Lessons Learned from Depot Dad

Like a lot of others, the passing of Jim Everson “Depot Dad” has been on my mind – a lot. I only knew Jim through the blogging world, but as the blogging world works, found myself touched by him and his story deeply. I admired him in particular for his ability to remain positive and keep on living in the face of cancer. His strength was incredible. His caliber as a human being is evidenced by the friends he had. One look at his facebook page and the outpouring of love and emotion there shows just how loved and respected he was.

His passing has made me think about how fleeting life really is. It’s over too quickly as it is, but for some people, it is cut even shorter. None of us know if that person is going to be us, or someone close to us.

Jim has made me realize that I don’t want to be that person who left many things go unsaid. Nor do I want to be that person who puts things off waiting for conditions to be ‘perfect’. Life is imperfect and messy, complicated and sometimes ugly. We need to squeeze every bit of joy out of it that we can. We need to tell people how we feel – because we never know when it might end up being too late. We need to not put things off into the future that can be done today – because tomorrow may never arrive.

Thank you, Jim. You touched a lot of people while you were alive, and you continue to inspire us now that you’re gone, too. And we love you for it.

* * * * *
If I Had My Life to Live Over” – by Erma Bombeck

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.

7 Responses

  1. Yes! YES!

    Beautiful!

    Carpe Diem, indeed.

  2. thankyou for sharing this! words that we KNOW but do not always live..and then a story or a person comes along and it inspired us to LIVE it..NOW..not later!

  3. Damn. My sis made sure I saw this at just the right time – this is such a powerful, yet simple message. But SO easy to get lost in the scramble of life to sit back and take stock of the little things. I say it all the time – the little things are so much more important in life – but sometimes have a hard time practicing what I preach. Very, very poignant. Thank you.

  4. You’re right – life’s too short…and wow, I lovelovelove this poem!! Thank you for posting!

  5. […] poem as posted by Sunshine and happiness is a gift, from Nicki. Loved. […]

  6. Thanks for sharing that poem. Just absolutely perfect.

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