I just read an article called “What a Small Town Obituary Writer can Teach Us All About Living.” I think you’ll enjoy taking a peek at it. The author talks about the joy of ordinary days, being present in long stretches of time with people we love, and the importance of small acts of kindness. Good stuff, right?!

But here’s my favorite part of the article:

“The lives that are most rewarding and fulfilling are the ones where people have had good relationships with people, whether it’s friends, family, whatever. They’ve had meaningful relationships so that at the end of their lives, they’re missed.” (There are a couple paragraphs here you can read in the article…)

“When you get right down to it, that’s what counts. It sounds so clichéd, but look at what happened on 9/11. All those cellphones. Everybody was just saying, ‘I love you.’ They weren’t checking bank accounts and stuff. They were saying, ‘I love you. I love you. I love you.'”

I appreciate that reading this brings me back to such a place of simplicity. To a place of simply wanting to be as present as I can with the people I love.

As it happens, I’m currently in a flurry of preparations to fly to see my mom today. Her birthday is on Monday and I want to be there to celebrate with her. I love my mom so much and it is really important to me that I get to spend as much time as possible with her, even though we live on opposite sides of the country.

My mom is absolutely amazing. She’s fun, funny, thoughtful, and generous. She raised three kids as a single parent. She’s an avid reader and the best pie-maker ever.

She lets us hang signs and balloons all over her house. She still has water fights and snowball fights with my son and us. And she always, always has chocolates in the house!

My mom often says —and this is true —that one of her greatest accomplishments in life is that all of her children love to come and stay with her. It is a testament to how she has always put family first and treated us with love and respect. (My own clan spends anywhere between 3 and 5 weeks a year with her! It’s Camp Becky!)

In honor of my Mom’s birthday, will you do me a favor? Right now plan some special time with someone YOU love. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Just some time when you turn off the phone/computer and hang out doing something you both love to do. Create some magic. Email and tell me about it, if you want. I’d love to hear. I’m sure it would make my mom happy if her birthday inspired people to spend time together!

(In appreciation, I’ll send my Love List 10-Paks to everyone I hear from who plans something special with their friend/family in honor of my mom’s birthday!)

Cheers + delights,