Have you ever really stopped to think about what honestly matters most in your life? We all are quick with the politically correct answer; God and family or some variation of that. It must be that we want everyone to think we have our priorities all in order. There are the expected answers and then there are the real answers. Just like being asked “How are you doing?” … the real answers are rare.

I know people who say family is important who haven’t spoken to a sibling or parent in years. The feud has been going on so long, the real issue can’t be explained. But when asked they’ll tell you family matters most. It makes me sad.

I’m reminded once again, when it’s all taken apart, what matters most, no, the only thing that matters, is relationships. Whether it’s a relationship with family, friends, God or yourself, that’s what counts. The homes, cars, job titles, 401Ks or lack of any of that is trivial compared to your relationships. Guard them.

I got a call yesterday afternoon from Jim’s younger brother Jerry. At 2:00 Joe, the oldest Brawner brother, left for heaven. When someone we love passes away I think we’re handed a reminder, like a pink slip, to think about what counts and what matters.

I’m so grateful we had the opportunity to spend a week on the Lido Deck of a cruise ship in August, Brawner brothers and wives. I’m glad we were able to go to Texas to celebrate Joe’s birthday in late March. And what a blessing it was for him to hold his triplet grandsons born two days later.

So what really counts? What really matters? Cheers to you Joe Brawner! You’re one who knew.

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