Wednesday, December 25, 2013

All You Can Take With You....

I know not where you find yourself this Christmas morning.  I hope however that it is in the company of at least one person who loves you and whom you love and that if you and they cannot be in the same place this morning that you awaken secure in the knowledge of their love for you - and of yours for them.  We can be by ourselves without being alone just as easily as we can be surrounded by those we know and feel completely and utterly alone.  

It was a million years ago that I saw "It's A Wonderful Life" for the first time.  Dad and I watched it.  When the movie ended, he asked me if I had enjoyed it, which I had, and he then told me that it was a movie that taught us a very important life lesson.  No.  Dad's takeaway from the film was not the same as Clarence's.  Instead, his was "Be careful what you wish for", which is what he told me the lesson was that laid at the heart of the film. 

For years I presumed that Dad's take on Capra's classic was nothing more or less than the natural extension of the state of perpetual rage in which my father lived his life.  As I have gotten older, have married and have raised two children (well, drove the car and made sure that we had enough money in the banks to pay the bills) I have come to realize that what I once thought was flippant and almost cavalier was, instead, excellent, well-thought out advice.  He said what he meant and he meant what he said:  when it comes to the business of wishing, be careful.  Make prudent choices

As I have bobbed and weaved my way down the Highway of Life, I have been a cautious man.  Slow to love and slow to trust.  However, I have always wished big.  Not "Walter Mitty" big perhaps but big nonetheless.  Although, my wishes have never been for "stuff".  For instance, I know less about automobiles than any man, alive or dead, in any hemisphere and could not fake giving a rat's ass about them.  You cannot impress me with your ride - I promise you - unless you are willing to accept "that is a nice-looking car" as an unqualified rave.  There are people whose driving purpose in life, whether consciously or subconsciously, is keeping up with the Joneses.  I am not one of those people.

My cautious nature and my keen eye led me - almost a quarter-century ago - to Margaret.  And in leading me to Margaret, it led me as well to Suzanne and to Rob.  Having had that wish granted has enabled me ever since to be extra judicious about the things for which I wish.  With Suzanne and Ryan having gotten married earlier this year and with Rob and Jess getting married in June, I have wished but one thing for both couples:  Peace.  It is the very same thing I have always wished for their mother and me.  Experience teaches me that if it is in their hearts and in their homes, then happiness and love shall always be there as well. 

Merry Christmas to you and to yours.  May Peace be keeping company with you, those you love and those who love you today and everyday.   If you have been careful regarding that for which you have wished, then I have every confidence that Peace is with you - and shall remain so.... 

....and that it really is a wonderful life.

Merry Christmas. 


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