scan0002Today, Friday, June 27, 2014 is a special day. Today I am the exact age my dad was when he passed away (19, 973 days). Tomorrow I will be older than my dad ever was.

Every day from now on is a day my dad never got to spend with his family and friends on earth. My dad’s in heaven, but we sure missed him on earth.

Sometimes when I think about him it seems like he’s only been gone a few weeks. Other times it’s hard to remember him – do I remember him or just pictures of him? He was only 54 when he died. I was 32.

As I reflect on the impact that today has on me, I have a few encouragements to share with you…

1. Live today to its fullest.

Life has no guarantees – except eternal life through Jesus Christ. My dad received a 10 month warning while he struggled through cancer. My mom died suddenly with no warning.

So today is the only day we have and we don’t know if we’ll make it through today. So breathe deep of the atmosphere of today. Don’t complain if it’s raining, too cold, or too hot. Just enjoy today!

Make the most of every minute. That doesn’t mean you have to be aggressively jumping at every opportunity. Sometimes living life is just being aware that today is a gift.

I remember when our son, Josh, left Detroit airport for Iraq. I knew he was going into a dangerous place and may not come back alive. So I watched him walk down the hall to the gate with other Marines. I wasn’t going to let this minute pass without taking a mental picture. I can still see him turn, give his smirky smile, and just tip his hand toward us.

It is easy to get lost in the routine of life. But treat today as if it were your last. Because for somebody, it is.

2. Tell what’s important to the people who are important to you.

Because my dad died so young, I have a recognition that I might not be around to get old. I hope I am and don’t want this post to be depressing. But I’m trying to face reality today.

We all have this tendency to put off tomorrow what we could do today. We think, ‘When I get old I’ll get around to telling my kids about that.’ I guess that’s what I miss most about my dad. I would have loved to just sit and hear his stories.

I have a wonderful memory of sitting on his back porch and telling me about how he became a Christian. I knew about his salvation experience. But to hear him tell it was special. I’ll share his story in a later post (July 7).

A few years ago I wrote a letter to all my children to tell them how proud I was of them. If you have something important to tell your family or friends (the Gospel, your salvation, military experience, how you met your spouse, ask forgiveness, etc), don’t wait until you get old. Tell it now! If it’s important to tell on your deathbed, it’s important to tell now.

3. Take care of yourself – for others.

I’m not a ‘health nut’ but I do try to take care of myself. I try to exercise and eat healthy. I have several reasons I watch my health, but my honest big answer is I want to be around to grow old with Judy and see my family grow up. I want to celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary. I want to see my grandchildren graduate from high school and college. I want my children to try to take away my driver’s license because I can’t see the road at night.

My dad died early because he developed lung cancer due to smoking. My dad’s health choices took him away from me.

I don’t want you to feel guilty after reading this post, but you need to take care of the body God gave you. Watch your weight. Take a walk or build up to a 5K run (call me & I’ll run with you). Eat more greens and less sugars. Drink water instead of pop (it’s cheaper). Live longer so your family has someone to love longer.

I’ve rambled long enough. It’s time to enjoy today! My grandchildren are here & it’s time to play. Tomorrow the game of life will have ‘extra innings.’