Every family has sayings, parables, prayers, and bits of wisdom that they’ve passed down through the generations. And these nuggets of wisdom are often what gets us through the hard times. They’re the words our grandmother says when she’s holding us in her arms. They’re what our mom says to us on the phone when we feel lonely. And even when we are alone, these family sayings are what we remember when we need to cheer ourselves up. In this story, a man overhears a father bidding his daughter farewell at the airport. The father’s words are touching, but they include one phrase that doesn’t quite make sense. Intrigued, the man politely asks the dad about what he said. The answer is a bit of family wisdom—a wish really—that we could all benefit from. Read the man’s beautiful words in the story below. May they give you strength!
“Recently, I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, ‘I love you. I wish you enough.’
She in turn said, ‘Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.’
They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, ‘Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?’
‘Yes, I have,’ I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me.
So, I knew what this man experiencing.
‘Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?’ I asked.
‘I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back would be for my funeral,’ he said.
‘When you were saying goodbye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?’
He began to smile. ‘That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.’ He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more. ‘When we said “I wish you enough,” we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,’ he continued and then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.
‘I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.’
He then began to sob and walked away.”
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