Yesterday morning I had breakfast with an old friend that I hadn’t seen in awhile. He reached out to me and wanted to spend some time together. We passed emails back and forth and finally got a meeting scheduled for yesterday morning at the Red Hot Inn. If you’ve never been, you got to try it out – super old school restaurant, great food, and great people!

Photo Couretesy of: Creative Commons

I was glad that he reached out to me and I was really looking forward to seeing him. Every time we get together we both leave the meeting inspired and encouraged. We had no agenda for the meeting, we just wanted to get together and see how each other was doing. I appreciate his heart and openness.

Yesterday we spent some time telling stories. As of recently I’m in this mode of collecting stories. I bring my journal around and try to collect as many as possible. Going into the meeting I had no idea that we were going to be telling stories though, it just worked out that way.

He started out telling me this story about how he had a business a few years ago. The business was growing, everything was great, and he felt like he was on top of the world. As time went on things started to fall apart and he lost everything; his home, his company, his pride, and almost his family.

I could feel the emotion, pain, and suffering, especially because I recently went through the same thing. I actually think that was one of the reasons why he reached out to me. Sometimes it just feels better when you have someone who can appreciate and understand what your going through. And you can be there for each other.

After telling me his story he smiled and went on to talk about his daughter. As I listened carefully and looked him in the eyes I could feel his love for her and his family. He said, a few years ago he was at an auction and there was an old man selling canes. His daughter went up and started looking at the canes. Her eyes light up and she became fixated on this one cane. The more she looked at it the more she wanted it. The old man asked if she wanted it. She said, “Yes sir. Can I have it.” He told the girl, “Sure you can have it.”

He had no idea why she wanted the cane, but she wanted it and got it. She went home and put it away. He said to this day she collects canes. She told him that someday she is going to write a story about the cane that she got from the old man. How cool is that? A young girl who gets a free cane, starts collecting them, and now wants to write a story about the first cane she got?

After telling me this about his daughter he said that in the times of building and growing his company he would have never even noticed this about his daughter. He said, “How often do we do totally miss these precious moments, when we are so caught up in what WE are doing.”

He continued by saying, even if he was present he would not have appreciated the small whispers of his daughter to the old man or the gentle voice of the old man saying, “Sure you can have it.” Instead he would have been so caught up in thinking about all the company stuff, the stress, the pressure, and all the things that he needed to do, that he would have missed it.

Maybe this is you. Are you missing the moments with your daughter that can mean more than anything in the world. Are you so caught up in what YOU are doing that you can’t appreciate the simple, beautiful things in life that are happening around you? Do you need to loose everything to gain something as precious as your little girl collecting canes? This is exactly what I needed to do in my life, and now I am happier than ever and starting to appreciate things again.

Discussion Question: How are you doing with this in your life? Are you building all these things while missing the things that really matter in your life? What might you need to loose in order to gain something even more beautiful?