A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
My granddad died this past weekend at the age of 95. As I listened to my family’s memories of him, I was reminded of this reading from Proverbs. Papo, as we fondly called him, was a big bear of a man, both in stature and in nature. He could be an imposing figure, bellowing his disapproval when crossed. But most of the time, he had the disposition of a big teddy bear. He loved to joke and tease, playing pranks on everyone around him, and then filling the air with his loud, booming laugh when he was successful in achieving the desired result. He never outgrew his mischievous streak.
Papo was uninhibited and generous in expressing his love, lumbering through life giving out frequent bear hugs and words of affection. His final words to me the last time I saw him were, “I love you.”
Sometimes we can have a tendency to take life too seriously and get bogged down in our problems and frustrations. This week of remembering Papo has been a good reminder to me that I need to loosen up and enjoy life more, to laugh and hug more, to do a better job of expressing my love to those around me. Life is too short to do otherwise.