Monday, January 23, 2012

A Story to Remember

Out in the cold, you see despair treading city streets, sleeping in card board boxes , cars and old tool sheds.
People who have long ago given up to it, feeling nothing they do, will change any of it.
They exist without feelings or thought, empty shells, having lost all hope.

But once in a while you see a man with sparkling eyes and a smile surrounded by an aura
of internal warmth.
He's accepted his situation and has not given up because he knows he carries a treasure inside.

Man was created from clay, earth..... and like a clay pot, he carries his treasures within, which make all of us, the people we were born to be.

We carry life, a soul, wisdom, experiences, love, grace, generosity, kindness, and most of all
We carry him and his blessings, every where we go.
We carry his story.

Because he is in us, hope can never be lost and
change is always possible.
The only thing that stops something better from being achieved is,
to not want to try.

On a cold winters' day, a man with sparkling eyes and a smile surrounded by an aura
of internal warmth, stood by a school waiting for the children. They came out one by one.

Some lighting a cigarette, some a joint, some swearing, and some beautiful people who
walked by silently, giving him a curious, disturbed look.
As he sat there in the parking lot, a few stopped at first to kid him and then to ask him his story.

As he began his story, more and more kids began to surround him, for his story was both wonderful and sad. His eyes continued to sparkle and the smile never left his lips as as he talked .
It was as if he was full of joy and contained the most deepest of secrets.

He was calm, depicting some kind of inner strength, accepting of his plight and intriguing enough, for kids to want to hear more.
One gave him a hot cup of coffee to warm his hands.
Another had a cookie.
The janitor came out to the dumpsters to throw out a few carton boxes and stood, to watch the man, before going back inside. Before long the Principal came out to the group to see what was going on and listened to the continuing tale.

She was going to call the police but hesitated, for something about this man pulled her to him.
She told the children to go home and asked the man to follow her inside.

And it was here he kept on with his tale whereby other teachers, counselors and secretaries began to stop and listen from behind the Principals door.
They brought him a cup of soup from the microwave and finally asked him if there was someplace he had to go.

The man told them, wherever he is , is a good place to be, thanked them and walked out the schools' front door.

During the week, he came every day to the parking lot and as the kids saw him, they would approach wanting more of his stories and brought him many things. A book , gloves, a sleeping bag, sandwiches, McDonald burgers, and as word went around about this strange man, who broke no laws and had so much to offer in terms of keeping kids out of trouble, a curious parent took an interest.

He asked the man his name and was given the name Joe.
The parent was an off duty policeman and asked him if he had a place to stay and the man said: Wherever I am, is a good place to be.

Well then, come with us and be in another good place.
The parent smiled and offered his hand to carry Joes' bag.

Joe smiled and got into the car.
He was brought to a modest house where two, ear to ear smiling kids, couldn't do enough for him
They took his coat and his boots. settled him into a nice comfy couch and turned on the fireplace to warm him up.
There was more coffee and cake as dishes clanked and dinner was being put together on a stove.
Outside gentle flakes of snow began to feather the sky and as Joe gazed outside he closed his eyes.

He was quietly covered by a blanket and left alone to sleep.
He slumbered through dinner and through the night.

It was Saturday morning and every one was up early. The kids waited till they saw Joes' eyes open and ran to tell the parents: Joe's up! Joe's up!

Joe asked for the use of the bathroom.
Mrs Linwood gave him a towel and told him to help himself to a shower and a shave. She had a change of clothing for him consisting of a thick fleecy shirt, jeans, wool socks and underwear.
Over breakfast of bacon and eggs, toast and jam and as it turns out, Joe preferred tea,
Joe told the parents he was a University Professor, by trade.

He lost his way after the death of his wife and children in a car accident.
His life became a journey as he ventured out into the world to find them.

He keeps walking because he sees them every where and they keep him warm and safe.
They are always happy to see him, wherever he is and he takes great comfort in this.

He touched the head of the youngest child.
You look like my little Marilynn and you son, look like my son Paul.
Paul looked at his Dad.

Joe lifted his thin knuckled hand to his eye to wipe away a tear.

Tell us more stories Joe, quipped Annie Rose.

Don't bother Joe . Corrected Mother giving Joe a chance to collect himself.

It's all right. I have plenty to tell and Joe began a story about a legend he heard in Greece and myths from far away India and Africa.

Paul was 14 years old and he sat wide eyed, totally absorbed, as if he never heard a story before.
At the end of Joes' stories, Dad cleared his throat and looked at his wife.

Joe, you have to spend the night and go to church with us tomorrow.

I could go to church. Wherever I am, is a good place to be. He smiled.

That Saturday, the Linwood family spent together at home, taking care of Joe and loving it.
Love flowed and surrounded the family in a beautiful candle like glow.

Every one was happy. Happier than they've been in a long time.
Paul didn't rush to soccer. Mom didn't go shopping or talk on the phone.
Annie didn't play outside with her friends
And Dad stayed in the house, instead of the garage.

The next day word got around in church and people were waiting for the arrival of this now famous Joe.
People greeted him as he walked in with the family.

Joe listened to the Pastor speak on the importance of family with bent head.
After church, there was a cafeteria full of finger food to snack on and this gave the Pastor a chance to come for a little visit with Joe.

Hi! I'm Pastor Wilkes .
He put out his hand to shake Joes' .
Welcome to our Parish Joe.
I understand you are a Professor?

Yes. I taught physics.

Where about you from Joe?

From every where and no where in particular.
I was born in Montreal.

Oh gosh, you are far away from home.
chuckled the Pastor.

Yes and no, depending on how you want to see it.
The world is a pretty small place.

Well you sure made an impact with your stories .
I was wondering if you would like to attend our meeting tomorrow night.
We would sure love to hear more of your travels and there will be a supper served.

Joe stood a long time and looked deep into the eyes of the Pastor.
He then looked into the eyes of
the people around him full of hope and wanting.

Thank you.
he said quietly.
I'd like that.

At home with the Linwoods, he helped with the cooking and the washing up of the dishes.
and of course there were more after dinner stories.

The children learned about love, in a way they never heard before.
They learned more about a man who looked death in the eye and refused to accept it.
They met his family, his children and his dog through his eyes and heart and they were as alive to them, as they were to him.

Joe attended the meeting with the pastor and was offered a job at a local college to teach Humanities. "Through the Eyes of Love."

His courses were always packed because it seemed people had a thirst and a longing to know what love really was .

The little town of Dunsmore, began to change slowly as the year came to an end.

Kids stopped doing drugs. Adults stopped drinking. Families began spending more time together . Chores were all done without having to ask for them to be.
There were fewer car accidents, fewer crimes, fewer deaths, fewer people in hospitals, less homelessness as people went home to friends and relatives instead of depending on social welfare and housing programs and more family dinners with Gramma and Grand pa.

Houses began to flower as each street began to take care of their gardens, growing vegetables and raising chicks and bunnies.
The city began to have more money in its' coffers so taxes could be lowered.

Things were really beginning to unexpectedly change, in a big way.

One day Joe disappeared as mysteriously as he appeared.
He took nothing with him except his old clothes.
People looked for him and missed him.
They wondered why he left, since they thought he fit right in.

But they understood Joe.
He left behind his kind eyes and smile and his words echoed
from hearts which were once blessed to sit and listen, by his side.

Every where I a good place to be.

Have a good one.


An Arab Sheik was admitted to St Vincent's Hospital for heart surgery, but prior to the surgery, the doctors needed to store his blood in case the need arises. As the gentleman had a rare type of blood, it couldn't be found locally, so, the call went out to all the states. Finally a Scot was located who had a similar blood type. The Scot willingly donated his blood for the Arab. After the surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman as appreciation for giving his blood, a new BMW, diamonds & US dollars. A couple of days later, once again, the Arab had to go through a corrective surgery. His doctor telephoned the Scotsman who was more than happy to donate his blood again. After the second surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman a thank-you card & a jar of candies. The Scotsman was shocked that the Arab this time did not reciprocate his kind gesture as he had anticipated. He phoned the Arab & asked him: "I thought you would be generous again, that you would give me a BMW, diamonds & money... But you only gave me a thank-you card & a jar of candies".

To this the Arab replied:

"Aye, but I now have Scottish blood in me veins".__


Lydia Kang said...

What a lovely story. And what a funny joke at the end! Um, I didn't know that was a Scottish stereotype.

A Lady's Life said...

Lydia - yes Scots are known to be stingy . If you watch the Craig show he makes fun of

Mama Zen said...

The story about Joe is just beautiful!

A Lady's Life said...

thanks Mama Zen