Katherine Lanpher, someone who unknowingly serves as mentor to me, shared something on Facebook that is so compelling that I just can't let it be. It is an obituary and an examination of a life well-lived and jam packed full of love.

It leaves me thinking on this Independence Day that we really do have the freedom to live our lives as fully and abundantly as possible no matter what role we may play in the world at large. It leaves me thinking that too many of us get caught up in the should haves and could haves, we  hold on too tightly to perceived wrongdoings, we dwell too much on regrets, and forget that there is only one today. It is trite yet so profoundly true. 

I admit that I do this little song and dance myself. But mine has a different twist-- it seems I want something bigger, something broader, I want to make a larger splash, and then I see something like this and I think....tiny ripples matter just as much. Little moments handled with finesse and grace and compassion and humor can leave a significant impact on the person who is sharing that moment with you. The point is that you seek out as many of those moments as you possibly can because more is better in generosity of the heart.

This interview and obituary remind me of a dear friend I met in Shenandoah, Iowa.  Her name is Toni Bounds and she has a big heart and a big laugh and many friends who probably all claim her as one of their dearest--because that is just the kind of person she is. Long after I moved, I talked to her on a weekly basis. Then it became monthly. After my children arrived on the scene, it has totally been hit-or-miss, mostly due to me. This doesn't mean I don't think of her, or hear her laugh when I walk at 5:00 am as she and I did on many a-morning before school. Toni has the same spirit as this woman does and I feel lucky to count her as my friend.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I hope you can find a nugget or two that inspires you to kick it up just a notch in your own world, I hope it inspires within you a reason not to hold back your love, your spirit, your generosity. I hope it inspires you to think of what you want people to say about you after you are gone.

Happy 4th, my friends. I am so thankful for all of you.

Shelagh was here- an ordinary, magical life

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