Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A fine little fellow..

Respected Teacher,

My son will have to learn for hinself that all men are not just, all men are not true.

But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.

Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.

It will take time, I know; but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is far more valuable than five found.

Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning.

 Steer him away from envy, if you can.

 Teach him the secret of quiet laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to tick.

 Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books. but also give him quiet  time to ponder over the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hillside.

 In school teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.

Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong.

Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the bandwagon.

Teach him to listen to all men but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness.

Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders; but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob… and to stand and fight if he thinks he's right.

Treat him gently; but do not cuddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel.

Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order; but see what you can do. He is such a fine little fellow, my son.

Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln wrote to his son's school headmaster .

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mom’s Last Laugh !

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 tissues 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 without entanglements, to take care of her. I counted it an honor.

“What now, Lord?” I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before means 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, reading the Bible together. Now she was with the Lord. My work was finished and I was all alone.

I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick footsteps 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’?”

“Oh” “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, I replied..”

“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 the 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 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, 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, God gave me laughter. In place of loneliness, God gave me love. This past June we celebrated our twenty-second wedding 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.”

God has a plan for each of us… He will never leave us alone, disappointed… In the end everything turns out to be ok…. We just need to keep our faith…

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Do I mean anything to you?

There was a boy in India who was sent by his parents to a boarding school. Before being sent away this boy was the brightest student in his class. He was at the top in every competition. He was a champion.

But the boy changed after leaving home and attending the boarding school. His grades started dropping. He hated being in a group. He was lonely all the time. And there were especially dark times when he felt like committing suicide. All of this because he felt worthless and that no one loved him.
His parents started worrying about the boy. But even they did not know what was wrong with him. So his dad decided to travel to the boarding school and talk with him.

They sat on the bank of the lake near the school. The father started asking him casual questions about his classes, teachers and sports. After some time his dad said, 'Do you know son, why I am here today?"

The boy answered back, "to check my grades?"

"No, no" his dad replied, "I am here to tell you that you are the most important person for me. I want to see you happy. I don't care about grades. I care about you. I care about your happiness. YOU ARE MY LIFE."

Hearing these words the boy was filled with tears. He hugged his dad. They didn't say anything to each other for a long time.

Now the boy had everything he wanted. He knew there was someone on this earth who cared for him deeply. He meant the world to someone.

And today this young man is in college at the top of his class and no one has ever seen him sad!
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.