petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully
dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with her
hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly
applied, even though she is legally blind, moved
to a nursing home today.
Her husband of 70 years recently passed away,
making the move necessary. After many hours of
waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing
home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was
ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the
elevator, I provided a visual description of her
tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had
been hung on her window.
"I love it," she stated with the
enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been
presented with a new puppy. "Mrs. Jones, you
haven't seen the room .... just wait."
"That doesn't have anything to do with
it," she replied. "Happiness is
something you decide on ahead of time.
Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on
how the furniture is arranged... it's how I
arrange my mind. I already decided to love it ...
"It's a decision I make every morning when I
wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in
bed recounting the difficulty I have with the
parts of my body that no longer work, or get out
of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open
I'll focus on the new day and all the happy
memories I've stored away ... just for this time
in my life. Old age is like a bank account ...
you withdraw from what you've put in .. So,
deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
At the End of the
by Terry Schuessler
At the End of the Rainbow there is a very, very
Filled with emerald grass, sapphire skies, and
Where of sickness and pain, sadness and loss,
there is no trace
Instead, glory and light, peace and joy,
Among the gentle Timelessness, certain spirits
can be found
Our hearts' dear friends, once old or young, now
Who with graceful movement or playful bound
Run expectantly near to the Book with Golden
Writing on page
There they can see a Far Away Time, or was it a
Where those who once loved them reside for a
Their spirits call down through the mists on
We have not preceded you without a good reason
And as for Now we can run and play as it was
always meant to be
Among the Shamrocks and Heather so fragrant and
And realize through that looking glass of Crystal
Lake we can see
Those for whom we patiently wait to
Until then remember you can see us no matter the
This is something we really want you to know
For our spirits are touching you in a very
Whether through raindrops, or dewdrops, or
The New Year brings us a chance for new
beginnings. Here is a list to help with
The most destructive habit - Worry
The greatest Joy - Giving
The greatest loss - Loss of self-respect
The most satisfying work - Helping others
The ugliest personality trait - Selfishness
The most endangered species - Dedicated leaders
Our greatest natural resource - Our youth
The greatest "shot in the arm" -
The greatest problem to overcome - Fear
The most effective sleeping pill - Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease - Excuses
The most powerful force in life - Love
The most dangerous pariah - A gossiper
The world's most incredible computer - The brain
The worst thing to be without - Hope
The deadliest weapon - The tongue
The two most power-filled words - I Can"
The greatest asset - Faith
The most worthless emotion - Self-pity
The most beautiful attire - SMILE!
The most prized possession - Integrity
The most powerful channel of communication -
The most contagious spirit - Enthusiasm
Everyone needs this list to live by.
"The most important things in life aren't
The e-mail of the
list member who sent this message
has unfortunately gone astray.
If you sent this message to the list, please let us know!
During my second
month of college, our professor gave us a pop
quiz. I was a conscientious student and had
breezed through the questions, until I read the
last one: "What is the first name of the
woman who cleans the school?"
Surely, this was some kind of joke. I had seen
the cleaning woman several times. She was tall,
dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know
her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last
Just before class ended, one student asked if the
last question would count toward our quiz grade.
"Absolutely," said the professor.
"In your careers, you will meet many people.
All are significant. They deserve your attention
and care, even if all you do is smile and say
'hello'." "I've never forgotten that
lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
*Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain*
One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American
woman was standing on the side of an Alabama
highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her
car had broken down and she desperately needed a
ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the
next car. A young white man stopped to help her,
generally unheard of in those conflict-filled
1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get
assistance, and put her into a taxicab. She
seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his
address and thanked him.
Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's
door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV
was delivered to his home. A special note was
attached. It read: "Thank you so much for
assisting me on the highway the other night. The
rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my
spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I
was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside
just before he passed away. God bless you for
helping me and unselfishly serving others."
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole
*Third Important Lesson - Always remember those
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much
less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee
shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass
of water in front of him. "How much is an
ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty
cents," replied the waitress. The little
boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and
studied the coins in it. "Well, how much is
a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.
By now, more people were waiting for a table and
the waitress was growing impatient.
"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely
replied. The little boy again counted his coins.
"I'll have the plain ice cream," he
said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the
bill on the table, and walked away.
The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier
and left. When the waitress came back, she began
to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed
neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels
and five pennies.
You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he
had to have enough left to leave her a tip.
*Fourth Important Lesson - The Obstacle in Our
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on
a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see
if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the
king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by
and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed
the king for not keeping the roads clear, but
none did anything about getting the stone out of
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of
vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the
peasant laid down his burden and tried to move
the stone to the side of the road. After much
pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.
After the peasant picked up his load of
vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road
where the boulder had been. The purse contained
many gold coins and a note from the king
indicating that the gold was for the person who
removed the boulder from the roadway.
The peasant learned what many of us never
understand. Every obstacle presents an
opportunity to improve our condition.
*Fifth Important Lesson - Giving when it counts*
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a
hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz
who was suffering from a rare and serious
disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to
be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old
brother, who had miraculously survived the same
disease and had developed the antibodies needed
to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little
brother, and asked the little boy if he would be
willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw
him hesitate for only a moment before taking a
deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if
it will save her."
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next
to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing
the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face
grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at
the doctor and asked with a trembling voice,
"Will I start to die right away?"
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the
doctor; he thought he was going to have to give
his sister all of his blood in order to save her.
You see, after all, understanding and attitude
This page was last
updated February 6, 2003.