Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trying Not To Be Ordinary

Sometimes I get an idea that I might write about later and I send myself a note so I remember the idea. I just read an email that I sent myself a few days ago. All it said was "Trying not to be ordinary". I can't remember exactly what I was thinking about when this thought came to me. I may have been thinking of myself and my desire to not live an ordinary life or perhaps it was a momentary reflection while thinking about my father. By most accounts my father was an ordinary man. However, many, many people paid their respects at the funeral home and he was deeply loved by his family. While sitting in a chair at the funeral home and observing the room full of people, I looked at my sister and remarked, "All of this is because two people met one another back in the late 1940's". In other words, because my mother and father met one another, fell in love, and got married, a funeral home was filled to near capacity 60 years later. Our individual lives do make a difference even if we seem very ordinary on the surface. Dad's life was mostly hidden from the world at large and yet his influence has spread to many people and many places. He wasn't trying not to be ordinary any more than he was trying to be special. He just lived his life and without really thinking about it, he was not ordinary and his life was actually special and he will have an impact for years to come. Above is one of the last photos of my Dad at the 2008 New Year's party in the nursing home about six weeks ago. My Dad was a simple man. The following quote makes me think of him and his love of gardening.

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
-Charles Kingsley

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