Written by Michael Rawls
Civilization is a stream with banks.
The stream is sometimes filled with blood
from people killing, stealing, shouting and
doing the things historians usually record,
while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes,
make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry
and even whittle statues.
The story of civilization is what happened on the banks.
· Will Durant
|He sat there in his room at the Franciscan Care Center, watching television, Wimbledon doubles with those sisters tromping their opponents. He was wearing his workshirt and pants, grey in color, with his name embroidered above the pocket. We walked in, greeted him and sat down to visit. We discussed things that were happening in our lives, in the lives of people he knew, things going on in his community. We asked about his health, and learned what he was going through.|
We could tell he was there, but not there. Somewhere in our conversation he said, "I've forgotten a few things."
He had known a life of hardship, and rich reward. He had moved from place to place, started businesses and lost them. He had married a good woman, and raised a family. He was a Mason, a member of the Kiwanis, and could drive just about anything with wheels. He could fix what was broken, or he knew someone who could.
He had recently acquired and was breeding cattle of a special English stock, rare in the States, and along with the chickens, the dogs, the garden and the special greenhouse for his bride, lived well on a large plot of land in the country. He had designed and built his own home with the help of his longtime friend Vince, who had eight fingers and one thumb.
He was someone who lived what he believed, and he has a firm belief in the goodness of others, and the power of his God. He had a collection of hats that covered the entire ceiling and two walls of the guest room at home. Each hat had a story, and he knew where they came from and who gave them to him. He ran for public office back in the 60's, a newspaper article in a frame proudly announced. Several awards for his service to the community and the groups he belonged to adorned the wall around it. He is a good man, in the true sense of the word.
He is also a good friend of mine, and one of the most interesting fellows I have ever met. He was there when things were bad for me, with support and comfort, and offered me a day's work for a day's pay so that I could feed my family. Just like he has been there for everyone he has ever known.
|Twenty years and more have gone by since I first met him. In that time, we have lost more than twenty friends we have in common. They go slowly, in "nursing homes." They go quickly, at home or doing something they love to do. Nevertheless, they go. And so many of them! We, ourselves stand in line and wait our turn. Meanwhile, we live. What legacy do we leave?|
His is a well-lived life. Yet, here he was, he had no idea where or why. And all I wanted to convey to him was the profound effect his life had had on mine. It was all I could think of at the moment. It was enough. His look of surprise was my answer - this is a humble, but effective, man. As I left him, he said to let him know if there was anything he could do for me. Still giving, serving his God and his friends, still living what he believed from the very center of his life out. Even though he could not remember my name.
I realized, in those brief moments while thinking of an appropriate response to my dear friend, that this wonderful man had touched and transformed my life in ways that will he will never come to appreciate, especially in his present condition, but that will be passed on to others - even to you, reading this, it is my fondest hope.
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Nurturing the family in these times, by Earl H. Roberts.
Some of J. T. Hale's ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence. Nathan Hale is counted as one of his relatives. (They come from the same Hale family) These are parts of his own personal heritage but ALL the signers of the Declaration are part of every American's heritage. That means Nathan Hale can be a hero to all of us. After all, if you go back far enough all of us are related to kings, queens, and all the other rapscallions too.
The recipe for keeping the modern family together still begins in the kitchen.
I've learned, I have! I've not had the best time of my life! But, I have learned to accept the bad with the good. You do not know what your life will bring tomorrow, so enjoy all that you've been given today.
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They sat around moping when Daddy died because he had not left them any legacy. They were so down in the mouth that I stood up and volunteered to pay Daddy back for that time he drove 350 miles to get me when my car blowed up and my whole family was stranded on the road. "I figure that kind of service call is worth a thousand dollars because he kind of done it on credit and I never paid the bill. I'll put that in the pot for yawl a legacy to divide up."
Down with the Willow... Daddy always was a better man than I; How do you deal with that? The Willow was bigger than both of us.
Pray for your spouse because in these treacherous times there are forces threatening us in the workplace as never before.
Whistle -- an inspirational Father's Day Story because the promises we forget are usually the ones never forgot.
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Pretty Pictures taken by a father who might could have been something. If only, if only.
Smiles, by Filomena Borsellino. A smile is the sweetest Treasure on Earth.
Michael was not my problem. When he first came to us he was a bundle of boyish energy, too large for his age and too bright for his years. It was said that he ran his poor grandmother to death, and having seen them together I believed it. It’s strange. All of us believed it, but none of us helped, not like we should have. Oh, we hoped she could hold out, and some of us probably prayed God would give her more strength. But somehow we all felt Michael was HER problem, and not ours.
The Ice Cream "Comb" by Rick Beneteau because Quitting is never an option.
Ice Memories that never get cold, by Lin Stone
I Can't Remember You: That first shock of being forgotten by someone we love is enough to turn our world upside down. All I could think of to say was, "I am someone you have been very kind to over many years."
Kids and Sunday School, by J. Edgar Hoover.
Grandma's Bath Tub, an essay of love by Lin Stone
Doing the Dishes: Take pride in who you are and what you like doing, even if there are some to this day who believe that gender should decide what we like or dislike and doing the dishes is for sissies.
Living with Spina Bifida, a poet's story.
The Hug.. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we can't get what we want until we give it away to someone else first.
Remember Grandpa: Nearly 17 years later, I can still hear grandpa's laughter, still smell grandma's coffee, still shiver at the memory of how cold those rivers were.
Why Teach Your Child To Read? Reading problems are a further challenge to our world by contribute significantly to the perpetuation of socio-economic, racial and ethnic inequities. However it is not just poor and minority children who struggle with reading. According to the 2002 national report card on reading by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), most of our children (64%) are less than proficient in reading even after 12 years of our attempts to teach them.
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