Whatever you do, do well.
For when you go to the grave,
there will be no work or planning
or knowledge or wisdom.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NLT)
On July 13th, my family suffered a great loss; the tragic and sudden passing of my father-in-law. On a road trip from Los Angeles to Greenwood, MS to mourn the death of his own father, he was involved in a single car accident which took his life at just 58 years old. The headlines of the local newspaper eerily read: Family Reunion Now Double Funeral.
Upon hearing the news, one of my initial reactions after allowing the shock to subside was that this just was not fair. It wasn't fair that God would allow my husband's best friend in the world to be snatched from him. It wasn't fair that Reagan's beloved Papa wouldn't be making his first visit to Atlanta as we had planned in the months before. It wasn't fair that he wouldn't get to see my little brother-in-law graduate from college. It just wasn't fair.
But the more I've read Ecclesiastes over these last several days, I'm reminded continuously of the outlook that Pops had on life; an outlook that I believe subliminally he implanted in each of us in preparation for this time. I can't speak for my husband or my in-laws although I know many will share in this recap with me and even have much more to add, but here's what he taught me in our short 7 1/2 years together:
1. Cherish your family. Never allow distance to stop your loved ones from knowing that they are truly loved.
2. Prioritize. Family, first. Friends, second. Work, third. Work won't come to see about you or take care of you when you're sick.
3. Tell stories about the ones that have gone before us. Doing so can create a bond between two souls who haven't even met.
4. Cook like you're feeding an army and make sure that all feel welcome.
5. Whistle while you dance. It just looks cool.
6. Do things right the first time and you won't have to worry about wasting time later.
7. Whatever you do, do it well and represent the Washington name correctly!
I could go on and on, but the point is I've found solace in accepting this time to mourn, but the time to celebrate his life will be eternal in my book. My children will know about their grandfather and feel his presence much like we all did when he would tell stories about his own mother.
Although many of you didn't have a chance to meet him, my hope is that you will take one of the seven points above and incorporate it into your own life in some way. Trust me, he'll get a kick out of knowing that his life continues to bless others.
Seek Wisdom, Find Wealth & Be Blessed