From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy to Be Here

Two little stories of life restored



A few days ago at work, I waited on a tall, thin, fellow with salt and pepper hair. As I rang up his purchases, he mentioned that it was his 50th birthday. "Happy birthday!" I said. Then, trying to offer a bit of reassurance, I added, "The 50s have been pretty good for me."

"Oh, I'm happy to be 50," he said earnestly. "When I turned 40, I didn't think I'd ever make it to 50. Then eight years ago, I had a heart transplant, and I'm doing great."

He explained that he tells everyone he can about his heart transplant. He wants to help them see that a donated organ is a gift of life. He feels that every good word he can say helps a sick person who is waiting for an organ. He remembers how it is to wait and he wants to help.

Every day, some of my customers share stories about their lives with me, but I think this man's story is the most dramatic that I've heard.

Recently, I heard another shopper's happy story of restored life. A grandfatherly man confided that he had moved to Hopkinsville to die, several years ago. He was very sick and the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong. Knowing that his end was near, he sold his house in Florida and moved to Hopkinsville to be close to his son.

His Hopkinsville doctor sent him to a specialist in Nashville who diagnosed and treated his condition. Now he's in such good health that he's thinking about moving back to Florida. He thinks this is a good time to find a bargain while the real estate market is in a down cycle.

Like the man with the heart transplant, he's happy to be here!

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.