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WITandWISDOM(tm) - October 20, 2004
To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it. - Samuel Easton
Source: Carol's Thought for Today, http://www.kalama.com/~carola/
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
Like most elementary schools, it was typical to have a parade of students in and out of the health clinic throughout the day. We dispensed ice for bumps and bruises, Band-Aids for cuts, and liberal doses of sympathy and hugs. As principal, my office was right next door to the clinic, so I often dropped in to lend a hand and help out with the hugs. I knew that for some kids, mine might be the only one they got all day.
One morning I was putting a Band-Aid on a little girl's scraped knee. Her blonde hair was matted, and I noticed that she was shivering in her thin little sleeveless blouse I found her a warm sweatshirt and helped her pull it on. "Thanks for taking care of me," she whispered as she climbed into my lap and snuggled up against me.
It wasn't long after that when I ran across an unfamiliar lump under my arm. Cancer, an aggressively spreading kind, had already invaded thirteen of my lymph nodes. I pondered whether or not to tell the students about my diagnosis. The word breast seemed so hard to say out loud to them, and the word cancer seemed so frightening.
When it became evident that the children were going to find out one way or another, either the straight scoop from me or possibly a garbled version from someone else, I decided to tell them myself. It wasn't easy to get the words out, but the empathy and concern I saw in their faces as I explained it to them told me I had made the right decision. When I gave them a chance to ask questions, they mostly wanted to know how they could help. I told them that what I would like best would be their letters, pictures and prayers.
I stood by the gym door as the children solemnly filed out. My little blonde friend darted out of line and threw herself into my arms. Then she stepped back to look up into my face. "Don't be afraid, Dr. Perry," she said earnestly, "I know you'll be back because now it's our turn to take care of you."
No one could have ever done a better job. The kids sent me off to my first chemotherapy session with a hilarious book of nausea remedies that they had written. A video of every class in the school singing get-well songs accompanied me to the next chemotherapy appointment. By the third visit, the nurses were waiting at the door to find out what I would bring next. It was a delicate music box that played "I Will Always Love You.."
Even when I went into isolation at the hospital for a bone marrow transplant, the letters and pictures kept coming until they covered every wall of my room.
Then the kids traced their hands onto colored paper, cut them out and glued them together to make a freestanding rainbow of helping hands. "I feel like I've stepped into Disneyland every time I walk into this room," my doctor laughed. That was even before the six-foot apple blossom tree arrived adorned with messages written on paper apples from the students and teachers. What healing comfort I found in being surrounded by these tokens of their caring.
At long last I was well enough to return to work. As I headed up the road to the school, I was suddenly overcome by doubts. What if the kids have forgotten all about me? I wondered, What if they don't want a skinny bald principal? What if . . I caught sight of the school marquee as I rounded the bend. "Welcome Back, Dr. Perry," it read. As I drew closer, everywhere I looked were pink ribbons - ribbons in the windows, tied on the doorknobs, even up in the trees. The children and staff wore pink ribbons, too.
My blonde buddy was first in line to greet me. "You're back, Dr. Perry, you're back!" she called. "See, I told you we'd take care of you!"
As I hugged her tight, in the back of my mind I faintly heard my music box playing . . . "I will always love you."
Submitted by Orvie Jensen
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
WW1 ROYAL FLYING CORPS MONTHLY SAFETY REPORT December 1917
Another good month. In all, a total of 35 accidents were reported, only six of which were avoidable. These represented a marked improvement over the month of November during which 84 accidents occurred, of which 23 were avoidable. This improvement, no doubt, is the result of experienced pilots with over 100 hours in the air forming the backbone of all the units.
No. 912 Squadron, 3 December 1917, Aircraft type B.E. 2C, No. XY 678, Total solo - 4.0
Pilot Lt. J. Smyth-Worthington, Solo in type -- 1.10. The pilot of this flying machine attempted to maintain his altitude in a turn at 2,500 feet. This resulted in the aeroplane entering an unprecedented manoeuvre, entailing a considerable loss of height. Even with full power applied and the control column fully back, the pilot was unable to regain control. However, upon climbing from the cockpit onto the lower mainplane, the pilot managed to correct the machines altitude, and by skilful manipulation of the flying wires successfully side-slipped into a nearby meadow. Remarks: Although through inexperience this pilot allowed his aeroplane to enter an unusual attitude, his resourcefulness in eventually landing without damage has earned him a unit citation.
No. 2 Brief:
No. 847 Squadron, 19 December 1917, Aircraft type Spotter
Balloon J17983, Total solo 107.00. Pilot Capt. D. Lavendar, Solo in type 32.10.
Captain Lavendar of the Hussars, a balloon observer, unfortunately allowed the spike of his full-dress helmet to impinge against the envelope of his balloon. There was a violent explosion and the balloon carried out a series of fantastic and uncontrollable manoeuvres, whilst rapidly emptying itself of gas. The pilot was thrown clear and escaped injury as he was lucky enough to land on his helmet. Remarks: This pilot was flying in full-dress uniform because he was the Officer of the Day. In consequence it has been recommended that pilots will not fly during periods of duty as Officer of the Day.
Captain Lavendar has subsequently requested an exchange posting to the Patroville Alps, a well known mule unit of the Basques.
No. 3 Brief:
Summary of No. 43 Brief, dated October 1917.
Major W. deKitkag-Watney's Nieuport Scout was extensively damaged when it failed to become airborne. The original Court of Inquiry found that the primary cause of the accident was carelessness and poor airmanship on the part of a very experienced pilot. The Commandant General, however, not being wholly convinced that Major de Kitkag-Watney could be guilty of so culpable a mistake ordered that the Court should be re-convened. After extensive inquiries and lengthy discussions with the Meteorological Officer and Astronomer Royal, the Court came to the conclusion that the pilot unfortunately was authorized to fly his aircraft on a day when there was absolutely no lift in the air and
therefore could not be held responsible for the accident. The Court wishes to take this opportunity to extend its congratulations to Major de Kitkag-Watney on his reprieve and also on his engagement to the Commandant General's daughter, which was announced shortly before the accident.
Adapted from http://www.gapan.org/news/rfc.htm
Submitted by Graham Starling
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
Dogs lick you because they love you. Cats lick you because you had chicken for dinner.
Source: Quotes of the Day, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Subscribe_Quotes_of_the_Day
One of my first assignments as a trainee in an auto-body shop was a car needing a new fender and some door repairs.
I spent hours doing a perfect job, but when the owner came to pick it up, he wasn't pleased.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
Pointing to the side of the car, he complained about the paint not matching, uneven gaps between panels, and a host of other problems. He demanded an explanation.
"The repairs were to the other side," I noted.
Source: Top Greetings