Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tragedy's Aftershock

I want you to think about this for awhile.  We go through life basically just taking care of ourselves.  Everything is fine and dandy until we, ourselves, or our community suffer great loss.  It is at that time, that things unravel all around us.  Why is it that until that happens that we take so very much for granted???

Wichita County lost four people in a span of 6 days just recently.  Because of the fact that our community is very small, losing 4 people all at once has really devastated us.  It was at that point that I really began doing some major soul searching for the answers and what we can do in the future to soften the blows.  I came up with this.

My Grandfather Pepper was absolutely one of the greatest people God ever blessed us with.  He was kind, soft-hearted, honest, hardworking, a friend amongst friends, a man who loved and respected his family, a man whom loved and genuinely knew his Lord.  He never gossiped.  He never listened to gossip.  If there was a fault in him, I can only come up with this.  It was very difficult for him to say "I love you."  Believe me, he showed his love for us every single day but he had been raised in a family that just didn't speak those words to one another.  Being raised like that makes it very difficult to say those three words after you are raised and leave home.  My mother thinks that  Granddad probably voiced those words to me more often than to anyone else.  Why?  Because he knew in his wisdom that I was the type of person who had to be told that.  There are plenty of families out there today who don't speak those little words to one another.  Married couples do the same thing.  I am sure that many of those people later regret that they never took the time to do so.

My parents made a point of making sure that all of us hugged, kissed and told each other that we love them each and every night.  When Stan and I were married, we did the same thing.  That continues to the present and will continue onward into the future.  Before we were married, we promised one another that we would NEVER go to sleep angry.  It has been 31 years now and I can honestly say that we have kept our word to one another.

 Last week, we watched a sitcom on tv.  The plot for that evening involved a husband being dared to tell his wife 6 things that he loves about her every night.  Each evening was to include 6 new things, not the same ones that he told her the night before.  Ya' know I LOVED that idea!  I don't think it is imperative that it is exactly 6 things, less or more would be wonderful.  If you are interested in doing that, lets go just one step further.  Lets tell that to our children, too.  That is easy to do if your children still live under the same roof as you but it could be more difficult if they don't.  I've thought about that and came up with a solution.  Most people in today's world own cellphones.  Most of them have TEXT capability.  If you don't have the time everyday to call your children and do this, why not text your feelings to them every day?  Text your son and let him know that you love the way he brightens up the room when he smiles.  Tell your daughter that you love her homemade chocolate cake that she brings over every Sunday afternoon.  You know what your child does that makes you happy and proud.  Tell him or her about it!  Why do this only for your children?  Why not do this for your grandparents, parents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and friends???  Don't we all want and need to know that we are loved and appreciated???

It is little things like these that can make such an incredible difference in each of our lives.  Most of us don't have the luxury of being able to afford to send our family on cruises around the world but we have the ability to show them that we love them in so very many other ways.

When I was a child, people regularly sent out greeting cards to one another to show their love and care for that person.  Over time, society has gotten away from that.  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe it is because of the price of a postage stamp or a greeting card.  I agree that cards tends to be very expensive but dollar stores across the nation sell them for a one dollar bill and even less, in many cases.  There is always the prospect of purchasing boxed greeting cards that don't cost much. Its not the money that you spent on the card that matters.  Its the thought that you put into it that really counts.   Maybe you'd be interested in sending a card to your favorite people once a month or even more often.  This tiny expression of love could go much further than you'll ever know.  Until just recently, I did not know that my grandmother kept each and every card given to her in a memory book.  Thats how much her cards really meant to her.

People have mentioned to me over the past several years that gone is the custom of taking meals to people who are sick or who have lost someone important to them.  Why don't we do that nowadays?  Why can't we start doing it again?  Maybe you don't have the time or money to whip up an entire meal yourself.  Contact someone else who cares about that person and see if they can help you with this endeavor.

When I was growing up, it was a big deal around here to deliver May Baskets to our family, neighbors, friends and the elderly.  Every May 1st, Mama and us would bake cookies, gather fresh flowers, write a message to that person, tuck everything into a simple basket or box.  We'd then drive around town and place them on the porches of the recipients.  We'd then either ring the doorbell or knock on the door.  After that, we'd RUN for the car!  It was supposed to be a secret as to the identity of the person leaving the gift of sunshine and love.  I never quite understood the "secret" part.  Didn't we want our loved ones to know that WE were the ones who cared for and loved them so much that we remembered them with this???  I have a quest for you.  Starting today, lets go out and start doing this again!  I see no reason why we should wait for May 1st to do this every year.  Lets do it much more often than that.

Waiting for serious illness, death and divorce is waiting far too long to show our love and concern for one another.  Today just might be the last opportunity that you'll have to do your part...

Hey!  I love YOU!!!


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