A Christmas Gift

The third morning after Mark died I woke up once again at 4am. I could not go back to sleep so I went into my office. I laid down on the couch but again sleep was a lost cause.

I had an overwhelming impulse to get out a piece of paper and pen. When I did, these ten things fell onto the page without me even thinking. When I read through them I realized they were an embodiment of the way that Mark lived his life.

I wanted to share them with you as a Christmas Gift.

Mark Hawkins lived: A Life Full of Love

1. Smile and wave at your neighbors. – Be Neighborly.
Mark did this all the time. He knew all of our neighbors by name and would never pass up the chance to wave. He would even wave at people when he wasn’t sure who they were. Just in case they were someone he knew.

2. Learn everyone’s name and use it. – Be Friendly
Mark did this everywhere he went. He knew the name of the cashier at the grocery store, the neighborhood coffee shop and every restaurant we went to. And not only did he know their name, he would always look the person in the eye and USE their name when he was talking with them. Something changes in a person when you acknowledge them in this way. They brighten up and shine out to other people.

3. Give openly and with your heart. – Be Generous
Mark was so generous it used to bother me. I’d tell him, “Why did you do that?” or “Why did you give them that?” all the time. He would always just smile. And finally I quit. I realized he also gave generously to me and I didn’t want that to stop. ☺

4. Hold hands. – Be Loving
Mark held my hand almost to a fault. He even held my hand when he was driving. It was a good thing we had an automatic transmission on our car.

5. Laugh and be silly. – Be Happy
One day when our youngest son was about a month old we were outside in the front yard. Mark picked up our tiny little baby and held him under his underarms. Then he proceeded to pretend like he was running down the hill. He wiggled his little legs back and forth and carried him down the hill. We were all laughing so hard. He made everything silly. It makes life joyful.

6. Touch each other. – Be Gentle
Touch is exchanging energy. Without touch you have not had as intimate of an experience as is possible. I mean, hug people, shake their hand, touch their arms. Let them know that you are right there with them. Share your energy. Mark did it all the time with everyone, he was generous even with his energy.

7. Don’t marry the one you can live with, marry the one you can’t live without. – Be true to yourself.
Mark was 42 when we got married. It was both of our first marriage. He told me the night he asked me to marry him that he was so glad he waited for the one he couldn’t live without. I was too.

8. Never say or do anything you wouldn’t want on the front page of the newspaper. – Be honest and live with integrity.
If you truly could have your whole life on the front of the newspaper you would be free. You would be free because you would be living in complete integrity to your own belief system. And here is the secret, nobody else’s matters. Pay attention to your own and follow it. Only you know when you drop a piece of trash on the ground. And, only you pay for it. Simply because you know you did it.

9. Go outside and play. – Be part of nature.
As humans, we are nature. We are not ‘man made’. Nature rejuvenates, and will even free your mind to answer any question you may have. Get out there! Feel the sunlight on your shoulders, the breeze on your face, the earth on your hands. It’s how we are meant to live.

10. Say “I Love You” often.
Mark said it so many times that I got a lifetime full in just ten short years. Never ever miss a chance to tell someone you love them, or how you feel about them. Then you will never regret that you didn’t.

I hope your day and the coming year are filled with absolute joy. Be the light that shines inside you. Share it with everyone you come into contact with. That is all it takes to change the world.

I love you!


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