Words to live by

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present."

Yep, words to live by, spoken by a turtle who is a Kung Fu master. Not a ninja turtle, mind you – a kung fu turtle.

I am sure the old, wizened turtle in the movie "Kung Fu Panda" was not the first to speak these words, especially considering the fact that he’s animated, but they struck me as poignant nonetheless as I watched the movie sitting next to my husband’s hospital bed in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Now he is home, and after 20-some years of marriage, we have each gained a new appreciation of us together as a unit. Sometimes it takes a little shaking up to make you see what has been in front of you for so long.

That is one smart turtle.

Maybe even as smart as that fish from "Finding Nemo" who reminds me to "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."

Think about all the interesting things we learn from cartoons and kid movies. You just have to pay attention. Spongebob has a love of life, that Wiley old coyote never gave up catching the Road Runner and Mickey Mouse was always polite. Tweety Bird never let his size stop him from going after what he wanted, Woody and Buzz learned to appreciate each other and a great friendship, Shrek showed us that even grumpy old ogres have layers and reasons for their actions and many of the most beloved characters show us by their actions an important lesson I have tried hard to get across to my kids – its OK to be silly.

In the next week or so, I’ll be at home taking care of my husband, keeping a keen eye out so he doesn’t try to overdo and hurt himself. He’ll keep worrying that I’m doing too much. We’ll appreciate each other’s efforts, chat and talk, and maybe watch that turtle offer words of wisdom again.

After all, today is a gift.

In several days, we might be ready to smack each other with rolling pins, but for now we will just appreciate the present.

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