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My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister's bureau and  lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. "This," he said, "is not a slip. This is lingerie." He  discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still  attached. "

Jan bought  this the first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago. She  never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. "Well, I guess this is the  occasion." He took  the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were  taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a  moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me. "Don't ever save  anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion.

I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister's family lives. I  thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or heard or done. I  thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they  were special. I'm still thinking about his words, and they've changed my  life. I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting on the deck and  admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm  spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee  meetings. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to  savor, not   endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them. I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event- such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market if I like it. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing. I'm not saving  my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends. "Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or  doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I'm not sure what my sister  would've done had she known that she wouldn't be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would  have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I'm guessing -I'll never know. It's those little things left undone that would make me  angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing  good friends whom I was going to get in touch with someday. Angry because

I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write - one of these  days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband often enough how much I truly love him. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save  anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.

And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special.

Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God. If you've received this it is because someone cares for you. If you're too busy to take the few  minutes that it would take right now to forward this to ten people, would  it be the first time you didn't do that little thing  that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it  certainly won't be the last. Take a few minutes to send this to a few  people you care about, just to let them know that you're thinking of them.  May love litter your life with blessings! JUST SEND IT!!

You've got to dance like nobody's watching, and love like it's never going to hurt....

People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there."

Enjoy the moment

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