I finally received it. Over a year and a half later. I received the keepsake necklace that came with his memorial service package.
Isn’t it weird that when you die, if you don’t have plans already set out for your services, that most funeral homes have packages for your family to choose from? I mean, it makes sense (and I was very thankful for them). But it’s the strangest feeling having to pick out a package for services less than only 48 hours of your loved one passing, like it’s their school yearbook pictures or something. So many things to consider, so many options, so many opinions, so many emotions.
One of the items that came with the package I ended up choosing (I don’t even remember what it was called or which one it was, I was in such an adrenaline daze) was a keepsake necklace. The necklace featured an engravable message on the back and a fingerprint of your loved one on the front. It seemed a little odd at first, but then the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was very special. The one part of him that was unique to him, I would have forever.
The day of I wasn’t ready to order mine (for obvious reasons). I wasn’t sure what I wanted engraved on the back. Most of his other relatives knew instantly what they wanted – phrases that were special to them and made them think of him.
“Fight Like Hell.”
These were a couple that immediately came to mind. Then, of course, there was our wedding date, “I love you, babe,” “forever and always”… but I knew one day I’d probably remarry, and these phrases would take on different meanings to me with a new person. I wanted something that would be special and unique with Kenny, and only Kenny.
I wanted to wait until the perfect phrase came to me. I asked close friends their opinions, and they gave me a few suggestions, but told me it was ultimately my decision and that I should choose something special to me. (Mind you, it could only be 3 lines, and each line could only contain 8 characters… not challenging at all. #yaywordpuzzlies)
So I waited a bit longer.
Then life happened.
And waited some more.
I’d jot down some ideas, and then eventually erase them. Until one day, I started thinking, thinking about us – what was the one thing I learned from Kenny. What was the big ah-ha I took away from that lengthy journey we endured together?
And then it finally came to me.
Live & love well.
It was simple, but it was perfect. Short and sweet, but powerful. I learned lots of things from that crazy, wild journey. But the main takeaway for me was to live and love, and to do those well.
No matter what hand you were dealt, you play it – and play it well.
No matter what your circumstances are, you show up – and give it your best.
Give love and you’ll receive love. Even if you can’t see the love right away. Even if you can’t reap the harvest that you’ve sown – you will.
Love and love with all you have.
What’s the point of living and loving if you don’t give it your all? It’s a waste of energy, and honestly, an insult. Not everyone’s 100% looks the same – and that’s okay! It’s not supposed to. You know how they always say comparison is the thief of joy? Don’t compare your “best” with someone else’s “best.”
Live and love the best you can, with all you can.
We are all physically here on earth for a given amount of time. A definite beginning and finite end. From our first breath of life until our last. Make the most of it and start living and loving well.
Leave impactful fingerprints on the hearts of all those you encounter.