The Best Things in Life

By on Nov 30, 2009

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Life becomes precious and more special to us when we look for the little everyday miracles and get excited about the privileges of simply being human. – Tim Hansel

My son’s friend died on Thanksgiving morning. Andrew, my younger son, visited Alex in the hospital almost every week during his illness. For the last two weeks, Andrew spent his evenings at Alex’s house along with several other 17 and 18-year-olds playing video games and eating pizza while their friend watched and listened.

This group of young men must have brought life and a sense of normalcy to a house preparing for the worst. Thursday morning Andrew received a text message informing him it was over. His friend was gone now. There’s no doubt Andrew will be changed forever.

Andrew honored Alex before our Thanksgiving meal. He toasted his life and his courage. My son said he was thankful Alex was his friend. I could sense Andrew was struggling to understand the meaning of his death.

Sitting at the table with my family, I was thankful we were together and healthy. Life does not come with a guarantee or a schedule. We are often forced to live Life on its terms. It’s a dance that is sometimes exuberant and is sometimes somber. When the dance becomes both, the melancholy of the moment provides the opportunity to take an inventory of the things we do have and to ignore what’s missing or what we think we should have.

The best things in life aren’t the things we have, but rather who we get to share these things with. The best things in my life were sitting with me on Thanksgiving Day. With my family, everything else is all the sweeter:

  1. The morning’s first cup of coffee
  2. Hearing good news
  3. A parking space close to the door on a rainy day
  4. Becoming less of a parent and more of a friend with Brandon
  5. Mid-October in Kansas City and its display of changing leaves – simply beautiful
  6. Resisting the pull back to a place where I no longer want to live
  7. Blasting my favorite song on the car radio
  8. An unexpected compliment
  9. Reading a good book on the beach
  10. A cold beer at a baseball game
  11. Fresh sheets on the bed
  12. Feeling Mary Beth next to me every night
  13. Sunday dinners with the family
  14. Giving a gift from the heart and then savoring the reaction
  15. Hearing the first Christmas song of the season
  16. The peacefulness of the early morning
  17. My father-in-law’s recipe for spaghetti sauce
  18. Feeling confident and letting the world know it
  19. Learning to hunt with Andrew
  20. A hot bath on a cold night
  21. Saying, “I love you.”
  22. New York City with Caitlin
  23. Reconciling and starting over with my sister
  24. Picking the fastest moving checkout line at the grocery store
  25. Forgiving and letting go of my mother
  26. The feeling after a workout
  27. The wok-roasted chicken and Sushi at my favorite Asian restaurant
  28. The guilty please of watching Glee with MB and the girls
  29. The 20-minute commute each morning to consider the promise of the day
  30. A series of green lights on my way back home
  31. The welcome-home kiss
  32. Sitting on the couch with Rascal curled up next to me
  33. Being surprised
  34. Witnessing Emily’s confidence soar
  35. Helping my father heal
  36. Falling asleep to the rain
  37. A Diet Pepsi once (maybe twice) a week
  38. Feeling free from the past
  39. Believing my faith will return after a setback
  40. Sharing family stories when the six of us are together
  41. Remembering to play more
  42. The smell of popcorn
  43. Hearing “I love you.”
  44. Feeling that I am enough
  45. Carving out time to write everyday
  46. Providing the basics, plus a little more for my family
  47. Appreciating exactly what I have
  48. What are some of the best things in your life? Please consider sharing in Comments below.

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The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Email | Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

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  • Gillian Johnson-Baptiste

    Indeed the best things in life are FREE! Thanks Alex for reminding me to be grateful and not to take the things that matter for granted.

  • rodsarin

    yes, we alway forgot that we should be appreciated what we have:)