Members Helping Members - Educating, Informing, Supporting
The phrase “time to rise and shine” seems simple enough; it’s morning and you need to wake up. For me this phrase has special meaning. When I was growing up this was what I heard every morning; however, it wasn’t that simple. Each morning my dad—who was a large man with a deep voice that was very pleasant for reading aloud—would throw open my bedroom door, turn on the lights, and in a loud, booming voice say, “TIME TO RISE AND SHINE.” As a teenager, I found this to be a startling way to be woken from a sound sleep first thing in the morning, especially since it had taken a great deal of gentle prodding to negotiate my turning off the lights.
When my dad passed away in 2009, this simple wake-up call took on a different meaning. For the funeral, we put together a slide show of photos as a tribute to my dad. There was one thing overwhelmingly apparent from every photo we found. In absolutely every picture he had this incredible, beaming smile and you just knew he was having a good time. My dad was a happy person who completely enjoyed his life and family. Of course, he had plenty of adversity in his life, as we all do, but he dug deep and faced each day as it came with a smile on his face and found a way to have a positive outlook.
I have come to realize through the years that “time to rise and shine” has become one of my fondest memories of growing up. But since my dad’s passing, I have also come to realize that it has instilled in me a more positive outlook than I would have had without it. “Time to Rise and Shine” has taken on a more complete meaning. In retrospect I think my dad was telling me more than it’s time to wake up. I think my dad had truly meant that each new day is an opportunity to rise to whatever challenges you face and find a way to shine in some capacity, no matter how big or small.
Most of us lose that level of enthusiasm as we become so-called adults, so I’ve come to understand just how lucky I was to be woken up that way every morning. For 2011 one of my goals is to embrace that philosophy and hopefully infect others with that sense of enthusiasm. There you have it:
“IT’S TIME TO RISE AND SHINE.”