When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
The daughter of an old friend of mine let me know that her dad has just passed away. He was a colleague from my early days in the computer industry. Fortunately we rediscovered each other some years back when we shared old memories. I was lucky enough to be able to visit Bob a few times over the past decade when I was near his retirement home. His wife had been ill for many years and Bob was an unbelievably great care giver, spending day after day at her bedside both when she home and when in nursing homes receiving acute care. Unfortunately she passed away a year or so ago which left a big void in my friends life and he did not seem to ever fully recover from the loss. My friend had spent his lifetime exhibiting unbelievable kindness and he expressed it in the later years by the loving care he gave.
While we had not met in person for some time we did stay in touch by e-mail and by an occasional phone call. The fact that we did was a gift I really appreciated. I will miss him but I will always appreciate knowing him. The world is a little less today as we have lost another kind heart. Fortunately he is a role model that we all can emulate, maybe not as well as he did but enough for us to benefit that comes from caring.
Here is a poem by Max Ehrmann that I have saved that describes what I saw in my dear departed friend.
Let me do my work each day;
And if the darkened hours of anxiety overcome me,
May I not forget the strength that comforted me
In the desolation of other times.
May I still remember the bright hours that found me
Walking over the silent hills of earlier days,
Or dreaming on the margin of the quiet river.....
When I vowed to have courage
Amid the tempests of the changing years.
Spare me from bitterness
And from the sharp passions of unguarded moments.
May I not forget that poverty and true riches are of the spirit.
Though the world know me not,
May my thoughts and actions be such
As shall keep me friendly with myself...
Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am;
And keep ever burning before my vagrant steps
The kindly light of hope.
And though age and infirmity overtake me,
And I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams,
Teach me still to be thankful for life,
And for time's olden memories that are good and sweet;
And may the evening's twilight find me gentle still.
I’ll miss you Bob, I know it wasn’t easy but you did well.
While I am tempted to skip the humor today I don’t think Bob would have been happy if I did. So here goes.
A Swiss man, looking for directions, pulls up at a bus stop where two Americans are waiting. "Entschuldigung, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen?" he asks. The two Americans just stare at him.
"Excusez-moi, parlez vous Francais?" he tries. The two continue to stare.
"Parlare Italiano?" No response.
"Hablan ustedes Espanol?" Still nothing.
The Swiss guy drives off, extremely disgusted. The first American turns to the second and says, "Y'know, maybe we should learn a foreign language."
"Why?" says the other. "That guy knew four languages, and it didn't do him any good."
"There's a mighty big difference between good sound reasons, and reasons that sound good."
My sister and I are close, and that allows us to be honest with each other. One evening as I prepared for a date, I remarked, "I'm fat."
"No, you're not," she scolded.
"My hair is awful," I said.
"It's lovely," she encouraged.
"I've never looked worse," I whined.
And she said, "Yes, you have."
SOAP: A cleaning agent Mom puts on the sink on the off-chance one of her kids will accidentally grab it while reaching for the towel.
An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws.
"You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!" A girl in the line said to the little fella. Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head.
His grandmother knelt down next to him. "I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles, she said, while tracing her finger across the child's cheek. "Freckles are beautiful!"
The boy looked up, "Really?"
"Of course," said the grandmother. "Why, just name me one thing that’s prettier than freckles."
The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma's face, and softly whispered, "Wrinkles."
When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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