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What’s on my Bucket List: Make time matter

January 9, 2010

My brother in law Cary Shulman said this to me one day after a cancer fundraiser. This is the message that I carry with me to all my charitable efforts.

My four-year-old and I made a batch of blueberry whole grain pancakes this morning. Last night we planned it out. He would do the mixing and I would pour it into the griddle. Then together we’d make smile faces with blueberries or raisins. There was some discussion of adding carrot peels or finely chopped broccoli. We were going to make a big batch and eat it all day.

It’s the moments in life that matter, not the minutes. There is no greater joy for me then spending time with my family and seeing my husband smile. They melt me.

Making homemade pancakes takes 10 minutes. The memories of Tommy pushing the heavy antique footstool up against the counter and his pulling a small child’s mixing spoon from his toy kitchen to blend the batter, all while discussing the aroma of cinnamon and how his big sisters who are away at school would love this, will linger with me eternally. That is rich.

After breakfast I logged onto Facebook and saw the following question from the folks at the Lance Armstrong Foundation: What’s on your bucket list?   For a moment I thought about my husband Rick, a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed a year and two days ago. A team a surgeons went to work. We got the all clear signal on May 25, the day we really started to ask ourselves what is on our Bucket List. His list is a little different than mine.  They’re both about making time matter.  To that end we won’t wait until we’re given some really bad news to begin checking off our list.

My Bucket List has a theme: From Warm Hands.  If I knew time was short then:

1) I’d make sure my will, living will and related paperwork were in order (Seriously, I could be hit while riding a bike this afternoon. I buttoned up these details a few years ago.)

2) I’d write letters to my family members, including letters that I want my children to read on special occasions like weddings, turning points in their lives, and parenthood. Those would be tucked in with my will.

3)I’d make sure my family and friends knew I’d love a visit.

4) I’d compile some stories and photos I’ve taken to create a few photobooks.

5) I’d make a quilt for each of my children. From my hands to theirs. On each quilt I’d write the following poem that I say to them every night: “I love you more than sunshine. I love you more than the breath I take. I love you more than the heart that beats in me. My babies, I love you more than anything.”

6) I’d love to have lunch with all the men and women that I ran cross country with in high school so we can share stories all day about our old coach and joke all afternoon. We’d make sure Ray’s sons were there.

7) One giant family reunion. For me that is about 100 people, including friends close enough to be siblings. Quite frankly that would be really cool if it was at a LiveSTRONG Challenge, because it would help close a circle that brought us to LiveSTRONG in the first place.

8) I’d make sure everyone knew my special charities. I’d ask them simply that if they miss me or think of me some time then to please do something kind for someone else. Help out. Give back. Make time matter.

9) I’d spend time in churches that have been a part of my life and have lunch with the priests.

10) I’d make sure that my family and friends knew my life was all about the joy that happened in moments every day, not the way it ends.

 Now that I’ve written my Top 10, I think I’ll print this out and carry it in my Daytimer.  Have a good day, Everyone.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2010 11:19 pm

    What a great list. Thanks so much for reading the blog. There are folks that bring family each year to the challenge–many taking part in the 5k walk/run. You can form your own team. Best to you and your whole family.


    • January 10, 2010 10:32 pm

      Thanks Brook. My family has been involved as a group since 2007 when we started team We Believe in the Philadelphia Challenge. We plan to continue as fundraisers and advocates for as long as we can. Time, Talent and Treasure.

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