The Meaning of Life

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What is the meaning of life? For thousands of years mankind has pondered this question, and yet, this great mystery still remains largely unanswered. How many of us in quiet moments of reflection have asked this same question? Who among us has not tried to understand, not only our own life’s meaning, but also our place in this world, and our purpose as human beings? Maybe, just maybe, the answer to this question isn’t hidden somewhere in the world around us, but deep inside ourselves.

I’m reminded of a story of a man who had spent his entire life searching for the answer to the meaning of life. He had studied for years with the greatest philosophers, as well as decades traveling the globe as he searched for clues to life’s meaning. After years of searching, he heard rumors of a holy man, who had spent the past fifty years in a cave in the Himalaya Mountains of Tibet. So, leaving his home, he started a long and arduous journey, which took almost a year, as it led him high into the mountains. Once there, he battled extreme cold, landslides and oxygen deprivation, as well as the effects of fear and loneliness. Continue reading

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The Importance of Memories

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Last night, I was sitting at my desk in the den, facing a huge stack of bills, and knowing that more were on the way as the end of the month approached. Sometimes it’s easy to look at all our problems and forget about the good things we have in our lives. Rather than getting depressed, I started to think of all the things in my life that I’ve been blessed with. I have a family that loves me. I don’t have major health issues, and I’ve been told if I keep working hard, I may have a future as a writer. My mind is still pretty sharp, though my wife may disagree at times with that statement. Though things have been a little rough lately, I believe I face a future full of endless possibilities and opportunities.

As I continued with the bills, I reached for another stamp and glanced over at a picture of my wife with our two sons hanging on the wall above my desk. At that moment, as a small smile crossed my lips, a flood of good and precious memories washed across my mind. I realized that one of the most important gifts which I, as well as all of us have, is our ability to remember things. This may be one of mankind’s greatest gifts. I know there are bad things in all our lives that we would like to forget, but there are so many good things that we’re glad we can remember, hold close to our hearts, and pull from the deepest parts of our minds when we need them the most. Continue reading

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Forever

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Time. I have plenty of time. There is always more of it. I have rested here upon this world for untold ages, as the present has moved towards infinity. Like a sentry on a castle wall, I have witnessed so much time. It’s inevitable and relentless march forward, is meaningless to me. What will be, will be. I have waited and watched through years, centuries, millennia, periods, and ages.

I have waited, silently watched, observed, and most importantly remembered. This is my gift. I remember everything. From multi-celled creatures struggling to survive in a new world, to the birth of creatures whose size and power shook the very earth as they passed, to smaller creatures with speed and cunning intelligence, to the rise of a creature called man; I remember.

I do not eat or sleep, yet I am aware. I am aware of everything. With remembering and awareness comes possibly my most special gift; understanding. Along with the memory of the ages comes an understanding of the Universe. Along with an understanding of the Universe comes a quiet, gentle peace. Continue reading

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We are All Just People

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I was passing a local park after work, and decided to stop. It was fairly warm, and all the children were out running and playing, after being cooped up inside during a recent stretch of rainy days. There was one particular group of eight children who appeared to be about four or five years old. As their mothers sat and talked, they seemed to be in perpetual motion, as they ran, laughed, slid down slides, took turns on the swings, and chased each other as young children often do.

The first thing I noticed is that they were a racially diverse group. I mention this, only because it always seems that children, unlike many adults, are color blind when it comes to other people. When they play or pick friends, it really doesn’t seem to matter what they look like. In this country and all around the world we have been making progress, but there are still many of us who judge people by how they look. It seems that all of us are often separated not just by race, but by ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, religion, culture, traditions, and beliefs. Continue reading

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The Chase

 

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This is a story I wrote almost seven years ago, that’s been gathering dust in a file I keep for things I wrote, having special meaning for me. Chase came into my family’s life during some troubling times, including the loss of our beloved Golden Retriever, Kinley. He just turned eight, isn’t a puppy anymore, is feeling his age, but still accompanies me on my daily walks; and yes, he’s still chasing things. I hope you enjoy the story.

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All of us who have loved and lost a cherished pet, understand the pain. We also understand the need to grieve and move on. Our family recently lost our golden retriever of thirteen years. We vowed to never have another dog. We would be content with our two cats. As often happens though, fate steps in and makes choices for you. We heard of a dog which was in need of a good home. He was living with a family in a house in a nearby town. They loved the dog, but his growing size and boundless energy were becoming too much for them. Though he had bonded with their son, they felt it necessary to give him away.

I’ve always been a firm believer that everything in life has a reason, and that sometimes you just have to go with your heart. We have a good home with a lot of love in it. Both my wife and I noticed how empty it felt since the death of our dog. Continue reading

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Mom, are You There?

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I wrote this poem, two years ago, after a visit with my mother. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and we were told that she was at about stage four in a seven stage process. Sadly, she passed away this past December, a few days before her eighty-second birthday.

Let me tell you a little bit about the visit, which inspired me to write this poem. My mother had good days, and bad days. I would come to her house almost every Sunday morning, and once in a while, I’d take her for doctor’s visits during the week. Sometimes on my visits, she would talk for hours about the past. She vividly remembered things that happened decades ago, but the present was often a mystery to her. On this particular day when I arrived, she seemed particularly happy, but for the first time, she didn’t know who I was. She was dressed nice, and I asked her where she was going. She told me her son, Patrick, was going to pick her up, and take her out, but she didn’t know where they were going. Continue reading

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Love and Hot Water

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My twenty-third wedding anniversary is rapidly approaching, and it got me thinking about how my wife and I have made it this far on our long and winding journey of wedded bliss. I’m not saying that we haven’t hit a few bumps in the road, had a few minor fender benders, or had to pull each other out of massive potholes once in a while. We have experienced some tough times over the years, but we’ve always managed to come through unscathed, still in love, and more determined than ever to make our marriage last. A good marriage certainly takes a lot of work. My dad once said to me,

“Son, marriage is like a job. It is also probably the hardest job you will ever have in your life. The one difference between a job and a marriage is that with marriage, you never get to retire.”

It is said, that marriages last because couples truly love each other. I’ve often wondered about the concept of love, and what it really means to love someone. From William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton, we have all been fascinated by love. Continue reading

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