Archive for the ‘Good People’ Category
In the midst of an otherwise wonderful weekend
full of old friends, good football, beautiful weather and good food and drink, my friend Peggy got word from her kennel in Illinois that her 9-year-old dog had had a sudden heart attack, and was dead. It was a horrible jolt for her, and cast a shadow over the end of our weekend, though she did a good job of pretending she wasn’t thinking about her empty house, and the memories and dog toys awaiting her at home.
Peggy is one of my oldest friends, and she’s never been the confessional type. Even in the midst of some deep sorrows we’ve shared over the years, talking about her feelings doesn’t comes easily. You have to listen carefully. And here is what I heard this weekend: Her dogs give her an identity, and are the companionship she counts on now that her boys are grown and out of the house, and her hard-working husband regularly comes home late. My heart won’t soon forget her teary first reaction to Roy’s death: “He was my best friend!”
It’s interesting to watch some of our friends, whose children are older, and who are clearly moving into the next stage of their lives. Should they try to sell their lovely big home (near the Lake Michigan dog beach) for something smaller? What kind of work is Peggy meant to do, now that she has viagra from canada a master’s and more free time than ever? How do we define ourselves once our children no longer determine the shape of cheap cialis online the day?
Of course, I am a few years away from this transition, and have a different kind of life. But with Roy’s passing, and thinking of Peggy’s big empty house, it sure makes me wonder how I’ll navigate it once the time comes for me. Are you ever ready for that kind of journey?
Sometimes you realize just how a bit of kindness and a
bit of competence can change your
life; have a look at my column Sunday for my latest example. As Christmas creeps ever closer, what’s the most recent random act of kindness that changed your life?
I was a victim this week.
I was trying to get my car washed. Sometimes I just go through the Exxon car wash – it’s convenient to my house and easy to use because I can just swipe my gas card to pay for it. But my car was pretty dirty. I probably should have taken it to one of those detailing shops because it was really dirty. So I thought I would take it to that really nice drive-through car wash across the street from the Exxon. At the BP station.
I pulled up to the entrance but the card reader wouldn’t read my BP card. I tried a couple times, then pulled around to the front of the gas station (sighing heavily. Soooo inconvenienced). Inside, I told the cashier that I was trying to get a car wash and it wouldn’t read my card (*flashes BP card around as visual aid*). She says, “We don’t have anything to do with the car wash.” I said, “So you can’t charge my gas card and give me a code?” I mean, that’s how they do it across the street at the Exxon. She says again, “We don’t have anything to do with the car wash.” Fine, I huff. I’ll just go across the street.
It’s easy to picture Alayna as the glue that held us all together. It’s because she has a personality that bridges the gaps of stress, ego and impatience. Alayna is eager to please, quick to laugh, and reminded us 40-somethings not to take ourselves too seriously.
It was time to let her go. Pushed out of the nest in an attempt to teach her to fly on her own. But when we told her that she would be missed, we really meant it. It’s just not the same around here without her.
Which makes me wonder: what do I contribute to the group dynamics? Am I working for the good of the
team or for my own personal success? Am I a giver or a taker? A laugher or a sulker?
Do you think you bring out the best in others? What attributes do you have that make people glad you are part of their team?
When Rosie Murrell first came through the doors at the Hope & Healing Center, operated by the Church Health Center, she had a specific goal in mind: lose enough weight to qualify for bariatric surgery. Rosie had been seriously overweight her whole life, at one point weighing 437 pounds.
She wanted that surgery any way she could get it, so much so that the fact that she had been diabetic for 20 years, and had eventually increased her insulin intake to over 100 units, wasn’t even her biggest concern. She also had uncontrolled high blood pressure and was working on degenerative joint disease.
“My doctor was pushing exercise, and told me he wouldn’t do the surgery if there
was more than a 50 percent chance I’d die on the table,” Rosie said. She’d begun to lose weight before she began at Hope & Healing, though the starvation diet she’d worked out wasn’t really working.
“When (the wellness counselor) told me I’d have to increase my calories” to keep losing weight, Rosie said, “I cried and cried.” Read the rest of this entry »