In our lives, there are going to be ups....and there are going to be downs...I've had so many conversations, over that last day or so, about appreciating what we have in our lives. About being thankful and knowing that, in so many ways, we are blessed.
I used to come home, to Kimmy, give her a big hug and kiss (sometimes sweep her off her feet), and tell her how much I loved her. Then, I'd relate to her how I saw someone we knew who was now wheelchair bound. Or someone we knew who was getting a divorce. Or had been in a horrific accident. I'd tell her, that I always appreciated her, and felt bad, that it took seeing or hearing about someone else's misfortunes to make me really feel it. To bring me back into focus on what is truly important.Each day, I thank God for times Kim and I shared. When I see a beautiful sunrise, I thank Him for every sunrise Kim and I shared. When I take the bambini for a walk, I thank God for every walk Kim and I took. When I wish someone a Happy Anniversary, I thank God for every anniversary that Kim and I celebrated - and we didn't just celebrate our wedding anniversary, oh no, we celebrated the anniversary of the day we met, the day we started dating in 7th grade, the day we started dating in 1984, the day we moved here to Tucson, etc, etc. Nearly every day was our anniversary!
This very day, I had the opportunity to multiple times to remind co-workers of what is truly important. Family. I preached to them 'Don't get all stressed out about work or your job - there are plenty of jobs out there. But, your family, well, 20 years from now, whatever company you work for today, won't even remember your name - but, my hope is, by letting my kids know that they are more important than anything, that they will love me and I will love them - forever.' Kim and I talked a lot the last two months or so that I was blessed to have her - NO ONE, on their death bed EVER says "I wish I had worked more!". It seem so simple, doesn't it? Yet, we still get hung up on bills, finances, office politics, economics, Washington politics...I say, forget about what someone in another state, or even city, is brain washing you into thinking...be here, now. Be there for your family. Your school/church. And your community. That is what is important.
In talking about the current state of economy and what it means for retail, I've made sure to be up front and honest with my team...'Have a plan B', I tell them (Kimmy's words) - that is why I have a real estate license. I am expendable. I can be efficiently replaced, hell, my team has run my store for me for approximately 9 months, they do not necessarily need me. We saw the passing of the Lizard King - no one saw that coming. But, I try to look out for them like they are family, because they have worked so hard to keep the business going so that I can take care of the bambini. Yet, some of them, see this advice as a calamity - I tell them - it's an opportunity to refocus on their families, what is really important to them and to see if what they are currently doing really makes them happy...what a wonderful thing!
And, one of our blessing that I thank God for, is the Barrios family. Lupe, Manny and Monsi have shown love and caring towards all of the bambini. Taking us in, primarily on Tuesday nights,making sure the kids get their homework done, giving them snacks, fun activities, sharing their home and dinner table with us - even when dealing with their own family sorrows and set backs. They have such upbeat, positive outlooks on life (especially surprising/refreshing because they are Cowboys fans! : ) ). I told them, if there were more families like theirs and more like the Williams' family, and the Croce family, this world would be a wonderful place, all the way around.
But, I've come to learn, that along with the ups, we need to experience the downs to better appreciate the ups and all that we have - even when we are down. They can take my house. They can take my cars. But no one can ever take the bambini and the love we share from us...and that is all that matters!