This column often features a day brightener and recently one called a “night brightener.” The following came from Gina Nielsen, of Waldport and, since I’m still thinking about it, let’s call it a “thought provoker.” Usually I will receive these things from several people, but not this time, so Gina gets credit. So far, I can’t pick a favorite — let me know if you can.
• • •
These 12 short stories make us think twice about the daily happenings in our lives as we deal with others. (Author unknown)
- Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I'm working on for my psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life, and the memories make you smile.”
- Today, I asked my mentor — a very successful business man in his 70s — what his top three tips are for success. He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking and do something no one else is doing.”
- Today, after my 72-hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn't recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”
- Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.
- Today, at 7 a.m., I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3 p.m., I got laid off. On my drive home, I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over and gave me a ride. We chatted, then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow.
- Today, as my father, three brothers and two sisters stood around my mother's hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”
- Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About five seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.
- Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.” I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?” “Because that's where I keep all my stuff,” she said.
- Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter's antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.
- Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class, and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”
- Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an email that said, “Thinking of you today. If you need me, I'm a phone call away.” It was from a high school friend I hadn't seen in 10 years.
- Today, I was traveling in Kenya, and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn't eaten anything in over three days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.”
• • •
I still can’t pick a favorite — and there isn’t one I would have left out. Each one has caused me to think of life in a deeper way. Thanks for sharing, Gina.
Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Purrfect. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor” (Dancing Moon Press). The book, with all proceeds going to Rotary International Foundation, is available on Amazon, at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]