When you remember someone that has passed, are there funny sayings or mannerisms that come to mind? In the case of my father, I always remember what he used to say when I asked him about his getting another year older and his practical response, “every day above ground is a good day”. So each year when I’d ask him, “Daddy, how does it feel to be 85, or 86, etc.?” “He’d reply, every year above ground is a good year”. Even though I knew what the response would be, I continued to ask him every year until there wasn’t a response. He passed the day after his 90th birthday and he wasn’t able to talk on his special day.
What is the alternative? If one is not above ground, then obviously, one is not alive. But to live, really live means to be more than just above ground and room temperature. This is the lesson for this article. Sometimes I feel like life is moving so fast that there isn’t time to do more than just keep up. When I thought about all the things I had to do today and realized that I was tired, I decided to just take a nap. Once I woke up I realized that none of the really important things that I had on my list were important at all. If none of them got done, it was really ok. In the overall scheme of the universe, none of it was important.
So what is important? When we are above ground, during our living years as the song goes, we should aim to make each day count, but for what? What’s really important? Some possible answers are to be a good person, to love, to help others, and to learn our lessons. Now you might ask how one knows what their lessons are? I’ve written many articles about life lessons so it’s not an easy answer here except to say that we have to pay attention to what happens in our lives and do our best to follow the path that’s best for us. Sometimes what’s best is not what we really wish to do. When I think about my father, he was always busy with hobbies and studying things. He valued education and taught us to do the same. He also valued hard work, probably a product of his depression-era younger years; although still a good foundation for him and a good legacy he gave to his children.
We each have to figure out how to use the time we have above ground and make sure that every day above ground is a good day.