Has anyone ever said something to you… a simple statement or a question that has a power packed message? The natural side effect is that it can put your mind in a reexamination mode. It can also leave your heart and soul smiling!
Powerful life changing words can often fall out of the mouths of the young. Sometimes it’s the naïve, innocent words of a child that can cause a life changing status. My father had a busy physician’s schedule, so he enjoyed going bird hunting with his friends when he had a free day. When I was three years old, he came walking in the door carrying a slew of doves he had killed. I innocently looked up at him and said, “Daddy, why did you kill those little birds?”
He was left stunned with no answer to his little girl’s simple question. He told my mother that he did not have a good answer for me. That’s all it took for him to pack up his gun and he never went hunting ever, ever again. He did not want to disappoint his little girl. I’m sorry that I ruined a special hobby for him, but I am touched that his response and follow up behavior was because he loved me.
Another one sentence circumstance happened when I was in high school and I came down with a serious case of mononucleosis. I missed two months of school…including the prom. Since it is a virus, it does not respond to antibiotics. It just takes time to become fully healthy again. My throat was so swollen that I had to sleep propped up on huge pillows so that I could breathe. My father would come to check on me throughout the night. One night in particular, I looked up at him and in a hushed, pitiful tone I said, “Daddy, am I going to make it?” That’s all it took for him to rush to his car to drive straight to the hospital to get a dose of cortisone for me. It does not cure mono, but it gives a sense of well-being and it helped to reduce some of the swelling. It certainly enabled me to begin feeling better. Thanks, Daddy! I love you, too!!
My younger brother, Robert, said a simple sentence to me once that had a powerfully profound effect on the way I live life in general today. He was diagnosed with a serious illness called Reiter’s Syndrome-an autoimmune connective tissue disease. We were advised to be prepared for his inevitable death. He was completely incapacitated and in a great deal of pain…but happy! I would go to spend the day with him. He would have taped comedies so we could sit and laugh all day. I would always stop off to buy him his favorite frozen coke from Burger King and a smoked sausage biscuit from Bojangles. There was one day in particular that I was handing him the frozen coke and he reached out for it with crippled hands. It struck me how extra sad his situation was. I knew that I had the capacity to physically walk out the door, exercise, go to lunch with my friends, and on and on….and he would still be lying there. I said, “Oh, Robert, I’m so sorry.” He blew me out by saying, “What are you talking about? There’s a whole lot worse than this out there!” He lived his life millisecond by millisecond while drinking in the pleasurable, brief moments of each day that made him smile. He died seven years ago at the age of 44, but I am certain that he extended his life longer than expected with his amazingly positive attitude!!
When my son was “launching off” to NC State, my heart felt heavy as I walked beside him to his car before he left for his next “life adventure.” I said, “I hope you’re leaving with good memories of having had a great childhood.” He looked at me with the brightest smile and then shot me a two thumbs up! Sometimes words are not even necessary to touch a heart. Those thumbs pointing upwards and his big smile touches my heart at the mere thought of the memory. It was all a mom needed to know. Love is the true essence and nourishing factor of life that guides and comforts us on our JOURNEY CALLED “LIFE!”
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