Hummingbirds and Milestones.

The day after Father’s day I have a story I want to share with you as you start your week…

It was an everyday, common experience that led to an extraordinary moment.

When the routine of a morning became the milestone moment for a 10 year old.

Our daughter, Ella, and I were on the way to school.  A morning routine where I drop her off to school and we get 10 minutes of just “us” time.  I treasure and adore this time.  Sometimes we laugh.  Sometimes we sing really loud.  Other times we will play a game like who can count the most cars of a certain color.

But the other day was very different.  It was about way more than routine.

Ella began to tell me about her art class at school.  How each student created a ceramic animal, and that it would be displayed for us to see very soon in an art show.  (The art show has since come and gone.  It was a lot of fun for the kids as their smiles displayed joy to their parents as they displayed their work for everyone to see)

Then came the milestone.

To understand the milestone that was happy, you’ll need the backstory that has held pain.

When my wife, Cara, was 11 years old…she lost her dad to cancer.

When she was a little girl she remembers watching hummingbirds with her daddy as they shared those 10 minutes of just “us” time, all the time.  It left an impact on her heart.  The birds happened to be the thing they watched, but the time was what impacted her heart.

The day Ella was born a little over 10 years ago, we wanted to be sure that Cara’s dad would always be a part of our family, everyday.  We couldn’t have know at that time that we would also one day have 2 wonderful boys in addition to Ella.  So we jumped at the opportunity to name our daughter Ella RUSSELL Gould.  After her Grandpa Russell.

Over the years we have often shared the story of how mommy and Grandpa Russell would watch the hummingbirds together.  They shared that special time together.  Being daddy and daughter.

Then the milestone.

Ella reminds me of how last year we went to the gravesite for Grandpa Russell on Father’s Day and planted bright red flowers.  We celebrated his memory and everything he has taught our family in his life on earth and the legacy we learn from everyday.

Then she shares something that makes me realize everything I believe about the power of story.

“Dad, I want to take my ceramic hummingbird to Grandpa Russell’s grave on Father’s Day and leave it with him”.

And there it is.

We teach.  We pour into.  We hope and pray that those we teach and pour into grab hold of what truly matters.

And then these moments happen.

What seemed to be a routine day.  Something we have done hundreds of times.  A simple drive to school.

It birthed vision from a 10 year old’s heart to honor the heart of her Grandfather she was never able to meet.

And now, she was owning her part of the story.

And when that ceramic bird, that was crafted with love and care, takes it’s place with Grandpa Russell…

Another generation will be part of the story of a man that left a legacy of love, laughter and character.

Wherever you are at today please realize something.

You don’t “get to it later” when it comes to your story.

It’s happening every moment of everyday.

The question is, will you be intentional about how it’s told?

If you are, generations stand to own it, repeat it, build on it…and leave a legacy of their own.

Be intentional about the things that matter, and the eyes and ears that see and hear your story will one day own it as their own.

What an incredible opportunity to make routine go away, and milestones to arrive.


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