September 19th, 2011. A typical Monday morning to most people. Did you tell the people you love that you love them that day? I hope so. If you didn’t and you happened to die that day, you could probably assume they knew. Right?
So I hope Alex told his wife he loved her before he went to work because he never came home. Ten thousand times he had climbed that ladder. Ten thousand times safely up and down, but not on Monday morning. He fell from about 20 feet and only survived long enough to get to the hospital.
Yesterday my Dearest and I went to his funeral. It took a little more than 20 minutes, but had a profound effect on me. All the pictures of that guy…all the memories…all the comments…everything was about his big, cheerful smile and how he loved people and loved joking around with them.
I never knew him. He was a friend and business associate of my Dearest, but I got a sense of what a good man he was. I want people to remember me like that. I think most people who meet me do remember my positive outlook and friendly demeanor, but it served as a good reminder. A wake up call, so to speak.
I got to see a very dear friend of mine who had come from out of state, too, which was a huge blessing for me. Neither of us knew that the other even knew Alex, so it was a pleasant surprise.
Have I changed the world today? Made anyone’s life better because I crossed their way? Given encouragement and cheer to those who need it? Offered a listening ear? Walked beside someone and lifted the hands that hang down? Maybe. I hope so. I know I don’t forget to tell the people I love that I love them. There will be no doubt in their hearts when I leave this planet that my love stood its own ground.
No matter what day of the week it is.
OK, again, these things rarely only take 20 minutes, but lookie how cute!!!
- I ReUsed the jug from a gallon of orange juice.
- I cut a large “input” hole in the bottom (my hand is inside the hole, holding the jug in the picture)
- I spent a little more than 20 minutes hand-drawing a scale map of the world onto it (pretty good, huh!?)
- I spent a lot more than 20 minutes painting it.
- Then I filled it with plastic bags, each rolled around the handles of the next, so they pop out as I pull them.
- Now the bags can be ReUsed, too, and I don’t have a big wad of bags stuffed in another bag crammed in a corner of my pantry.
- ba-hah! :)
I have been telling my Dearest to call his cousin (well actually, she’s his mom’s cousin, but only 6 years older than he is) since Tuesday evening. I would have called her myself but her number is on his phone.
He finally called her this afternoon. She fell over a chair at work (an elementary school) and has been out all week with a dislocated knee! When did this happen? ON TUESDAY!!! Geez.
Anyway, she appreciated the call and he even told her that I’d had a “premonition” about her, so apparently he was impressed as well and hopefully the lesson was not lost on him.
The Dearest and I visit some families out on the Res every week. I sat with a young dad yesterday while he explained how his own cowardice has driven him to do a lot of things he shouldn’t do.
I listened for a long time and then finally asked him to notice how strong he felt right then, with all his loved ones around him. He felt good about everything except the horrible things he’s done.
What’s in the past is past. Repent and move on.
I told him everybody – EVERYBODY – screws up and he asked me how to stop before the bad influences in his life overpower him again.
I told him he should decide right now what he will say and do when they come around, trying to get him to go back to his old ways with them. Decide to say no. Decide to stay home. Decide to occupy his time with important things . . . like watching funny movies with his seven kids, or cooking dinner with his wife, or just reading or thinking about stuff all by himself.
He said he would.
I helped a 6-year-old with her homework last night. I showed up at her house just when she needed me. It was nice to have the background in elementary Ed. to be able to step right in when those skills were needed.
This evening, the Dearest and I were out on the Rez. A few days ago, the dad of one of the families we visit had loaned his EBT card to some down-and-out friend so they could get a little food. He needed to get it back so his own family could have food, but he has no car and they live miles apart. Plus, it was dark and there’s been a few killings out there this past week so he was afraid to try to walk it.
We showed up just as he was starting to get frantic. We took him over to his friend’s house. The lady who had his card wasn’t even there. She was at the store, buying stuff with it, so we took him back home. He called the store to have her paged, but she had just left. A few minutes later, he got a call from one of her friends telling him that she was back at home, so we took him back over to her house. He got his card back, and fortunately, she had only gone about $4 over what he said she could spend.
Crazy goose chase, back and forth, back and forth, but our help absolutely made his day and that made us feel useful. :)
They always move away. :(
She is Brazileda and needed to get some important info about her new neighborhood but didn’t know how to look it up, so I took out 20 minutes and did it for her. Now I just need to email her my findings.
These easy, 20-minute things are what this goal is all about.
An old friend’s name showed up on my phone yesterday. Apparently, she had called me while I was at church. I haven’t seen her in a couple years, so I called her back. She answered by saying she didn’t call me but that she would when she finished putting her groceries away. She didn’t. I thought, just as well, she probably wants something. Her constant wanting of something is why we don’t talk much anymore. I really enjoyed her company back then, but our friendship became increasingly one-sided as she found out about all the things I can do.
Anyway, she called me back this morning—said she’d been thinking about this project she has and “it’s funny” I should call her right when she has this thing, ‘cuz I could totally help her with it!
Anyway, the main topic of our 20-minute phone call was that her son has knocked up some girl and she wants to have a “diaper party” for HIM!!! Not a baby shower, and NOT for the girl. No. A diaper party for her son, complete with baby-sized alcohol that she gets at the 99cent store, candy, cake, and real cigars. Probably her very most ghetto-fabulous idea ever. She wants me to make the invitations, which are to have a big picture of her “would’ve-been-a-basketball-superstar” son on the outside and a copy of the baby’s ultrasound on the inside. Oh how I wish there was a typable emoticon for the biggest eyeroll in the world!
OK, this is not the proper attitude for changing the world 20 minutes at a time. I said I would do the invitations, how’s that? They will be of professional quality, too. So, doing nice things for people counts, but this is what I wonder: does it help change the world when users are forgiven, only to ask again?
This is ♥Orion♥. He was born March 20, 2000 in a box on my back porch. On Tuesday, May 11, 2010, while I was away from home, having a wonderful day of painting with my mom and my friend, a neighborhood dog killed him. :(
He was an especially sweet kittyboy. He loved to be brushed and would always come and sit on my chair and purr while I was reading, and (mostly) would stay off of whatever I was doing. His nickname became Böbenah because he was such a cuddly boyness.
Now he is gone and my world is different. Better for having had such a faithful pet, but sadder for a while because I miss him.
My Brazilian friend did graduate from high school in Brazil before she came to America, but she wants to show herself that she is intelligent enough for an American education, so she is studying for the GED. I’ve been helping her. It helps her, keeps me in practice and it’s a nice way to spend time together. :)