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A package arrives, and it’s stamped “Handle with care.” How do we retrieve the contents of that package? With mindful care, right? We find ourselves even handling the box that contains the fragile item carefully. If we hold such regard for these tangibles, how do we overlook our handling of human packages? Our human packaging encases precious treasures. Within our human containers, we embody purpose and aspirations. Life is Fragile: Handle With Care.

 

So often, we become disgruntled by how someone handled us or ours. We hold very concrete notions about how we expect others to entreat us. Yet, frequently, we neglect to extend the same courtesy to others, especially when the interactions or input collides with what we want to do. We forget the Golden Rule: Treat people the way we want them to treat us. It sounds so simple, but we forget. We dismiss and unknowingly disregard the value of the human package we interact with from day to day. Now, if someone asked us if we value or cherish or love the person or people in question, we’d affirm, “Yes, absolutely, I love and cherish and value…” This disregard is not intentional. But, that’s the very point of it all–NOT INTENTIONAL. Our interaction and handling regarding others must honor the postage notification–Handle with Care.

I attended a virtual funeral service yesterday, and one of the speakers shared a reading that said:I attended a virtual funeral service yesterday, and one of the speakers shared a reading that said:

                           If I had known that this would be the last  time I had with…,

                           I would have stayed a little  longer. If I had known, it was the last

                           hug I gave…, I would have held on a little longer.

This sobering admonishment struck me quite seriously. Immediately, I saw the people that I meant to call, I meant to text, I meant…I meant… I meant. I’m thankful that all these people are still with me today, so I have today to do all that I meant. Yet, the stark reality–This will not always be the case. I will then only have what “I meant,” and that would sadden me. Let’s treat each encounter as though it’s the last. Let’s remember not only to handle one another with care but remember that we have expiration dates. 

Some people are sticklers for respecting the package expiration date. They will not use or consume any item beyond its expiration. My sister is like this. She adjusts her meal prep to accommodate expiration dates. By that, I mean she will find a way to incorporate the item into her meal, not waste money. She wants the get the benefit of the item she purchased. Life is this way too. Let’s get the most from our relationships. Expiration dates are all too real. So, what are we to do? Hug while we can. Laugh and share while there’s time. Celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of each person in our circles. Let’s focus on the joy and love each person brings to the union. Major on the minor: acknowledge all the little things that make this person special and these relationships meaningful and valuable to us. Please pay attention to all the small things that we’d miss should they pass. Take pictures and voice recordings. These become priceless mementos.

From now on, we have two objectives: Remember, with our circle:

  • Handle with Care
  • Expiration Date 

Treat each relationship as though it can crack beyond repair, so handle our loved ones with tender care. Unlike the carton of milk, we have no way of knowing the expiration date for each life in our lives, so fill our time making the most of those years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds, nanoseconds until time ceases for them or us.

 

 

Live long and prosper,

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