A quote from Mr. Robert Frost—-not from his poetry—-but a direct quote during an interview: “Never be bullied into silence. never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”
And the cost? Monumental. Financially. Personally—-and a whole lot more. The cost of not doing so? Your lifelong peace, perhaps.
So—-what to do? Different for each of us, isn’t it? Take the chance? Possibly go to your end in bankruptcy? Or in glory? Either way…
Here’s the deal: do it, and be able to like and live with yourself each day. Don’t do it, and God knows what.
Here’s one for you: one of the hospital housekeeping staff inadvertently kicks a bucket of cleaning solution outside the room of a dying patient. Mortified at the offense, she cringes at what she has done. Then–from inside the patient’s room comes this: “hey—-I’m supposed to be the one doing that.”
Look far and wide. Travel far and wide. Do so with your eyes and ears wide open. As such, you will always find this kind of beautiful, graceful, touching display of the ability of the human spirit to revert to humor in even the most dire circumstances.
Says something about our mortality. Also—and much more important to me—says something about our immortality—-even in death.
He worried about his departure.
Not from his town or his state—-he worried about his departure from the planet.
There was so much that he had said while he was there. And—-there was so much that he had not said. Always wanting to put to words his burning emotions—-and always feeling that he had not been able to accurately do so.
Two lines from a Robert Frost poem kept surfacing: “Was something brushed across my mind/That no one on earth will ever find?” kept running and rerunning through his mind–piercing him. Piercing that ever-present, longing desire.
It was like this: “I always did the best I could do—-and—-it felt like it was rarely enough.”
Be at peace, then. If we believe–if we care–we do what we can. And it goes out through the furthest reaches of the universe and comes back, having been shared time and time again–having made a difference. And——–although we usually miss the reality that doing our best was enough——–the precise truth is that it was.
Rest now, and——–remember.
When I was much, much younger, I often wondered what it was going to be like to be–say–60–or so.
The Christmases came and went in blind succession, and the line “not even a mouse” swerved in and out of them–giggling, it seemed.
Not even a mouse.
And not a single sparrow that would fall without His knowing.
Well—-knowing what it is like to be 60–or so–has come and gone long ago. It ain’t the age, my friends—-it’s who loves you—-who cares about and respects you–who accepts you for who you are—-faults and all.
About who saves you from the emptiness and despair and loneliness.
So—-to all the mice and the sparrows and the friends and lovers and husbands and wives who care about each other—-to all of you: Merry Christmas.
And may God richly bless and keep all of you.
Courtesy of Mr. Richard Harris from “The Yard Went On Forever”, written by Mr. Jimmy Webb and released in the year of our Lord 1968:
“And a man could have a boy, and a boy could have a dog, and there weren’t any subways, and there wasn’t any smog——–and the yard went on forever.”
Caustic, I think, is the word that best describes the feeling those lines evoke. The sweet simplicity, the honest yearning for—what? Perhaps simplicity and honesty themselves.
A flash of light.
He felt it before he saw it.
And—-it was imbued with all the oldies and the explosive emotions that went with them.
What was it?
Could it have been that he still felt her hand in his? Still remembered the feeling when they drove into the dark night with their fingers intertwined, singing along with the songs?
It ain’t fair when the past becomes the past. It disallows the truth.
We need the past to be a part of the present.
The sting is too sweet to be otherwise.
He turned his head and saw something out of the corner of his eye.
It was the past.
Somehow, he had come to the point where he could not go on in the present without coupling it to the past.
Did you ever have the feeling that all those you loved who were now gone wanted to tell you just one last thing?
What was it?
He missed her.
He missed holding her hand. Both of them saying nothing, but understanding everything.
He missed looking into her beautiful brown eyes and feeling her gentleness there. Her softness. Her love.
And, he missed her touch. Most of all, he missed her touch. That touch was never supposed to go away.
But, it did.
He missed her.
Follow me on this one.
“I went to the most amazing restaurant last night. The ambience was delicious. So was the food. ”
“I just got my new car. GPS. All the bells and whistles. Great gas mileage.”
“We just got back from our cruise. Saw all the sights, docked in all the ports, ate ourselves into oblivion.”
“This morning, I got a hug from a beautiful child. She walked toward me with her arms outstretched huggie-style, and we had a precious hug. After the hug, I thanked her.”
Now you’re on to something.
Think about it.
It’s an exploding issue: not enough time to do what you need/want to do. And, it’s only going to get worse as we complicate the world more and more. For right now—-this minute—-you might consider putting this one at the very top of your list:
One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.
It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.
That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.
On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments.
No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they
discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The
exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.
Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.
The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.
As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Mark’s math teacher?’ he asked. She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’
After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.
‘We want to show you something,’ his father said, taking a wallet out of his
pocket ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might
Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.
‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark
All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.’
Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’
‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said. ‘It’s in my diary’
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet, and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times,’ Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists’
That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.
The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be.
So please, tell the people you love and care for that they are special and
important. Tell them before it is too late.
And, one way To accomplish this is to share this message. If you don’t, you will have, once again, passed up the wonderful opportunity to do
something nice and beautiful.
If you’ve received this, it is because someone cares for you and it means there is probably at least someone for whom you care.
If you’re ‘too busy’ to take those few minutes right now to share this message, would this be the VERY first time you didn’t do that little thing that would make a difference in your relationships?
The more people that you share this with, the better you’ll be at reaching out to those you care about.
Remember, you reap what you sow… What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own.