By: Joseph J. Mazzella
It is closing in on my 54th birthday as I write this and I am reminded of a wonderful quote by the writer, Colette: “What a wonderful life I’ve had. I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” I was so blessed to grow up the way I did. I was surrounded by a loving family. I seemed to have all of nature as my playground. I took walks in the woods, went swimming every day during the summer, had countless touch football games with my friends, and curled up with a good book by the stove on cold, winter’s days. I did well in school and formed friendships that I still have to this day. I was fortunate enough to go to college and learned so much there as well.
My life, of course, had its share of problems too. I married young and struggled financially for years to support my family. Two of my three children were diagnosed with Autism and Mental Retardation. And I realized that they would need to be looked after for the rest of their lives here. Yet, raising them brought so much learning, so much laughter, and so much love into my soul. In the end they became the greatest blessings in my life.
Still, it took me a long time to realize this. I spent years making the mistake so many of us here make. I constantly imagined what my life would be like if only my life’s circumstances were different. In the end I wasted so many days looking for a future that never came and not enjoying the “present” I had in front of me. It took me years to see that where you are is not as important as who you are and that simply living with love can bring you more joy than anything else in this life.
It is never too soon to realize how wonderful your life is. It is never too late to realize how wonderful your life is. And it is always time to live your life with love, laughter, and joy.
Always remember this life is God’s gift to you. And how you live it is your gift to God.