December 27, 2001 - If Only Life Could Be Lived In Reverse
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~Henry Van Dyke
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It's good to be back at my desk after a few days away for Christmas. I pray that each of you had a peace-filled and joyous holiday. I'll be sending out a special "Angels Remembered" edition of 2theheart later today, so be sure to look for it! I am pleased to welcome a new writer to our ranks and share with you the first of many stories that will lift your spirits from Betty King. Watch for a new one from Chuck Dishno tomorrow!
IF ONLY LIFE COULD BE LIVED IN REVERSE
by Betty King
Recently I celebrated another birthday. I'm now officially eligible
for senior discounts; I no longer have to borrow my husband's cards. I can receive discounts of my very own, thanks to the passing of time and the accumulation of years.
I have noted a lot of changes in myself recently and I've wondered if those changes are occurring in others my age. It seems the obituary page has taken on a whole new status; I find myself, checking it out instinctively like clockwork. Names, faces and ages have taken on a whole new meaning. It's as if I expect one day to open up the paper and find myself looking at myself reflectively.
I don't know if this newfound habit I have acquired has anything to do with my age or the state of my health. I do know that the
reviewing of others who have lived out their lives has made me more aware of the importance of mine. Especially when I find among the deceased someone near to my own age.
I find it hard sometimes to image the number of pages that have
turned on the calendar. My mind stills sees myself as twenty-nine or less. My heart conjures up romantic notions of this youthful image I long for. Yet my body implores me to take a second glance. Yes, the years have passed, there's no denying that. There are things I long for more now, though, than a pleasing appearance, and that is the accumulation of time. I have seen moments in the past when I have welcomed the sight of death and it's release from the worries and pains of this world. Yet now, as the clock ticks away the moments, days and years I have left here upon this earth, I find myself waning at the mere thought. Not that I fear it; as a matter of fact I look forward with a great deal of anticipation to the hereafter. Yet as I grow closer in all probability, I find myself shrinking from its welcome.
I have regrets of wasted moments, wasted days and yes, wasted years. I have words of advice to be given, pieces of wisdom to share, love to be spread. There is more of me the world needs to know, and more of the world I need to know. I have not given all that I could or all that I should. I have not cared enough or perhaps given enough of my time and efforts, to those people or causes most deserving. I have not contributed my fair share to mankind. I have not been all that I could, all that I should, or all that I want to be. I have not taken advantage of all the knowledge available to me or gained all the skills I have wished for.
There are things I do see clearly now though, now that I look back through the years. There were so many petty things I gave to much importance to. So many unnecessary arguments I tried to win. So many times I struggled excessively to get my point across, when I should have been more open to another's viewpoint. So many times I failed to love who I should, when I should. I made mountains out of molehills. I have often shut my eyes, ears and mind to other's needs. I've failed in so many ways to contribute my fair share to mankind. More times than not I revolved in a very small circle within my own little world.
I have one legitimate excuse, I am human; I've faltered like so many of my fellow human beings. In looking ahead I see how far I've yet to travel and how short the distance, to be all that I should or wish that I could be. If I should live to be one hundred plus, I'm sure at my journey's end I would wish for more moments to accomplish those things, which in the whole of my life, I failed to execute or see to completion.
I would beg those of you who are only beginning your journey, youth, young married couples, to take heed, life is only an instance. Years will seem like moments. Someday, years from now, you will awake as if from a dream and you will wonder, why all the fuss, why all the rebellion, why all the hesitation, why all the waste? You will ask yourself why did I not love more and hate less? Why did I not take the time and responsibility to live life to it's fullest. Why did I not show more mature, responsible love to those who meant the most to me? Why did I not use wisely and make the most out of the time God allotted to me? Why did I not seek wisdom, on this my journey? For wisdom allows one to see more clearly.
Oh, how I long myself to have been wiser on this, my journey through life. I shall only pass this way once. It is amazing how much clearer one sees life with the passing of each birthday. I think I shall start looking forward with eager anticipation to the accumulation of relations that my remaining years have to offer. I fear all too often in our pain, sorrows and struggles, we fail miserably in our contributions to the joys of this God given gift of life. Oh, if only life were lived in reverse, what wise critters we would be!
Betty King copyright 2001
I live with my husband Bill in Phoenix AZ. We have been married
44years. I have lived with MS for over 34 years but still find joy in
living despite the hardships. I have been published in newspapers,
magazines and other Internet sites. I am now working on a collection of short stories for a future book.
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The Letter Box:
Sooz........fits Nick to a T. Hope you don't mind my horning in on
your story this way but since we have had the privilege of meeting Nick personally, dittos in a big way, and we'd like to accentuate the positive on that beautiful smile and great respect for his elders. Nick and I spent the better part of an afternoon camouflaging Mr. C's jeep before he learned to double clutch and drive the Lime Kiln. I wouldn't have missed this time with your son for anything for it sure brought back enthusiastic moments Ken and I had with our own son just about 34 years ago. Here's hoping it won't be too long before there's a jalopy in your future Nick.
HAPPY 15TH BIRTHDAY NICK......................Ken & Kathe Campbell
As I read your story about your son's 15th birthday, tears streamed down my face and goose bumps filled my arms. You definitely have a hero on your hands - you must be extremely proud! That's what this world needs a lot more NICK'S! Merry Christmas
Love & Peace,
Susan, what a great story about Nick! He really is a fantastic boy
well on the way to becoming a man. Nick will remember the good things he does for people. It's obvious you have instilled good values in him and good values can only come from a good person. We don't want him to get too good though as we already have one St. Nick. I am proud to have met you and your family and look forward to when we can get together again.
Hi Susan :),
I know exactly how you feel about your son reaching this wonderful milestone in his life. My son just turned 20 about a month and a half ago. Somedays it feels like he was just going off to his first day of school yesterday. Others, it feels as if 10 lifetimes have passed between diaper changes and his driver's license.
Just wait until he has his first wreck! Then you will feel like
either strangling him or hugging him, until you find out he wasn't
badly injured. Mine has been involved in three separate wrecks in the last four years. He has almost died on four separate occaisions within the last five years. Only by the Grace of God do I still have
him with me.
Look on the brightside - You are exactly halfway through his teen
years...LOL... I somehow managed to survive my son's teens with my sanity relatively intact. I believe you will come through Nick's
with flying colors too. Merry Christmas, Best Wishes for The New Year, God Bless, and please take care,
I just want to say that you have an amazing son who truely cares
about people. I enjoyed your story Coming of Age. Keep up the good work. Take care! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years!
Thanks so much for the "heart tugger" story. It reminded me so much of Joshua and also reminded me as to how blessed I am to have him in my life. We will remember these blessings long after they are out on their own, won't we? Somehow however, I think they will always come back "home". I hope the birthday was a success!
Love to you and Christmas hugs,
What can I say? Your eloquence is breathtaking and your son is an absolute wonder. (Like mother, like child, you know.) As I read your words, I felt your pride, the sting of tears in your eyes as you understood the depth of his kindness, the love you feel for him now and the wonder you felt when you first held him. Powerful words from a very special Mom to her very special son.
I love you!
Why would you think Nick would turn out any other way ? I am not at all surprised at the way he is becomming a man. What better teacher did he have than you. You are filled with goodness and love for other people. You have done a wonderful job being his best friend and mother. It shows in everything he does. I am sure he is just as proud as you as you are of him. You are blessed with a beautiful family.......
PS This was a nice Christmas present to all of us at
2theheart......another story from you. They are a real treat!!!!!
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