Cherishing The Relationships In Your Life-The Littlest Things Can Mean Memories That Last a Lifetime
I was taking a walk and listening to a song today. I don't even know what song and I began thinking about my 89 year old uncle who is in the VA hospital getting some rehabilitation on his legs. If the therapy he is getting doesn't improve his strength in his legs due to gout he will be in a wheel chair. An active man all his life, a wheel chair is not something he would want. When I thought about this particular situation that this man is facing, it made me think about how much I cherish the relationships in my life and how thinking about him changes me in some ways. You see, he has been like a grandfather to me and now I see him getting old and having health issues that are affecting his quality of life but when I talk to him, he is still as cheerful and thankful for his blessings as ever before. And what does that say to someone like me who somethimes lets the littlest things during the course of my day bother me. It says that I am glad that this man has been a part of my life and given me an example that I can only try to follow. And a chance to cherish some memories in my life about him.
Hear The Stories
When I hear the stories of the kind of life that this 89 year old has lead, I can only imagine the trials and tribulations that he has been involved with over the course of that many years. But he talks only about the great memories and has a gratitude for all that he has been blessed with in his life. It is apparent each and every time I talk to him. It is the time spent and hearing the stories that helps me want to cherish all the relationships I have in my life.
The long life has involved being raised by a mom and dad who he adored. His stories often refer to his Mother especially who it is obvious he had great love and respect for. His parents were two Italian immigrants who made their way into NYS and eventually starting a small family owned Italian restaurant which became a thriving business in a small community and that has now been in the family for over 75 years. Uncle Vinnies participation as a bartender,(starting at age 13), worker and eventual owner of this restaurant has given him the opportunity to maintain many friendships over the years. All of whom hold him in high regard as a true friend or aquaintance.
Younger years involved helping with 6 other brothers and sisters and then being drafted into WWII. The war stories are ones that seem to be very clear in his memory. So many of them had such an impact on him that even later in life they are memories that seem so close to the surface. Stories that can still be explained in vivid detail. The WWII experiences helped to frame his life and make him who he is today. Listening closely to these stories surely has an impact on me and others who listen.
Success and Happiness
If you could go and talk to someone who would only be thankful for the people in his life, the situations he has been blessed with, whether good or bad, his abilities and health and his long life, it would lift you up. A truly gracious and thankful person is sometimes hard to find.
But, it is truly the man and his attitude itself that has been responsible for the success and happiness. If only we could all possess that gracious attitude. From the start...
A boy in a family of 6 children
A WWII veteran
A business owner
A distinguished business owner
A great uncle
A great grandfather
So I ask myself, do I take time to learn from others and recognize inspirational people. And do I cherish the relationships in my life and can I be thankful for the situations, the people and the the circumstances in my life with out complaining. I am around several people in the course of my day due to my job and the things I choose to do. Will I continue to remind myself that it is the people in my life and the people that inspire me that are most important and that I as all of us should always nurture and cherish our relationships? I'm not sure if I possess the ability to be as gracious or to be as great a friend as my uncle has the ability to do but I am glad that I have people in my life who do set examples as he has. The people I look up to though, have obviously been through difficult times in their lives and remain happy, grateful and feel blessed. I only hope that I will someday be that kind of example to others in my life.