“Death, as tragic and difficult as it is to accept, has a way of helping us put things into perspective. Relationships that have been taken for granted suddenly take on greater significance. Even our words become more meaningful. Things that were only thought before, are now said. We take more stock of our limited time and we begin to make better use of our time by connecting more consistently and in deeper ways. The challenge, of course, is to maintain this perspective beyond the days that follow our shared tragedy. At the end of life, the only thing that will really matter won’t be our material possessions or professional accolades. It will be the tender memories of family and friends that we have stored in the treasure room of our hearts and minds. Perhaps our greatest memories occur when our individual stories somehow connect and merge with another’s story to form a new path that we walk on together. I am thankful to be a part of the Terry family story, the shared paths of the past, and I look forward to new chapters being written in the future. Thank you Kopana for setting forth our shared journey in pictures and words for reflection and posterity sake. You are the best! And, as Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us all – everyone!”’ ~ Michael Terry
If you’ve followed the outhouse over time you know that I choose the daily quotes up to two weeks ahead of their publish date. Today’s quote is no different. It came from cousin Michael as a comment on a post nearly two weeks ago. I was so moved by his eloquence that I wanted to share it, because it spoke to me on so many levels, and it was positive in its message which is, of course, what I strive for. As so often happens, to me anyway, today brought more life affirming messages my way. The first came as a private facebook message from my old friend and colleague, Ann Howington. It’s been several years since we last saw one another, and many months since we last corresponded. Suddenly, there she was: “I gotta tell you, I am making a list of people who inspire me the most and you are at the top of my list. You have that “spark” that everyone else wants. You also make me laugh so much – whether in person, on FB or in the outhouse! Love you, Ko. Shine on!” My heart melted. When you think you aren’t making a difference along comes someone who says, “You make a big difference!” It was one of the finest compliments anyone has ever paid me. It was timely, too, as I’ve been pondering what I should do next for work. Then, I came home to find a rather official envelope in my mailbox from the state capital. I thought I was being audited or something horrid like that. Instead, I found this letter from State Representative Jeff Donohue. “Thank you for sharing your talent with the Commonwealth,” it said. Well, I must say, when God and the Universe want my attention, they certainly know how to get it. I’m beyond grateful that Michael, Ann, and Jeff Donohue (whom I’ve never met) chose to tell me what they thought. After all this I don’t believe I need to ponder anything. I reckon I’m on the right track. Here’s to making more art and being thankful for every moment.