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WITandWISDOM(tm) - May 26, 2004
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it. - Madeleine L'Engle

Source: Quote Lady's Quote of the Day, mailto:quote-a-day-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


By Mary Cornelia Van Sant

When I was fourteen, in a two-week period before Thanksgiving, my dad developed hepatitis and died. It was a shock to all of us. He had always been so healthy. He'd only been sick once before and had bounced back quickly.

As one of eight children, I was usually lost in the crowd. Now, however, adults sought me out to console me. They told me how much I resembled my father and what a good man he had been. There was an outpouring of love, visitors and food to our home. To be honest, the months that followed his death were quite beautiful, in a weird way. I had never felt so immersed in love.

At school, none of my friends knew what to say to me. I did have one friend who came to see me at my house the day after my dad died. She sat quietly beside me. I now realize how much courage that must have taken. Besides her, none of my other friends acknowledged my father's death. They acted awkward around me. It was a strange feeling.
Several months later, one of the cheerleaders in my class lost her father to a massive heart attack. Usually, she was in the midst of a huge crowd. She seemed alone most of the time now.

I approached her tentatively one day during lunch. "I think I know how you're feeling. My dad died a few months ago," I told her.

I didn't know what to expect. I was a little intimidated, to be honest. I didn't mix with "her crowd" too easily. They were all so good-looking and popular.

Abby looked me squarely in the face. Her eyes widened. And then she seemed to relax. We talked until the bell rang.

After that day, we chatted regularly. Sometimes it felt like we were in our own little world. We'd share stories and giggle about our dads. It felt good to have a connection with my dad through our talks. I cherished them.

The next school year a girl named Terry lost her dad. Terry was kind of nerdy. She was tall and skinny. Not even "my crowd" had much to do with her. Once again, I approached someone out of my need to have a bond with my father.

"I heard your dad died. My dad died last year," I told her.

Terry sighed, then gave me a description of her past week. I listened to her every word.
As soon as I could find Abby, I told her about Terry. Abby responded like I did. It was as if we were on a deserted island, and we had caught sight of a shipwrecked victim floating toward us.

We became a threesome. Not in a social way - we didn't really hang out together - but we snatched a few moments at our lockers and in homeroom to share bits of our dads. Just having someone who understood when we were going through a tough week was comforting.

I still have my yearbook in which Abby wrote, "Thanks for being my buddy. I needed you." Occasionally, I hear from Terry. I have continued to reach out to people who are in pain. I've received comfort for myself, too, as a result of connecting with others.

Being able to reach out to others has returned blessings to me a hundredfold. I thank my dad for this lasting and life-affirming gift.

From: Chicken Soup for the Christian Teenage Soul, http://isbn.nu/0757300952

Source: The Inspired Buffalo, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/the-inspired-buffalo/

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Single people often get pestered about why they are not married. Here are some responses they can use.

I'm not married because:

You haven't asked me yet.

Because I just love hearing people ask me that question.

My fiance is waiting until after the parole is granted.

I'm still hoping for a shot at Miss/Mr. America.

I already have enough laundry to do, thank you!

I'm afraid my parents would drop dead from sheer happiness.

What? And lose all the money I've invested in personal ads?

I'm married to my career - although recently we have been considering a trial separation.

If I married, I'd have to forfeit my $10 million trust fund.

By Used to Be There Too in Seattle

From: Dear Abby, http://www.dearabby.com

Source: Peninsula Daily News, May 18, 2004, http://peninsuladailynews.com


Seen on a Bumper Sticker:

You're driving a car. It isn't a telephone booth, a beauty parlor or a restaurant.

Source: Quotes of the Day, mailto:rheamo@centurytel.net?subject=Subscribe_Quotes_of_the_Day

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

Dolly Partonís Imagination Library has handed out its millionth book. Bedtime by Kate Duke, to one-year-old Cana Waynick of Danville, Ala. The country singer started the library in 1996 to inspire children to read by sending them a free book every month from birth to age five in Macon County. - Publisher's Weekly

Source: Reader's Digest, Copyright (c) March 2004, http://www.readersdigest.com/

WITandWISDOM™ ISSN 1538-8794 - Copyright © 1998-2004 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
Any questions, comments or suggestions may be sent to Richard G. Wimer.