“I just wanted to tell you in person, Stacey”, Adam said to me as he left to return to his home in Quebec. “You changed my life. Thank-you.”
Little did he know that those words would continue to resonate with me for many, many days later. What does one do with that information? How could I possibly process that? The words swirled around and were judged, measured, stretched, dismissed, and finally entertained. What if I had made a difference in Adam’s life? What would that mean? Is my life over? Is my work here done?
My Dad struggled with the question of purpose until a couple of weeks before he died – when he announced to me one day, rather out of the blue, “Stacey, I know why I am here.”
“Really, Dad? That’s great!” I replied. “So, what is your purpose?”
“To make people happy.”
That stunned me – on two fronts. It was such a simple purpose – that was one stun. And – that it was such a simple purpose – that was the next. It was elegant in its simplicity – and sophisticated in its meaning. Imagine if everyone had that same purpose – what would the world look like then?
Had I made Adam happy? Could it have been that simple? I know I inspired him to continue his education to university – where he chose to study law. I know that he and I connected so well as he and I shared a passion for geography and the environment. I know that I encouraged him to see how capable he was/ is in terms of learning. Does this lead to one’s happiness? I’d like to think so.
To have a purpose is to live. If there is no purpose, life becomes meaningless. Mom loved to cook and to “nurse”. She nursed Dad until the day she died. She had purpose. She did not give up. In spite of her aches and pains, she carried on. It was almost difficult to walk – she had such a hard time even walking. But she persisted. And so did Dad. They would strong people – they had purpose.
And in Adam’s eyes, so do I. For this – I am so very thankful. Those words, “You made a difference”, made a difference in my life.