Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

The Important Things

Posted on Jun 29, 2016 by Lisa Ricard Claro   16 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

Brian Andreas Quote

Last week I attended the funeral of my dear friend’s husband, who died following a short illness. He was, by all accounts, a bighearted man who always put his family first, and I never had a doubt that my friend cherished him as the love of her life. I cannot express the heartache I feel for my friend at the magnitude of her loss.

A couple weeks earlier, a blogger friend announced she was diagnosed with an aggressive, inoperable cancer. She has begun chemotherapy. It saddens me to think of her talent silenced by disease and the chemicals provided to fight it. I hope she will write again. I hope she will not suffer. I hope she knows that her words and kind heart touched many people, even those of us not privileged to know her beyond the world of cyberspace.

Prior to that, another blogger friend suffered a major heart attack, necessitating hospitalization. He’s home now, recuperating. This man knows an affinity with nature experienced by few, but he is unable now to enjoy the outdoors in the same way he did before. Still, he’s making the effort to do those things that bring him joy. He’s getting stronger day by day, but his life is forever changed.


These things have forced me to think about my own life, how I spend my time, and the people with whom I share it.

My mother has been on my mind. The anniversary of her death is approaching, and I’ve thought about the three months she visited with us just prior to her passing. I was working full time as the customer service manager of a large company. Every night I watched the five o’clock quitting time come and go as I plowed on, head down, working, working, working until six or seven o’clock—sometimes later—every night. I look back now and wonder what the hell I was thinking. My mother was here to spend time with me. I should have left every day at five o’clock no matter what crisis had just blown across my desk. I look back and . . . oh, what I wouldn’t give for a do-over.

Lost hours. Lost time. Moments thrown away.

We take a lot of things for granted, don’t we? I guess it’s the human in us. We understand our mortality, and yet when we close our eyes at night we do so with the confidence that we’ll open them again in the morning. The truth is, one day we won’t. Best to choose wisely how we spend our time.

When asked if he was having a good day, Papa—my father-in-law—often responded, “Well, I woke up this morning. That makes it a good day.”

Make it a good day, Buttercup.

Even if you don’t like Country music, you might appreciate this song by Tim McGraw.


Have a good day and a good week. See you next Wednesday for more of the Naked Truth.


Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last or Love to Believe in eBook or print, go to AmazonBarnes & NobleBlack Opal BooksKobo, or AllRomance. And remember, Love to Win releases on July 30th!

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16 Responses to "The Important Things"

  1. Comment by Pat
    June 29, 2016 at 6:20 pm  

    I know what you mean. A good friend died of a massive heart attack on Sunday. He was young and a person who pursued healthy living with a passion. Go figure. What a shock to everyone who knew him. No one knows when their time on this earth will be over. It’s best if we can keep that in mind.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 30, 2016 at 7:40 am  

      What a shock that must have been! I’m sorry for your loss, Pat.

      As you said, we never know how things will go. In prepping for this post I read a lot of quotes, and one that kept popping up was that time is an illusion; the past and future don’t exist. We have only the now. It’s not always an easy thing to remember.

  2. Comment by Jerri Ricard
    June 29, 2016 at 6:25 pm  

    I love you Chickie….always remember this.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 30, 2016 at 7:36 am  

      I love you, too, sweet Meg! Don’t you forget either. xo

  3. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    June 29, 2016 at 6:48 pm  

    Very wise words as always, Lisa. I still remember my last moment with my father – in August of 1990. He, along with my mother and my sister, was leaving on a trip and I dropped them off at the airport. We didn’t really hug much in my family but that time I did hug him – not knowing it would be the last time I’d ever see him again. (He was only 69 and died on the trip – in Switzerland.)

    After the hug he reminded me to cut his grass like I promised. 🙂 I don’t think I will ever forget that hug – and I did cut his grass even though he never knew it.

    Life is too short; it’s one of the reasons I retired early.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 30, 2016 at 7:35 am  

      Thanks for sharing that personal, poignant story. The last time I saw my dad was also at the airport. I had flown out to Arizona to visit. The difference is that my dad was in poor health and I feared it would be the last time I saw him, and it was. Those moments come to mean so much.

      I’m not quite ready to retire, and I might never retire from writing, but I agree that life is short and we must pick our priorities wisely. A winning lottery ticket would also help. 🙂

  4. Comment by Martha Graham-Waldon
    June 29, 2016 at 7:14 pm  

    Love the post and the video! What a great reminder that life is short but sweet. If I might add to Always be humble and kind-Always be grateful! Blessings to all.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 30, 2016 at 7:31 am  

      You’re right, Martha! Thanks for that reminder, and your comment.

  5. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    June 29, 2016 at 7:33 pm  

    On the blink of an eye…all too true.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 30, 2016 at 7:30 am  

      Yes, Linda. Your comment brought to mind that song by Don Henley with the lyric: “In a New York minute everything can change.” So true.

  6. Comment by Sioux
    June 29, 2016 at 9:06 pm  

    Lisa–I was actually working on the end of my manuscript this morning, and put in a bit exactly about that… that life is too short, and we need to do what we want while there’s still time… and we need to love our family while we have them.

    I am so sorry… the loss… cancer. It reminds us to look at our glass as half full instead of half empty.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 30, 2016 at 7:29 am  

      First, Sioux, congratulations on being at the end of your manuscript. That represents a ton of work, and I’m doing a happy dance for you right now. As to the other, yes, to everything you said. The truth is that no matter how much time we have with our loved ones, it will never feel like enough.

  7. Comment by Craig Ricard
    June 30, 2016 at 6:18 am  

    Geese you made my eye’s leak (Again), Love you Kid….

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 30, 2016 at 7:27 am  

      Aw…love you, too, Big Bro. xo

  8. Comment by Becky Lewellen Povich
    July 2, 2016 at 10:15 pm  

    I agree, Lisa. I recently wrote on my blog about Cathy’s husband and our blog/writer friend who is going through a lot right now. Just yesterday, too, a friend and I were discussing how we all know we’re going to die, and yet we act like we don’t believe it! Or that it will happen when we’re about 90 or 100 and we’ll die in our sleep. What is it about the human brain?? I’m honestly happy most of the time, and I feel bad for those who go through life being miserable….

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 4, 2016 at 8:39 am  

      The older we get, I believe, the more cognizant we are of the illusion of time. I agree that it is important to enjoy every moment we’ve been given!

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