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WITandWISDOM(tm) - October 14, 2002
The world is a better place to live in because it contains human beings who will give up ease and security in order to do what they themselves think worth doing. - Walter Lippmann, Journalist
Submitted by Gary Wimer
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
My parents had the perfect marriage, or so I thought. But one day in the 60's changed that thinking.
It was 1963. The Dodgers won the World Series over the hated Yankees. "My" Texas Longhorns were 11-0 and beat Roger Staubach and Navy in the Cotton Bowl, and were crowned the national champions. Life was pretty good for a 13-year old living in Texas.
Then that fateful night arrived. The day innocence was shattered - the moment in history when I discovered fairy tales were exactly that - fairy tales. It was the night an appalling truth crashed upon me. Mom and dad did not have the perfect marriage. In fact, mom and dad hated each other.
I do not recall what they argued about that night. But I remember enough to know that I wish I had never been born. And the fighting intensified as the weeks went by.
And finally, Dad moved out.
Writing this, I wonder if parents really comprehend the impact that those words - "dad moved out" - have on a child, even a child of 13?
Why? Why can't they just love each other the way I love them both? Why can't they forgive, forget, and start over? And why is God doing this to me? Why doesn't the hurt go away?
And why can't my daddy live with us? Parents at times forget how bad kids can hurt.
But sometimes parents remember.
It was a Sunday. Dad called. "You guys want to play golf?" What a dumb question!
Dad, don't you realize that all I want to do is to be with you? Ever since you moved out, life has taken a tumble. I have pimples, I'm fat, and all the girls laugh at me. I have one friend in the entire world, and he's kind of weird too. I don't care about my grades, yet I do care. I miss you dad. I'll do anything with you.
Sure, Dad, we'll play golf with you.
And so we played, but didn't talk much. But darkness came much too soon, and as much as I dreaded it, we were headed home. "Thanks for taking us dad. Do you have to go so soon? Please stay a few minutes. Mom is not home. You can leave when she gets here. Please dad."
So he stayed. We drank ice tea. But mostly we sat, dreading the coming separation.
And mom walked through the door.
To understand the impact of that night, a few painful facts need to be known. They had been living apart for a few months, but had been separated for years. They had not kissed, or hugged, or held hands, or slept in the same bed for years. They had not, at least to my knowledge, used the word 'love' to each other since I could remember.
Whether she knew it or not, Mom was about to give my sister, my brother, and me the greatest gift imaginable.
It was 10:00 when she came in. She announced that she was going to bed.
"Goodnight Ann. I love you." And she kissed my sister on the cheek. "Goodnight Richard. I love you." And she kissed my brother on the cheek. "Goodnight David. I love you." And she kissed me on the cheek.
And she paused. We sensed she was not yet through with the goodnights. But there was only one person left in the room.
He was sitting in a big chair to my left. And though it has been 35 years since that night, I still can see his face, and hers.
She walked over to him. Without a word, and with compassion and love and tenderness like I had never seen before, she kissed her husband, our daddy, on the cheek.
"And I love you too, Tom."
And she left the room. Dad said goodnight to us and left. No one mentioned the miracle we had experienced.
The next day, dad came home to stay. And for 27 years, they held hands, and hugged, and kissed, and loved each other with the love of the ages.
And why? Because one woman decided to love, and forgive, and forget - decided to start all over. Because one woman saw the hurt and the pain three children were going through. And because one man decided to accept that unconditional love, and to give it back.
Years later, mom had breast cancer. They were both old by then. I came into the hospital room after traveling all day to get there. As I walked into the room, there was dad sitting in a big chair to my left. He was holding his bride's hand, and stroking her hair. And my mind raced back to that fateful night, when love was reborn.
One night, one kiss, three words.
Thanks for the gift, mom and dad. I love you.
"One Night, One Kiss, Three Words"
By David Mathews, Copyright (c) 2001
I am a minister for the Downtown Church of Christ in Searcy, AR. My wife Debbie and I have four children. The story above is a true story about my mother and father. Dad died in 1993; Mom still lives in Houston and has given me permission to tell this story, which I have in many places. "One Night, One Kiss, Three Words" is a chapter in a book I am working on - soon to be finished.
Source: The Inspired Buffalo, http://www.buffalosjokes.com/inspired.htm
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
I have changed my system for labeling homemade freezer meals. I used to carefully note in large clear letters, "Meatloaf" or "Pot Roast" or "Steak and Vegetables or "Chicken and Dumplings" or "Beef Pot Pie."
However, I used to get frustrated when I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner because he never asked for any of those things. So, I decided to stock the freezer with what he really likes.
If you look in my freezer now you'll see a whole new set of labels. You'll find dinners with neat, legible tags that say:
"I Don't Know,"
"I Don't Care,"
"Something Good," or
My frustration is now reduced because no matter what my husband replies when I ask him what he wants for dinner, I know that it is there waiting.
Source: Ed Peacher's "Laughter for a Saturday" mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Subscribe_to_Laughter_for_a_Saturday
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.
Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
Submitted by John L. Bechtel
Part 1 of 2 [Oct 14, 15]
Fingernail polish often contains four or five chemicals the Environmental Protection Agency calls potentially harmful. If a person bought fingernail polish in a 55-gallon drum, the empty drum could not be legally thrown into a landfill. It would have to be transported to the nearest state-regulated commercial hazardous-waste disposal facility. As many as 550,000 nail-polish bottles find their way into the average U.S. municipal waste landfill every year.
Kulang, China runs seven centers for recycled toothpicks. People bringing used toothpicks to the recycling centers are paid the equivalent of 55 cents per pound.
Every time a ton of steel is recycled, it means 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,000 pounds of coal, and 40 pounds of limestone will not have to be mined from the Earth.
It takes about 1,050 recycled plastic milk jugs to make one six-foot park bench.
Source: Waste Management, Sequim, WA, USA