Day 23 – Buttons and Joy

January 1, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

A friend died and we wore joy.

I just found a small button from many years ago, a souvenir from a memorial celebration for a woman who I was just beginning to know before she died early in life of cancer . Timmy and her husband, both balloonists, exuded a joie de vivre. She made plans for her own memorial party and after her death a group of friends gathered in New York City to celebrate her life. We watched a slide show her husband had put together and we released balloons in Central Park in her memory. And we all went home wearing a small button with a big message, “Don’t postpone joy.”

How many times have we heard about people who are waiting until retirement to travel or fulfill certain dreams? How many times have we heard about these same people passing away less than a year after their retirement? How many times have we not said, “I love you” or not spent some time with a loved one because we were in a hurry? There’s always tomorrow.

Well…not really. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring but we do hold power today—power to say “I love you,” power to make time to “do it now,” and power to set the direction of our journey.

David’s Aunt Alice, who lived just a month short of her 106th birthday, had a mantra that we heard dozens of times when we visited her. “Do it now,” she would say and point to us with her index finger to add an exclamation point. She sang, “Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.” The video I made of her performance reached a huge audience when it appeared on Josh Lev’s viral video segment.

Timmy and Aunt Alice, young and old, never met but they were kindred spirits. Today I wear this button as a reminder to live joy each day.

Today’s gift is joy.

You can see the video of Alice here:

> DAY 24 Pink Pitcher

You can read my other posts on this project here:

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