My daughter, Angela, shared a heartwarming story with me tonight. She met an 87 year old man during one of her shifts at the Olive Garden. When speaking with him she discovered he had been married for over 50 years. His wife had died from cancer and he had no family. He lived alone and spent holidays and most of his time alone. After talking with Angela, she gave him extra soup and salad to take home so he would not have to cook. He left her a $30 tip on a $20 bill. His name was Ray and he left an imprint on her as she did on him. He showed up tonight for dinner and as before Angela sat and talked with him. She also gave him her number and told him if he just wanted to talk she would be more than happy to come over and keep him company. He left her $35 tip on a $20 bill. Angela walked him to his car, hugged him and continued her shift.
While speaking with me on the phone she said, “Mom, I don’t think I want to marry as I may lose my husband one day to death.” I told her you cannot live your life that way. You can’t live with the “What if” hanging over you. When you do you miss out on life. Rather than think of the possibility of losing someone, celebrate the time you were allowed to have with them. That is where the joy lies.
If I had thought of “what if” about Richie or anything else in my life I would have missed out on some great experiences. Change is inevitable and probably the only thing you can count on in your life. You will experience change and circumstances will not stay the same. Learn to embrace change as not just a new challenge but maybe a fresh start or a new beginning.
Ray seemed sad about losing his wife, but knowing he would lose her someday I bet he would have married her all over again. What if… stops you from experiencing the best life has to offer. Remember that the next time you say, “what if.”