A few days ago, my daughter Erin dropped me off at the airport for a flight to Santa Fe. Even before I got out of the car, I was choked up. Whenever one of us takes a trip, the thought of never seeing her again brings me to tears. She is the greatest blessing I could ever have in this life and the greatest gift I could ever give to the world.
Four years earlier, when Erin was living in Denver, I went out for a visit. When it came time for me to return to Minneapolis, I started tearing up a mile from the airport. I was so overwhelmed with emotion, I could barely speak. I hugged her goodbye and didn’t want to let go. As she drove off, I stood sobbing on the curb.
Yes, I am a big sap. That’s why I love this story. I don’t know who wrote it, but emotionally it’s pitch-perfect. I hope it motivates readers to cherish every moment they have with their children.
Erin, this is for you.
At an airport I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her plane’s departure and, standing near the door, she said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.” They kissed goodbye and she left.
He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”
“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing.
“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.
“I am old and she lives much too far away,” he said. “I have challenges ahead and the reality is, her next trip back will be for my funeral.”
“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?”
He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment and, looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.
“When we said, ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with enough good things to sustain them,” he explained. Then, turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory:
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough “Hellos” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”
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ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
If you feel more stressed than blessed . . . if you have more confusion than clarity about how to live your beliefs . . . if you long to live a richer, happier, more meaningful life . . . you will find a wealth of insight and guidance in Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
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In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
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