“ . . . our collective picture of what makes us happy is more about relationships, and less about things.” ~Science Daily
Shortly after we moved into the tiny house in October 2011 my Mom and step-dad, Mahlon, drove to Portland to see the house and to hang out with us. They spent a week in Portland and they helped us do so many things. Together, we cleared out our apartment in Northwest Portland and we moved the last of our belongings into the tiny house. Plus, we ate amazing food together, walked through pumpkin patches on Sauvie Island, and visited friends.
At the time, Mahlon’s health was declining, however he seemed better on this trip. He was on new medication and as a result he had more energy and he wasn’t as forgetful. I felt hopeful that something bad wouldn’t happen to him. Unfortunately seven months after the memorable Portland trip, Mahlon died.
I miss Mahlon. I miss his laugh and I miss his smile. And I miss talking to him on the phone. I still pick up my phone thinking of calling him; to share the latest news and realize I can’t.
The pangs of grief I experienced during Mahlon’s illness and after he died aren’t as intense, but they are still there. Grief is a tricky thing. On one hand, it’s painful. And on the other hand, grief has given me so many gifts. Losing Mahlon reaffirmed why I simplified my life and why I continue to keep working for myself (even when it’s hard).
Life isn’t perfect and it isn’t easy. But there is always room to practice gratitude and to pay attention to your loved ones. Today, I challenge you to reach out to one close friend or family member and . . .
- Make a phone call
- Write a letter
- Send a care-package
- Or give the person a hug
It’s the people in our lives that matter the most, not stuff, money, or trivial worries. Intuitively, I know this to be true and recent happiness studies suggest something similar. Don’t waste the opportunity to show your love, today.
Note: Pictured above is my Grandma Donna, my mom, and Mahlon. We are on top of the Statue of Liberty and I'm behind the camera.