Last Tuesday I went to a funeral. All of you who have read my posts know that over the years I've been to more than a few of them. At one point, I think I referred to myself as a "casket chaser", because that's about the only kind of social events I had written on my calendar. Anyhoo, this was a special service for a special lady. My friend, Jeannette, passed away at the wonderful old age of 97. She went to my church, and every Sunday, I would greet her this way; "Hello, Pretty Lady!" She had led a nice, quiet life. Or so I thought.
At her service, I was surprised to learn some things I did not know about Jeannette. Her oldest son shared some of his favorite memories included the fact that he had met her when he was eleven years old. Yup, she had adopted him along with his thirteen year old sister. Come to find out, Jeannette and her husband had been living in New York as newlyweds. Someone at their church informed them that they knew of two Jewish children that had been orphaned. Their father had been killed in a commercial accident six years before, when he fell three stories while painting a building. Now, their mother had died suddenly from a brain aneurysm, leaving no one to raise them. Sight unseen, this lovely lady and her wonderful new husband, took the children in. A local orphanage continued trying to find a suitable Jewish family for the kids. So, on week-ends, the brother and sister would go stay at different homes on a trial basis, hoping to find the perfect fit for themselves. One family was quite well-to-do. The man took the boy to his business and showed him what would someday be his, if he chose to come be their son. He told him that he could have anything he every wanted. The woman showed the sister jewelry and furs, expensive furniture, the whole realm of wealth. All they had to do was accept sharing their lives with this couple.
They chose to go back to Jeannette and her husband and their humble means. Jeannette's husband was a preacher. By choosing love over material things, the kids were joined by two sons born to Jeannette. They lived all over, spending ten years as missionaries in Australia! The now grown up son loving told of a special memory he had of his mother pulling weeds in their garden in that far-away country. Since Jeannette was a gentlewoman, she didn't curse. But her son heard her muttering under breath as she worked the garden. He was amused at what she was saying to herself . . . "I wish Eve had behaved!" evidently blaming all the darn weeds on the "Eve and the apple" situation.
The day of her funeral, I also heard of some gifts of love presented by some of my fellow church-goers. I found out that Terry regularly mowed Jeannette's yard. Another couple would make sure to pick her up and give her a ride to church. I'm sure there were many more things that others did unselfishly.
I wish I had known her better. No telling what other wonderful stories I would have heard.
The point I'm trying to make, is that sometimes we do things that do not seem to be a burden at all, done only to help someone a little bit. In Jeannette's case, she shared her love and her home and made a huge impact on two children who had nothing. They grew up to be loving, respected, prosperous individuals that in turn, made a difference by starting their own families and giving them a good life.
Some months back, a friend (Kathy) I have known since I was eleven, posted a Facebook list of ten people she considered to be special life-long friends. She put me on the list! I was extremely blessed to be mentioned. Wow! I'm not sure what I did to warrant that honor, but I'm glad I made the cut!
Another girl (Georgeanne) who was also on the list, comment that she remembered receiving a note from me over forty years ago! It was at the time that we were young and having our first babies at about the same time. She had little Bruce two weeks before I had Dan. Then, the worst thing possible happened. She lost her boy to SIDS when he was only a few months old. What a tragedy. I still ache a bit when I remember that time. It especially hit home, with me being a brand-new mom. At the baby's funeral, I handed her a note, telling her how I was thinking of her and shared thoughts, messages of hope and comfort (as best as I could). On the Facebook comments, she related that she still had that note.
You just never know when something you do will make a difference or a memory for someone. So, put yourself out there. It may be important to another person. You may not ever know what you did, which is fine. But that person will know. Cool!
On a less serious note, I have another book to critique. John Hart's REDEMPTION ROAD. It's a fast-paced story about mystery, child abuse, murder, and love. Wow. It was almost exhausting to read, because there was so much physical aspects of the story. Hard to put down. I give it a 7 1/5. Again, it was dark in nature. I told myself I was going to read light-hearted, breezy books, but I keep getting drawn into the intense, nail-biting kind.
Oh . . . oh . . . I have a question for you all. Has anyone else noticed how there seems to be a huge influx of teeny, tiny tree frogs? I have only seen these really small creatures a few times in my life, and now suddenly, my house is surrounded by them. The yard is full of the little hoppers. Every time I spot one, I think fondly of one of the characters in my Molly and Pet Ladybug stories that I have written. That little sweetie is named Lilypad Tree Frog. Therefore, I try and be tolerant. But man! there sure is a lot of them. hmmmmmmm
Jenna and I went to a Celebration of Life at a really neat park yesterday. My oncologist holds this huge picnic lunch every year. This is the first time I have gone. Dr. Ghosh does a lot of things for others, and this celebration was a nice event. But I was shocked at how many people attended. I realize that some were relative or friends of the Dr.'s patients, but there were still so many. Too many. It's a shame that we have such an ugly thing as cancer in common and I wish a cure would be found. I have two friends that I saw regularly over the years at the Clinic, while getting chemo, that have passed away. Their fight is over. But the end came much too soon for them both. Ellen and Diane. I wish they could have been at the picnic. Maybe they were.
And, being a quirky person, I feel I must comment on a couple of TV commercials. sorry But it must be said. I absolutely love the Chantex commercial starring the "cold turkey". I love his home, his neat campsite, his tidy clothing, the way he stirs his lemonade. He just looks like he has his little life under control. Unless you remember that the ad is about him trying to quit smoking with a pill instead of going cold turkey. I guess we all have flaws. hehehehe
And lastly, there's the commercial with the teenaged babysitter, lounging on the patio while she is supposed to be watching Charlie and his baby brother. The baby is sitting in a small kiddie pool, while Charlie is running away from the sitter with her phone. He proceeds to OOOOPS! drop the phone in the pool to bug the young girl. Okay. I can handle that little bit of drama. What I want to point out is the fact that in the back drop of the yard, you can see a big pond/lake?! So, while the babysitter was lounging, with her eyes shut, two toddlers were exposed to the danger of wandering over and falling in the deep water. I don't think I would hire that chick. Would you?
I gotta get a life.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS OUR COUNTRY