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Old 05-25-2015, 06:59 AM
 
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Makes me think of that line toward the end of Saving Private Ryan. "Have I been a good person?"

I lost a dear friend to liver cancer when she was forty-two. I'll never forget that the fact that she was dying didn't plague her near as much as her grief about not feeling as though she was finished with her life's work.

I think every caring person does this assessment a couple of times during different life phases. It can be difficult and one must chose wisely what kind of a measuring tool to use.

I keep this framed quote from Albert Schweitzer near my computer desk and read it often:

"No ray of sunshine is ever lost but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. Everything which is worth doing is done in faith."

For those times when my ego needs a little something more in my desk drawer I keep a packet of letters I've received over the years from people I have helped. It occurs as time as passed I need to get them out less often.

Faith is good.
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
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I guess I should add that I have 6 poems published but since the accident, haven't written much. My goal is to do that again & start drawing, which I used to do when I was younger. I still think my greastest accomplidhments though, was having people in poverty felt safe with me & trusted me. Means a whe lit to me.
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
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Smile I learned something when my own mother passed away

It was 5 years ago. She was 89. We all got to spend time with her at the end and talk with her about what she wanted and she told us; she was ready to go and be with Jesus.

She was an educated woman for her time, served in the Canadian Army in WW 2 and then returned to college and got an MBA. She came to the US and lived in the International House at the University of Chicago.

She loved her college years, went to work after that and met my father. He was 7 years younger.

As soon as they were married, she left her career and had children, 4 of whom lived. From the 4 of us, there were 12 grandchildren who all knew her and loved her.

At her memorial service, it was decided that everyone would write something. We never saw each others and even our spouses wrote something. Every one was different; each had a totally different way of knowing her!

She also had many friends - we knew what she did but she was quiet about it. There were financial setbacks when we were growing up as children and I think she found a hobby to deal with it - she would clip newspaper articles and send them to people she knew or knew of with a note. At times, she was pretty obsessed with it, however, it was her stress reliever.

She also wrote out her own Christmas cards every year.

When it came time for her service, we planned for 125 as she was 89 and our family numbers around 35 or so with extended parts. Imagine our surprise when 300 showed up - what a celebration of life it was -it was so wonderful seeing old, old friends from 40 years ago and many I didn't even know like the woman who came because my mom used to knit her shirts to wear.

To me, her life was a success. She also never judged, she was kind and considerate and a good listener. I miss her every day and hope I can walk in her footsteps.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
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That was very beautiful. You were so very lucky to have had such a wonderful Mother.
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Old 05-26-2015, 07:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
As we get older, I think many of us ask the question/s: "What have I accomplished in my life?" - "Have I really made a difference that mattered in the world or in the lives of others ... (by whatever standard one chooses to measure such a thing). This is probably more fundamental than a simple "What things have I DONE?" question or answer

- I'm going to have to think about this some more, but, a couple of things come to mind. We've raised some decent, hard-working, God-fearing kids who are instilling those values in their own families (breaking some destructive generational patterns in my own family). In the ministry, I've participated in the Lord's work (not mine) of significantly changing the lives of others. After 47-years of marriage and a 40-year career, (now 7-years retired), it feels like I've seen my commitments to others through.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliotgb View Post
I'd like to think that I made some sort of difference. Not having children, I'd hope that I made a difference in the lives of the pets I've had and the animals that I have saved and served.

I wasn't fruitful and did not multiply, my seed is unsown. Getting divorced after 30+ years of marriage and will most likely be alone for the rest of my life after retirement.

I did become involved in my church and I hope I have made a positive change there. I am becoming a Deacon soon, so all is not lost.
guys that got divorced, does it seem like wasted years while you were married? I know a lot of men get divorced when the kids is grown
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Old 06-08-2015, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
I often wonder just what I did with my life. Its so hard to believe I'm 60 years old Where did that time go? I feel more like I should be 40. Actually, people tell me I look like I'm in my 40's, so, maybe I can pretend to still be an active age!

I've had many health problems that have compromised my goals. I did the best I could, and am proud of my accomplishments, even though I wish they were more.


We did adopt a boy from an abuse and neglect background at the age of 2. I've written much about him on these forums, mostly negative. His background scarred him, and I feel I've been his only advocate at times. Unfortunately, he's not doing well. I'd like to say he turned into a clean-cut, well-adjusted young adult, but seems he's just one problem after another. Truthfully, I feel like a failure as a parent, but my job isn't through yet. I often think the adoption was misplaced, another parent would have been better for him, but we can't live backwards. I do feel I've instilled some values, some moral character in him that is yet to shape his true character.


What else have I done? Outside of a series of rescue cats, not much I can brag about. I now find myself looking at retirement communities, downsizing, empty-nest (we also have a daughter, who has since left home). I just don't feel we're ready to move into "God's Waiting Room" AKA retirement communities.

This thread will be interesting to read as it progresses. Just what have people done with their lives?
Do not berate yourself for your child's behavior. It is highly possible that his birth mother drank a lot or had mental health issues.
There are a few things I accomplished. When my son was declared bipolar, I went to meetings and read whatever I could find on the subject. I was talking to another worker in the break room & told her about it. She almost broke into tears as she opened up about her fear that she had depression. I was able to give her some information on dr's who were specialists, books to read and groups she could go to.
She told me later that I'd saved her life.
I also worked nonprofit most of my career. My last employment was working with Native Amercan tribal communities and what started with 'What's that white woman doing here" to receiving gifts as a goodbye when I was laid off. So now they trust at least one white woman. Hopefully they will trust more. I feel as if I opened a door.
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