Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Silence of Daffodils

I heard something on the radio yesterday that made me think. The guest speaker was Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Although I typically don't agree with all her comments, she usually provides a strong argument for adherence to basic truths. The one thing that she said was this: "We won't remember the words spoken from our enemies, but instead, the silence from our friends."

I remember how helpful people had been to me during my cancer diagnosis and treatments which began nearly five years ago. I remember receiving encouraging, out-of-the-blue cards and phone calls from friends, neighbors, or my husband's coworkers whom I'd never met before. I recall people bringing home-cooked meals to my doorstep and hearing the doorbell ring as I rested my head on pillows, feeling too nauseated at the time to even roll over in bed. I can still hear the footsteps of my kids - my cheerleaders - as they ran to the door and said "thank you" to the person standing there, and then ushered them into the kitchen and placed the dinner on the counter top. I remember the woman who offered to plant yellow daffodils along my front walkway. "They symbolize cancer and new life," she had told me as I watched her and my girls dig into the dirt and plant each bulb. I remember feeling too fatigued to kneel down and help her dig.

And I wait each spring in anticipation of seeing the first new shoots pop up through the soft dirt. And oh, how beautiful this picture of silence can be!

Yes, I remember all the kind words, both spoken and unspoken, provided to me many years ago. But as difficult as it sometimes is, I try not to focus on friends who might not have spoken much to me, or called me, during my trial. People who I would have expected to hear from, but didn't. People who, for whatever reason, didn't step up to the plate. Because focusing on those people, takes time away from my real focus: the people who blessed me in so many more ways than I can comprehend. Those are the people I'll choose to think about and remember well. I'll not dwell on the ones who were silent during the hard times. Life is too short to remember the "silence from our friends." It's just too short.

Instead, we all need to wait patiently for our own "daffodils" to bloom each season, because that is the type of silence we should try to remember.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Votes are In!

Two compliments, and therefore, Caroline was eligible to receive two dollars! (See previous post!)

She declined to accept the money, however. Her smile spoke volumes as she said, "I'm gonna wear that sweater a lot!!!"

Who knew?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Sweater Dilemma

My eleven-year-old daughter received a very nice (in my opinion) blue and teal striped, V-neck sweater from my mom at Christmas. My daughter usually wears her sister's hand-me-downs, and she actually likes to wear them since they are from a special, well-known store. (My older daughter often buys most of her own clothes, because I am trying to teach her the value of a dollar). The majority of my youngest daughter's clothes, are slightly worn but are brand named. And they're from a cool store. You get the picture.

This particular sweater, however, hadn't been purchased from the brand named store. There was no logo on it, one designed for easy recognition. Upon opening the gift, my daughter appeared to be smiling, so I assumed she liked it.

Somehow, by the time we got the sweater home and unpacked, the receipt was missing. When she tried the sweater on at home, under duress I might add, it appeared to be slightly too large for her frame. I offered to wash it, since it was made of cotton. She agreed that washing it would make it shrink and therefore fit better, and THEN she would wear it. So she said.

I washed it, and she again tried it on. Perfect fit. But my daughter declared that she didn't like it. I got upset. Very upset. I told her that it is a very nice sweater and that Grandma put a lot of time and effort into buying it for her, not to mention that she is on a fixed income and every penny counts. I suggested that we visit an orphanage to see what other children were wearing. To be honest, I don't even know where an orphanage is located , but if I had to, I'd find one.

Finally, at my wits end, I told her that she just had to wear it to school. I felt like a bad mother for insisting that she do this. I also made a deal with her. The deal was this: For every person that paid her a compliment on that sweater, I'd give her a dollar.

She replied with, "How about this: For every person who makes fun of it or gives me a dirty look, you owe me a dollar." Hmmm... I couldn't help but wonder which of the two scenarios would be a better bargain for me.

So... here is my request to anyone reading this post: Please pray that she gets a few compliments! I'll let you know how it turns out!