Everyone comes from a family and it goes without saying that problems and negative situations will occasionally show their ugly heads. But the one thing that some just can’t seem to figure out is the family and relative terminology such as who is their second or third cousin, great uncle, etc. Stuff like this can drive us crazy. They can really create turmoil and misunderstanding.
If you think your family has problems figuring this stuff out, consider the marriage mayhem created when 76-year-old Bill Baker of London recently wed Edna Harvey. She happened to be his granddaughter’s husband’s mother. That’s where the confusion began, according to Baker’s granddaughter, Lynn.
“My mother-in-law is now my step-grandmother. My grandfather is now my stepfather-in-law. My mom is my sister-in-law and my brother is my nephew. But even crazier is that I’m now married to my uncle and my own children are my cousins.”
From this experience, Lynn should gain profound insight into the Theory of Relativity.
Life. It is so precious. It is the essential thing that allows us to experience the beautiful things in the world around us. Whether it be by smelling a lovely aroma, tasting scrumptious food, listening to soul-moving music, seeing the beauty and grandeur of some scenic location, or simply touching something meaningful to you…all of life should be prized and cherished.
But how many times throughout our lives do we forget the gift of life and all that goes along with it and take it for granted? Enjoying time with your family and friends, having dinners or parties with your loved ones? Traveling to some destination, experiencing good (or bad) times with others, or simply just spending time by yourself relishing and appreciating the world around us. Life is good and worth living.
But it all can be gone in a second.
I recently came across a copy of letter written by a miner to his loved ones that was posted in the “United Mine Workers Journal,” in August 1974. The letter (see the image below) was written in 1902 by Jacob L. Vowell, in Fraterville, Tennessee. In the short letter, he tells his dear wife how much he loves her and the kids. He tells her to take care of the children and actually communicates to her where to bury him. The amazing thing about this letter, was how he kept referring to the important things in his life…the things that really mattered…his family and God.
You see, he only had moments to live…for he was slowly suffocating to death in the 1902 Fraterville, Tennessee mine disaster. The second to the last sentence he wrote really touched my heart and reminds me how precious life really is and how much we should value it each and every day of our lives.
This is a picture of a copy of the letter that Mr. Vowell wrote:
In case you had problems reading this letter, this is what was stated:
“Ellen, darling, goodbye for us both. Elbert said the Lord has saved him. we are all praying for air to support us, but it is getting so bad without any air.
Ellen, I want you to live right and come to heaven. Raise the children the best you can. Oh how I wish to be with you, goodbye. Bury me and Elbert in the same grave by little Eddy. Goodbye Ellen. Goodbye Lily. Goodbye Jemmie. Goodbye Horace. Is 25 minutes after two. There is few of us alive yet.
Jake and Elbert
Oh God for one more breath. Ellen remember me as long as you live. Goodbye darling.”
This is quite a sad letter but it a terrific reminder to all of us…to be thankful for the breath of that life we have each day and for the things that really worthwhile.
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – is to be happy – it is all that matters.” ~ Audrey Hepburn
Mothers. This special group of ladies are more valuable than gold and can have more impact on an individual’s life than almost anything a person can experience throughout their lifetime. They can teach us the wide assortment of life lessons as we are growing up. The following is an interesting list of some of the wonderful words of wisdom that a mother can instill in their children every day.
My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”
My mother taught me RELIGION. “You better pray that will come out of the carpet!”
My mother taught me TIME TRAVEL. “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week.”
My mother taught me LOGIC. “Because I said so, that’s why.”
My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”
My mother taught me FORESIGHT. “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”
My mother taught me IRONY. “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”
My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”
My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. “Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck?”
My mother taught me about STAMINA. “You will sit there until all that spinach is gone.”
My mother taught me about WEATHER. “This room of yours looks like a tornado went through it.”
My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. “Just wait until we get home!”
My mother taught me about RECEIVING. “You’re going to get it when you get home!”
My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to stick that way.”
My mother taught me ESP. “Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”
My mother taught me HUMOR. “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”
My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you will never grow up.”
My mother taught me GENETICS. “You’re just like your father.”
My mother taught me about me about my ROOTS. “Shut that door behind you. Do you think we live in a barn?”
My mother taught me WISDOM. “When you get to my age, you will understand.”
And my favorite: my mother taught me about JUSTICE. “One day you’ll have kids and I hope they turn out just like you!”
WHAT WAS THE BEST THING THAT YOUR MOTHER TAUGHT YOU?
Children have always fascinated me. I have been a teacher, coach, camp director, and counselor, etc., for over 30 years. I have seen all kinds of children during that time. There are children who are very well behaved, fun to have around, and a joy to know. Some are quiet, reserved, secluded, and would rather do things by themselves. Still others, are belligerent, disobedient, nasty and mean. It really is a fascinating thing how individuals can have such a variety of personalities, behaviors, and mannerisms.
I have discovered that a majority of the time, the people that are good, wholesome, and well-rounded, have been brought up in a caring, loving, and nurturing family whereas individuals that have been raised in a negative or repressed environment possess the traits that aren’t as likable. Basically, it all comes down to the way a person is raised.
All of this leads me to today’s story.
Many years ago, a woman named Dorothy Law used to write a daily column for one of her local newspapers regarding family matters. One day, she was up against the deadline to get an article into the newspaper and she was short on material, so she created a 14-line poem which dealt with childrearing. It soon took on a life of its own and became a type of guideline millions and millions of parents around the world. For many, many years after the article was published, it was widely thought that the poem was written anonymously. Dr. Nolte never received credit or compensation and, believe it or not, wasn’t even aware that her writing had grown to the great popularity that it has become, and had forgotten about it. It wasn’t until 1974 that she decided to copyright her poem and later, wrote a best-selling book, “Children Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Values,” along with a co-author, Rachel Harris.
Dr. Dorothy Nolte died in 1988 at the ripe old age of 81, but she left with the world, a timeless poem that will forever serve as a reminder to parents, the importance of raising their children with integrity, character, and thoughtfulness towards others.
It is my hope that you will enjoy this poem and share it with your loved ones.
Children Learn What They Live ~ by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
As a parent…what will you do? If you are NOT a parent, how will you treat others?
Ah! The innocence of youth, If you ever want to hear “the truth” or “honest opinion” from someone…just ask a kid. On the other hand, children can be mysterious. You never know what precious “words of wisdom” may come out of their mouths and many times, you can’t keep yourself from smiling, giggling, or down-right laughing.
I recently asked a few of my friends to share with me some funny stories about some of the things that their young children have said or done. It is my great pleasure to share with you some of these stories from my dear friends Crystal, Mimi, Caroline, Heidi, Sabrina, and a few others selected from around the web. So, without further ado, sit back read on, and get ready for some stories that will be certain to put a smile on your face and some warmth in your soul!
Lulu: “What is a paparazzi?”
Mom: “People who take pictures of famous celebrities.”
Lulu: “What’s a celebrity?”
Mom: “Someone who everyone knows.”
Lulu: “Like Taylor Swift or God?”
Levi: “Can I please have another cookie?”
Gigi: “No, but I have something more important to tell you…”
Levi: There is nothing more important than cookies!”
Dylan: “My shoes are tired.” (instead of, “My feet hurt or I’m tired.”)
“When it thunders, my son always says, “God must be really hungry!” (As if he is saying that the sky/heaven is God’s belly)
A men’s boxer brief commercial was advertising on the TV when Crystal’s little girl explained to her how the “extra room” zone was actually just a kangaroo pouch!
The other day, Sabrina and her little boy were down by the sea looking at a lighthouse when he suddenly, ” blurted out, “holy ship!” He looked at his mom in awe and said, “whooooo Baby! Holy ship mama…” People who were standing around them turned and started laughing. Sabrina informed everyone, “He said SHIP! I swear!” The world will never know…
A little while ago, Eddie brought his daughter to the doctor’s office for one of his visits. She kept asking her dad if things hurt him. “Are your ears OK? Does your throat hurt? Do you have a belly ache?” Then, the loudest question of all…one that made everyone look up and stare at Eddie…” Daddy! Does your hiney hole hurt?”
Gigi: “You did a good job staying in your bed at Gigi’s last night.”
Levi: Well, I did get up one time, Gigi.”
Levi: “Yes, because I picked a booger with my finger and I needed a flashlight so I could look at it.”
SMH, such a boy!
Crystal walked into her little girl the other day and found her putting on her deodorant. Her daughter said that she had to put her “armpit tickler protector on.” Obviously, it is made to prevent tickle attacks, not excess sweating or smells 😊
Levi brought over a new puppy the other day when he saw Po (his grandpa) scolding the cat for hissing at him.
Levi: “Po, why are you talking to the cat? Don’t you know that cats can’t talk?”
A few minutes later, when Levi was talking to his puppy…
Po: “Levi, why are you talking to the dog? Don’t you know that dogs can’t talk?”
Levi: “I know Po, but they are good listeners!”
Po: Well, you got me there!”
A three-year-old boy went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother, “There were two boy kittens and two girl kittens.” “How did you know?” his mother asked. “Daddy picked them up and looked underneath,” he replied. “I think it’s printed on the bottom.”
On the first day of school, the Kindergarten teacher said, “If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers.” A little voice from the back of the room asked, “How will that help?”
After dinner, one night, Caroline’s little boy’s tummy made a noise…probably digesting what he just ate…when he says to everyone, “My tummy is saying thank you!”
Me: Did you know that she has a baby in her belly? (referring to a pregnant co-worker)
Kid: (horrified) You ate your baby?!
During an elementary recess, a 2nd grader approached her Physical Education teacher who was on Recess Duty…
Lara: “Coach, can I ask you a question?”
Coach: “Yes Lara, what is it?”
Lara: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
6-Year-Old: “Is kindergarten two years?”
Teacher: “No, just one.”
6-Year-Old: Well, it felt like two!”
We say that we go to work to pay the bills a lot because now my son, Dylan, thinks that’s what we do for a living says his mom. When he asks, “Where’s daddy?” and I tell him that he’s at work, he responds by saying, “Daddy’s paying the bills.” When I asked him, “what does daddy do at work?” Dylan answered, “Daddy pays the bills.”
Dylan loves picking up his toy toolbox and say he’s going to work. The other day, when he was asked what he was going to do, he said, “I am going to pay the bills and mortgage.” Adorable!
“Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.” ~ Nelson Mandela
A Legacy. One of the biggest desires that a mother or father wants to do as they parent their child throughout their lives, is to pass on all their dreams, wants and desires onto their children. Some people think of a legacy as gifting their money, wealth, or property to their loved ones but for the purpose of this posting, I am referring to the legacy of unseen things such as kindness, mindfulness, thoughtfulness, love, etc., the list can go on and on.
I recently read two stories on “Gabe’s Fascinating Stories” of which I thought that would be an interesting read and demonstrate to you…the importance and beauty of what a real legacy is.
Many years ago, Al Capone, the notorious criminal, was involved in everything from booze to prostitution to murder. Al had a personal lawyer nicknamed “Easy Eddie” and Eddie’s skill at legal maneuvering was the primary reason Big Al was kept out of jail for so many years.
Capone paid Eddie well and Eddie lived the high life. He and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion that filled an entire Chicago city block. Though involved deeply with the mob, Eddie had one soft spot, his son whom he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education and despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie tried his best to teach his son right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to grow up to be a good man.
One day, Eddie decided to rectify wrongs he had done and went to the authorities to tell the truth about Al Capone so he could clean up his tarnished name and offer his son some semblance of integrity. Eddie knew the cost for testifying against the mob would be great … and he was right. Within a year, Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago side street. But in his eyes, Eddie gave his son a great gift. When the police emptied his pockets, they found a rosary and a poem Eddie had clipped from a magazine.
The poem read:
“The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time, for the clock may soon be still.”
Now an unrelated — but necessary parallel to the above story —- please read you won’t be disappointed.
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Navy Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare, a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, Butch looked at his fuel gauge and realized the ground crew did not top off his fuel tank. He knew he would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and return to his ship. Butch’s flight leader ordered Butch to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, Butch dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.
On returning to the fleet, Butch saw in the distance a squadron of Japanese aircraft heading toward the fleet. Since the fleet’s fighters were all out on their missions, the fleet was now virtually defenseless. Butch was unable to raise his squadron leader on the radio to bring them back in time to save the fleet. There was only one thing for Butch do … he had to stop the Japanese planes from attacking the fleet.
Without hesitation or regard to his personal safety, Butch dove into the formation of enemy aircraft; with his wing-mounted 50 caliber’s guns, he blazed in, attacking one surprised aircraft after another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.
Even though his ammo was gone, Butch continued his assault by diving at planes, trying to clip a wing or hit a tail in hopes of damaging them and rendering them unfit to fly. Totally exasperated, the remaining Japanese aircraft headed home and Butch perished in the ocean.
Butch’s hometown vowed not to allow the memory of this WWII hero to fade from their memory. They named their city airport after him. The City of Chicago decided to pay tribute to its courageous native son.
So, for all you travelers who fly in or out of Chicago’s O’Hare airport here is my recommendation: The next time you find yourself waiting for a flight at O’Hare Airport, give some serious thought to visiting Butch’s memorial. Take a look at his statue and his Medal of Honor he earned. It is located between Terminals 1 and 2.
Now, you may be asking…what do these two stories have in common?
Butch “Edward” O’Hare – the World War II Hero was “Easy Eddie’s” son!
Now I ask you…what do you want your legacy to be? What are some of the positive character traits that you have would you like to pass on to your children? Even if you don’t have children (or maybe you don’t plan on having them), how do you want other people to remember you? Your name, your legacy…is EVERYTHING! Consider what the things that you would like to see in your children, grandchildren, and the impact that you can have on your family tree.
Legacy is not something that you leave FOR people, it’s something that you leave IN people!
I am a father of a couple of awesome children. I love them very much and I would do anything for them. I am sure any parent would do anything to make their children happy, to protect them and to give them the best life that they could have. Today’s story is probably the most touching story of love that a parent could give a child that I ever found…so far. You may need a box of tissues for this short story…..
One day an 11-year-old girl asked her daddy,” what are you going to get me for my 15th birthday?”
Her father replied,” Please wait, there is much time left.”
When the girl was 14 years old, she fainted and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor came out and told her dad that she had a bad heart and that she was probably going to die.
When she was lying in the hospital bed, she said softly, “daddy… have they told you that I am going to die?” The father replied; “no, you are going to live” as he left her room weeping.
She asked, “how can you be so sure daddy?” He turned around from the door and said” because…I know.”
A short time later she turned 15. After she was released from the hospital and recovering she came home to find a letter on her bed which read…” My dearest daughter, if you are reading this letter it means that everything went well, just as I told you it would. A little while ago you asked me what I was going to give you for your 15th birthday. I didn’t know then, but my present to you was MY HEART.”
Her Father Had Donated His Heart!
“Greater love hath no man than this…that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
A little while ago, I read the following story that made me sit back and think about the incredible power of love and the importance of making it our goal to make a beautiful thing, last for a lifetime. We have to change our mindsets to a more positive focus…we need to WANT to achieve a goal instead of HOPING that it might happen.
I hope you enjoy this story…
While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about -the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me. Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jetway, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags.
He stopped right next to me to greet his family. First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”
Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.
While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father.
The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.
After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing.
He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be.
I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me.
I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?” “Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked the man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile.”Two whole days!”
Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me, I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”
The man suddenly stopped smiling. He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!” With that, he and his family turned and strode away together.
I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walk just out of sight when my friend came up to me and asked, “What’cha looking at?” Without hesitating, and with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, “My future!”
My wife and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year. It is amazing to me how fast the years have gone by. My dear grandma used to always say, “the older you get…the days get longer and the years get shorter.: Isn’t that the truth!!
The good Lord has blessed me and my family in glorious and mighty ways in those years. I have two wonderful, handsome young sons, a beautiful wife, nice house and the list goes on and on. The thing that I really hope and pray for almost every day, is that my sons will continue to be blessed and used of the Lord and that my wife and I will continue to grow old together for a long time.
One thing I really enjoy watching, is when I see an older couple who are obviously still “head over heels” in love with each other and are not afraid to show it. Thus, the reason for today’s post…a picture gallery of “the perfect love that never grows old!”
Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.
He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.
He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.
The King’s 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her!
One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, “I now have four wives with me, but when I die, I’ll be all alone.” Thus, he asked the 4th wife, “I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No way!”, replied the 4th wife, and she walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.
The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, “I have loved you all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No!”, replied the 3rd wife. “Life is too good! When you die, I’m going to remarry!” His heart sank and turned cold.
He then asked the 2nd wife, “I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?” “I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!”, replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only send you to your grave.” Her answer came like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated.
Then a voice called out: “I’ll leave with you and follow you no matter where you go.” The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was so skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the King said, “I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!”
In truth, we all have 4 wives in our lives: Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.
Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others.
Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.
And our 1st wife is our Soul, which is often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go. So cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of us who will follow us to the throne of God and continue with us throughout Eternity. When the world pushes you to your knees…..You’re in the perfect position to pray.Think about this… Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days? But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our own family, an unwise investment indeed, don’t you think? And we often treat strangers and co-workers better than members of our family.
Have you hugged and loved your family today and told them that you love them? If not, what are you waiting for?
The love of a family is life’s greatest blessings!
I recently came across a fantastic story written by Coach Sperry, that a couple of friends of mine sent to me via Face Book. I thought that it was something that should certainly be shared with everyone and worth the read…especially parents and coaches.
In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.
While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”
Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. No matter, I was just happy to be there.
He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate. Pointed side down.
Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy?
After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.
Then, finally …
“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.
“No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”
Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.
“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”
Another long pause.
“Seventeen inches?”came a guess from another reluctant coach.
“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”
“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.
“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”
“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.
“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”
“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”
“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.
“And what do they do with a a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over these seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.
“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Bobby. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of throwing the ball over it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”
” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? What do we do if he violates curfew? What if he uses drugs? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?
The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.
Then he turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”
Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.
“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful….to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”
“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”
I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.
“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”
With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside.
“… dark days ahead.”
Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.
His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.
The pursuit of happiness. This is the goal of just about every person on earth. What is happiness? What makes a person truly happy? Unfortunately, too many people believe that true happiness comes from wealth, beautiful houses, and fancy cars…just to name a few. Sadly, it usually isn’t until late in a person’s life when they finally realize the futility and hollowness of material things when all of the most important things in a lifetime has passed them by.
I recently came across a story on rishikajain.com, of a man who used to be one of the wealthiest men of the world and realized in his last days what the most important thing in his life was. It is my hope that the following story, will inspire you to understand that the essential things in our lives aren’t the things that we see but are the things that are unseen.
The last words of Steve Jobs –
I’ve reached the peak of success in the business world.
In the eyes of others my life has been the symbol of success.
However, apart from the job, I have a little joy. In the end, the wealth is just a fact to which I’m used to it.
At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering my whole life, I realize that all the awards and the wealth of which I was so proud, have become insignificant in front of the imminent death.
In the dark, when I look at the green lights of machinery for artificial respiration and I hear the hum of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of death that is coming…
Just now I realized, once that accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, we have to pursue other objectives that are not related to the wealth.
It should be something more important:
For example, the stories of love, the art, the dreams of when I was a kid…
Don’t stop to pursue the wealth will only turn a person in a be twisted, just like me.
God has given us the senses to make us feel the love in the heart of each one of us, not the illusions built by the fame.
The money that I earned in my life I can bring them with me.
What can I bring with me I’m just the memories strengthened by love.
This is the real wealth that will follow you, take you, will give you the strength and the light to go forward.
Love can travel for a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. You reach the quotes that you want to reach. It’s all in your heart and in your hands.
What is the bed more expensive in the world? The hospital bed.
You can hire someone to drive the car for you, that you gain for you, but you can’t have someone you don’t mind the disease in your place.
The material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when you lose: the life.
At any stage of life we are in this moment, in the end we will have to deal with the day that it’s curtains.
Do treasure of love for your family, the love for your spouse, of love for your friends…
We all know and have heard the old adage about the “power of love.” Love is not jealous. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Simply put…Love never ends.
Love can also strengthen the spirit, uplift the soul, and heal the body. Such is the case for this beautiful story. It shows the incredible bond and the love between a brother and sister and the true, positive power that it can possess. (Tissues may be required 🙂
Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling.
The new baby was going be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sang to his sister in Mommy’s tummy. He was building a bond of love with his little sister before he even met her.
The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen, an active member of the the Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee, USA.
In time, the labor pains came. Soon it was every five minutes, every three, every minute. But serious complications arose during delivery and Karen found herself in hours of labor.
Finally, after a long struggle, Michael’s little sister was born. But she was in very serious condition. With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee.
The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatrician had to tell the parents there was very little hope. Be prepared for the worst. Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their house for their new baby they found themselves having to plan for a funeral.
Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister. “I want to sing to her,” he kept saying.
Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over. Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care.
Karen decided to take Michael whether they liked it or not. If he didn’t see his sister right then, he may never see her alive. She dressed him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket.
The head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, “Get that kid out of here now. No children are allowed.”
The mother rose up strong in Karen and the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head nurse’s eyes, her lips a firm line, “He is not leaving until he sings to his sister.”
Then Karen towed Michael to his sister’s bedside. He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment, he began tossing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sang:
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray.”
Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond. The pulse rate began to calm down and became steady.
“Keep on singing, Michael,” encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes.
“You never know, dear, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away.”
As Michael sang to his sister, the baby’s ragged, strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten’s purr. “Keep on singing, sweetheart.”
“The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms”.
Michael’s little sister began to relax as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her. “Keep singing, Michael.” Tears had now conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don’t take my sunshine away…”
The next day,…the very next day…the little girl was well enough to go home.
Today, I have decided to share a little bit of myself with you.
I have been a Physical Education teacher and a coach for 30 years…and I love taking pictures (and my my blog :). It is funny how many people are tell me how surprised they are when they find out that I enjoy photography and writing as much as I do. They seem to think that someone who is an athlete (or least used to be) and is as big as I am (6’3″, 275 lbs) can’t possibly be someone who likes to do these things.
That’s OK. Because everyone is different and and have different passions for various things. I found my interest in photography by the one man who had the most influence and biggest impact in my life…my dad.
My father was a photographer for over 45 years. He had his own studio, took pictures for a local paper, snapped pictures at an untold number of weddings and took pet, individual and family portraits. He closed his shop for the final time just as the digital camera was becoming popular.
When my father passed away a few years ago, I decided to use some of the money that he left me to purchase a really nice camera. The following pictures are of some flowers that I took in Philadelphia last summer while my family was visiting some of my in-laws and nephews and nieces.
I hope you like them. I am planning on beginning to post more pictures that I have taken and edited in future blogs.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them!
Time…it is a valuable thing to all of us. The thing that is unlike anything else about time, is that once you experience each small sliver of time or once it is upon you, you can never get it back. You can never buy back time or get a “do-over.”
It is for these reasons that we should all value each bit of time that we have each day. We shouldn’t use our time foolishly or waste it worrying about things that may never happen or dwell on the negative things in life.
We should always focus on living our lives and spending our time with others with one thought: no regrets. I think one of the worst things that a lot of people do is look back on their lives and regret the times or things that they did or didn’t do with someone.
So, when I discovered today’s video, it not only made me a little misty-eyed, but it also reminded me of the importance of time…how we spend it with ourselves and more importantly…how we spend it with our family and friends.
One word of warning…a box of tissues may be needed 🙂
A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”
“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.”
“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”
“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
Thanksgiving is without question, one of my favorite holidays of the year. There is nothing nicer than being outside either watching or playing a football in the crisp fall air, then returning indoors, into a house that is warm and filled with the mouth-watering smells of a cooking turkey, various pies, stuffing, and other tasty foods. Laughing, talking, and spending our time with our family, friends and loved ones is simply priceless.
As much as I enjoy sharing my own personal memories with you, I thought, a week or so ago, that it would be an interesting idea to ask my fellow bloggers what their favorite thing about Thanksgiving might be. The following accounts are what some of them decided to share with you! I would like to ask you to visit their blogs when you have a moment.
A few things my husband never fails to remind me of, every single Thanksgiving:
1. the time I cooked the turkey with the giblets packet still inside the bird. I thought I got everything out. I don’t even eat turkey–I’m vegan! He thought it was strange they didn’t include the innards to make gravy…
2. The first time I cooked our turkey, I roasted it upside down. It was crazy trying to watch that little thing pop up to let me know the bird was done..
3. The time my husband tried to ‘help’ me take the bird out of the oven. I think a tad bit of the pain touched his arm–and he dropped the entire pan on the floor. Turkey and drippings EVERYWHERE. Needless to say, the pan wasn’t the only thing that was hot.
Time with family–without pressure of gifts, lounging around on a couch stuffed bigger than the turkey until my aunt decides that it’s time for a family walk around the neighborhood. Stuffing, cranberries, bread, turkey, wine, yams, and everyone saying what he or she is thankful for.
Being the middle child, I’ve lived in the shadow of my older and younger sisters. Yet one of my talents shines through on Thanksgiving and I feel special, even irreplaceable. I make the best challah (Jewish egg braided bread) anyone has ever eaten. It’s simply not Thanksgiving without “Lorna’s bread.” I’m very grateful for the bread, the fact that everyone enjoys it so much, and for the yearly recognition!
My Favorite Thing About Thanksgiving Is the memory of my dad teaching me to carve a turkey. We would work on it together and because I was his helper I got to be the first to taste the turkey as we worked. He was second to taste, thats the kind of person he was letting his assistant have the first taste! We would carve the whole turkey at once so we were done with it for the day, my mom would immediately put the carcass in the big pot of water for turkey soup. What a wonderful skill to have, I often volunteer to carve the turkey at gatherings and I have gotten very fast over the years. Each time I carve a turkey I remember those days of sharing the task with my dad and the two of us sneaking tastes of the turkey as we worked.
Macy’s parade on TV, followed by the dog show…the ONE day dinner is AT the table with family (and often including friends, who’d otherwise be alone)…also, last year, passing the “torch” to my daughter, to do the “honors” of cooking the meal in HER home was a proud moment for me!
When I think of Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of the smell of homemade dressing baking in the oven. It’s an old family recipe that’s been passed down from my great-grandmother. Grandma and Mom made it every year: sautéing onions and celery, mixing with bread crumbs and turkey broth and then preparing it into little patties that they would bake and place on a platter. It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it!
I’m thankful for family and good food. Being from a family that loves sports, we always take in a few football games. There are lots of spectacular games this time of the year as teams play their rivals and a lot is on the line.
When dinner was done, my PopPop would sit at the head of the table and I would occupy his lap. Nana placed the turkey carcass in front of us and he would tell me stories while we picked it clean. He is gone now, and I am much older, but I have never forgotten that time with him, feeling like the Princess of the Thanksgiving table.
While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground. “That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide. “He’s a fine looking boy” the man said. “That’s my daughter on the bike in the white dress.”
Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Melissa?” Melissa pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.” The man nodded and Melissa continued to ride her bike to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?”
Again Melissa pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.” The man smiled and said, “OK.” “My, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded.
The man smiled and then said, “Her older brother Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Melissa. She thinks she has five more minutes to ride her bike. The truth is, I get Five more minutes to watch her play.”
Life is all about making priorities, and family is one and only priority on top of all other, so spend all time you can with loved ones.
Source: My buddy Karina @ http://karinasussanto.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/five-more-minutes/
This picture called, “Wait For Me Daddy” was taken by photographer, Claude P. Dettloff during World War 2. The kid was seen running away from his mother to his father, Private Jack Bernard. This photo was made to help raise money for war bonding.
Money. Wealth. Big Houses. Big cars. These are just a few things that most people would like to have and are things that most people believe will make them happy. How often do you find yourself thinking…”Wow! Look at that beautiful house” or “I wish I had a cool car like that” or “If I only had a lot of money”, etc.
We should all take the time to think about how fortunate and blessed we really are. In today’s day and age, there is a lot more money and wealth that is available than it was years ago. While there is a great diversity in wealth, riches, and possessions…especially here in the USA, many of us take for granted how well our life really is.
Yesterday, I came across the following story written by Eddie Ogan on websites-host.com. He tells of his life growing up in the 1940’s and proved to me once again, that often times, people that have less material things, are usually the richest!
I’ll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12, and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money.
By 1946 my older sisters were married and my brothers had left home. A month before Easter the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially. When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decide to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn’t listen to the radio we’d save money on that month’s electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents we could buy enough cotton loops to make three potholders to sell for $1. We made $20 on potholders.
That month was one of the best of our lives. Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we’d sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so we figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.
The day before Easter Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change. We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before. That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn’t care that we wouldn’t have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering. We could hardly wait to get to church!
On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn’t own an umbrella, and the church was a mile from our home, but it did not matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart and her feet got wet. But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes and I felt rich.
When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us kids put in $20. As we walked home after church we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs and we had boiled Ester eggs with our fried potatoes! Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn’t say a word. She opened the envelope. We asked what it was, but she didn’t say a word. She opened the envelope, and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills. Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn’t talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash. We kids had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn’t have our Mom and Dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the spoon or the fork that night. We had two knifes that we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn’t have a lot of things that other people had, but I’d never thought we were poor. I didn’t like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed – – I didn’t even want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor! I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew that we were poor. I decided that I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time. We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much.
Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn’t know. We’d never known we were poor. We didn’t want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn’t talk on the way. Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, “Can’t we all sacrifice to help these poor people?” We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week. Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering. When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn’t expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, “You must have some rich people in this church.” Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that “little over $100.” We were the rich family in the church! Hadn’t the missionary said so? From that day on I’ve never been poor again.
A while ago, I saw this great list of things that can help all of us to love others in effective ways. I thought that they were something that I would like to share with you. It is my hope that they help you as you search for different ways to love.
1. Listen without interrupting. (Proverbs 18)
2. Speak without accusing. (James 1:19)
3. Give without sparing. (Proverbs 21:26)
4. Pray without ceasing. (Colossians 1:9)
5. Answer without arguing. (Proverbs 17:1)
6. Share without pretending. (Ephesians 4:15)
7. Enjoy without complaint. (Philippians 2:14)
8. Trust without wavering. (1 Corinthians 13:7)
9. Forgive without punishing. Colossians 3:13)
10. Promise without forgetting. (Proverbs 13:12)
I recently turned the big 5-0 a couple of months ago and what was even more humiliating, was receiving an AARP membership letter in the mail the very next day…Ahhh! Anyway, I have always been a nostalgic-type guy and I have become even more so during the past months.
I usually find myself a few times each day thinking to myself, “just once, I would love to go back in time and do…..” basically, reminding myself of the days or years in my past. It always brings a type of warmth to my heart and a smile to my face thinking of the friends, people, places and activities that I used to enjoy.
I know that it isn’t healthy to “overindulge” or “dwell on the past” too much on the things of the past, but sometimes, when life gets hard, crazy, or hectic, it’s always nice to sit back and think of the special things that happened…when life was simple and pure.
So, if I could, I would love to go back and do some of these things…just one more time…
Stay outside until the street lights came on…which meant it was time to come home
Have bike races around the block with baseball cards flapping in my spokes which we thought made us sound like we were riding motorcycles
Hear the dinner bell ring…which called us all home for dinner
Listen to grandma calling all of our cats letting them know that their food was ready
Go Snapper fishing with my dad off the boat docks until sundown
Help my mom decorate her classroom and get it ready for her students
Play baseball and kickball with the kids in our neighborhood for hours each day
Build a tree fort in the trees in our backyard
Play and “Hide and Seek” in the woods and discover things around creeks and ponds
Save the world from evil and chaos as super heroes Batman (and my brother) Robin
Sit on my grandfather’s lap and listen to one more of his stories
Go sleigh riding down “Mueller’s Hill”, fly off the snow ramps and navigate around the obstacles that we made
Give my mom and dad one more hug
Visit neighbors with my brother and then enjoy the treats that they would give us
Have crabapple fights with the neighbors
Build sandcastles then making a big sand wall trying to prevent the incoming tide from destroying my fortress
Smell the aromas of the sausage and pepper sandwiches, homemade French fries, fresh cotton candy and pizza that that were always present at the boardwalk
Hear the sounds of the binging and ringing of bells, whistles and other noises emanating from the boardwalk arcades
Feel the sudden pull of the line on my pole as a fish got snagged on the hook and the excitement of the “fight”
Experience my heart “skipping a beat” as I asked a girl on the first date of my life
Watch my dad take portraits of people in his photography studio
Take a family vacation with my wife and two boys
Experience the excitement and magic of dating my wife then marrying her
Go to Yankee Stadium with friends
Stand on the rock jetty by the beach, watching fishing, luxury, and other boats come in
Go to college again
Play miniature golf during a beautiful summer night
Go to a family reunion
I could go on and list more things for hours…but the one thing that I wish that I could do….just one more time…if only for a moment…would be to TELL my mom, dad and grandma…how much I loved them…and thank them for all the love that they showed me.
Life is short. Take the time each and every day to enjoy the big AND small things. Appreciate and be thankful for all the people that are in your life and let them know how much they mean to you…before they are all gone.
What do you think is the most important part of your body?
I recently came across this story on “Inspirational Stories for Your Soul” that I thought was intriguing and which raised a good question…what is the most important part of the human body? Can you guess what it might be? The answer may surprise…and inspire you!
My mother used to ask me what is the most important part of the body and, through the years, I would take a guess at what I thought was the correct answer.
When I was younger, I thought sound was very important to us as humans so I said “my ears, mommy”.
She said “No, many people are deaf. But you keep thinking about it and I will ask you again soon.”
Several years passed before she asked me again. Since my last attempt, I contemplated a correct answer. So I told her “Mommy, sight is very important to everybody, so it must be our eyes.”
She looked at me and told me that I was learning fast but the answer is not correct because there are many people who are blind.
Stumped again, I continued my quest for knowledge and over the years she asked me a couple more times and always the same answer “No. But you are getting smarter every year, my young child.”
Then last year my Grandpa died. Everybody was hurt. Everybody was crying. Even my father cried. I remember that especially because it is only the second time I saw him cry.
My Mom looked at me when it was our turn to say our final good-bye to Grandpa.
She asked me “Do you know the most important body part yet? And I was shocked she asked me this now. I always thought this was a game between her and me.
She saw the confusion on my face and told me, “This question is very important. It shows that you have really lived in your life. For every body part you gave me in the past, I have told you that it was wrong and given you an example why. But today is the day you need to learn this important lesson.”
She looked down at me like only a mother can. I saw her eyes well up with tears. She said,
“Son the most important body part is your shoulder.” Was it because it held up my head?
She replied, “No, because it can hold the head of a friend or loved one when they cry. Everybody needs a shoulder to cry on sometime in life, my son.
I only hope that you have enough love and friends that you will always have a shoulder to cry on when you need it.”
Then and there I knew the most important body part was not selfish, it was sympathetic to the pain of OTHERS.
You are a friend and, whenever you want, you can cry on my shoulder!!!
People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did,