What’s in a day to you?

Tell me. What does your calendar look like? Do you mark the days off as they pass? Do you write in your appointments? Your milestones? Your due bills? Anniversaries? Birthdays?

Do you days pass by without meaning? Just an X in another day.

A reminder of when school is out. A holiday cue. A time change. A weekend. Another page to turn. Another month goes by until you have a full year. Then you begin anew. Another calendar. Another day. Another month. Another year.

Some days are like that for me. I just get through them and mark them as done.

But what if your calendar were your memories? What if they were your most precious moments? What if your desk was FULL of these memories and these years? That very thing was revealed at my Dads house. We discovered an overflow of keepsakes on his calendar and in his desk. Memories.

Over TWENTY years of calendar pages, pictures, cards, post cards, letters, and notes. Twenty years. All at his fingertips to browse the pages of his history. To remember, to know, and to live through each day in the simplest way.

Pictures of us small. Pictures of us big.Β  Pictures of the grand kids and girlfriends past. Pictures of his mom and dad. A Methodist dedication certificate as a baby (which we had no idea about). Newspaper articles. Birthday cards and Father’s Day cards. Every nook and cranny stuffed with something important to him. The main event – the calendar that dominated his desktop written on each day.

I was stunned. My heart moved. The smallest details meant so much to him. Everything. Our visits. When he got a letter in the mail or a card. A phone call. Some small bit of news. A beautiful day. A rainy day. When he went to the park. The list goes on and on. Every day he wrote something to mark his path.

I’m not going to lie. To see these notes, cards, and letters, to know what it meant to him just to hear from us – it punched a hole in my gut. The guilt. Why didn’t I know? Why didn’t I visit more? Send mail more? Email more? Why? How do we get so busy to forget the little things?

I myself am a calendar saver. I, too, make notes on them. And sometimes, it’s nice to look back at my days just like he did. It makes me smile to reminiscence or feel proud to see last year’s achievement. I had no idea he did a similar thing, day in and day out, but I should have. He was a simple man, one of presence, who enjoyed what each day brought.

Uncovering the many tokens touched us deeply. We glimpsed these pieces of his life over the many years. It was almost as if he was still there. Smiling through the pictures. Laughing from an audio tape. Singing while playing guitar. Writing. His hand holding the pen pressed to the paper etching his every day movements. It was how my brother discovered he was in the hospital. When he went by to check on him – his calendar note read – bad sick.

It wasn’t easy to read some of them. Especially the months that went by with no visit, or correspondence from me. It was difficult to realize, I wasn’t there for him as much as I wish I had been. It was hard knowing how disappointed he must have been when he didn’t hear from me. I had to keep in mind what joy it brought him when he did.

I have to admit, ever since we found those in his desk, I don’t look at calendar days the same way. I see an empty space to make an entry. I see what is possible to sum up a day. I see such a simple act that brings life to treasure and love to always remember.

Today, make your day count. More than that, make someone elses day count. Be the entry on their calendar. Be on their record of purpose.

Be there, before their calendar days end.

25 thoughts on “What’s in a day to you?

  1. i absolutely am sobbing… and my heart goes out to you… i am sending you a hug and a thank you for the reminder to give a little more of ourselves as we don’t know how much it means to someone else…

    i am calling my dad….

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  2. Wow. What a beautiful and sad post at the same time. It’s a wonderful idea to keep track of the small things that really make life!.
    Don’t feel bad about the days you didn’t call him. Remember the times you made his day…

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  3. What a beautiful profound post about a subject I was thinking about a lot lately..and the idea of writing every day just a few words down in a calendar is a realizable way to hold back some memories.

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  4. What a beautiful loving post! And an inspirational reminder to reach out to someone else everyday because we don’t know when something we do or say can touch another being so profoundly. You were lucky to have had such a wonderful man in your life and he you. Don’t feel sad for bygones. Be joyous for those times that WERE.

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  5. Oh Angelia, this post was beautiful and so sincere. It’s humbling when you write it down and see how many missed opportunities there are. We are lucky to have found your blog. You never fail to inspire me to be a better person in so many ways. And sometimes, the littlest changes make the most difference.

    ♥Spot

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  6. How heart wrenching. I remember my dad saying something simular when he was going through grammies things. She kept everything she ever recieved from her sons or grandkids.

    I think I might make a surprise visit to my parents house!

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  7. Wow! Seems like we are always being reminded of how important each day is.

    My dad and I have a Christmas tradition. EVERY YEAR I buy him a desk pad calendar. It is a San Francisco 49er Calendar. He uses to keep track of what happened every day.

    For a few years he would ask, “So, are you gonna be able to get me my calendar?” πŸ™‚ Finally I said, “Dad, I will let you know if I am NOT able to. Otherwise, KNOW that you are going to get it.”

    When I bring it over wrapped up, he said, “Gee, I wonder what this is?”

    It is nice that you make notes and save your calendars, one day your kids may enjoy looking through the memories.

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  8. Girl don’t do this, you’re making this girl cry like a baby… This is one of the most beautiful things i’ve ever read, it I’m sorry too much crying.
    I was gonna add you to my links page but my eyes failed at number 4, I’ll add you tomorrow and just know I think you’re a brilliant writer, simple and beautiful

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  9. Awwwwww, what a sentimental post. Makes me want to go home and look through all my old calendars. Yep, I save mine too, but i don’t write on them a whole lot… maybe I should change that… πŸ™‚

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  10. I needed this today. It probably had a different impact on me — it made me think that instead of dwelling on things that go wrong in my days, I should be making note of the good things. Like a simple visit with a friend, or a great conversation on the phone. To be thankful for everything. Thank you for writing your heart, because you touch others when you do.

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  11. Anglea great post I find myself doing this almost daily..it’s a great way to look back and remember the little things…phone calls, notes,text messages..sweet comments from friends like you..Thank you for being part of my life!!! Have a blessed day!!

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  12. Your posts about your dad always warm my heart and soul and usually bring me to tears. I just left from a few days with my dad and it was the most wonderful time I’ve ever had with him. The calendar thing is something I’ve done for years. I was influenced by my husband early in our relationship and the way he used his calendar as a pseudo diary. I do the same thing. I make comments and little remarks on each day, even if it’s nothing more than to note the weather conditions or whether I had Leah or Ashley Marie for a few hours. I’m sure you have no reason to remorse the time you DIDN”T spend calling or visiting your dad. For them, every moment is a cherished event only made more special by the silence and absence in between.
    Your writings are phenomenal. I’ve missed you.
    **Hugs**

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  13. Cherished memories fill many calendars of those that know the reward it will bring in those moments of need. Nice story and nice feelings shared. A message to us all. πŸ™‚

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  14. Beautiful post – and what a beautiful man your dad was. What a legacy he has left behind, his favorite memories to share with you. Thanks for the reminder to make every day count. ((HUGS))

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  15. Holly Ann-Exactly. I am so glad you called him and texted him and let me know. That made every word of this post worth my while. There were so many cards and letters to him from me, up til about 10years ago, and they just tapered off. I guess the computer age took over.

    Clairity-Thank you, I only hoped to reveal just a touch of what a difference something small could mean to someone else.

    Deilala-Thanks, so true! And you are right. He treasured his children, we were his great joy.

    Sandra-Yes! That’s it. Just a few words. I’ve been doing this for years, but only made notes maybe once a week. Every day is hard to do but what a way to look back.

    Peg-I am so joyous. He could have walked away from us when my mom kicked him out. But he never did, he was always there and even let another man raise us in the most graceful humble way. It was such a testimony to me.

    Spot-It means so much to me to hear. All I ask, every time I post, is that something will touch a heart that needs it. Thank you for making it so meaningful to write.

    Heather-That would be wonderful! I know how much your dad means to you and how special he is. I hope you give him all the hugs he can handle.

    Terrepruitt-That tradition is SO COOL! What a way to really be part of each others day. You think of each other when you see a calendar. Awesome! It is precious memories indeed. Thank you sharing that.

    Suzicate-Consider them cherished and written from the inside out.

    Souldose-Oh gosh! Don’t cry sweetie. It’s all for joy. I was a lucky daughter. I had two dads and I just loved them so much. Thank you for your beautiful compliment. Hugs!

    foxy-Hey me too! I need to write in mine more. I save them and have some stuff but not every day stuff. We should try a year project. πŸ™‚

    Much More Than Mommy-I really liked your spin on this. I definitely think that is the intention too. My dad could have been so bitter, lonely, and worn down, instead he celebrated a nice day on a calendar. My heart is touched by your sweet compliment. Thank you.

    Terri-Thank you for being part of my life! I am SO glad you do this too. I had no idea what meaning it could bring each day. Wonderful!

    Weezer-I know the health struggles your dad has had. I know every moment is a blessing from above. To hear of your good visit makes me so happy for you both. You truly do know the meaning of cherish. And thank you so much for your compliments on my writing.

    Doraz-I love the way you put that. Everything in my post condensed to one sentence. So true. You have a way of getting to the heart of matters.

    Christy– He was a simple man married to his routine. He never re-married a woman. He lived for his little ways and his kid’s visits. Christy, I know you make every day count with that precious Aiden. πŸ™‚ It’s a joy to know you.

    Steph-Thanks for the hugs! Back at ya!

    Carolyn-I think his whole desk was his scrapbook. LOL! I have never seen that many things over twenty years old in a little ol’ desk. Amazing. I do recognize Carolyn, especially as I head towards joining a father of divorce in marriage. It sure makes me reflect on my dad so much more.

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  16. I understand your quilt feelings, but please understand where you were in your life then and where you are now. You certainly touched a lot of people with this post as you have touched your dad with being you who you are back then. (not sure my English is correct, but I think you know what I mean πŸ™‚ )

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  17. How wonderful a memory your Dad left and it shows just how much every little event in your lives as a family meant to him. Since my daughter was born I have got a calendar done each year with pictures of her from the year before, and I write in it the things we do each day and keep the calendar at the end of the year. But it’s just a list of events, not thoughts, so from now on after reading your beautiful post I am going to do more than that, and write down some more personal notes.

    So thank you for your thought provoking post

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  18. This is a remarkable story… I also keep correspondence, calendars, planners, odd cards and the like that mark that I was here, that I lived. I inherited, among a variety of household items, my great-great aunt’s boxes of correspondence a couple years ago (it went through another family member, and when they passed away and I inherited some furniture, the boxes of scrapbooks and correspondence came to me). I only knew her as an old woman, when I was young, but she saved every letter her children wrote her (her son from Vietnam), every mother’s day card and every telegram she and her husband sent to each other when they were dating. I have a new appreciation for her, and her children, one of whom I was very close to – and their lives and memories are more vivid to me because of it.

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