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Living for Today | Can Knowing A Bird Teach You To Fly?

For a bird, I flew enough.

When a close friend said  these words to me, I did not fully understand the meaning. Sure, I knew the gist of what he said, but until I understood him a bit more, I never fully  “got it.”

You see, he was more old school than I. It was a phrase his father used to say to him when a family member passed away.  It was a way  to  come to  terms with what is sometimes an early departure.

What did he interpret out of that?  He wanted to instill the ability to see the good in every day. Appreciate what we had. Be happy. Be thankful; live  for today. Love while you can.

He lives his life as such. Everyday he sees tragedy in the form of children afflicted with chronic disease. Everyday it breaks his heart, and yet everyday he goes back and starts the fight all over again on their behalf. Sometimes the battle is lost, he is sad, heartbroken. But even as  he was, he appreciated the  good times that the  child must  have had in their young life. He celebrates what was their life rather  than dwell on their death.

He is 52. His father died at  56 and brother at 54. I think this has a lot to do with his  thinking. He went skydiving a few years ago and vowed to GOD that if his parachute opened, he’d  never  do it again. Ironically,  had it not opened he would’ve had the  same result. But he did it, he rose to the challenge and marked it off his list knowing he would never do it again. He was satisfied. Once was enough. He flew.

It is almost frustrating being in his presence, which is odd given the great man that he is. He is so completely and utterly satisfied with his life. He has so much pain he witnesses, but  it’s okay because he knows he did all he was humanly capable of doing. His complete and utter dedication is matched by none. His patients will never know what he sacrifices in his personal life so that he can dedicate more to them. He walks away at the end of the day knowing he did everything in his  power to  make  them well. Knowing that releases him  of  any guilt  that  others may feel given the same circumstance.

I am honored to know him. To call him a  friend. I tell him I worry because he stretches himself too thin and that he is killing himself with  stress and running around to save  the  world.  His response?

“If  I die tomorrow, for a bird, I flew  enough.”

Maybe knowing him  will teach me to fly.

My name is Lori Parrish. I am a 42 year old, soon-to-be single mom of three amazing and very diverse sons. I am navigating through a divorce after 20 yrs of marriage, and I am determined to come out a better and far stronger person because of it. Life for me involves running non-stop for sports schedules, dealing with medical issues for my special needs sons and maybe carving out a life for me as an individual as well as a mom.

2 Comments

  1. Christin

    March 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Very thought provoking.

    Thanks Lori!

  2. Prime Parents Club

    March 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I would have to stop being friends with him because really positive people make me all twitchy.

    ;)

    LOVED this post.

    /jackie