An Ultimate Story of Love and Sacrifice

pexels-photo-206557.jpegI am a father of a couple of awesome children. I love them very much and I would do anything for them. I am sure any parent would do anything to make their children happy, to protect them and to give them the best life that they could have. Today’s story is probably the most touching story of love that a parent could give a child that I ever found…so far. You may need a box of tissues for this short story…..

One day an 11-year-old girl asked her daddy,” what are you going to get me for my 15th birthday?”

Her father replied,” Please wait, there is much time left.”

When the girl was 14 years old, she fainted and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor came out and told her dad that she had a bad heart and that she was probably going to die.

When she was lying in the hospital bed, she said softly, “daddy… have they told you that I am going to die?” The father replied; “no, you are going to live” as he left her room weeping.

She asked, “how can you be so sure daddy?” He turned around from the door and said” because…I know.”

A short time later she turned 15. After she was released from the hospital and recovering she came home to find a letter on her bed which read…” My dearest daughter, if you are reading this letter it means that everything went well, just as I told you it would. A little while ago you asked me what I was going to give you for your 15th birthday. I didn’t know then, but my present to you was MY HEART.”

Her Father Had Donated His Heart!

“Greater love hath no man than this…that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

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Life is AWESOME! Enjoy EVERY moment!

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.

Total Adoration

Photo Credit: Amanda  B
Photo Credit: Amanda B

One of the things that I feel is just a heartwarming sight, is seeing the eyes of a child looking at a loved one with total adoration and love. This is a picture of my dear friend, Amanda, we she was a little girl sitting on the lap of her father who recently passed away.

We should all have that same loving heart for the ones that we love….

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!!

Photos That Speak Volumes #44

Photo Credit: KRMG.com
Photo Credit: KRMG.com

The boy’s mother found Ryan Wise sitting with the large picture of his father in the corner of a room and snapped what may become one of the most iconic photo’s of our time.

Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Wise, 34 of Little Rock  Arkansas was a Special Forces soldier and father of three. He was severely injured during an operation in Afghanistan in January of 2012. He was hospitalized but died a week later from his wounds.

There is a website dedicated to Sgt. Benjamin Wise, “In Honor of Benjamin Wise.” I would like to ask you to visit it and take a moment to reflect on the lives of ALL of our heroes!

The Boy With A Golden Heart

What would you buy if you found a random $20 bill in a parking lot? One 8-year-old from Ohio bought a lifetime of inspiration for hundreds of thousands of people and one soldier in particular. You have to see what he does. This boy was raised the right way! God bless him and our military and their families.
By the way…you may want to have a box of tissues nearby.
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Source: komando.com

Keep Them Close

My Parents
My Parents

I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it.  A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones and would et all of the food on his plate (even the scraps) because otherwise, it was a waste of food.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there would always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that winter’s day, in her bed at home, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away…never to return. So… While we have it…..it’s best we love it…. care for it…fix it when it’s broken………and heal it when it’s sick.

This is true. For marriage…….and old cars….and children with bad report cards…..and dogs with bad hips….and aging parents……and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special……..and so…we keep them close!

A Child’s Love

dollA little while ago I read the following story (by John Pasko) that greatly touched my heart and once again made me aware how one of America’s biggest epidemics can affect anyone at any time. It is my hope that it will make you think about this problem and educate others to the importance of trying to prevent tragedy’s like this to happen.

I was walking around in a Big Bazaar store shopping, when I saw a Cashier talking to a boy couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old.

The Cashier said, ‘I’m sorry, but you don’t have enough money to buy this doll. Then the little boy turned to the cashier and asked: are you sure I don’t have enough money?”

The cashier counted his cash once again and replied: ”You know that you don’t have enough money to buy the doll, my dear.” The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.

Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to. ‘It’s the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much. I wanted to Gift her for her BIRTHDAY.

I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.’ His eyes were so sad while saying this. ‘My Sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister…”

My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said: ‘I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.’ Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me ‘I want mommy to take my picture with her so my sister won’t forget me.’ ‘I love my mommy and I wish she doesn’t have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.’ Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. ‘Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll?”

‘OK’ he said, ‘I hope I do have enough.’ I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money.

The little boy said: ‘Thank you God for giving me enough money!’

Then he looked at me and added, ‘I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give It to my sister. He heard me!” ‘I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn’t dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose. My mommy loves white roses.’

I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn’t get the little boy out of my mind.

Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the newspaper that the young woman had passed away. I couldn’t stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before her burial.

She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever…

The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

Please DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE. The value of a man or woman resides in what he or she gives, not in what they are capable of receiving.

The Most Important Part of the Body

Credit: Ron Sanderson
Credit: Ron Sanderson

What do you think is the most important part of your body?

I recently came across this story on “Inspirational Stories for Your Soul” that I thought was intriguing and which raised a good question…what is the most important part of the human body? Can you guess what it might be? The answer may surprise…and inspire you!

My mother used to ask me what is the most important part of the body and, through the years, I would take a guess at what I thought was the correct answer.

When I was younger, I thought sound was very important to us as humans so I said “my ears, mommy”.
She said “No, many people are deaf. But you keep thinking about it and I will ask you again soon.”

Several years passed before she asked me again. Since my last attempt, I contemplated a correct answer. So I told her “Mommy, sight is very important to everybody, so it must be our eyes.”
She looked at me and told me that I was learning fast but the answer is not correct because there are many people who are blind.

Stumped again, I continued my quest for knowledge and over the years she asked me a couple more times and always the same answer “No. But you are getting smarter every year, my young child.”

Then last year my Grandpa died. Everybody was hurt. Everybody was crying. Even my father cried. I remember that especially because it is only the second time I saw him cry.
My Mom looked at me when it was our turn to say our final good-bye to Grandpa.

She asked me “Do you know the most important body part yet? And I was shocked she asked me this now. I always thought this was a game between her and me.
She saw the confusion on my face and told me, “This question is very important. It shows that you have really lived in your life. For every body part you gave me in the past, I have told you that it was wrong and given you an example why. But today is the day you need to learn this important lesson.”

She looked down at me like only a mother can. I saw her eyes well up with tears. She said,
“Son the most important body part is your shoulder.” Was it because it held up my head?
She replied, “No, because it can hold the head of a friend or loved one when they cry. Everybody needs a shoulder to cry on sometime in life, my son.

I only hope that you have enough love and friends that you will always have a shoulder to cry on when you need it.”

Then and there I knew the most important body part was not selfish, it was sympathetic to the pain of OTHERS.

You are a friend and, whenever you want, you can cry on my shoulder!!!

People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did,

BUT REMEMBER…

People will never forget how you made them feel.

Children Say the Funniest Things (Part One)

Photo Credit: Gary Cook via Wikimedia
Photo Credit: Gary Cook via Wikimedia

I have been a teacher for over 27 years. The one thing that I love to do, is to listen to children say things, such as answering simple questions, with answers that we never saw coming. Sometimes, they are funny in their simplicity. The innocence that they answer things are hilarious.

I found a collection of such things on stargazers.com of some of the humorous things that some young kids said…so, without further ado, here is Part 1 of “Children Say the Funniest Things.” I will be posting the second installment soon.

 

A kindergarten student told his teacher he’d found a cat, but it was dead. “How do you know that the cat was dead?” she asked her student. “Because I pissed in its ear and it didn’t move,” answered the child innocently. “You did WHAT?!?!?!” the teacher yelled in shock. “You know,” explained the boy, “I leaned over and went ‘Pssst!’ and it didn’t move.”

A mother and her young son returned from the grocery store and began putting away the groceries. The boy opened the box of animal crackers and spread them all over the table. “What are you doing?” his mother asked. “The box says not to eat them if the seal is broken” the boy explained. “I’m looking for the seal.”

One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class. She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the farmer. She read, “…. and so Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” The teacher paused then asked the class, “And what do you think that farmer said?” One little girl raised her hand and said, “I think he said: ‘Oh my goodness…a talking chicken!'”

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.'” Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus.

A father was at the beach with his children when his four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore, where a seagull lay dead in the sand. “Daddy, what happened to him?” the son asked. “He died and went to Heaven,” the dad replied. The boy thought a moment and then said, “Did God throw him back down?”

When I was six months pregnant with my third child, my three year old came into the room when I was just getting ready to get into the shower, she said, “mommy, you are getting fat!” I replied, “Yes, honey, remember Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy.” “I know,” she replied, but what’s growing in your butt?”

Several years ago, I returned home from a trip just when a storm hit, with crashing thunder and severe lightning. As I came into my bedroom about 2 a.m., I found my two children in bed with my wife, apparently scared by the loud storm. I resigned myself to sleep in the guest bedroom that night. The next day, I talked to the children, and explained that it was O.K. to sleep with Mom when the storm was bad, but when I was expected home, please don’t sleep with Mom that night. They said OK. After my next trip several weeks later, my wife and the children picked me up in the terminal at the appointed time. Since the plane was late, everyone had come into the terminal to wait for my plane’s arrival, along with hundreds of other folks waiting for their arriving passengers. As I entered the waiting area, my son saw me, and came running shouting, ” Hi, Dad! I’ve got some good news!” As I waved back, I said loudly, “What’s the good news?” My son shouted very excitedly, “Nobody slept with Mommy while you were away this time!”

A physician and her 4 year old daughter were in the car on the way to preschool. The doctor/mother had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it. “Be still, my heart,” thought the mother, “my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!” Then the child spoke into the instrument: “Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your order?”

A father was reading Bible stories to his young son. He read, “The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.” His son asked, “What happened to the flea?”

TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louis, do you know why his father didn’t punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the ax in his hand.

TEACHER: Clyde, your composition on “My Dog” is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?
CLYDE: No, teacher, it’s the same dog.

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher.

TEACHER: Cindy, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
CINDY: You told me to do it without using tables!

TEACHER: Now, Sam, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SAM: No sir, I don’t have to, my Mom is a good cook.

A little girl asked her mother, “Can I go outside and play with the boys?” Her mother replied, “No, you can’t play with the boys, they’re too rough.” The little girl thought about it for a few moments and asked, “If I can find a smooth one, can I play with him?”

It was the end of the day when a K-9 officer parked his police van in front of the station. While he was gathering his equipment, his K-9 partner started barking at a little boy staring into the van. “Is that a dog you got back there?” he asked the officer. “It sure is,” the officer replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at him and then towards the dog. Finally the boy said, “What’d he do?”

A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” One bright little girl replied, “Because people are sleeping.”

A little girl goes to the barbershop with her father as usual. She stands next to the barber chair eating a snack cake, while her dad gets his hair cut. The barber says to her, “Sweetheart, you’re going to get hair on your Twinkie one of these days.” She says, “Yes, I know, and I’m going to get boobs too.”

A mother was away one weekend at a business conference. During a break, she decided to call home collect. Her six-year-old son picked up the phone and heard a stranger’s voice say “We have a Marcia on the line. Will you accept the charges?” Frantic, he dropped the phone and ran outside screaming, “Dad! Dad! They’ve got mom!! And they want money!!!”

A Shocking Letter to Dad

Photo by Muffet via CC Flikr

A short time 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!