“It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now – the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.” – Katrina Kenison
If you had the opportunity to spend one ordinary day with someone from your past or your present, who would it be?
For me, it’s a person I’ve never had the privilege to meet – a man whose lineage I carry around with me each and every day. His name was Louis Melillo – my grandfather.
He was only 55 when he passed away from cancer, just a few days after my 1st birthday. My grandmother used to always tell me that he refused to let my birthday be forever overshadowed with the memory of his death. And so, he rallied his remaining strength to make sure that didn’t happen.
Everything I know about him, is from hand-me-down stories my grandmother and family friends provided – wonderful stories, which often revealed the similarities the two of us shared.
One of my favorites is how he met my grandmother.
Dances were a big deal back in the day – a safe gathering place for young people of similar ages in search of a good time and the chance of finding true love.
Both of my grandparents attended these events with great regularity, but my fun-loving grandmother was always on the arm of someone else. My grandfather always carried a pocket-sized notebook with him and would write down what he was feeling as he watched her moving about the dancefloor.
His words were so sincere, so poetic, so honest. He spoke about feeling unworthy around my grandmother, how nervous he was to ask her to dance with him, how beautiful she looked with an ever-present smile and a laugh he could listen to forever.
My grandfather was emotional, sensitive, compassionate and at times lacked the security to believe he was in fact worthy of love and affection. That sentence could very well be used to describe me.
Therefore, if I had the opportunity to spend one ordinary day with someone, I would send out an invitation to my grandfather.
There are so many questions I’d like to ask him, so many stories I’d love to hear from his own perspective, so many situations I’d value his input on. Not to mention the opportunity to introduce him to my beautiful bride – whom I know he’d admire and respect the same way my grandmother did.
Sadly, that day can never be. But if this blog has taught me anything, it’s that we all still have the opportunity to spend an ordinary day with someone who means the world to us – and is still right here! If only we’d stop letting one excuse after another keep us from spending time with them.
Never forget – time is a gift, and if you abuse it, you’ll never get it back. I close with this song by singer Nick Lachey:
And if I had one wish
I wouldn’t ask for money
I wouldn’t ask for fame
I wouldn’t ask for the power to make this world change
If I could have one thing
That one thing that I would choose
Is one more, ordinary day with you