“Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don’t worry…I’m here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you.
Charlie Brown to Snoopy”
As we face today’s challenges there will be folks whose lives will never recover for they have not learned that there is more to life than wealth and material things. Fortunately there will be far more who will find more in their lives than they ever thought possible. These are people who learn that the intangibles add luster and brilliance that they overlooked when they were driven by the pursuit of so-called success, fame and fortune. In my case my new found joys have come from people and not things. New friends have not only given me comfort they have also provided stimulation and new shared experiences. I also have found that looking more closely at friends and family I see things too easily missed in the past, everyone is special in their own way and I have learned to appreciate what they are versus agonizing over what they are not.
OK, why these thoughts today, it is because I just read what Tina, one of our readers sent me. You can see for yourself what triggered my reaction, here is what she sent.
The Wooden Bowl
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. ‘We must do something about father,’ said the son. ‘I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor…’ So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.
When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.
The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, ‘What are you making?’ Just as sweetly, the boy responded, ‘Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.’ The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.
The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family.. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
On a positive note, I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
In my experience the brightest light that will ever shine upon you is the light that is reflected off of the heart of someone who knows you care for them. When we give the gift of our understanding and really care for others we will never have to worry about ourselves for we will never live our lives alone.
“Life is short, don’t waste time worrying about what people think of you Hold on to the ones that care, in the end they will be the only ones there.”
Jimmie, an 80-year-old gentleman, retired to Florida after his wife of 58 years had passed away. He was quite alone in the world and longed for companionship. One day, as he was walking through a public park, he spied what he considered to be a very pretty silver-haired lady sitting alone on a park bench. Getting his nerve up, he approached the lady and asked graciously, "Pardon me, ma’am, but may I sit here with you."
The silver-haired Marcia looked up to see a distinguished looking white-haired gentleman and replied, "Why certainly," and scooted over gently to give him room to sit down.
For the next two hours the two sat and talked about everything. They discovered that they came from the same part of the country, liked the same big band music, voted for the same presidential candidates, had had long happy marriages and lost their spouses in the last year, and in general agreed about almost everything.
Finally, the old gentleman cleared his throat and asked sheepishly, "Ma’am, may I ask you two questions?"
With great anticipation Marcia replied, "Why certainly!"
The old gentleman removed a handkerchief from his coat pocket and spread it out on the ground before her. He very gingerly got down on one knee and looked her softly in the eyes. "Marcia, I know we’ve only known each other for a couple of hours, but we have so much in common. I feel I have known you all my life. Will you marry me and be my wife?"
Marcia grabbed at Jimmie’s hands and said, "Why, yes, I will marry you! You have made me so very happy!" She reached over and kissed him gently on the cheek. Then Marcia said, "You said you had two questions to ask me. What is the second question?"
Jimmie scratched his neck and said, "Will you help me get up?"
You can learn many things from children…like how much patience you have.
A priest was given the job of hearing the confessions of an order of monks. The priest returned to his parish that night and complained to one of the nuns about how long each of the monks took to enumerate all of their sins.
"Oh Father," said the nun. "It couldn’t have been that bad."
The priest replied, "Oh it was worse than you can imagine. It was like being stoned to death with popcorn."
"No birth is an accident, no experience is without meaning, and no life is without value."
The kindergarten class had settled down to its coloring books. Willie came up to the teacher’s desk and said, "Miss Francis, I ain’t got no crayons."
"Willie," Miss Francis said, "you mean, "I don’t have any crayons.’ You don’t have any crayons. We don’t have any crayons. They don’t have any crayons. Do you see what I’m getting at?"
"Not really," Willie said, "What happened to all them crayons?"
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
Lewis B. Smedes
A crew of highway maintenance workers were sent to repair some road signs that vandals had knocked down in a forested area. The first one they put back up was a symbol warning of a deer crossing the road.
As they moved down the road to repair the next sign, one member of the crew looked back and spotted a deer running across the highway. She turned to a co-worker and said, "I wonder how long he’s been waiting to cross."
To be civilized is to be incapable of giving unnecessary offense, it is to have some quality of consideration for all who cross our path.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.
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