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LOVE IS PRICELESS – An Inspiring Story

This video is dedicated to all for the Mothers Out There. And when you watch it,  have the tissues ready!

When a young boy presents his mother with an IOU for all the tasks he has done to help her, she responds to him in this most inspiring video. Take a moment to watch it now.

 

Brought to you from

Lois W. Stern

Tales2Inspire

http://www.tales2inspire.com/

Bringing you one inspiring story at a time.

Thanks you Natalie Hecht for this one.

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HOW COURT REPORTERS KEEP STRAIGHT FACES

WANT A GREAT LAUGH TO START YOUR DAY?

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 These are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?

WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’

ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?

WITNESS: My name is Susan!

_______________________________

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?

WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

____________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?

WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

____________________________________________

ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?

WITNESS: July 18th.

ATTORNEY: What year?

WITNESS: Every year.

_____________________________________

ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?

WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.

ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?

WITNESS: Forty-five years.

_________________________________

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?

WITNESS: Yes.

ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

WITNESS: I forget..

ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

___________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?

WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

____________________________________

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?

WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.

___________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?

WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

_________________________________________

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?

WITNESS: Yes.

ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?

WITNESS: Getting laid

____________________________________________

ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?

WITNESS: Yes.

ATTORNEY: How many were boys?

WITNESS: None.

ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?

WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

____________________________________________

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

WITNESS: By death..

ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

WITNESS: Take a guess.

___________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?

WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard

ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.

_____________________________________

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?

WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

______________________________________

ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?

WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

_________________________________________

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

WITNESS: Oral…

_________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM

ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

____________________________________________

lawyer

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

______________________________________

And last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?

WITNESS: No..

ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Keep smiling. It will make you feel good. Share it with your friends and spread your cheer around.

* NO SUCH WORD AS CAN’T by Lois W. Stern

It’s easy to recognize dramatic acts of heroism, acts of great courage and selflessness. But what about the unsung heroes amongst us – the ones who think of themselves as absolutely ordinary while quietly living their lives with worthy acts of purpose. Enter Gerald and Sharon Bricker, for it is through them that their daughter Jennifer Bricker has reached unfathomable heights.

In 1987, Gerald and Sharon Bricker adopted their baby daughter Jennifer. Although they already had three biological sons, Sharon yearned for a daughter, a little girl she could dress in pink ruffles with trailing ribbons and bows. They adopted Jen, sight unseen, when she was 3 months old. She was a tiny baby, only 13 ½ inches long, but to Gerald and Sharon she was perfect.

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Jen as a baby

Luck shone down on this infant from the moment she entered the Bricker household. She felt the unconditional love of her parents and three older brothers, all with solid values that helped her grow into the remarkable person she is today. As a young woman reflecting back on her childhood, Jen says with admiration:

They are amazing and they don’t even realize it, they are just good people. I don’t know how, but they always managed to handle each situation exactly the right way.

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Jen with her parents, Mr. an Mrs. Bricker and friend Dave

From early on the Brickers told Jen that there was no such word as “can’t.” Instead they taught her how to go after the things she really wanted. With their guidance, Jen’s indomitable spirit and confidence soared. She vigorously dove into sports, meeting each challenge head on with confidence and the expectation of success. More often than not, she realized her dreams. Jen led a happy, rewarding life, playing softball, basketball and volleyball. But her passion was gymnastics. When she was 10, she won fourth place in the Amateur Athletic Union’s Junior Olympics in Hampton, Va., and was Illinois state power tumbling champion in her division.

Jen grew up idolizing popular gymnast Dominique Moceanu. It wasn’t just that the two girls shared a common Romanian heritage. They shared the same good looks: dark hair, sparkling eyes. ready smiles. Jen felt a magnetic attraction to Dominique, becoming her biggest fan. At fifteen years of age, Dominique was catapulted into the limelight as the youngest member of the “Magnificent Seven”, the U.S. gymnastics team that won gold at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. As she stood in line to receive her gold, the name Moceanu rang a distant bell. The Brickers quietly reopened the adoption papers they had signed years earlier. What it had taken them nine years to realize was that Dominique wasn’t just Jen’s idol — she was also her biological sister.

This story continues in Tales2Inspire™ ~

Emerald_RD

The Emerald Collection

THE FENCE by Herman Rosenblat (a survivor of ‘the camps’)

August 1942. Piotrkow, Poland  **
The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously. All the men, women and children of Piotrkow’s Jewish ghetto had been herded into a square.
Word had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded ghetto. My greatest fear was that our family would be separated.
“Whatever you do, Isidore,” my eldest brother, whispered to me, “don’t tell them your age. Say you’re sixteen.” I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off. That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker.
An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and down, and then asked my age.
“Sixteen,” I said. He directed me to the left, where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood.
My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children, sick and elderly people.
I whispered to Isidore, ‘Why?’ He didn’t answer.
I ran to Mama’s side and said I wanted to stay with her. “No,” she said sternly. “Get away. Don’t be a nuisance. Go with your brothers.”
She had never spoken so harshly before. But I understood: She was protecting me. She loved me so much that, just this once, she pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw of her.

Buchenwald Gate

My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany.We arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night later and were led into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued uniforms and identification numbers.
“Don’t call me Herman anymore.” I said to my brothers. “Call me 94983.”
I was put to work in the camp’s crematorium, loading the dead into a hand-cranked elevator. I, too, felt dead. Hardened, I had become a number.
Soon, my brothers and I were sent to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald ‘s sub-camps near Berlin.

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One morning I thought I heard my mother’s voice. “Son,” she said softly but clearly, “I am going to send you an angel.”
Then I woke up. Just a dream. A beautiful dream. But in this place there could be no angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear.
A couple of days later, I was walking around the camp, around the barracks, near the barbed wire fence where the guards could not easily see. I was alone. On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone: a little girl with light, almost luminous curls. She was half-hidden behind a birch tree. I glanced around to make sure no one saw me. I called to her softly in German. “Do you have something to eat?”
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She didn’t understand. I inched closer to the fence and repeated the question in Polish. She stepped forward. I was thin and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my feet, but the girl looked unafraid. In her eyes, I saw life. She pulled an apple from her woolen jacket and threw it over the fence. I grabbed the fruit and, as I started to run away, I heard her say faintly, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
I returned to the same spot by the fence at the same time every day. She was always there with something for me to eat – a hunk of bread or, better yet, an apple. We didn’t dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for us both. I didn’t know anything about her, just a kind farm girl, except that she  understood Polish. What was her name? Why was she risking her life for me?
Hope was in such short supply, and this girl on the other side of the fence gave me some, as nourishing in its way as the bread and apples.

Nearly seven months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal car and shipped to Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia . “Don’t return,” I told the girl that day. “We’re leaving.” I turned toward the barracks and didn’t look back, didn’t even say good-bye to the little girl whose name I’d never learned, the girl with the apples.

We were in Theresienstadt for three months. The war was winding down and Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed. On May 10, 1945, I was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 AM.
In the quiet of dawn, I tried to prepare myself. So many times death seemed ready to claim me, but somehow I’d survived. Now, it was over.  I thought of my parents. At least, I thought, we will be reunited.
But at 8 a.m. there was a commotion. I heard shouts, and saw people running every which way through camp. I caught up with my brothers. Russian troops had liberated the camp! The gates swung open. Everyone was running, so I did too. Amazingly, all of my brothers had survived; I’m not sure how. But I knew that the girl with the apples had been the key to my survival.
In a place where evil seemed triumphant, one person’s goodness had saved my life, had given me hope in a place where there was none.
My mother had promised to send me an angel, and the angel had come.
Eventually I made my way to England where I was sponsored by a Jewish charity, put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the Holocaust and trained in electronics. Then I came to America, where my brother Sam had already moved. I served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War, and returned to New York City after two years.
By August 1957 I’d opened my own electronics repair shop. I was starting to settle in. One day, my friend Sid who I knew from England called me. “I’ve got a date. She’s got a Polish friend. Let’s double date.” A blind date? Nah, that wasn’t for me. But Sid kept pestering me, and a few days later we headed up to the Bronx to pick up his date and her friend Roma.
I had to admit, for a blind date this wasn’t so bad. Roma was a nurse at a Bronx hospital. She was kind and smart. Beautiful, too, with swirling brown curls and green, almond-shaped eyes that sparkled with life. The four of us drove out to Coney Island. Roma was easy to talk to, easy to be with. Turned out she was wary of blind dates too!
We were both just doing our friends a favor. We took a stroll on the boardwalk, enjoying the salty Atlantic breeze, and then had dinner by the shore. I couldn’t remember having a better time. We piled back into Sid’s car, Roma and I sharing the backseat. As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been left unsaid between us. She broached the subject, “Where were you,” she asked softly, “during the war?”
 “The camps,” I said. The terrible memories still vivid, the irreparable loss. I had tried to forget. But you can never forget. She nodded. “My family was hiding on a farm in Germany, not far from Berlin,” she told me. “My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers.” I imagined how she must have suffered too, fear, a constant companion. And yet here we were both survivors, in a new world. “There was a camp next to the farm.” Roma continued. “I saw a boy there and I would throw him apples every day.”
What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. “What did he look like?” I asked. “He was tall, skinny, and hungry. I must have seen him every day for six months.” My heart was racing. I couldn’t believe it. This couldn’t be. “Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was leaving Schlieben?” Roma looked at me in amazement. “Yes!”“That was me!” I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn’t believe it! My angel.
“I’m not letting you go,” I said to Roma. And in the back of the car on that blind date, I proposed to her. I didn’t want to wait. “You’re crazy!” she said. But she invited me to meet her parents for Shabbat dinner the following week. There was so much I looked forward to learning about Roma, but the most
important things I always knew: her steadfastness, her goodness. For many  months, in the worst of circumstances, she had come to the fence and given me hope. Now that I’d found her again, I could never let her go. That day, she said yes. And I kept my word. After nearly 50 years of marriage, two children and three grandchildren, I have never let her go.

** This story was forwarded to me by a friend as part of a memorial chain to all those who became victims of concentration camp atrocities during Wold War II. However, since posting this story, I have learned that although the author is a survivor of the concentration camps, he falsely presented his story as truth, when in fact it is a work of fiction. 

You can read more about this hoax at:

 

MAKING LEMONADE FROM LEMONS by Shannon Gordon

The year 2007 is one the Taylors are not likely to forget. In February of that year, my daughter Heidi was diagnosed with MS. Her first born son, Thomas was six years old at the time.  Brayden was merely three. They had said as a family that they would make lemonade out of the lemons they had been dealt. From day one Heidi was determined to be the Commander of her life rather than allowing MS to navigate her ship!  When summer arrived and school was out, Thomas said that he wanted to do something to help find a cure for MS. Heidi learned that Sunkist Corporation had lemonade stands available to folks who would sell lemonade and give a portion of the proceeds to a charity. Heidi asked Thomas if he was interested and with his usual zeal, he said YES!

Subsequently, he held lemonade stand sales in his driveway every Saturday that summer. When the sales were completed each day, he took his money into the house and divided it into four equal accounts—one for his friend who was his “employee”, one to pay back his Mom and Dad (Clark) for the lemonade and cups, one for his special savings account for the MS Society, and one for his own savings account.

 Thomas 1st stand

Thomas’ first lemonade stand . . . and the story begins

Additionally, that summer he became an official fund raiser for the MS Society of Utah. After signing their form, Tom received an official fund raiser shirt to wear at the stand and informational materials to distribute.

In August, Sunkist contacted Heidi and asked if they would be interested in holding a stand at the Albertson’s store in Sandy. They agreed and were the highlight of KSL-TV that weekend! It was a huge success!


Thomas and friend2

Thomas and friend at their Take-a-Stand lemonade stand

Later in the Fall, the MS Society of Utah invited Thomas to share his story and success for the MS Society with the Humana Corporation. Humana was in the process of gathering information from charitable organizations in order to distribute $1 million dollars to local charities in Utah. Humana awarded the Utah MS Society $10,000.00.

Thomas and Heidi attended the event and he made a great presentation of his summer activities. He met and joined in the presentation with Bob Harmon of Harmon’s grocery. They attended the presentation of the awards evening and the MS Society was granted a $6,000.00 donation–thus the start of the Take a Stand program.

 Take a Stand with Heidi, Brady and Tom

Left to right: Heidi, Brady (sitting) and Thomas – standing 

at Take-a-Stand lemonade stand

Thank you Thomas for reminding us that we are never too young or too small-in-number to make a difference. You are a shining example of  what one human being can accomplish. Determination and perseverance  are powerful forces indeed!

LEGACY OF LOVE by Micki Peluso

 I stood in the small church, supported by the prayers of loved ones, mantled with the soulful whine of the church organ playing its dirge of death. I felt a separation of mind and body.  Someone was standing here, but it couldn’t be me. The smell of incense permeated my senses, overwhelming with its cloying scent. Next to me, covered with a shroud, stood the casket of my child. I would not look at it, could not.

The words of the priest droned on and on, completing the Mass, and the ceremony finally drew to a close, but I was lost in a sea of unrelated thought. I heard nothing; I felt nothing, except a desire to be done with this, to be free to face my grief alone.

Noelle

 Remembering Noelle

The ride to the cemetery was torturously slow. We climbed the long winding mountain road to the top of the cemetery, surrounded by grotesquely beautiful tombstones, the only proof of former lives.It was over at last. We walked, my family and I, down the endless aisle of concerned, tear streaked faces, united in a mélange of emotion, following the one who would never again walk among us. Then out into the overcast day, whose sun had the dignity not to shine, we entered the limousines and headed for the cemetery to say our final goodbye.

Surely this was just a dream. I would awaken soon and rebuke the nightmare that enveloped my senses, sighing with relief. Oh God, please let this be a dream. But no, the grass was too lushly green. Tear shaped droplets of rain hung precariously from misted, succulent leaves. The dark gray clouds swirling in anger as the sun tried vainly to push them aside in a futile effort to dominate the day, were too real. Yes, this was actually happening.

There were over a hundred people standing behind me; their silence bearing down upon me like the crush of ocean waves. I fought the compulsion to slide into oblivion and let this travesty proceed without me.

There was a small crucifix on top of the darkly ominous box which was now my daughter’s residence. I tried to focus on that one object in an effort to retain my sanity. The voice of the priest, overflowing with empathy, broke the silence with, I was told later, a moving and beautiful eulogy. His words rained down over me, covering me with compassionate warmth, but I comprehended no meaning. Closing my mind to everything around me, the box and I stood alone together in the macabre stillness of a lonely mountain top, whose residents, except for birds and trees, were all stone cold and unfeeling.

There was no life here, not even serenity, just the vacuous emptiness of space and time, devoid of animation. What a cruel, unlikely place to leave one who was so vivacious, so seething with spirit, so very much alive. I had to leave this place. My daughter was not here.

After the funeral, our family unit was forever altered. Yet life went on and swept us along; children had to be fed and cared for, careers had to be maintained.

The ten-day wait in the Intensive Care Unit was over. Family, neighbors and friends moved on with their own lives and we were forced to continue ours, in spite of the gaping hole left by the absence of Noelle. There would be no more hovering by her bedside, praying for the miracle that would heal her severed spinal cord; broken by the thoughtless drunk driver who struck her down in broad daylight miracle that was not meant to be. Noelle’s fourteen years of life were over and her two brothers, three sisters, her father and I had to somehow face the future without the child who had lit up our lives and had given us constant pleasure.

The other children reacted in different ways. One became bulimic and suicidal, another, anxious and panic stricken. Yet another raced his car at high speeds, defying death to take him too, while his brother became withdrawn, depressed and barely spoke. Our oldest child, at twenty one, left home to deal with her grief away from us; we caused her too much pain.

Two years later, our oldest daughter had married and was bearing her firstborn child. She had a long and life threatening labor and did not, nor did the rest of us, notice that when she finally brought her son into the world–it was on the day that Noelle died. Upon realizing this, she was horrified and sobbed as she lay in recovery. The rest of us were equally appalled and awestruck by what by what we perceived to be one of life’s cruel ironies.

And then the miracle happened. During the next few years the tragic day that claimed the life of Noelle became, instead, the birthday of a beautiful little boy. Noelle had somehow sent us the gift of healing. Today, as we continue to celebrate that day, our grief is temporarily put aside, and the memories of Noelle have become sweet, bittersweet, yet softened by the little boy born on the date she died. Ian was two years old when he told his mother, Kim, that “when I grow up and become Noelle, the truck will miss me.”

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Ian’s son. Seth at age 2, visiting Noelle

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Ian’s son. Seth at age 2, departing gravesite

At 14 years old, he traveled with his grandmother to Rome and in a narrow alley, a car whizzed by and the rearview mirror (like the one that severed Noelle’s spinal cord) missed him by inches. Other grandchildren seemed obsessed with Noelle as well, even though we did not speak of her often. Nicole’s two year old son, Nicholas told his mother that Noelle was in the room with them. His mother thought he meant her picture but he insisted he could see her. It was her birthday. Kelly’s son, Brandon pointed at the ceiling and babbled until he could talk and then reported seeing Noelle everywhere, once in the front seat of the car next to his mother. He claimed that Noelle had told him not to play in the street with the big boys. He also claimed that he could not see Noelle as often around Christmas because the sky was filled with angels. There were many instances like this. As I lay dying from back to back heart attacks, Noelle came to her father, smiled and gave him the thumbs up—I lived. These visits we believe were Noelle’s way of assuring us that her soul was alive and well, her way of easing our grief–her legacy of love.

 

 

OLD GUY AND A BUCKET OF SHRIMP

This story was sent to me by my friend, Sonia Smith. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

I welcome your heartwarming stories and will post special ones on this blog.

It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.

 Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier.. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.

Everybody’s gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts…and his bucket of shrimp.

Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier.

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Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, ‘Thank you. Thank you.’

In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn’t leave.

He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.

When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like ‘a funny old duck,’ as my dad used to say. Or, ‘a guy who’s a sandwich shy of a picnic,’ as my kids might say. To onlookers, he’s just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp.

 shrimp

To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant …. maybe even a lot of nonsense.

Old folks often do strange things, at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters.

Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida . That’s too bad. They’d do well to know him better.

His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker. He was a famous hero back in World War II. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

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 Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were.

They needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft..

Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap.

It was a seagull!

Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck.. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal – a very slight meal for eight men – of it. Then they used the intestines for bait.. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait…….and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued (after 24 days at sea…).

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull… And he never stopped saying, ‘Thank you.’ That’s why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

PS: Eddie started Eastern Airlines.

Reference:

(Max Lucado, “In The Eye of the Storm”, pp..221, 225-226)

THE SMELL OF RAIN

 A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. 

That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple’s new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing. At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature.

Still, the doctor’s soft words dropped like bombs. ‘I don’t think she’s going to make it,’ he said, as kindly as he could. ‘There’s only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one’

 Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

‘No! No!’ was all Diana could say.

 She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four.

Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana ‘s underdeveloped nervous system was essentially ‘raw’, the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn’t even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love.

All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. 

At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. 

And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted. 

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental orphysical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother’s lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin’s baseball team was practicing. As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby, when she suddenly fell silent.Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, ‘Do you smell that?’ 

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, ‘Yes, it smells like rain.’ 

Dana closed her eyes and again asked, 

‘Do you smell that?’ 

Once again, her mother replied,’Yes, I think we’re about to get wet. It smells like rain.’ 

Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, ‘No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.’ 

Tears blurred Diana’s eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children. 

Before the rains came, her daughter’s words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well. 

You now have 1 of 2 choices. You can either pass this on and let other people catch the chills like you did or you can delete this and act like it didn’t touch your heart like it did mine. IT’S YOUR CALL! 

Award winning Tales2Inspire™ author, Jim Lawrence, does not take credit for this story  as he has no idea who wrote it. He sent it to me: Just because I knew it would be something you would enjoy. 

I share it with you now as a sample of the type stories likely to win awards in the Tales2Inspire™ “Authors Helping Authors” project/contest. Check it out!

You’ll be glad you did!

MARKETING TIPS FOR YOU, THE AUTHOR

ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED NAMES IN THE INDUSTRY, DAN POYNTER PUBLISHES a F-R-E-E NEWSLETTER WHICH REACHES OVER 20,00 PEOPLE PER MONTH.

I ALWAYS ENJOY DAN’S NEWSLETTERS, BUT IT WAS THE OPENING PAGES OF HIS OCTOBER EDITION THAT NEARLY TOOK MY BREATH AWAY.

THANK YOU DAN FOR YOUR GREAT SUPPORT!

FOR THOSE WHO STILL HAVEN’T HEARD ABOUT TALES2INSPIRE, A FIRST RATE  “AUTHORS HELPING AUTHORS” PROJECT/CONTEST, JUST SCURRY OVER TO THE WEBSITE  FOR ALL THE HOW TO’S AND ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS.

STORIES ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR THE 2013 SEASON.

You can read his latest edition  or make a request to be added to his subscriber list at: DanPoynter@parapublishing.com

CAN YOU INSPIRE OTHERS WITH THE POWER OF YOUR WORDS.?

GREAT P.R. BENEFITS AWAIT ALL WORTHY ENTRANTS.

MUSIC TO MY EARS! What Cami Ann Hofstadter Had to Say About Tales2Inspire

Issue 9     SOUTH FLORIDA WRITERS ASSOCIATION    SEPTEMBER  2012 

www.southfloridawritersassn.org

   

IT PAYS TO BE A MEMBER OF SFWA

By Cami Ann Hofstadter

In the spring, members got an email about a writing competition at www.tales2inspire.com, and although SFWA cannot “vouch for” any of the many items it forwards to members, I decided to take a chance.

When I went to the website, I was particularly drawn to the theme by Lois W. Stern, the creator of the competition, “Authors Helping Authors.” Also, I liked the big choice of genres in which you could submit, so I made the “leap” and submitted my story titled A LEAP OF WORDS.

You can imagine how excited I was when I came in a finalist but more than that, I was so gratified by all the “side-benefits” this has given me. Not only does Lois’s website generate a lot of traffic (try tales2inspire in one of the search-engines and you’ll see what I mean) but, in addition to the tales, she has also posts a radio interview of us authors. And I get an “emblem” to put on my own soon-to-be-built website to include among my other writers’ credentials. So check it all out by going to the authors’ page at www.tales2inspire.com/AUTHOR_TALES.html and watch a video or go directly to the ON THE AIR sign for the radio interview. You can also check out the other services Lois offers; all in the true spirit of authors helping authors.

More than all this, don’t miss your chance to participate in the next competition!

Deadline is December 28, 2012 and by March 15, 2013 we’ll know who among SFWA members is a Finalist or Winner for the

year 2013!

Get all the details about this Authors Helping Authors project/contest here.

Cami Ann Hofstadter

 

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