This Christmas holiday season has been a mixed blessing for our family. We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the real reason for the season and getting together of our family – even with all the howling and commotion of grandchildren running about.
But in the last two weeks, my only sister passed away, as did a pastor friend. And that sucked some of the joy out of the season, and caused me to look far beyond the New Year.
An agribusiness friend from New Jersey experienced the same bittersweet moment this month when a special farming friend was shot and killed by a home intruder.
All this affirms that while we don’t control everything in our lives, we can do a much better job of doing the best with what we do have control over – especially our relationships with our spouses, families and the people we work with.
We don’t have control of when those around us depart this earth. But we can make certain that our last contact with those we love and appreciate brings a good memory.
During my sister’s memorial service, I warmly recalled our last embrace. And I know that we both sensed that our last hug might indeed be our last.
I sensed holding Mother’s frail hand late in the evening that she passed away. And I recalled Father’s firm handshake the week before he passed into eternity. When the moment is precious, that tactile perception of your touch is burned into your memory.
So I hope you’ll reflect on the good relationships and the precious ones as you wind up the old year. Vow to make the new year an even better one in your business and personal relationships. The last time you touch may be your last time.