Barb's Mantle

We do want people to remember us when we are gone. But, what will they remember?  Have we done our best to be of good character, compassionate to others, living a good life before others,  and raising our children to respect us and others?

We can do all of the above, yet, we might be remembered for the little things we did or didn't do.  Are you one who gossips about others? Do you run red lights, race through traffic, bad mouth the police in front of others? Are you truthful?  Do you say one thing and then do another?  Do you tell 'little white lies' for the truth? Do you pay your bills? Do you keep your promises, or are you the kind that makes a promise, and has no problem in breaking it? Are you a peaceful-type person, or are you angry most of the time?  Is it easy for you to forgive and forget, or do you constantly bring up something that happened in the past?
Valentine Day is upon us again . I reflect back to the time when my husband and I were dating. We started dating in March, so we missed that year's Valentine Day. And, when the next year's Valentine Day came along, he was in the Air Force, many miles away. So, we were apart once more. But, he didn't forget. A package came in the mail for me just around Valentine Day. My heart was ?in my throat?, as I opened the package. When I opened it up, there was a gorgeous pink box, in the shape of a heart, with pink ribbons and roses, and it was full of chocolate! What a way to a girl's heart on Valentine Day.

That day took place 41 years ago this Valentine Day. We've had many of those romantic days together, and look forward to many more. He no longer has to be ?after my heart?, for he's had it for so long. But, women are a little different than men, in that . . .
Today, in the beauty shop, I saw an older couple that I've known for many years, probably 45 or more. I was so stunned at their appearance. They lost their youngest son about two years ago, who was much younger than me. It almost broke her heart! Her health has steady declined since that day. It all started with depression, nerves, and then her back and leg problems. Now, she's hardly able to get around without a walker or cane. Today, I almost could not believe her husband. He has lost so much weight! After they left, I asked the beautician his problem, because I had been missing them on Friday, since I am usually in there very early in the mornings. She said he just found out he has lung cancer, and is going for consultation, to see about starting chemotherapy. This hurt me so much, seeing this older couple (both in their early 80's), who, only a few years ago, had so much to live for, and were so healthy.

Folks, we don't know what tomorrow holds! One day, we might be totally healthy, full of life, and having a grand life. The next, things may flip completely around, and we might . . .

All of us want to be loved. There's a need instilled within us that just strives for attention and love. Lots of people get like and love all mixed up. You can like someone, but not love them. Or, you can love someone and not really like how they are.

Love, in the secular sense, is sometimes mistaken to always be intimacy with someone. That is not always the case. We can have an affection for someone, feel very close to them, as in our siblings, parents, or kinfolks. Then, there is the attraction we feel toward someone, as if we feel a oneness with them ,someone with whom we would like to spend our life.

There is a closeness we feel with someone, when we really love them. When they hurt, we hurt. When they have problems, it hurts us to . . .

There are many out there who have a 'plate full'; in other words, they have more than their share of the bad things of life.   Those families of South East Asia who were hit by the tsunami surely have their plates full - more than enough to last them for a life time. So many have lost loved ones, whole families, and neighbors, not to mention all their life's belongings.  In only a few minutes, their lives were forever changed. Lives were swept to sea, homes and businesses vanished, and life would never be the same.  Even the landscapes completely changed, with one whole island being swept away.

How would those of us not affected have handled such a tragedy? Would we be able to pick up the pieces and go on living life from day to day? Having only the clothes on our backs, would we come back fighting? 

We have so much to be thankful for every day we live.  Unlike those that lost their lives in the tsunami floods, we still have our life.  We still have the ability to