Thursday, March 29, 2012

Makes Me Think

If you have time, please click the following link to read a very beautiful story. Take care and have a nice day!

Makes Me Think

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Prettiest Thing

"She was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen," recalled my grandfather.

My brother and I were sitting cross-legged on the living room floor. Doug was watching a western movie on the television, and I was idly looking through one of my grandparents' photo albums. One of the photographs of my grandmother had caught Grandpa's attention. His usual hearty, buoyant laughter was gone, and his demeanor was quiet and reflective. Suddenly, Grandpa's story had our full attention.

In his earlier years, my grandfather had been a tall, big-framed and muscular man used to working outdoors. The man in front of us was still larger than life to me and my five-year-old brother, but now his shoulders were stooped and his hands knotted with arthritis. He sat on the edge of the couch and studied us both, as if trying to determine whether we were old enough to fully appreciate what he was going to tell us. His gaze then turned to our grandmother sitting a few feet away. His eyes softened as he related the story of how they met.

His first glimpse of his future bride happened while she was in the company of her father and two of her sisters. Her father was conducting business, and the girls were sitting nearby in the back of his old pickup. As he warmed up to his story, Grandma's hands become still, and her crochet lay in a colorful fold on her lap. She listened to the familiar old story, caught up in the tale that we were hearing for the first time. She smiled warmly back at him.

"While her daddy was busy with some other gentlemen," he said, "I was busy watching her and her two sisters. They were sitting there in the back of that old pickup, feet dangling and swinging, giggling and whispering to each other. She had the reddest hair, and she was about the prettiest thing I'd ever seen. I just couldn't help myself..."

Grandma was beaming with pleasure by this time. It wasn't too often Grandpa was this romantic, and she was enjoying the compliments. "...and so I just ran right over there, and bit her on the hind leg."

A thunderous frown knitted my grandmother's forehead, and her dainty fine eyebrows drew close together. Her mouth rounded into a horrified "Oh" as her blue eyes flashed. "Merle, you did not! Mercy, don't you be telling stories like that to these grandkids!" But the damage was done. My brother and I clutched our middles as we rolled backwards in the floor, unable to control our laughter. Her tirade continued, to no effect. Grandpa laughed as hard as the rest of us.

Appearing miffed, Grandma picked up her crochet and started threading the yarn through her fingers, but I saw the quick look she sent my grandfather, complete with a wink. It was the same expression captured in the photograph in front of me.

I was reminded again years later of that look. It was a few months after my grandmother's death. I was sitting in their living room once again, visiting with Grandpa. I picked up an old photo album and began flipping through the pages, and came across the same photograph of Grandma.

She must have been about eighteen in the picture. She had a little hat perched on her head, and was tossing a saucy look back over her shoulder. She was laughing, and I was struck by how beautiful she had been.

Then I noticed that Grandpa had become quiet. He was sitting next to me, leaning over to look at the photograph. He reached over and placed a callused finger on the page. He studied the image a few moments longer, before saying softly, "That there...that there's the reason I fell in love with her." Then he turned to me and grinned. "Did I ever tell you about the first time I saw her? Prettiest thing I'd ever seen..."

-Author Unknown-

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Wrong Funeral


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 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 me as 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 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?''

'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.'

'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.'

If you Love God for all the marvellous things he has done for you,
send this on to others.