With Winter coming, I finally decided to replace the worn and torn blanket and quilt on my bed. Years of washing and dogs and cats jumping on them had left them threadbare and full of holes. I found a nice blanket cheap at a local store and dug an old quilt out of an older dresser in my room. When I looked at the quilt, though, I noticed that underneath the corner was a piece of tape with my Dad’s name written on it. Then I remembered that this was the same quilt he used at the nursing home during the last months of his life. I pealed the tape and held it in my hand. I looked up to Heaven and smiled. I didn’t think Dad would mind me using his old quilt now. I knew that he was in a place of never ending warmth, love, and light.
Spreading out my Dad’s quilt on my bed I remembered the greatest paradox of life: the end is really the beginning. Everything we go through in this life is a preparation for the greater life to come. Everything we face in this world can help us to become better, stronger, kinder, and closer to God. The love we choose in this life is the love we carry with us into the next. Knowing all this doesn’t diminish our love for life here on Earth either. It intensifies it instead. Life here may be momentary, temporary, fleeting and fragile, but it is a gift from our Heavenly Father. And how we live it is our gift to Him.
My advice then is to live like today is our last day. Wake up in the morning with our voice and soul saying: “Good morning God. I love You too and I thank You for my life.” Let’s go through the day with an open heart that gives our love away freely. Let’s embrace all the joy that the day gives us and share all of that joy with others. Help all the people we can. Learn all we can. Cherish every second that is given to us. Make our day a quilt of love that warms everyone we meet. Then our last day will be our best day and our end a new beginning.
Written by Joseph J. Mazzella.