September 26th holds a lot of history for our country. In 1789, Thomas Jefferson was appointed America's first Secretary of State. Nixon and Kennedy held the first televised Presidential debate in 1960. The Beatles released Abbey Road (1969). In 1981, Nolan Ryan set a major league record by throwing his fifth no-hotter. In 1986, William Rehnquist was sworn in as the 16th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Well...some events held a little more weight than others.
September 26th holds mixed emotions in my family. My biological father was killed 30 years ago on this day -- which happened to be his mother's birthday. My mother later remarried and gave birth to one of my little sisters on September 26th. In 2005, my mother was admitted into the hospital on that day and placed into a medically induced coma after emergency surgery for a stomach problem. She died several days later. To say the day holds mixed emotions is an understatement.
I am visiting my paternal grandmother and little sister this weekend to celebrate their belated birthdays (they are 82 years and 24 years old, respectively). Both live 2 1/2 hours away, so my wife, daughter and I do not get to see them often.
Family is very important to my wife and me. September 26th always reminds me to keep family a priority in my life. I try to not put my career or personal interests ahead of my wife and child. The Lord giveth and He taketh away -- we never know when the last time we will see our loved ones on this side of eternity. Sometimes we get so focused on the material possessions (money, titles, knowledge, Ph.D.'s, cars, houses, recognition), that it is easy to put our families second. I have never met an older person who wished they spent more time at work. In fact, the exact opposite is true.
Material possessions, or more accurately obsessions, come and go. But our family will (or at least should) always be there for us. In my brief few years on this Earth, this is one of the few things I have learned. Unfortunately, the hard way.