My 60th birthday
On the eve of my 60th birthday I am very pensive. Just having celebrated our youngest son’s birthday tonight, I am thinking what a blessed man I am. My mother, father, and baby brother have all passed on to the other life, and my sister and I still survive of our Del Monte of 5 that I came from. Lots of memories, most of them good, some of them painful, especially the premature death of my 42 year old brother. My one consolation is that he died at peace with God, and that his children and surviving wife are all doing well.
My own family has enriched me in every way I can imagine, my wife Rosetta of 36 years, my 3 adults sons–Vince, Adrian, and Michael, and my two amazing daughters in ‘love’–Amy and Flavia, and one so adorable grandson, Jacob James Del Monte. He so fits into our growing ‘tribe’.
As I think about my life my prayer is that God will give me many more years to grow with my bride. As we often say to each other, one life is too short. And I am so delighted to see all my sons and their wives flourishing in their lives and respective life callings.
I continue to pursue my passion of assisting people to awaken to the presence of God in their lives and seek to come alongside them to see them live vitally positive lives, seeking to be those human beings fully alive. I don’t see early retirement in my future. I only see an ongoing balanced pursuit of my dream of being an effective and productive Coach, whatever context God chooses to place me in.
In reviewing my future I was encouraged to reflect on the poem by American ethicist, Michael Josephson simply called What Will Matter. Although not original with me this poem resonates with me at this time in my life.
What Will Matter – Michael Josephson
Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end. It won’t matter whether you where beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin colour will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;
Not what you got, but how you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter are not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.