This is the verse that I am hearing over and over in my heart lately.
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, "Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?"
"I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends.
Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.
Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said,
There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success.
You have to laugh and find humor every day.
You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!
There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.
Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."
Her question was, "Does everyone think about suicide from time to time?" He looked the nurse in the eye and said, "Do you care to talk about this?" She nodded, and pulled up a chair beside his bed.
She spoke, and he listened for two hours. The nurse left the room with hope, able to face her challenges.
The experience had an unexpected impact on the psychologist. He knew, having helped the nurse, that he could go on living. He could help others, and he was not helpless to contribute to the world.
Further, there are a few things I know about my life:
- I'm not dead yet.
- I can still type, walk, smile, laugh, hug my kids, enjoy my loved ones
- I am tenacious enough not to give up when I feel like quitting
- I have people who love and support me
- I have to cultivate my dreams, or my soul will wither and I will die inside. Setting goals that are fun...that's one step in that direction.
- I have many things I can do well....writing, listening, encouraging others...I have a purpose....it's to use those gifts to their fullest.
- I have a home...two, actually, and more possessions than I'll ever need-two cars, a full time job and clothes on my back.
- I have the continuing ability to see the humor in life and I need to keep laughing...even if I have to actively seek out something that makes me laugh. Maybe it's a comedic movie...maybe it's a humorous book, or maybe it's watching my pets' antics. Whatever it is, I have to look for the humor in life. The health benefits are worth it.
- My health has its ups and downs, but as long as I have breath in my body, I can contribute. I may not be able to contribute by mowing the lawn or by cleaning out a dusty barn...but I can wash a dish, do a load of laundry, or mop a floor.
- Not to be forgotten, I have this blog. It's a place where I can dump my pain and find some relief for a little while. It's a place where I can connect with supportive friends and gain valuable insight from them.
I'm still not 100%....I've still fighting the shortness of breath and chest pain, but it gets better day by day.
I feel like myself again, and I feel like living, giving and growing.
I will be okay.
Thanks for being there this week as I regrouped.
Hugs! Have a good weekend; I love you all!