Fifteen in Fifteen

This January, my life was marked by a few major events.  I was a juror in an “accessory to murder” trial.  I turned fifty-five.  My mother was gravely ill. 


Thankfully, the trial is over and my mother’s health is improving.  Unfortunately, I am still fifty-five.


These events and a recent post by my friend Mary have prompted me to take inventory of my life.  This showed itself as a formidable task that I’m not sure I am quite ready to accept.  Where do I begin?  What is important and what isn’t?  Does anyone care about this stuff anyway?


As is my custom when feeling overwhelmed, I decided to start small. Here is my challenge: Without taking more than fifteen minutes, list fifteen things you know.



  1. I know that life and death are not in the hands of man.
  2. I know that nothing feels as good when you are sick as your mother’s hand on your forehead.
  3. I know that as a parent, you will never do it all right and your children will be a reflection of every good and bad thing you did while you were raising them.
  4. I know that nothing beats the smell of clean sheets dried outside on a sunny winter day.
  5. I know that wool mittens knit by your grandmother catch burrs when you go sledding too close to the woods.
  6. I know that coffee and bagels on the beach at sunrise taste better than a gourmet dinner from a five star restaurant.
  7. I know that life without music would be like toast without butter.  You can do it, but why bother?
  8. I know if you worry that something bad is going to happen, it usually will. 
  9. I know that if you don’t worry, eventually something bad is still going to happen.  Nobody goes through life unscathed.
  10. I know when bad things happen, there is no sight as sweet as your siblings’ faces, no matter how quirky and dysfunctional a family you have.
  11. I know that justice is not always just.
  12. I know that driving a new car is a lot more fun than paying for one.
  13. I know that others don’t care half as much about the way we look as we think they do.
  14. I know if you have taught your children how to love, they will be okay.
  15. I know that sleep is great, but waking up is even better.
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