Lynn Berna here, glad to be in your company while sipping on a cup of coffee and enjoying the most beautiful red-bellied woodpecker visiting the birdfeeder. The older you get the more you must retrain the brain to see the good, better, and best in the world, and for me that includes birds and all puppies.
And speaking of puppies, especially one, while recently shopping for birthday gifts, my daughter Nicole, who trains service dogs accompanied me with her latest trainee, a black lab puppy named Keebler. He has been trained not to move. While walking around him at the store, I had to be so careful not to step on his toes. No matter what, until that puppy heard the “free” word command from his trainer, that service dog would not move! You know sometimes that is how we need to be, also. Standing firm in what we know to be true and then not moving, no matter what.
There is an old slate school blackboard in my kitchen. It came with the old farmhouse when we bought it and it has captured my heart. I write on the blackboard quite often and find it particularly useful. The grandchildren and others who are teens, and adults find it to be fun to draw chalk pictures.
On my school blackboard, you will find phone numbers I call on my landline, doctor appointments, beautiful cursive handwriting from my nine-year-old granddaughter, Ella, and favorite quotes like this one, “When life gives you one hundred reasons to frown, give life one thousand reasons to smile”. Now there is a great challenge to take on in 2021! I have kept this quote written on the blackboard since my daughter was graduating from high school.
Being sentimental since Nicole wrote it, and finding it always helps me to be reminded to take a positive view, for ten years I have not erased it. Besides, it still applies to what I am facing in the challenges of daily living. So, are you frowning today? You may be feeling like you have a hundred reasons to be. For most of us life has not been easy recently.
This past year our hearts were broken, like yours may have been, as people we care about passed away. My cousin, Paul, died in a motorcycle accident, my 96-year-old Aunt Ruth passed away, and my husband’s brother Mearl died. Along with losing family, we lost friends and work colleagues. Some were from Covid-19 complications. We found solace from a poem printed in an old newspaper clipping shared from family. I am imagining the old-school part of you would like to read it, too.
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.
The author of this poem is unknown. However, on October 17, 1978, NBC aired a TV world premiere movie called, “Better Late than Never”. Actor Harry Gould played a senior citizen who had to do the eulogy at an old friend’s funeral and chose to share the words of this poem. The television scriptwriter of the movie, John Carpenter, said he attended a funeral where this poem was used in December 1977. It was for film director Howard Hawks. The famous actor, John Wayne, delivered the poem as a eulogy for his friend.
This poem carries a message that is encouraging and true. Meaningful for those of us who have discovered a relationship with God, eternal life, and hope from reading the Bible. God is trustworthy and I hope you will take Him at his word as you “Live Life in the Second Act.”