Some time ago, I wrote about Conspicuous Contentment, suggesting that contentment lies not in having, doing, and being more, but rather in simultaneously wanting less while appreciating the abundance that is already ours. A few days ago, I stumbled across this beautiful reminder on a social media site, a short essay attributed to an unknown author, entitled I Wish You Enough. After a little research, I found the original essay by Bob Perks.
I WISH YOU ENOUGH
Recently, I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the father said:
"I love you and I wish you enough."
The daughter replied, "Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy."
They kissed and she left. He walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?"
"Yes, I have," I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me.
So I knew what this man experiencing.
"Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?" I asked
"I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead, and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral," he said.
When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?"
He began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more."When we said 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them," he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.
"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."
He then began to sob and walked away.
The social media version added this ending, attributed to an unknown author:
They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.
May we all be blessed with enough.