There is an inspirational website, or maybe it is a blog, that I found quite by accident in my Morning Readings not long ago and, curiously, it gave 25 reasons why we should cherish every ‘today’. The website is MakesMeThink, through Marcandangel.com, and it dawned on me how many of us could begin a sentence with the word, ‘Today …’ and identify just a similar example for our reason to be.
Here are 25 that Marc Chernoff and his squeeze Angel offered not long ago. Take a moment and add your own after the word, “Today … “
1. Today, my son turned 7 and I turned 23. Yes, I had him on the day I turned 16. The choices I made when I was a teenager were foolish, and sometimes I get worried I’m bringing my son up wrong. But today I took him to the park to celebrate our birthdays. He played for hours with a girl who has burn scars that cover most of her face. When my son took a break to eat, he pointed to her and said, “She’s so pretty and cool!” Which left me thinking, “I must be doing something right as a mom.”
2. Today at 1AM, my grandma, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, got up, got into my dad’s car and drove off. We contacted the police. But before the police could find her, two college kids pulled into our driveway with my grandma. One was driving my dad’s car and the other was following in their car. They said they overheard her crying about being lost at an empty gas station 10 miles away. My grandma couldn’t remember our address, but gave the kids her first and last name. They looked her up online, found our address, and drove her home.
3. Today, my 8-year-old son hugged me and said, “You are the best mom in the whole entire world!” I smiled and sarcastically replied, “How do you know that? You haven’t met every mom in the whole entire world.” My son squeezed me tighter and said, “Yes I have. You are my world.”
4. Today, my dad turned 91. He barely has enough strength to speak. But every time my mom (she’s 84) walks into the room to check on him, he says, “Hello beautiful.”
5. Today, when I went to pick-up my daughter from preschool she was sitting on the ground in the corner of the after-care area with 3 blind students. All of them had smiles on their faces. The after-care instructor told me my daughter has been spending time with these 3 students every afternoon this week, answering questions and explaining to them in vivid detail what different objects, people and animals look like.
6. Today, when she woke up from a six-month coma, she kissed me and said, “Thank you for being here, and telling me those beautiful stories, and never giving up on me… And yes, I will marry you.”
7. Today, I found an old hand-written note my mom wrote when she was a senior in high school. On it is a list of qualities she hoped she would someday find in a boyfriend. The list is basically an exact description of my dad, who she didn’t meet until she was 27.
8. Today is my 18th birthday. Just over 18 years ago a woman was faced with the harsh fact that she had already had 4 miscarriages and 1 stillbirth. As she was pregnant for the 5th time, doctors informed her that her pregnancy was risky. They said there was a good chance either the baby or her wouldn’t make it. She chose to give the baby a chance anyway. My mom and I both made it and are still healthy to this day.
9. Today, my grandpa keeps and old, candid photo on his nightstand of my grandma and him laughing together at some party in the 1960’s. My grandma passed away from cancer in 1999 when I was 7. This evening when I was at his house, my grandpa caught me staring at the photo. He walked up, hugged me from behind and said, “Remember, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.”
10. Today, a week after I donated three bags of clothes to a local homeless shelter, I saw a homeless woman sitting on a park bench wearing a tye-dye shirt I made when I was a teenager. I walked by her and said, “I love your shirt!” She smiled and said, “Thank you! I really do too!”
11. Today, I sat down with my two daughters, ages 4 and 6, to explain to them that we have to move out of our 4 bedroom house and into a 2 bedroom apartment for awhile until I can find another job that pays well. My daughters looked at each other for a moment and then my youngest daughter turned to me and asked, “Are we all moving into the apartment together?” “Yes,” I replied. “Oh, so no big deal then,” she said.
12. Today is the 14th day in a row that my nursing home patient’s grandson has come to visit her. Two weeks ago, I told him that the only time I see his grandmother smile all week is when he visits her on Sunday mornings. Again, today was the 14th straight morning.
13. Today, as I pulled into my apartment complex I noticed my neighbor, who’s about 8 months pregnant, struggling with her groceries. I stopped and helped her bring them up the stairs into her apartment. This evening, when I got home from the gym I found a freshly baked apple pie sealed in Tupperware sitting on my doorstep with a note that said, “I used the ingredients you helped me carry to bake this. Enjoy!”
14. Today, a man came in to apply at my restaurant. He seemed charismatic, kind, knowledgeable, and friendly. Later, when I went to call him to extend a job offer, I noticed he had written “ask for me” under his number. The number belongs to a homeless shelter. But I’m gonna take a risk and hire him anyways.
15. Today, I found out that my mom and dad have been working second jobs at night so they can continue to financially assist my twin sister and I who are both sophomores in college. My dad said, “You two will be the first in our family’s history to receive college diplomas. Two jobs is nothing! I’d work three if I had to, just to see you two graduate.”
16. Today, my 12-year-old son, Sean, and I stopped by the nursing home together for the first time in several months. Usually I come alone see my mother who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s. When we walked into the lobby, the nurse said, “Hi, Sean!” and then buzzed us in. “How does she know your name?” I asked. “Oh, I swing by here on my walk home from school all the time to say hi to Grandma,” Sean said. I had no idea.
17. Today, my mom has been blind for 15 years. She lost her vision in the same car accident that took my dad’s life. I am 18 years old now. She has raised me as a single mom since I was 3, without her vision. And yes, she did a heck of a job!
18. Today, I met the prettiest woman on a plane. Assuming I wouldn’t see her again after we made our connections, I told her how pretty I thought she was. She gave me the most-sincere smile and said, “Nobody has said that to me in 10 years.” It turns out we’re both in our mid-30’s, never married, no kids, and we live about 5 miles away from each other. We have a date set for next Saturday after we return home.
19. Today, my mom received the surgery she needed to remove a malignant tumor. My family has been struggling without medical insurance since my dad lost his job last year. My sister and I have been openly discussing my mom’s medical dilemma on Facebook. Last week, a friend of a friend, who’s a veteran cancer treatment surgeon who owns his own practice, saw our comments on Facebook and volunteered to help my mother … for free.
20. Today, I’m a mother of 2 and a grandmother of 4. At 17 I got pregnant with twins. When my boyfriend and friends found out I wasn’t going to abort them, they turned a cold shoulder to me. But I pressed forward, worked full-time while attending school, graduated high school and college, and met a guy in one of my classes who has loved my children like his own … for the last 50 years.
21. Today, as I was sleeping, I woke up to my daughter calling my name. I was sleeping in a sofa chair in her hospital room. I opened my eyes to her beautiful smile. My daughter has been in a coma for 98 days.
22. Today, on our 10th wedding anniversary, she handed me a suicide note she wrote when she was 22. It was dated the exact day we met each other. And she said, “For all these years I didn’t want you to know how foolish and unstable I was back when we met. But even though you didn’t know, you saved me. Thank you.”
23. Today, at 8AM this morning, after four months of lifelessness in her hospital bed, we took my mom off life support. And her heart continued beating on its own. And she continued breathing on her own. Then this evening, when I squeezed her hand three times, she squeezed back three times.
24. Today, the homeless man who used to sleep near my condo showed up at my door wearing the business suit I gave him nearly 10 years ago. He said, “I have a home, a job, and a family now. 10 years ago I wore this business suit to all my job interviews. Thank you.”
25. Today, when I opened my store at 5AM there was an envelope sitting on the floor by the door. In the envelope was $600 and a note that said, “Five years ago, I broke into your store at night and stole $300 worth of food. I’m sorry. I was desperate. Here’s the money with 100% interest.” Interestingly, I never reported the incident to the cops because I assumed that whoever stole the food really needed it.
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Make today a great day.