The checkout process faded to background. I wanted to hear more.
“I loved my grandma very much, and I was with her in the hospital at her last moment,” Ciani went on. “As a memory of our connection, I asked the nurse for a printout of her EKG, and I had it turned into a tattoo. Whenever I look at it, it reminds me of her and I feel close to her.”
As I drove home, I couldn’t get the image out of my mind. It jogged me to consider the value of one heartbeat. Our heart beats about 100,000 times per day and 34 million times in a year. We generally go through our life taking our heartbeats for granted. Yet I’m sure that as Ciani sat with her grandma on the threshold of her passing, she and her family would have given anything for those heartbeats to go on. In that moment one heartbeat meant everything.
One day all of our hearts will stop beating, but while they still pulse we would do well to count them all as precious. Every heartbeat represents God’s intention that you have a purpose in the world and a reason to live. While many of us believe we are here to achieve a notable act or make lots of money, our real mission is founded in the quality of our relationships. At the end of our life it is not our time in the office we will remember, but the meaningful moments with our family and loved ones. Let’s not wait until our dear ones are gone or almost gone to honor and celebrate them. Let’s tell them, “I love you” and do things to demonstrate that love while they are with us.
A Course in Miracles tells us that the quickest route to enlightenment is to make the most of our relationships. A Jewish friend of mine went to the airport to pick up a revered rabbi who was giving a presentation at the local synagogue. As the two were driving toward the exit of the airport parking lot, the driver was trying to decide whether to go through an automatic toll payment lane or a lane staffed by a person. The rabbi told my friend, “Let’s go through the lane with a person. The Creator gave us each other as gifts to enhance our lives, and we must never miss the opportunity to connect.”
The next time I went back to the grocery store I asked Ciani how she liked her job. “It’s pretty good,” she answered, “but sometimes I get bored.”
“Is there any way your job could be more exciting?” I asked.
She thought for a moment. “Not that I can think of. It just is what it is.”
I told her that I was really impressed by her story about her tattoo and I wanted to write an article about it, to hopefully inspire others to value their meaningful relationships. I asked her if I could use her story for that purpose.
“Now that would make my job exciting!” she replied.
When we do things meaningful to us, we set into motion a ripple of positive events that moves everyone it touches. Ciani’s grandmother loved her immensely, which stimulated Ciani to get the tattoo as a memento. I was touched by seeing the tattoo and inspired to write about it. The idea of the article uplifted Ciani and suddenly her job become exciting. Perhaps you reading this will move you to value your relationships and express your love to someone or take a mundane situation and lift it to soul reward.
A Course in Miracles tells us that when you do an act of kindness, it may go on to touch many people you never meet. Behold the value of a single heartbeat.