Across the Atlantic – Part Four

I know the past few days have been heavy.  They’ve been even tougher to write.  Writing a story of such magnitude while praying you are honoring a family is no easy task. 

I wanted to conclude with a few things I think we can all take away from Andrew’s story.

1.  When life knocks you completely flat on your face, get up.  Even if it’s slowly, just a bit at a time, get up.

2.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Enjoy it.

3.  We never have an excuse to say, “No, I can’t.” 

4.  Savor every moment with the ones you love.  No one has been promised tomorrow.

5.  Love deeply.

6.  Stop focusing on things that don’t matter.  Invest your time into things that will matter forever.

7.  Hug your children.  Every.Single.Day.

In Andrew’s words:

“The only reason I can carry on is I have no guilt – no guilt for the time that they were here, because I gave it everything.  At the weekend, my phone was always switched off from work.  Have we all got jobs that are so important that it cannot wait until Monday?  If I had not done that I would not have the memories I have today.  And, those are the only things I have left….

If there is one thing I could tell people, it is never to take your family for granted, never make excuses that you have to work to provide what you think they need.  All they really need is your time and that costs nothing.  All the toys and presents that I bought have all been thrown away.  All I am left with are my memories.  And, the only reason I have those is that I spent the time with them.”

I cannot pretend to comprehend Andrew’s loss.  But, I can say that his life is a testimony to what it means to invest into your loved ones and what it means to move forward.  It is also a reminder to us all that every single second counts.  It doesn’t make the pain less.  But, perhaps, more bearable.  I am humbled by his strength and his permission to tell his story.  And, I am proud to call him my friend. 

Andrew continues to inspire me from thousands of miles across the Atlantic.

I hope his story has inspired you to live in the moment.

What is keeping you from enjoying today?  Are you letting things that have no eternal value rob you of investing into what really matters?

What will you take away from Andrew’s story?

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.  You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.  My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.  Psalm 39:4-5

15 Comments

Filed under disappointment, life, Love

15 responses to “Across the Atlantic – Part Four

  1. Brenda

    Excellant job, Dusty. Andrew should be very proud.
    Andrew, you are an inspiration!

  2. Dusty Takle

    Thank you, Brenda.

    I thought I should share what I am taking away from his story –
    I think it’s easy to say, “I will appreciate my family, my children more.” Talk is cheap. Here are some specific changes I am making:

    I am shutting off all electronics more often – computers, cell phones, televisions, Wii games – in an effort to BE with my family. For me, it may mean me intentionally setting aside that time – or day when we “shut down.”

    I have to be intentional about. Have to be.

  3. manymeadows

    yeah…I think that’s what stood out to me most. TIME. It goes by so fast (ask me how I know) 😉

    Focus on relationships! There’s nothing more important.

  4. Dusty, great job, I know it was hard for you. You have such a huge heart. I pray God pours back into you, what you pour into others. Andrew, your life’s choice’s of putting your family first, while you had them in your life, is so true. We do have a new beginning to bring value to lives around us. To not dwell on negative things, when we can savor life as it comes.

    I took away from this story of Andrews: new hope for today, tomorrow. A new appreciation for the life I have now. But mostly to value my life with God, to stretch myself to enjoy how God has blessed my life so richly. To be able to share that with others!! That is how this deep story touched my heart. I want to spread the love I was so freely given.
    I am driving to Milledgeville today, to celebrate Jeffery, my Grandson’s life with him. It is an hour & half drive but it speaks volumns to Jeffery’s life for me to come! It is a surprise, so, can’t wait to see his face light up! lol
    Have a blessed weekend! Andrew, I pray God fills your days into joyful days. Much love & prayers!

  5. Amanda Morgan

    I just want to say thank you Dusty. I have struggled this week with putting petty, stupid things in the way of what really matters most in my life. My Family. Andrew’s story is an inspiration and God has once again answered my request to speak to me and show me how to resolve my inner turmoil of sticking my foot in my mouth and being a jerk and taking things and people and time for granted. You and Andrew are a blessing to me. I lift you both up to Him and give Him praise for showing me and allowing such special people to come across my life and be a witness to His love and grace. Andrews story has touched me deeply and I thank both of you for sharing it. Much love always.

  6. Doug P

    Dusty,

    Thank you for sharing this amazing story. My heart broke for Andrew… but at the same time became inspired with his continued story. You did an incredible job of telling such an inportant story.

    Love you always…. Doug

  7. From Andrew I have learned to seize each moment. That has been on the forefront of my mind throughout this whole series.

    Thank you, Andrew, for allowing us to learn from your devastating loss. God never wastes a hurt and he hasn’t wasted yours. Thank you.

  8. Sharon

    Savor each and every moment. Even the tough times, because our tough times don’t even compare to the loss Andrew has experienced. Thank God for the good times and learn from the tough times and be grateful you have loved ones to share those moments with. Do your best to live a life with no regrets!

  9. WOW. Andrews experience was so touching. I’m left speechless. Thank you for sharing. My thoughts and prayers go out to Andrew. I can’t tell you how much your story has blessed me. Thank you.

  10. Des

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring story. Every moment counts.

  11. This is my first visit to your blog. I followed the link from Cindy Beal’s blog … Anyway, I’ve just read these four posts … Andrew’s story. Heartbreaking. But what an amazing man he is. The last post … where you shared his words. Inspirational. Really really causing me to think.

    I’ve just written a post that won’t go up til next week, but I’m sending my readers your way … I think people need to read Andrew’s story !!

    Thanks for sharing. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to do so. You did it well.

  12. Dusty, that was such a heartbreaking story, but you have shared a lesson with us. I can’t even begin to fathom how Andrew has made it through this, but his words you shared here tell so much. Thank you both for sharing.

  13. Diane Downie

    Andrew.. God Bless you and I hope you will be happy again in your life.. stay Safe ….

  14. Speechless but wanted you to know I had been here.

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