The Ab Challenge. The Leg Challenge. The Green Challenge. The Picture-A-Day Challenge. Everywhere you look, there is a “challenge” for anything you can imagine! Some of these challenges are healthy, some fun, some difficult, and some are just weird. You will be intrigued enough to accept a few of them; others will just cause you to shake your head and move right on along.
Even I have offered you several “Why Not?” challenges over the past few months. There is one, however, I really hope you will accept. If you never do an ab crunch, never drink a green smoothie, or never take a picture, do this one thing and do it as often as you can.
A Little Background
On this date three years ago, I lost my father. After a couple of days in the hospital, he was supposed to come home on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. He did go Home that day, but not his earthly home. I miss him every day.
His trip Home came suddenly. Even though he suffered with many health issues, including congestive heart failure which turned every cold into a life-threatening event, he always fought his way out of a scrape. So I didn’t go to Florida that week when he was admitted to the hospital; the doctors said it was just “preventative.” When I listened to a voicemail Saturday night telling me he would be coming home the next day, I opted to call back Sunday to avoid waking.
Sunday was too late.
I have a stack of birthday cards I bought for my daddy, along with an equally large stack of Father’s Day cards. Think about that a moment, my friend. If these days only come once a year, and I have a “stack” of these cards, how many years did I not give my sweet daddy a card on his special day? And he is not the only one; I have plenty of unused cards for others, as well.
The week after my daddy went Home, I bought a Father’s Day card and spilled my heart into it. I then placed it among the flowers on his grave, perhaps hoping the week’s heavy rains would dissolve it, causing all those thoughts to somehow seep into the earth and into his heart. Grief does strange things to a person’s thought process. Writing those words, however, was like pouring a salve over my shattered heart.
While I would love to go back in time and recapture many moments for a do-over, I don’t want to live in regret, nor do I choose to do so. After Daddy died, I said I would never let another card go unsent, another intention left undone. That, of course, is not my reality. However, I am learning that if I can make one more phone call this week, send one more card, or visit one more person, then that is one more expression I won’t regret not making.What ONE thing will you do today to make ONE person's day a little better? #WhyNot Click To Tweet
My challenge for you is simple. Reach out, connect, make a phone call, send a card.
My friend, please don’t let those cards pile up like I have. The special occasion may have already passed, but I promise you this, the person for whom you bought that card will be happy to receive your heartfelt words any day of the year.
Who wants to hear from you this week? “Why Not?” reach out and say hi! Sometimes this will only take a minute or two of your time, sometimes it will take longer.
I promise you, in years to come, it will be one thing you will not regret doing.
Now that I’ve challenged both of us to do this simple, yet somehow very difficult thing, let me bend your ear a little bit more. I want to tell you a teeny tiny bit about this man I called “Daddy.” If I could sit down with him for the afternoon just one more time, we would probably end up talking about some of these things!
- When I was 6 years old, he bought my brother and me a pair of training skis and took us out to Lake Louise. He pulled me all the way around that lake — with my little bum sitting on the back of the skis, too afraid to stand. In an effort to scare me into an upright position, he drove the boat through the lily pads (which I just knew were full of alligators!). Said little bum, however, stayed firmly planted on those skis, and people heard me screaming in the next county!
- There were few things I loved more as a child than being allowed to go with him on overnight trips when he drove an 18 wheeler. I don’t know how I did it, but I could stay awake with him most of the night! Somehow, he never seemed to tire of the deep conversations he could have with a 7 year old.
- He hated to spank us when we were little. But he did it. And conversely, the older we got, the easier it was for him to discipline us! Hmmm, I wonder why?? 😉
- He thought he was MacGyver! If you don’t believe me, just ask me to tell you a few stories!
- He always forgave me in advance, even before I realized I needed to be forgiven. If nothing else in the world, I wish I could thank him for that.
- He liked my (future) husband from day one, and loved him from day two. Biggest blessing ever!
- Seriously, who was that girl who showed up on my wedding day (and the days preceding it!)?? She may have looked like me, but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t. I wish I could thank him for not killing her!
My friend, who are you celebrating today? Does he or she know it? If not, “Why Not?”