“Do it with GUSTO!”

“Do it with GUSTO!”

“Do it with GUSTO!”

How many of us are just going through the motions, strolling through life? Wondering at times… “I don’t even remember driving here.” or even deeper “How did I get here?” I mean “How did I get here–at this point in my life?” Minutes turn into hours. Hours turn into days. Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into years. Then something happens. We wake up & wonder “How did I get here?” “What am I doing with my life?” Have you ever asked yourself that? In other words have you ever asked “Am I living my life with GUSTO?”

Brian’s short life.

The above quote “Do it with GUSTO!” was a favorite saying of my brother Brian. Brian did everything with gusto. His running, biking, academics, shenanigans, friendships, adventures (at age 17, he even rode a horse from Michigan to Kentucky!) Life was meant to be lived. And he lived it!

Thank God he did, because he didn’t live a long life. He died at 18 from a virus that attacked his young, strong, gusto-filled heart. Brian was my bestest brother. He was 10 years older than me, but we were always together. Actually, it was more like he let me follow him around everywhere.

Then, one day, he had a bad cough. I knew something wasn’t right that night. I stayed in my bed, wide awake, quiet as could be. Listening to that cough. My tall, Irish, Marcus-Welby-type physician father came home from “making rounds” and took a listen to Brian’s heart. Something was definitely not right. Two extra heartbeats… Four total… Not good… They immediately rushed Brian off to the hospital, which was the beginning of a painful journey for him and our family. My parents never to be the same again. Several months, several doctors and several hospital stays later, Brian lost his battle.

Brian was supposed to go here.

When I turned 18, life was very different for me. I was here. Brian was not. What would he have done had he kept on living? While I was on a particular college visit my Mom told me “Brian was supposed to go here.” Done. I knew right then and there that was where I too was supposed to go to school. My college experience influenced the rest of my life. The friends I met. The courses I studied. My college experience was full of GUSTO! That is one example of how Brian’s words influenced my life and still do today.

We’ve all heard it though…

“Live the life you dream!”

“Seize the day!”

But what are you doing about it? It’s time to wake up! Stop the ho-hum, the hum-drum. It’s time to live your life. NOW. It’s time to “Do it with GUSTO!”

So DO the thing you’ve been thinking about, because it will continue to nag you if you don’t. You won’t feel settled if you don’t do it.

GO on that trip that you’ve always wanted to take.

CLIMB that mountain that you’ve always wanted to climb.

COOK the seemingly impossible meal.

FIND the love of your life.

START the business you’ve always wanted to start.

But remember to LOVE yourself first. Because if you don’t love you, no one else will. And part of loving yourself, is by being true to you. You are here now. Brian isn’t. What a life he would’ve led! What a life he would’ve lived!

So get off the computer. Turn off your phone. Get out there. Breath the fresh air. Take in the blue sky. Listen to the birds. They are singing to you.

Live your life and “Do it with GUSTO!”

“B for Breakfast”

“B for Breakfast”

We’ve all heard of the psychic powers of a “mother’s ear”. It can never be out done, just like the eyes in the back of her head!

Wedding Weekend

It was early morning. We were all crammed in our hotel room, two parents and four kids ages 11, 8, 6, and 3. It was a family wedding weekend and everyone was always together morning, noon, and night. I’m lying in bed in my ‘just about to wake up sleeping stupor’ when I hear in the distance the sound of a hotel door closing. I remember sleepily thinking “Was that our door that just closed? It must be a dream.”

A few minutes pass…I wake up with a JOLT!

“The door! I heard OUR hotel door close.” I exclaim.

I threw off the covers, lept out of bed and started counting heads. My God… I’m missing one!

Who is Missing???

“Jack. Where’s Jack?” I yelled.

Jack, the 6-year old, is a crazy sleeper. (Read=he moves all over the place!) I checked everywhere in the hotel room–under the blankets, on top of the blankets, under the sleeper sofa, in the bathroom, in the bath tub. No Jack.

The door. He was the one who opened the door.

I threw on a sweatshirt and shook my husband to wake up. And out the same hotel room door I went. He wasn’t there. I run up and down the hallways yelling.

“Jack! Jack!”

Then I stopped. I’m stunned, as I noticed… Our room was right by the elevator. A revelation–the elevator! I run to it. Pushed a button. But wait! Did he go up? Did he go down? I push both buttons frantically. I was swaying. I was antsy.

“C’mon. C’mon. C’mon…… Hurry up!!!!” I proclaimed.

Doors finally opened. As I got in I noticed an older gentleman already in the elevator. Yet another revelation…..my son may have gotten in the elevator with a stranger, a creeper! The thought made me sick to my stomach so I tried to instantly put it out of mind.

Up or down?!?

“Excuse me Sir, did you see a cute little curly haired boy in his blue striped pajamas?” I ask.

“No. Sorry.” he stated.

I stood there looking at all the buttons. Again the unsettling question: Where did he go? Up? Down?

The “L” for lobby was already pushed so I made a quick decision to go to there. The doors open to the lobby and I fly out of the elevator in a panic. I happen to see my Mom and asked her if she had seen Jack.

“No. Why?” she asked.

I then told her of my reality.  As I’m told her, I started to cry. As I explained what happened, a kind hotel worker came up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to him.

“Ma’am. Ma’am. Excuse me Ma’am. Is this your son? We found him wandering around in the basement.” he said.

I turned to see my son’s sweet little face encircled with his curly brown hair standing there in his blue striped pajamas.

“JACK!!! JACK!!! My God, JACK!!!!” I reach down to scoop him up. “I was so worried about you. Where did you go? Where were you?” I said.

In his sweet little lisp-y, wispy voice he said “I’m thorry Mama. I wasth hungry. Tho I went to go get food. I got in the elevator and pushed “B for breakfast.”