WORDS OF WISDOM - One Day at a Time

There are two days in every week in which we do not have to worry, two days, which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is Yesterday with all its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word said. Yesterday is gone forever.

The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow with its adversities, its burdens, its large promise and its poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet to be born.

This leaves only one day, Today. Any person can fight the battle for just one day. It is when you add the burdens of those two awful eternities, Yesterday and Tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the experience of Today that drives a person mad.  It is the remorse and bitterness of something, which happened yesterday and the dread Tomorrow may bring.

Let us, therefore, live one day at a time.

-Author Unknown

Helping Others Win

A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100 yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back. Every one of them! One girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said: "This will make it better." Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.

People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
--author unknown

The Day I Finally Cried

I didn't cry when I learned that I was the parent of a mentally handicapped child. I just sat still and didn't say anything while my husband and I were informed that two-year-old Kristi was - as we suspected - retarded.

"Go ahead and cry," the doctor advised kindly. "Helps prevent serious emotional difficulties."

Serious difficulties not withstanding, I couldn't cry then nor during the months that followed. When Kristi was old enough to attend school, we enrolled her in our neighborhood kindergarten at age seven.

It would have been comforting to cry that day I left her in that room full of self-assured, eager, alert five-year-olds. Kristi had spent hours upon hours playing by herself, but this moment, when she was the different child among twenty, was probably the loneliest she had ever known.

However, positive things began to happen to Kristi in her school and to her
schoolmates too. When boasting of their own accomplishments, Kristi's classmates always took pains to praise her as well: "Kristi got all her spelling words right today." No one bothered to add that her spelling list was easier then anyone else's.

During Kristi's second year in school, she faced a very traumatic experience. The big public event of the term was a competition based on a culmination of the year's music and physical education activities. Kristi was way behind in both music and motor coordination. My husband and I dreaded the day as well.

On the day of the program, Kristi pretended to be sick. Desperately I wanted
to keep her home. Why let Kristi fail in a gymnasium filled with parents, students and teachers? What a simple solution it would be just to let my child stay home. Surely missing one program couldn't matter. But my conscience wouldn't let me off that easily. So I practically shoved a pale, reluctant Kristi onto the school bus and proceeded to be sick myself.

Just as I had forced my daughter to go to school, now I forced myself to go to the program. It seemed that it would never be time for Kristi's group to perform. When at last they did, I knew why Kristi had been worried. Her class was divided into relay teams. With her limp and slow, clumsy reactions, she would surely hold up her team.

The performance went surprising well, though, until it was time for the gunnysack race. Now each child had to climb into the sack from a standing position, hop to a goal line, return and climb out of the sack.

I watched Kristi standing near the end of her line of players, looking frantic.

But as Kristi's turn to practice neared, a change took place in her team.  The tallest boy in the line stepped behind Kristi and placed his hands on her waist. Two other boys stood a little ahead of her. The moment the player in front of Kristi stepped for the sack, those two boys grabbed the sack and held it open while the tall boy lifted Kristi and dropped her neatly into it. A girl in front of Kristi took her hand and supported her briefly until Kristi gained her balance. Then off she hopped, smiling and proud.

Amid the cheers of teachers, schoolmates and parents, I crept off by myself
to thank God for the warm, understanding people in life who make it possible
for my disabled daughter to be like her fellow human beings.

Then I finally cried.
--Author unknown

                               (by Erma Bombeck)

    I would have talked less and listened more.
    I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained
and the sofa faded.
    I would have eaten the popcorn in the "GOOD" living room and worried much
less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
    I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his
    I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day
because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
    I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted
in storage.
    I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass
    I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more
while watching life.
    I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth
would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
    I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't
show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
    Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every
moment realizing that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in
life to assist God in a miracle.
    When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go
get washed up for dinner."
    There would have been more "I love yous"... more "I'm sorrys"...but mostly,
given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really
see it...live it...and never give it back.

  In honor of women's history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck who lost her
fight with cancer. Here is an angel sent to watch over you


Dance Like No One is Watching  

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?

Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D Souza. He said, "For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special  enough to spend your time...and remember that time waits for no one...  So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school,  until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids,  until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you've had a drink, until you've sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy...

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Thought for the day:

Work like you don't need money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one is watching.