I previously wrote about my clients, Paulo and Laura Ribeiro, whose unborn baby was diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome. As a recap, this is a condition in which the baby’s lungs are undeveloped, meaning that once born, the baby will be unable to breathe and will not survive.
I’m very sad to report that the Ribeiro’s lost their new-born baby a little over a week ago. Analisia Karina (meaning “precious one with God”) was born and died May 9th, 2015.
In their online blog, the Ribeiro’s wrote that they only had 10 minutes with their baby. I can’t imagine the thought of their child dying in their arms and how sad that must have been.
This caused me to personally think about a couple of things. First, why do I complain about such trivial things in life? And second, how should I best spend my time?
WHY DO I COMPLAIN ABOUT TRIVIAL THINGS?
It’s unfortunate that it takes situations like this to reel us back in. I complain about my children getting sick, but at least I have children who can get sick. I complain about things at work, but at least I have a job. I complain that the house is always a mess, but at least I have a home.
It seems as if I always want what I don’t have (i.e. healthy kids, perfect job, clean house, etc.). Perhaps you can relate to this.
HOW CAN I BEST SPEND MY TIME?
No matter how much I try to deny this, I am a selfish person (see last couple of paragraphs). I tend to make decisions that make my life easier. While that in and of itself is not a bad thing, it can lead to neglecting those around me. I need to do a better job of balancing my time between others and myself. People need me and I need people.
What or who do you take for granted? Where do you spend all of your time? What do you work so feverishly to accomplish? Does anything need to change?
3 THINGS I HAVE LEARNED
- Learn to be content in all things. If only I had a bigger house, more money, a different car, etc – life would be so much easier. Do you ever find yourself saying these things? I know I do. It’s not necessarily wrong to work toward these things, but unfortunately, we don’t control the timing of when or if these things will happen. Don’t be upset because of what you don’t have, but instead be grateful for what you do have. I constantly tell my oldest daughter to be grateful for the toys, food, clothing, etc. that she does have instead of being upset with what she doesn’t have. If only I could take my own advice.
- Money is a poor god. It’s not meant to be worshiped (in other words – it’s not meant to be obtained at the expense of everything else). Yes money is important in our lives, but it is just a tool to be used appropriately. It’s not to be saved or spent to the extreme. It’s simply a tool meant to be used for yourself and others. I deal with people’s money, investments, and financial planning at my company, but I’ll be the first one to tell you that there are more important things in life than money. Just ask the Ribeiro’s. I bet they would give anything to have Analisia back.
- Invest in others. Don’t just invest your money, but also invest in others. I can only imagine how much love went around to sweet Analisia in that short 10 minute span. Cherish those around you and be willing to be flexible. A couple of nights ago, my youngest daughter, who is 2 years old, got out of bed about 5 times before 10 pm. Our normal response was to reinforce her need to stay in bed. But last night we simply just enjoyed holding her while we were watching tv. Yes she went to bed late, but we won’t always be able to share moments like that.
Although my clients didn’t have much time with their daughter, they have made a lasting impact on many people. My heart and prayers go out to them as they deal with this difficult time. I pray that I can be as strong as they are and that they are comforted until they day they see their daughter again.
Thank you Paulo and Laura for being strong examples of what Jesus-loving people should be.
Brad E.S. Tinnon
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
Image courtesy of Jason Devaun