Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Like most people, I choose to surround myself with positive people. Sure, bad things happen to each of us. That doesn’t mean we have to dwell on them and over-share at every chance. I do sympathize with anyone who is facing tragic news. I want to offer whatever solace I can, but I don’t want to know in excruciating detail and repetition each minute part of the news.

Beth Trissel, author, plant expert, wife, mom
A good example of how best to handle misfortune is my friend, Beth Trissel. Beth is always calming in her posts at Recently, a business venture in which Beth and her husband and family have been involved met disastrous circumstances. Beth quietly announced the event, but has remained positive and has only referred to the closing of the cooperative dairy project a couple of times. Though obviously her heart is aching, she is on to writing and marketing her wonderful fiction and non-fiction books, planning her spring garden, and getting on with life. I admire Beth tremendously, not only for her handling of this traumatic blow, but for her books and her gentle nature and her wonderful blogs.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.”  – Mary Radmacher

Last weekend, Hero and I and Darling Daughter 2 went to Lubbock to join in celebrating the 90th birthday of Hero’s favorite aunt. (Darling Daughter 1 is recovering from rotator cuff surgery and realized that, although she wanted to come with us, she would be miserable riding so far in the car and back.) But back to Hero’s aunt. Aunt Kathryn is only related to Hero and his cousins and siblings by marriage, yet she is everyone’s favorite aunt.

Our lovely sister-in-law Carol and Aunt Kathryn
Why is she everyone's favorite? For one thing, Aunt Kathryn is a real sweetheart. I have never seen her when she wasn’t smiling and her lovely blue eyes twinkling. She has few blood relatives left, but her reception was full of her late husband’s nieces, nephews, and their families. We all dote on her.

She is always supportive of others. Another thing about her is her positive attitude. Years ago she was in a horrible auto accident when a drunk driver hit the vehicle in which she and her husband were riding. Kathryn’s foot was severed from her leg except for a small piece of flesh. She cradled her foot while her husband removed her from their vehicle because he feared a fire. She was in the hospital for several weeks, and her husband ( J.C.) had a cot moved in so he could remain at her side. Doctors didn’t believe she would ever walk again even if the repair to her ankle took. They’d had to remove a portion of shattered bone. She fooled them. In spite of being an adult, part of the bone grew back. She does limp a bit and endures back pain, but nothing can keep her down. Doctors pronounced her recovery a miracle. She’s just that kind of person. No wonder everyone enjoys being around her. If you met her, you’d guess she is fifteen years younger than her actual age.

" 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." ~Leo Buscaglia

Compare that to a woman I used to know. When I met her, she went on and on about the little girl she’d lost. Due to her age, I thought this person must have had a child late in life. She would telephone anyone who’d listen and go on for an hour or more unless stopped by a hasty excuse (which I learned to have handy when she called). To my dismay, I later learned she had lost this child twenty years earlier and had two sons who had listened to her bemoaning her daughter’s stillborn death all their lives. She had become an emotional vampire. I realize the death of a child would be more tragic than about anything else I can imagine. But in my opinion, to ignore the loved ones remaining instead of celebrating them is a tragedy—to say nothing of needing counseling.

As a contrast, a good friend lost a baby to SIDS, yet she rarely mentions this child. Does she think of him? Of course, I'm sure she does. Has she still been a loving and exemplary mother to her other two children? You bet she has, but she’s moved forward and embraced all life has to offer rather than live in the past. She has a shirt which proclaims, "Live Your Dream." She's doing that.

What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.” Helen Keller.

I want to leave you with a one of my favorite quotes by Audrey Hepburn. I’ve always admired her beauty, but for years I had no idea of her wisdom and compassion.

Audrey Hepburn as she appeared in "Breakfast At Tiffany's"
"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands;
one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others." Audrey Hepburn

Thanks for stopping by!

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