As I sit and think about a topic for this month's newsletter, I am doing so while taking a personal inventory. I am typing this note at 12:30am in a hospital room in Connecticut while taking a shift watching over my grandfather. This past weekend his health took a turn and he was admitted to the hospital. He has been dealing with health issues for a little while, but this turn frightened my mother. Couple this with the events in Newtown (less than an hour from where I am sitting right now) from last week and it really made me think about where we place our priorities.
Like most professional people, I have a lot of pride in the work I do and strive to do it well. Often, I will place work ahead of other things in life. Something I have tried to do though, is make sure I take care of my family. Unfortunately, I have always looked at that as just MY family, my wife and daughter. I have not done a good job of keeping up with or spending time with the people that are part of my entire family, my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
While I am typing, I am sitting next to my sleeping grandfather who is doing better. Listening to his breathing and watching him rest makes me reminisce about the times we have spent together. The trip to Washington D.C. when I was a teenager, getting our car locked in a parking garage. The Christmas card from George Steinbrenner (my grandfather signed the card and had me fooled until a couple years ago!). This once strong man is now unable to lift a spoon to feed himself and it makes me miss those years of summer visits learning to play tennis and golf when I was young.
There are lots of great memories that we experience with our family and we often do not think about them until the tougher times or when we fear we might lose them. With the holidays here we very often feel obligated to spend time with our family, thinking about all the cliche holiday horror stories. Then once we get into the new year, we get back into our routine and normal life and do not think about trying to spend time with family.
There are many material things we desire as human beings, but the only thing we gather that we cannot lose to disaster is memories. The only way to make memories is not with those physical things we covet but with the time and experiences we share with those we love. The time we spend with our loved ones is something that can never be taken away. Before you jump back into work and the hectic day to day life, please take time to make a memory.