The Talk of the Town

Photo Credit: Judy Baxter via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Judy Baxter via CC Flickr

Every once in a while, I come across a story that reminds mes how important it is to keep the things that happen in our lives in proper perspective. Such is the case of today’s tale…

Funerals are a somber moment, aren’t they? It’s hard to imagine a situation where you would find them light and funny.

But then, maybe it’s something like that that you need to keep your perspective on the more important things in life. Read on and see what I mean.

Consumed by my loss, I didn’t notice the hardness of the pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend, my mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer.

The hurt was so intense; I found it hard to breathe at times. Always supportive, mother clapped loudest at my school plays, held a box of tissue while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted me at my father’s death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life. When mother’s illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27 year old middle child with no entanglements to take care of her.

I felt it an honor. “What now?” I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before me as an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross while clutching his wife’s hand. My sister sat slumped against her husband’s shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child.

All so deeply grieving, no one noticed I sat alone. My place had been with our mother, preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor, seeing to her medication.

Now she was gone. My work was finished, and I was alone. I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick steps hurried along the carpeted floor. An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on his lap. His eyes were brimming with tears. He began to sniffle, “I’m late,” he explained, though no explanation was necessary.

After several eulogies, he leaned over and commented, “Why do they keep calling Mary by the name of Margaret?”

“Because that was her name, Margaret. Never Mary. No one called her Mary”, I whispered. I wondered why this person couldn’t have sat on the other side of the church. He interrupted my grieving with his tears and fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?

“No, that isn’t correct,” he insisted, as several people glanced over at us whispering, “Her name is Mary, Mary Peters. That isn’t who this is? Isn’t this the Lutheran church?”

“No, the Lutheran church is across the street, I believe you’re at the wrong funeral, sir.” The solemnness of the occasion mixed with realization of the man’s mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter. I cupped my hands over my face hoping it would be interpreted as sobs. The creaking pew gave me away. Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious.

I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me. He was laughing too, as he glanced around deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit. I imagined my mother laughing. At the final Amen, we darted out a door and into the parking lot. “I do believe we’ll be the talk of the town,” he smiled.

He said his name was Rick and since he had missed his aunt’s funeral, he asked me out for a cup of coffee. That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right place.

A year after our meeting, we were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor. This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time. In my time of sorrow, he gave me laughter. In place of loneliness, I now had love. This past June we celebrated our twenty second anniversary. Whenever anyone asks us how we met, Rick tells them “Her mother and my Aunt Mary introduced us, and it’s truly a match made in Heaven.”

A Love That Death Couldn’t Destory

Photo Credit: Candida.Performa via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Candida.Performa via CC Flickr

A short time ago, I came across a beautiful story written by Anna Rumer on zanesvilletimesrecorder.com that showed a steadfast love that truly lasted a lifetime. I have always thought that it is a astounding testament of the true love a couple shares whenever their marriage lasts for their entire life together. I can only hope that my life and marriage will be blessed as much as these folks.

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When Helen Felumlee passed away at the age of 92 Saturday morning, her family knew her husband Kenneth Felumlee, 91, wouldn’t be slow to follow her. The couple couldn’t bear to be apart very long, and Kenneth passed away only 15½ hours after his wife of 70 years.

“We knew when one went, the other was going to go,” said daughter Linda Cody. “We wanted them to go together, and they did.”

After Kenneth had his leg amputated 2½ years ago because of circulation problems, Helen became his main caretaker, making sure he got everything he needed. She continued this up until three weeks before their deaths, when she became too frail to care for him.

“She was so weak, she could hardly do it,” Cody said. “But she was still pushing his chair; she was still filling his water cup.”

When Kenneth’s health started to fail, Helen began sleeping on the couch to be near him. The two hadn’t slept apart in 70 years, the family said. Years ago, when the two took an overnight ferry equipped with bunk-beds, they chose to both sleep on the bottom bunk rather than be separated for even a night.

Soon after Kenneth, Helen’s health also started to go downhill, and she was confined to a hospital bed near the end of her life. Kenneth took this particularly hard.

“He would just reach out and grab her hand, but he would keep his head down because he couldn’t stand to see her hurting,” Cody said.

Upon his wife’s death, Kenneth was ready to join her, family said. “She was staying strong for Dad and he was staying strong for her,” Cody said. “That’s what kept them going.”

Helen and Kenneth’s love story began when they were just 18 and 19 after Kenneth’s ex-girlfriend, a friend to Helen, introduced the two. They immediately hit it off, dating for three years before deciding to elope.

Lying to their parents, the two said they were taking a day trip to Kentucky to visit Kenneth’s old basketball coach. Heading to the courthouse with only $5 in their pockets, Kenneth and Helen arrived with barely enough to pay the $2 fee. The couple were wed Feb. 20, 1944, two days before Kenneth was legally old enough to get married. “He couldn’t wait,” son Jim Felumlee said.

When the couple returned, they were too nervous to tell their parents right away, so they lived separately several weeks until Kenneth developed the courage to break the news of their elopement.

“I would have liked to have been there for that conversation,” Cody said.

The newly official Felumlee family grew almost immediately, as Helen quickly became pregnant with the first of their eight children.

Caring for a household of eight children was no easy task, but the couple was determined to make it work. Both Helen and Kenneth had grown up working, and they weren’t afraid to put in the extra effort.

Kenneth worked at the B&O/Chessie Systems Railroad as a car inspector while also operating Felumlee‘s Garage. He later worked as a rural mail carrier for the Nashport Post Office. In addition, he was active in his Nashport-Irville United Methodist Church as a Sunday school teacher and member of the Council on Ministry and administrative board. He also was a member of the board of education from Frazeysburg-Nashport schools, Tri-Valley schools, and the Muskingum County School Board.

His children recall him coming home from one job, grabbing the only hour or two of sleep that he ever operated on, and then heading off to his other job. At night, it wasn’t uncommon for Kenneth to leave the house in order to go help someone whose plumbing or car had broken. “Some days, he wouldn’t sleep,” Jim said.

The long absences could be hard to deal with, but Helen supported Kenneth in all his endeavors. “There would be hours he wasn’t here, and she had all these kids, but she understood that it was a need in him to help other people,” Cody said.

Helen spent her days cooking and cleaning not only for her growing family, but for other families in need in the area. She even changed diapers for a neighbor’s child, as the father was not keen on the task. She taught Sunday school and served on the Council on Ministry and Friendship Circle at the church, but was known even more for her greeting card ministry.

Not only would Helen just send birthday cards, she would also send sympathy cards, greeting cards and holiday cards to everyone in her community, each with a personal note inside.

“She kept Hallmark in business,” daughter-in-law Debbie Felumlee joked.

Jim added, “If you would forget your birthday, she would remind you.”

Together, the couple served their community, were active in the lives of their many grandchildren, and visited nursing homes on Sunday. Beloved by the community, Kenneth was jokingly dubbed the “self-appointed mayor of Nashport” by those that knew him well.

When Kenneth retired in 1983 and the children began to leave the house, the Felumlees began to explore their love of travel, visiting almost all 50 states by bus.

“He didn’t want to fly anywhere, because you couldn’t see anything as you were going,” said Jim.

The two grew with every day, their children said, and remained deeply in love until the very end. Even in their last days, Helen and Kenneth would eat breakfast together while holding hands.

About 12 hours after Helen died, Kenneth looked at his children and said, “Mom’s dead.” He quickly began to fade, and was surrounded by 24 of his closest family members and friends when he died Sunday morning.

“It was a wonderful going away party,” Cody said. “He was ready. He just didn’t want to leave her here by herself.

The Love Ladder of China

Photo Credit: Unknown

Photo Credit: Unknown

The Love Ladder of China, an incredible love story has come out of China a few years ago and managed to touch the world. Here is the story as told by Pearly of Penang, Malaysia.

It is a story of a man and an older woman who ran off to live and love each other in peace for over half a century. Over 50 years ago, Liu, a 19 year-old boy, fell in love with a 29 year-old widowed mother named Xu. At that time, it was unacceptable and immoral for a young man to love an older woman. To avoid the market gossip, the couple decided to elope and lived in a cave in Jiangjin County in Southern ChongQing area.

In the beginning, they had nothing, no electricity or even food. They had to eat grass and roots they found in the mountain, and Liu made a kerosene lamp that they used to light up their lives. In the second year of living in the mountain, Liu began and continued for over 50 years, to hand-carve the steps so that his wife could get down the mountain easily.

Half a century later in 2001, a group of adventurers were exploring the forest and were surprised to find the elderly couple and the over 6,000 hand-carved steps. The couple had lived in peace for over 50 years until last week. Liu, now 72 years, returned from his daily farm work and collapsed. Xu sat and prayed with her husband as he passed away in her arms. So in love with Xu, was Liu that no one was able to release the grip he had on his wife’s hand even after he had passed away.

Photo Credit: Unknown

Photo Credit: Unknown

In 2006, their story had become one of the top 10 love stories from China, collected by the Chinese Women Weekly. The local government has decided to preserve the love ladder and the place they lived as a museum, so this love story can live forever.

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Wow! What a great story of love and dedication that a couple had to each other despite the fact that the couple was so poor. This story demonstrates to us the fact the happiness and love is not found in things but found in actions. So, what are you willing to do for your significant other today?

A Beautiful True Story

Photo Credit: mconnors via morguefile.com

Photo Credit: mconnors via morguefile.com

There is an old saying that says “beauty is only skin deep.” many times people “fall in love” with a person because of their looks and in many situations, what’s inside a person really isn’t important. The problem here is that quite often when a “beautiful” person gets older, their good looks may diminish but their “inner self” is still there. People should really love other people for what they “are” and not because of their “looks.” Today’s story shows this wonderful love that a solder had for his special lady….

 

A Beautiful True Love Story

One day, a young guy and a young girl fell in love.

But the guy came from a poor family. The girl’s parents weren’t too happy.

So the young man decided not only to court the girl but to court her parents as well. In time, the parents saw that he was a good man and was worthy of their daughter’s hand.

But there was another problem: The man was a soldier. Soon, war broke out and he was being sent overseas for a year. The week before he left, the man knelt on his knee and asked his lady love, “Will you marry me?” She wiped a tear, said yes, and they were engaged. They agreed that when he got back in one year, they would get married.

But tragedy struck. A few days after he left, the girl had a major vehicular accident. It was a head-on collision.

When she woke up in the hospital, she saw her father and mother crying. Immediately, she knew there was something wrong.

She later found out that she suffered brain injury. The part of her brain that controlled her face muscles was damaged. Her once lovely face was now disfigured. She cried as she saw herself in the mirror. “Yesterday, I was beautiful. Today, I’m a monster.” Her body was also covered with so many ugly wounds.

Right there and then, she decided to release her fiancé from their promise. She knew he wouldn’t want her anymore. She would forget about him and never see him again.

For one year, the soldier wrote many letters—but she wouldn’t answer. He phoned her many times but she wouldn’t return her calls.

But after one year, the mother walked into her room and announced, “He’s back from the war.”

The girl shouted, “No! Please don’t tell him about me. Don’t tell him I’m here!”

The mother said, “He’s getting married,” and handed her a wedding invitation.

The girl’s heart sank. She knew she still loved him—but she had to forget him now.

With great sadness, she opened the wedding invitation.

And then she saw her name on it!

Confused, she asked, “What is this?”

That was when the young man entered her room with a bouquet of flowers. He knelt beside her and asked, “Will you marry me?”

The girl covered her face with her hands and said, “I’m ugly!”

The man said, “Without your permission, your mother sent me your photos. When I saw your photos, I realized that nothing has changed. You’re still the person I fell in love. You’re still as beautiful as ever. Because…I love you!”

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Life is good!!!

Last Dance

​How often do we take the ones that we love for granted? Sometimes, we get so busy in our everyday lives that we can easily “forget”  the friends and family that we dearly love and adore. When was the last time that you told a loved one how much you cared for them? How much you loved them?

Well, the video that you are about to see puts that kind of love into action. Ask yourself this question when you watch this video…what if I were the father? How would you feel?….what if you were the daughter? How would you feel? The video is a great reminder of the TRULY IMPORTANT things in life.

PS Get a box of tissues ready

A Mother’s Love

A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper, and handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his Mom dried her hands on an apron, she read it, and this is what it said:

For cutting the grass: $5.00

For cleaning up my room this week: $1.00

For going to the store for you: $.50

Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $.25

Taking out the garbage: $1.00

For getting a good report card: $5.00

For cleaning up and raking the yard: $2.00

Total owed: $14.75

Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper he’d written on, and this is what she wrote:

For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me:

No Charge

For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you:

No Charge

For all the trying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years:

No Charge

For all the nights that were filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead:

No Charge

For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose:

No Charge

Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is:

No Charge.

When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight at his mother and said, “Mom, I sure do love you.” And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: “PAID IN FULL”.

Lessons to Learn:
1) You will never how much your parents worth till you become a parent
2) Be a giver not a taker, especially with your parents. there is a lot to give, besides money.

Advice: IF your mom is alive and close to you, give her a big kiss and ask her for forgiveness. If she is far away, call her. if she passed away, pray for her.

Mom’s are Awesome….ALWAYS Remember them and love them.