Friday, December 2, 2011


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow observed "a single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books".
I had this opportunity while sitting in the cafe the other day while sipping some fresh brewed java. I took my seat next to an "old timer" as I call them, we struck up a conversation, and for sixty minutes I was taken to school; the school of experience and hard knocks

What made this conversation special for me was this old timer reminded me of the many conversations I had with my own dad passed away in 2008.

So, as I listened intently to the old timer reflecting on his life, I took the counsel of Solomon, "a wise man listens to advice." The old timer began to share with me his biggest regret in his life...he shared how he so desperately wished he would have treated his wife differently. He shared with me that his wife passed away in 2005 from breast cancer.

The old timer began to give me a list of things that he wished he had done differently with his wife. Let me share some keen insights that were given to me free of charge:

1. Give your wife a rose from time to time... the old timer emphasized that it only takes one rose; it shows that you were thinking about her.

2. Tell your wife that you love her...he told me that women want to be told they are loved.

3. Take the time to know your wife...he noted that women are unique and they need to be treated as individuals. 

4. Be kind...he spoke with deep regret, telling me that he did not show his wife the kindness that she so deserved. 

5. Don't get so caught up with work and material things...he emphasized that as you get older; work and material things start to lose their attraction.

I was taking my last few swallows of java as the old timer began to leave the cafe, as the old timer was leaving he looked back at me with a huge bright smile as if to say thanks for taking the time to listen to an old man's ramblings.

I'm again reminded of the words of Longfellow, "Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending."

There was much pain and hurt in the old man's voice, but I think he came to terms with his past failures; the old timer on more than one occasion mention God's forgiveness.

Our lives hang on very thin wires, so take the advice of the old timer husbands/wives and bring each other a rose from time to time.


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