She was waiting patiently in line, wearing a pink tea-length skirt, a yellow silk blouse, and a white flapper hat with a pink bow. Her long string of pearls came almost to her waist and was tied in a fashionable knot. The outfit she was wearing was more appropriate for a Sunday church luncheon, or maybe for a 1922 speakeasy, than for her medical check up.
I asked how she was doing and she answered confidently, “I am 95 years old and I am still on this Earth, standing on my own two feet. So I am okay.”
I complimented her glamorous outfit and she smiled broadly, extending her gloved hand.
“Well, you know, she said, “I just don’t know how long I have left.”
“And I don’t mean that in a sad way, dear,” she reassured me. “I just mean that it doesn’t make sense to wait for a special occasion to wear my favorite things.”
“So when I want to dress up, I dress up. And when I feel like wearing pearls, I wear pearls. Life is just too short to leave my favorite pearls in the jewelry box.”
This week, a terrible and tragic loss, experienced by another, reminded me of the fragility of life.
So remembering my 95 year old friend, I asked myself a question: Why am I not wearing pearls? Why am I not wearing pearls every single day?
So whether life turns out to be short or to be long, let’s make smart use of the time while we are on this earth, standing on our own two feet.
- Let’s not wait for a special occasion to wear our favorite clothes.
- Let’s not wait to do our favorite activities, or to spend time with our favorite people.
- Let’s try to to learn new things every chance we get.
- Let’s get the best dishes from the china cabinet when its NOT Thanksgiving and eat pizza on fine china.
- Let’s love each other generously and if we can, unconditionally. At times, this could be hard.
- Let’s laugh as often as we can, at both really good and really bad jokes. This should be easy.
- Let’s talk to strangers in medical office waiting rooms and share our age and maybe even wear lace gloves.
And above all, if we feel like wearing pearls, let’s wear them. Because life is too short to leave those pearls in the jewelry box.
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