


Dear Son,
Nothing says you care like being there.
Love, Dad

Several years ago, I received a call from my Uncle that I had not spoken to in years letting me know that my Grandmother died. I thanked him for letting me know and asked him to let everyone know that I wished I could be there. I hung up the phone and sat in silence.

It had been about 10 years since I last visited my Grandmother on my father side.  So this made the news a mixture of sadness and regret. Surely I could not just leave work and drive all the way down to Florida and show up in a group of people I had not visited with in years. Surely no one expected me to do that.

I talked to a friend at work, and he enlightened me on the importance of actually being there…actually showing up. He was a pastor in his former life and told me of the impact that a person’s physical presence makes. He said something like, “You can pretend to care, but you can’t pretend to be there.”

So I searched the Internet and found out when and where the funeral was being held. I made the trip and pulled into the driveway of my Grandparents house where all the family was gathering before the funeral. I took a deep breath and walked in. It was like I had been around them my whole life. It was a great time of connecting and showing my respect. It had a much greater impact on me and them than sending flowers.

Your life will be full of choices. People and forces will pull you in many directions.  Make sure that you make time for the people you care about. Take the energy to physically be present at the place and around the people you care about. Also focus on being emotionally and mentally present when you are around the people you care about. Do not be distracted by devices and people that can rip you from what you truly care about. Remember, nothing says you care like being there.

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