December 11 marked the 51st wedding anniversary of my parents. I called my Mom to wish her Happy Anniversary not quite certain if I should dial the phone. “Happy Anniversary Mom,” I said in my most upbeat voice. She, of course, said “Thank You.” We talked about my father and I cracked a joke about him. My Mom chuckled, reminding me of  the tone of my daughter’s belly laugh. She ended the conversation with choked backed tears and a hollow good-bye. “I know you miss him today Mom”  were the only words I could muster.

I’ve mulled this exchange between us for the last few days. When the bereaved grieve,  your mind gravitates toward all of those plans that weren’t realized. I know my father had regrets (out of respect for my father I won’t disclose them here). His regrets motivate me to think about that all important question, “What are you living for?” I think about all of the decisions and actions I participate in everyday and wonder if all these minute details will lead to the life that I truly want for myself. We all get caught in the details. Working long hours. Paying bills. Shuffling our kids to and from from birthday parties, playdates, and visits to the park. Cleaning dishes and washing cars. Those details bury us. We hide in them, thinking we are accomplishing something, but really, is that what we are living for?

There are no easy answers to this question. For each individual the response varies. But I do believe, as hard as it might be sometimes, you have to question yourself. What are you living for? Don’t hide from yourself. Answer the question.

Image by Leshaines 123