I Wish You Enough

Recently I overheard an elderly father and his grown daughter in their last moments together at the airport before she left. The departure announcement had been made and they were standing near the security gate as they offered each other their goodbyes. They hugged and the father said, 'I love you, and I wish you enough.’

The daughter replied, 'Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough too Dad.’

They kissed and the daughter left. The father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted to express his emotions. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?’

'Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?'
'I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral,' he said.

‘When you were saying good-bye, 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 a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and 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.' 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 no matter how gray the day may appear.

‘I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

‘I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

‘I wish you enough pain so that the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

‘I wish you enough gain to satisfy your needs.

‘I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

‘I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.’

Tears started to well up in his eyes as he said the last line and he turned and walked away.

May we never tire of doing enough for those about us. It may only be a thank you, or a please, or a smile that lifts a soul’s heavy heart. Remember there are a lot of people who don’t have ‘enough’.


Oh, Lord let my words be sweet and tender,

For tomorrow I may have to eat them.