The Need of Caring for Others

artis-rams
Photo Credit: Artis Ram via CC Flickr

I have stated in previous blogs, that I firmly believe that the reason people are put on this earth is to assist other individuals and show compassion and empathy towards them. When we really love our neighbors as ourselves, we find that we feel more content, satisfied, and happy about our own lives. Many, many times, you will discover that the happiest people in the world, are the ones that help and care about others.

Today’s story is a beautiful illustration of the love that a son shows his elder father which, once again, is a small sample, of how much we should assist other people, like our loved ones, as they get older.


A son took his old father to a restaurant for an evening dinner.

His father, being very old and weak, while eating, dropped food on his shirt and pants. The mess that he made disgusted the other diners in the restaurant while his son remained calm.

After they were finished eating, the son, who was not embarrassed at all, quietly took him to the wash room, wiped off the food particles, removed the stains, combed his hair and fitted his glasses firmly, When they came out, the entire restaurant was watching them in dead silence, not able to grasp how someone could embarrass themselves publicly like that.

The son settled the bill and started to leave the eatery with his father.

At that time, an old man amongst the diners called out to the son and asked him, “Don’t you think you left something behind?”

The son replied, “No sir, I haven’t.”

The old man retorted, “Yes, you have! You have left a lesson for every son and hope for every father.”

The restaurant went silent.

To care for those who once cared for us is one of life’s highest honors!

A Heartwarming Thanksgiving Tale

Bernard Pollack
Photo Credit: Bernard Pollack via CC Flickr

I recently came across a heartwarming story written by Charles Rogers, that I thought would be a beautiful tale to share. It shows us once again, how sometimes, despite millions of people that celebrate Thanksgiving each year, there are still untold numbers of people that are lonely and hurting.

But it can also be a time of sharing and helping others…and sometimes, one act of kindness can have an impact on someone’s life that could last a long time!

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There was a time when old-time Canarsien Ned Caro, who is now 85, celebrated Thanksgiving Day just like the rest of us: with turkey and trimmings and family, and even giving a friendly toast to those pilgrims of long ago. Thanksgiving was a happy event – then.

However, things changed two years ago when his wife of sixty years passed away. “Things will never be the same,” he said, rightfully in the depths of depression. The loneliness was almost unbearable, but Ned knew his religion would see him through. “The Lord has a way of helping people like me,” he said. “I know it now because of what He did for me.”

 A long time ago, Ned was the owner of a popular bar at the corner of Rockaway Parkway and Glenwood Road, right in the heart of Canarsie, so he was used to listening to stories (“It goes with the job,” he would say). He was also used to telling stories (“That went with the job too, if you came into my place,” he added).

He then proceeded to tell his Thanksgiving story, preceding it with the notation that his late wife’s name was Rose. “Rosie,” he called her.

“My beautiful Rosie was kinda sick about six or seven years ago,” he said. “She was in her seventies and I was almost eighty and getting around wasn’t too easy, so we were getting Meals on Wheels at the time.

“Well, one day the Meals on Wheels person delivered the food and Rosie opened the Styrofoam containers the lunch was packed in and found a note in one of the boxes from the person who packed them, a six-year-old girl by the name of Erin Cohen from West-chester. The note said, ‘Whoever receives this box…please write to me. I am six years old and I would like to hear from you and I will write back.'”

Ned said Rose was “happily surprised” and sat down and read the note over and over, finally saying to him, “I think I’ll write to her.”

Rose took up her pen and note paper and sent off a thank you note to six-year-old Erin Cohen of Westchester, telling her who she and Ned were, where they were from and few insignificant details. She didn’t necessarily feel she’d get a reply, but nevertheless, she asked for one.

“And don’t you know? An answer came the very next week,” Ned said. “Rose was as pleased as she could be and that very night she sat down and answered the nice letter she got from Erin. She told her about me and our son and about how things were here in Canarsie. You know. All the basic stuff.”

She sent off the letter and nervously waited to see if the youngster would continue the correspondence.

Needless to say, she did, and sent along a photo of herself, leading to more exchanges and, eventually, a few phone calls.

Unfortunately, they never met face-to-face, though. According to Ned, the drive was “just too much” for him to try. And Erin’s parents – her father, Lawrence, is a veterinarian and her mother, Diane, an interior decorator- couldn’t make it either. Both parties promised they’d get together “soon”…and the time just went…

On March 27, 2004, at the age of 79, Rosie passed away. Ned was devastated, and, after a reasonable period, called Erin’s parents, telling them, “I really don’t know how to tell Erin that her corresponding friend is gone.” They said they would take care of it for him.

“And what do you think if I continue the correspondence from now on?” he asked.

“That would be wonderful!”

In the summer, as Ned and Erin wrote to each other, Erin’s father invited Ned to join them for dinner at a restaurant near Canarsie where he met Erin, now 12 years old.

“We talked for hours and really hit it off,” he said, excitedly. “We had a beautiful day together.”

As time went on, Ned met with the family every now and then for lunch or dinner on a weekend.

Last September, the family sent him a special invitation to Erin’s bat mitzvah, which he had to turn down.

“I don’t drive now,” Ned answered when they called him.

“I’ll pick you up, take you to our house in Westchester and take you home,” said Mr. Cohen. “How would that be?”

“Just about perfect,” was the answer.

“The story doesn’t end there,” Ned Caro said. “Hopefully, the story will continue for a long, long time because this year they invited me to come to share Thanksgiving dinner with their whole family. This year Thanksgiving will be something special to remember. Again they’ll pick me up and take me home. I mean, last year I was pretty lonely, but this year – especially at this time of year – I’ll break bread with Erin and my ‘other’ family. It’ll be almost like it used to be.

“I’ll dedicate the day to Rosie.”

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Source: canarsiecourier.com

 

 

A Tale From A Deathbed

jon dawson
Photo Credit: Jon Dawson via CC Flickr

Every once in a while, I come across a story that touches my heart, brings a smile to my face and a giggle to my soul. Such is the case with today’s story. 

Doug Smithberger is on his deathbed at Allegheny General Hospital and knows the end is near.

 

His nurse, his wife, his daughter and 2 sons are with him.

 

He asks for 2 witnesses to be present and a camcorder be in place to record his last wishes, and when all is ready he begins to speak:

 

My son, “Bernie, I want you to take all the West End houses.””

My daughter “Sybil, you take the apartments over in the Bottoms and up toward Neville Island.””

 

My son, “Jamie, I want you to take the offices and apartments over in Neville Island and Coraopilis.”

 

“Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings on the banks of the river between McKees Rocks and Coraopolis and up the valley toward the airport.”

 

The nurse and witnesses are blown away as they did not realize his extensive holdings, and as Doug slips away, the nurse says,

“Mrs. Smith, your husband must have been such a hard-working man to have accumulated all this property”.

 

Sarah replies, “Property ? …. the jerk had a paper route!”

HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! I hope this brought a smile to your face and made your day a little brighter! Love life and smile often.

Pictures That Speak Volumes #61

Photo Credit: via timetobreak.com
Photo Credit: via timetobreak.com

Many of us are rich more than we can ever imagine. We have a nice house, warm homes, food to eat, clothes to wear, money to spend and a plethora of many, many other blessings.

That is why today’s photograph is such a powerful image. This is a picture of a son who just graduated college with his penniless and homeless father….it makes you think just how good we have it!!!

My Best Friend – My Dad

My Best Friend - My Dad
My Best Friend – My Dad

I think back of all the awesome times that I shared with my dad. My dad was a photographer (long before the digital age and the internet) and he would work a lot of weddings, take portraits, and snap pictures for organizations such as the local Little League or the Boy Scouts. We used to go on these road trips just about once a week, in which he would have to drive about an hour and half away to deliver pictures to a Boy Scout camp inNorth Jersey. He had this Ford Galaxy which he called his “sacred cow” that he loved and always took special care of. Under his driver’s seat, he had a cassette player, and he would play all this German music; the polka, beer hall, German bands, etc. He would blast the music all the time and I even got pretty good at “singing” the German lyrics. He even had a little German flag attached to his radio antennae. The rides home were always glorious. We would stop by the huge railroad station in Princeton to watch the trains come and go….man, how I loved watching those things whiz by! Then we would go to out to this diner and I would always get the same thing to eat….a cheeseburger, fries, and homemade lemon lime soda…hmmmm! I can still taste it to this day.

My father was an only child and he never, I mean, NEVER played sports or knew anything about athletics. He always was found reading a book and listening to symphonies but when my brother and I started playing Little League, he always came to our games, watched, and of course, took pictures. He used to take the pictures in such a way, that when he had the film developed, the pictures looked like baseball cards. We had our own baseball cards!!!!! Now THAT was AWESOME!! All the kids in our neighborhood used to congregate at our house and we would play baseball, literally, all day. It was such a spellbinding, magical moment when, for that one short time, my dad came out and tried to play. We thought that was the coolest thing ever….even if he wasn’t that good 🙂

My dad had his own little Photography Studio in a sleepy, seaside New Jersey town.  It was always a magical time when I walked into his shop, viewed all the pictures that he took, smelled the chemicals from the Dark Room, saw his set-ups that he would use for his photo shoots. In the autumn, every Saturday after the local high school would finish their football game, they would have a parade down Main Street if they won. It was a wonderful experience sitting there in front of his shop watching the players, cheerleaders and the band while drinking an ice cold soda.  On most Saturdays my brother and I would meet him at his shop and we would go across the street and eat this awesome pizza or baked lasagna then play Pac-Man while we were waiting for the food to come out. It seemed like everywhere we went, everyone knew my dad and he knew them. It was really sort of cool. After church each Sunday, we would go to the bakery in town and get freshly made Jewish rye bread. Man, was that GOOD! The bread would still be warm from coming out of the oven. The crust would be nice and crispy and the bread itself, moist and chewy. Then we would go to his studio and watch TV and eat snacks while watching Bugs Bunny cartoons. On our way home, he would tell my brother and I to make sure that we ate a lot during the Sundaydinner so that my grandma and mom wouldn’t get mad.

Since we lived around the ocean, my dad would take us fishing around some boating piers and occasionally fish at the beach itself, surf casting. But most of the time, we fished by the piers trying to catch Snappers (or baby bluefish) around dinner time and stayed there until the sun went down. There was nothing better in life then to sit by those piers, drinking a Welsh’s grade soda, watching beautiful sunsets and watching the moon and stars begin their nightly dance. We would find sticks and try to hit the Jellyfish to watch them glow (that’s what they do when they get touched at night).

So, here I sit today, smiling to myself remembering the many special times that I shared with my dad…his laugh, his smile and his corny jokes. Today, his photography studio is gone, the bakery sold out years ago, the diner is no longer there, the Boy Scout camp was disbanded a long time ago and all of my neighborhood friends have all moved away.  My love and admiration of my father will never go away and will forever be in my heart…..for my father will always be more than my dad….he will forever be…my best friend.

When The Stranger Came Home

Photo Credit: Hunter McGinnis via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Hunter McGinnis via CC Flickr

A fascinating story to share with you today…

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town.  From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family.  The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family.  In my young mind, he had a special niche.  My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.  But the stranger… He was our storyteller.  He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future!  He took my family to the first major league ball game.  He made me laugh, and he made me cry.  The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet.  (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them.  Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home – not from us, our friends or any visitors.  Our long time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad didn’t permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis.  He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.

He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex.  His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger.  Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked…and NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family.  He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first.  Still, if you could walk into my parents’ den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name…We just call him ‘TV.’

(Note: This should be required reading for every household!)

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Source: Unknown

One Hundred Dollars An Hour!!

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Steven Depolo via CC Flickr

There are some times in our everyday lives that we become so busy with things like work or our careers, that we can quite often spend less time with the things that are really important. Today’s story gives us a great illustration of this life principle.
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SON: “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”
DAD: “Yeah sure, what is it?”
SON: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”
DAD: “That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?”
SON: “I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?”
DAD: “If you must know, I make $100 an hour.”
SON: “Oh! (With his head down).
SON: “Daddy, may I please borrow $50?”

The father was furious.

DAD: “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard every day for such this childish behavior.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think:

Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $ 50 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

DAD: “Are you asleep, son?”

SON: “No daddy, I’m awake”.

DAD: “I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $50 you asked for.”

The little boy sat straight up, smiling.

SON: “Oh, thank you daddy!”

Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

DAD: “Why do you want more money if you already have some?”

SON: “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do.

“Daddy, I have $100 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $100 worth of your time with someone you love? If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family and friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family.

Some things in life are more important….

Pictures That Speak Volumes #48

Photo Credit: Claude P. Dettloff
Photo Credit: Claude P. Dettloff

This picture called, “Wait For Me Daddy” was taken by photographer, Claude P. Dettloff during World War 2. The kid was seen running away from his mother to his father, Private Jack Bernard. This photo was made to help raise money for war bonding.

The Love Monster

Photo Credit: Ingrid Taylar via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Ingrid Taylar via CC Flickr

There are many times throughout of lives that we can lose focus on the most important things in our lives and direct our attention on things that may seem more important. It was once said that the most important things in life aren’t seen…the following story is a heartwarming illustration of this idea.

A few summers’s ago, a man decided to take his wife and his precious little 5 year old daughter, along with him on a business trip to an exotic land. He had been searching for a job for many months and plans were made to meet an executive of a very well-known company for a job interview. The future looked promising, for the possibility of receiving an offer from the company would give the man and his family financial security for a long time.

The little family arrived at their destination and to their surprise, the hotel in which they were going to stay was on a very beautiful beach…even more delightful and exquisite than they ever imagined.

They quickly changed into their bathing suits, gathered their beach chairs, towels, blankets and umbrella and made their way to the turquoise sea as fast as they could. For the rest of the day, they all laughed and enjoyed themselves splashing in the water, swimming, body surfing and making sandcastles…what a glorious day it was!!!

The next morning, while his family was still sleeping, the man went down to the outdoor café to meet the business executive for the big meeting. Excited and anxious, the father met the company rep and they soon began their discussion….

A short time later, in the hotel, after eating their breakfast, the mother and little girl got ready for another visit to the white sandy beach.

After playing in the water and sand for a while, the little girl told her mom that she needed to use the bathroom.  She told her mom that she knew where it was and that she would come right back.

On the way to the restroom, the little girl noticed a big chain-linked fence that had a big sign on it with a picture. It was a picture of a black skull and cross bones with a red circle with a line through it covering the images. On the other side of the fence was a beautiful green pond. She had never seen water so green and it was covered with green stuff which looked like clovers.

“Aren’t four leave clovers lucky?” she thought to herself. “I am going to climb that fence, swim around in that stuff and cover myself from head to toe with that green goop.”

Once over the fence and immersing herself in the slimy liquid, she covered herself from head to toe with the green stuff. She grabbed handfuls of the matter and stuffed it into her bathing suit. “Wow! This is fun!” she thought. “I am now the luckiest girl in the whole world!”

Then suddenly, with a smile growing on her little face…she had an awesome plan!

Meanwhile, at the beach, the little girl’s mother noticed that her daughter had been gone for much too long, got worried, left the beach and started frantically looking for her. Her fear mounted and grew each minute as everywhere she looked, her daughter just couldn’t be found. No one had seen her anywhere.

Suddenly, she heard a scream as she saw her little girl land on the ground in front of the fence of the contaminated pond. The girl got up screaming and made an unusual, creepy sound that touched the deepest part of the mother’s heart. As the mother yelled the girl’s name, the little child seemingly ignored her mom’s calls and started running as fast as she could to the hotel’s eating area.

At the café, things were really starting to look very promising for the father. The discussions with the business executive had gone very well and with excitement and expectations growing, his anticipation of finally landing the big job was beyond belief.

All of a sudden, from behind him, he heard his wife calling his little girl’s name in a frightened voice and his daughter’s terrifying screams and growls approaching him. The look on the executive’s face was that of horror and unbelief as he watched the rapidly approaching creature come up to the father from behind.

 

Stunned and turning around in his chair the green creature instantly attacked the father, gave him a bone-crushing hug, instantly splattering the green slime all over the executive’s Taylor-made suit. The little gremlin started covering him with kisses, and said over and over again, “I love you! I love you! I love you!” “I AM THE LOVE MONSTER!”

The infuriated business executive snarled at the little girl “Alright! That’s enough! Your time is over!” Then he barked at the dad, “tell your daughter that her time is over and to leave us alone!!!”

With all of the love and compassion that a father could ever have in his heart, he smiled down at his dear little Love Monster, scooped her up in his arms, then said to the executive…I am sorry sir, but YOUR TIME IS OVER.

And with that, while carrying his beautiful little daughter, took his wife’s hand, and walked away…the happiest man in the world.

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What are your priorities? What are the important things to you? What are the “things” that make you REALLY happy? The choice is yours!

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Author: Rich Muller

Stories That Speak Volumes #48

Drunk DadAlcoholism is a terrible disease around the world. There may not be anything sadder than watching the pain and suffering their loved ones have to endure each day. Let’s make it a goal of ours each day, not to allow ourselves to fall into this kind of situation.

Miracles Can Still Happen Folks!

This video is truly a heartwarming video of a little boy with Cerebral Palsy. His doctors said that he would never be able to walk but he proved them wrong! Watch how this brave little kid walked for the first time in his life when his father returned from his tour of duty.

What IT Means To Be A Dad (To Me)

My Boys, Grandpa and I Fishing at the Beach
My Boys, Grandpa and I Fishing at the Beach

Twenty three years ago, the Lord decided to bless me with the first of my two sons. Needless to say, I have enjoyed every second of my life being a father and, most importantly, a dad to my boys. To be able to be a good example of the Lord, give Godly advice, and love them unconditionally is the best gift that I could ever be to them.

In my opinion, being a REAL dad is so much more than just saying that I am one…it is showing my children how much I love them by the things that I do with them and way that I show them my love. It’s sacrificing the time I have and things that I want to do…for them. Being a good dad is not about “what am I receiving from my kids” but what can I do for them?”

There are so many things that I have done with my boys which have given me an incredible sense of fulfillment and satisfaction…things like…

Fishing at the beach

Camping in the Adirondacks

Swimming in grandma’s pool

Hiking many trails and National Parks

Praying together and teaching them how to pray

Reading Bible Stories to them

Talking with them about life’s lessons

Going on vacations together

Getting them ready for college

Canoeing down the Colorado River and sleeping under the starts for 3 days

Coaching them in recreation soccer, basketball and baseball

Cheering and encouraging them at their football and soccer games

Smiling and laughing at each other’s jokes, humor and foolishness

Going to the zoo

Making homemade pizzas

Enjoying outdoor BBQ’s

Going to the beach, body surfing and fishing

Kayaking

…and the list goes on and on.

I think a REAL man loves his family and children and places them as the most important thing in life. There is NOTHING that has brought me more contentment and peace in my life as my family. Simply being a loving dad and husband is the most rewarding feeling I can ever have.

You see and you have to understand…Any guy can be a father but not every guy can be a dad!!

A Moment They Will Never Forget

Photo Credit: US Military Academy
Photo Credit: US Military Academy

Every once in a while, you read a story that simply touches your heart in a special way. Today’s short story is an example of an experience of an athlete that will warm your heart.

—————–

At a Special Olympics track meet, a young girl had just won the 50-yard dash and was jumping up and down all excited.

She yelled out to her parents, “Look Mom and Dad, I won! I won!”

Her parents instantly burst into tears.

At the awards ceremony, the young girl proudly stood there as a medal was placed around her neck.

Then she ran over to her parents, who were crying now even more than they were before. The three of them hugged and hugged as the parents continued to cry.

A Special Olympics official who had watched the whole scene became concerned and went over to the parents and said, “excuse me, is there anything wrong?”

Through her tears, the mother said, “no, nothing is wrong. Everything is OK…in fact it is wonderful…we just heard our daughter speak for the first time.”

——————-

A wonderful and beautiful story!

 

The Day Mother Did Nothing

Photo Credit: Lisa Omarali via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Lisa Omarali via CC Flickr

A man came home from work and found his 3 children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around garden, The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog, walking in the door, he found …an even bigger mess.

A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall, In the front room, the TV was playing loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked, ‘What happened here today?’ She again smiled and answered, ‘you know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?

”Yes,” was his incredulous reply.

She answered, ‘Well, today I didn’t do it.’

What a novel approach!

Husbands and Father’s…love your wife and your kids mom!

Enjoy the Day!!

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Source: The Goodwill Librarian

A Shocking Letter to Dad

Photo Credit: Muffet via CC Flikr
Photo Credit: Muffet via CC Flikr

A while ago, I came across a story, which was posted by MumbaiiteAnuletter, about a letter that a daughter had written to her father. As a dad myself, I just couldn’t imagine the millions of thoughts that went through this father’s mind as he read it. I also believe that I would have felt the same way that he did by the time he finished reading the letter!

—————————–

A father passing by his teenage daughter’s bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made and everything was neat and tidy.

Then he saw an envelope propped up prominently on the center of the pillow.
It was addressed “Dad”. With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:

“Dear Dad,
It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you, but I’m leaving home. I had to elope with my new boyfriend Randy because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you.
I’ve been finding real passion with Randy and he is so nice to me. I know when you meet him you’ll like him too – even with all his piercing, tattoos, and motorcycle clothes. But it’s not my only the passion Dad, I’m pregnant and Randy said that he wants me to have the kid and that we can be very happy together.

Even though Randy is much older than me (anyway, 42 isn’t so old these days is it?), and has no money, really these things shouldn’t stand in the way of our relationship, don’t you agree?

Randy has a great CD collection; he already owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. It’s true he has other girlfriends as well but I know he’ll be faithful to me in his own way. He wants to have many more children with me and that’s now one of my dreams too.
Randy taught me that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone and he’ll be growing it for us and we’ll trade it with our friends for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want. In the meantime, we’ll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Randy can get better; he sure deserves it!!

Don’t worry Dad, I’m 15 years old now and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I’m sure we’ll be back to visit so you can get to know your grandchildren.
Your loving daughter,
Rosie.”

At the bottom of the page were the letters ” PTO” (Please Turn Over).
Hands still trembling, her father turned the sheet, and read:

PS:
“Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at the neighbor’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than my report card that’s in my desk center drawer. Please sign it and call when it is safe for me to come home.
I love you!
Your loving daughter,
Rosie”

Our children are precious to us. Let’s take the time, each day, to spend time with children and let them know how much we honestly love and care for them!