Nadia Krenn…New Author at age 8…my granddaughter

My granddaughter, Nadia, who is in 2nd grade, recently won Second Place in a Creative Writing Contest sponsored by her school. It is called the Matt Hessel-Mial Creative Writing Award.

The award was created in memory of Matt Hessel-Mial.  Following is what the booklet tells us of his short but beautiful life:

“Matt Hessel-Mial began writing even before he could read and write. He would dictate his adventures to his parents, often faster than he could write them down. Later, he wrote them in longhand, illustrating them himself. There would be a line or two of writing and the rest pictures. Matt seriously began writing as a Second Grader at Emerson School. He taught himself to write on a computer using four fingers. It tripled his speed and output.  His parents, Richard and Susan Hessel, decided to print a collection of his stories about that the time that they learned he needed a bone marrow transplant. The first printing of THE GREAT PLANET SWAP and OTHER STORIES arrived while he was in the transplant unit of the University of Minnesota Hospital. He was 8 years old when he died on September 14, 1986. Matt may have had leukemia, but his stories were about life. He was too busy having fun writing his adventure stories to dwell on his disease. Writing was the joy of Matt’s life.  It is his family’s hope that other kids will experience the same enjoyment in writing.”

From the booklet: “… It is an annual contest sponsored by the Hessel-Mial Family to encourage elementary children to write.  The contest has four categories–one each for second through fifth grade. The work must be that of the students. There are no limitations to length. Spelling, handwriting and grammar are not judged; however, judges must be able to read and understand what has been written. Stories may be illustrated if students wish. The program has been accepted as part of the elementary school curriculum by the School District of La Crosse.  The project is a joint effort between the Literacy and Assessment Program, the Elementary Library Media Specialists, and the High Performance Learning Program in the School District of La Crosse. Thanks to all classroom teachers who encouraged and supported participation.  Special thanks to Susan Hessel and Richard Mial for their continued support and creative ideas throughout the project. We also greatly appreciated the personal contact with the winning schools and students when Dick presented the awards.”

Nadia earned Second place for her story: “The Leprechaun and the Surprise Party.” She was given a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble that she promptly used to purchase a book! How proud our family is of her!

Here is Nadia’s story:

The Leprechaun

and

the Surprise Party!  

Once there was a leprechaun named Tiny and it was his special day…It was his birthday!   He was hoping his friends were going to throw him a birthday party and he would get tons of presents.  So he got up early to get ready for a huge party.  He was thinking maybe it would be at Lucky’s place so he headed there right away.  He arrived at Lucky’s and knocked on the door, expecting the door to swing open with everyone chanting, “Happy Birthday!” This was just not the case. Lucky answered the door still wearing his pajamas!  He had quite a talk with Lucky and headed on his way thinking, “maybe at Starlight’s place!

Tiny got back on the bus and headed towards his favorite seat all the way in the back.  He started wondering about all the different gifts he might receive. He could see the cake in his mind; it would have a big rainbow on it.  He was hoping there would be ice cream too. He loved parties that had both. Balloons were all his mind was thinking about when the bus came to a stop.  He was finally at Starlight’s house. He went to the door all excited!  Tiny knocked and knocked but no one answered.  Tiny was very sad. So Tiny sat on the step and wondered where could it be–srely, they would remember his birthday!

Tiny started walking down the sidewalk towards his friend Sweet’s house.  She only lived five blocks away. Now Tiny was in no rush.  He was walking with his head down and a sad look on his face.  He kept thinking, “what if everyone forgot his special day!”  He was about two blocks away and he could see something in the distance. He couldn’t make it out but it looked like balloons up ahead. He started to walk faster and faster.  He could finally tell they were balloons! So he started to run!  When he got to the house, it wasn’t Sweet’s home! It was the neighbor’s and they were having a garage sale!  He was so sad he almost cried.  Sweet had seen him running and came out to see what the problem was.  Tiny told her, “It’s my special day and everyone has forgotten.”  Sweet said, “There’s no way! I’m sure someone will do something for your birthday.” Sweet knew there was a party in the works.

Sweet suggested they go to the mall to see if they could find more of Tiny’s friends, so on the bus they went. They wandered the mall, going to every store in hopes to find more of their friends. They had stopped at a party store and the surprise was almost blown because Tiny’s uncle was there getting last minute party supplies.  He had forgotten to get party plates!  Tiny’s uncle noticed them coming in and hid the plates behind his back so Tiny couldn’t see them. Tiny talked to his uncle for a couple of minutes and was wondering why his uncle didn’t wish him a happy birthday? Tiny’s uncle winked at Sweet and went on his way.

It was lunch time now, so Tiny and Sweet stopped for lunch in the mall.  They ate their lunch slowly and talked for an hour. Sweet was buying time and hoping that Tiny wouldn’t catch on to what they were doing. They finished up and headed towards the bus. On the ride, Tiny started to cry a little and kept talking about how he wished he would have a party. The ride to Tiny’s house was about 45 minutes and Sweet almost started to cry herself because Tiny was so depressed! Sweet didn’t like that Tiny was so upset so she tried making funny faces to cheer him up.

They made it to the bus stop a block away from Tiny’s house and Sweet asked if it would be okay if she stayed and played video games. Tiny said it was okay and they headed towards Tiny’s house.  When they were really close, Sweet started to chuckle. Tiny went to open the door and out of nowhere there was a huge scream, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Tiny jumped back and was totally excited. His whole family and friends were all there at his place.  There were balloons everywhere and cake and ice cream. There were presents all over the place.  They all gathered around Tiny and sang Happy Birthday to him. He blew out all the candles in one big breath and wished his wish. He had so much cake he almost couldn’t finish his ice cream. He opened all the presents and couldn’t imagine a better day. Tiny looked at everyone and said, “This is the best surprise party a leprechaun could ever ask for!”…and with that he just sighed…

 

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A Story of Kindness…Author UNKNOWN

Re-shared in honor of Sharon Harmon

The following story was shared on Facebook by a mutual Facebook friend, who happens to be Black American and Muslim. She is a person who is very open-minded and loving towards all.  It is a sad story because it reminds us of the inhumanity of man against man. But, at the same time, it is a beautiful story of a person, regardless of his own misery, went beyond himself to comfort another person. We can never give too much.  We never lose when we give.

I thought it would be a great story to share during the Christmas season…a story about a Jewish man and his care for another person. Jesus was Jewish—so what better a story to unite us all…regardless of our color, race or religion.

Copyright ©Jane H. Johann, February, 2016 "Solidarity of Reeds"

Copyright
©Jane H. Johann, February, 2016
“Solidarity of Reeds”

 

  In Crown Heights, there was a Jewish man named Yankel, who owned a bakery. He survived the concentration camps, and always said, “You know why it is that I’m alive today?”
“I was a kid, just a teenager at the time. We were on the train being taken to Auschwitz. Night came and it was deathly cold in that boxcar. The Germans would leave the cars on the side of the tracks overnight, sometimes for days on end without any food, and no blankets to keep us warm,” he said.

*
“Sitting next to me was this beloved elderly Jewish man from my hometown. He was shivering from head to toe,  and looked terrible. So I wrapped my arms around him to keep him warm. I rubbed his arms, his legs, his face, his neck. I begged him to hang on. All night long, I kept the man warm this way.

*

“I was tired, and freezing cold myself. My fingers were numb, but I didn’t stop rubbing heat into that old man’s body. Hours and hours went by until finally, morning came and the sun began to shine. When there was some light in the boxcar, I looked around to see the other people. To my horror, all I could see were frozen bodies. All I could hear was deathly silence.

*
“Nobody else in that cabin made it through the night. They died from the cold. Only two people survived: the old man and me. The old man survived because somebody kept him warm…and I survived because I was warming someone else.

*
“Can I tell you the secret to survival in this world? When you warm other people’s hearts, you remain warm yourself. When you seek to support, encourage and inspire others, then you discover support, encouragement and inspiration in your own life as well. That, my friends, is the secret to life.”

Copyright ©Jane H. Johann Bellingham Bay, Bellingham, WA December, 2015

Copyright
©Jane H. Johann
Bellingham Bay, Bellingham, WA December, 2015

swinging on a star

Yesterday, Nadia asked me, “What happens when we die?” as both she and her brother, Ayden,  were sitting on the swings, and I was pushing them into the air.

I do not know why I said what I did, but I said, “Well, we begin with Love…we are with God and he asks us if we want to go on vacation to Earth, and then we visit awhile, and then one day our bodies become old and we go back to God.”

Nadia said, “But I will miss you, Nanny, when you die!”

Of course, that tender response brought tears to my eyes, so I added, “Well, I will always be with you, Nadia and Ayden, because then I will be an angel watching over you.  And you just need to remember that I am there…”

Ayden persisted, “But then do we become angels too? I am a boy…can boys be angels? Every picture of an angel I see has long hair and looks like a girl!”

Nadia chimed in, “An angel? Really?”  She was definitely more enthusiastic about being an angel and was laughing with delight, “Then I can fly like the birds into the sky?”

I addressed Ayden’s question first, “Ayden, yes boys are angels too! Some artists are still learning to draw! There are boy angels! When you are an angel, you can visit anyone anytime…you can float on the clouds…it will be a wonderful party.”

Ayden seemed relieved and he said, “You mean, I can fly like a bird too?”

“Yes, Adyen! High like the eagles!” I said enthusiastically.

Nadia said, “I am still little. I don’t want to die yet.”

To this I replied, “I do not want you to die either, as I would be very, very sad and miss you!  But  I am sure you will have a long life.  I plan to be around for a long time…so we will have lots of fun!” It was getting a bit serious for me–and I realized that we were discussing a very important concept for them.  I did not want them to deny their perceptions of death, that there is suffering, but there is also much more than that! But we cannot accept life, without accepting that death is a part of life—yes, too deep…too deep for me.  All this is running through my brain, and they were persistent in wanting answers.

Then Nadia said, “But what about our bones?”

“Well, I began, “Do you know how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly?” [thank goodness for Dora the Explorer and the science channel that they both love to watch! Ayden wants to be a Zookeeper! and Nadia is convinced she wants to be Rapunzel– the beautiful princess with the long, blond hair!]

Both responded, “Yes!”

Well, that is what happens when we die; we become an angel, our bones stay behind, and just like the caterpillar turns into a butterfly, we turn into angels and then we live with God in Love.”

They were swinging into the air and they seemed content and I was content.

Wooden Angel Stock Photo

Nadia…my little doctor

Nadia, my Granddaughter,  who is almost 4 and 1/2  (she likes to think she is “older” and grown-up…so that 1/2 is important) stepped into her medical shoes last evening! After dinner, I went to lie down as my back was in horrible pain. Nadia came in to check on me. She asked where the “doctor stuff” was. We have a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff still in the house from when my Mom came home to  live with us.

Nadia proceeded to the drawer and pulled out the stethoscope and carefully crawled on to the bed to listen to my heart. Her face became clouded, when she announced to me, “Nanny, I can’t hear your heart!”

I responded with equal surprise, and encouraged her by saying, “Perhaps you should go and check your Mom’s and your Aunt Lara’s heartbeats, to see if the stethoscope is working!”  Off she went to the kitchen where they were in conversation.

She returned in a few minutes, announcing to me that their hearts were just fine and the stethoscope was working. So she listened for my heartbeat again.  Then she confidently, and with a bit of caution,  announced, “Nanny, I can only hear your heart a little bit because your heart is tired.  You are tired from the monsters in your back.”

Then she listened to my legs. “Nanny, you have Princesses in your legs!”

Then she listened to my arms, “Nanny, you have ants in your arms!”

Then she said, “I have to go into the kitchen.”

Eventually she returned with a drawing that she had made for me several days ago and that was hanging on the proverbial refrigerator bulletin board.  “Nanny,” spoke Nadia with intense eyes and orders for me, “You must keep this picture on your tummy ALL night, so that the monsters come out of your body, up and through this picture and go out the window! Then be careful and do not step on these monsters again when you go outside! The monsters in your back will go away!”

She also told me that the Princesses would battle with the monsters in my back and that the ants were the soldiers fighting for me as well!

What she didn’t say, but was said through her words and actions, was that she loved me.  These love crystals helped relieve me of the monsters! Little Nadia understands life and what we need so much better than all of us!

Sentinel at the Railway Tracks

English: November snow in the Nicolet National...

English: November snow in the Nicolet National Forest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sentinel at the Railway Tracks

It was time for the 4 o’clock train to pull in. Bud was standing alone at the railway tracks, patiently awaiting his younger brother’s arrival on the train. Snow was falling and the northern Canadian wind blew down the barren streets of Eagle River. The cold nimbostratus clouds hung  over the town, while at the same time occluding the sun’s warm rays.

There was not much happening in town today—deader than a doornail—just the usual two or three cars this Monday afternoon. A few people were bustling in and out of Trigg’s Supermarket, dodging the cold, while Bud  stared resolutely down the tracks. His mind drifted back to when he was eight years old and John, the brother he was anticipating, walked him to kindergarten.

Though John was a year younger than Bud, he was in first grade and said kindergarten was as easy as eating a slice of blueberry pie! Bud was terrified of going to school, but everyday John would walk him a block closer and explain to him how exciting it was going to be. The kindergarten had swings outside and inside was Ms. Macy, who had been there longer than the fir trees in the forest. She was a sweet, grandmotherly type teacher, who loved the younger children.  Often she would bake homemade chocolate chip cookies for the kids!  Bud  smiled thinking about the cookies.  How he wished he had one of those crunchy cookies now!

In the far distance, if he stretched his ear, he could hear the faint sound of the Chicago & North Western’s whistle penetrate the stillness of the day. With the air carrying ice chips on its tongue and the atmosphere so crisp you felt you could bite it, the lonesome yet steady song of the whistle could be heard, though it was still forty miles away. Soon John would be home! He couldn’t wait!

Maybe John would take him out on the snowmobile track just as he had two years ago, before he left for the Army.  Bud didn’t have many friends, but John always included him and treated him just like one of the guys.  Bud was twenty-two but could not think like a twenty-two year old. His Baptismal name was Robert and he was sometimes called Bob, while his parents affectionately referred to him as the “Golden Boy,” because he always wore a smile on his face that glowed like the sun while John called him, “Bud”—because he and Bud  were best buddies.

Yup, he and John were Buds!  The last time they were snowmobiling they ended up going through the thin sheet of ice on Deer Skin Creek!  Yeah, Mom and Dad were not too happy about that!  Even though their sheep-furred lined boots were laced with ice and their socks were as stiff as hard nails, they had a glorious time, traveling 55 miles per hour through Nicolet National Forest.  The spotted a few deer along the way, and John said that when he returned from the Army he was going to teach Bud how to hunt.

“Just imagine!” thought Bud to  himself, “I’ll be a real deer hunter.”

Bud had been standing at the tracks since early morning. He had heard his parents whispering in the kitchen that John would be arriving on the 4 o’clock train. He was so anxious now knowing that John was coming home, that he left the house without a word to anyone and went straight to the railway tracks!

The cold, winter wind streamed down the tracks rather briskly, as Bud tightened the knitted scarf around his neck and pulled the cap with flapping earlids around his head.

He remembered John leaving on the train two years ago. The army had sent him to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for his basic training and after six months, he was sent to Vietnam.  He had gone though basic training without a hitch.  His down-to-earth experience living Up North, fishing and camping, and not to mention, his great aim, prepared him for the worst of boot camp.  The winter nights camping out in Missouri were nothing to him and he survived the training nights with dignity, unlike the city boys, who were unaccustomed to sleeping on the ground or preparing food without a McDonalds or Dairy Queen nearby. On the first night, John was able to snag fish in the stream and hit a deer with precision.  He was the hero of the night!  Fresh venison and fish!  Camper’s delight!

John’s entire life changed the day the US Army recruiters had come to the local high school, encouraging the young men and women to serve their country.

The young recruiters with their smartly starched, impeccable uniforms began their speech:  “You are being asked to represent your country,” the recruiter confidently and proudly spoke to the willing ears. “You are being given a chance to help others enjoy the freedom and life that we have here in the United States. We need strong, young people like you to help those in the world who do not have the freedom you have.  You are being given a chance of a lifetime.  You are offering others freedom. Can you imagine, in places like Vietnam, kids like you can’t even go to school!  The Communists kill those who are educated and do not allow them to even read a book. Just think what you will be doing if you join the service and help ensure freedom for these young people, like yourselves. Also, when you have completed your time in the military, you will be eligible for the G.I. bill that will give you money to go to college.  We will also give you a $500.00 sign-on bonus that you can keep for tuition or whatever you need.”

It was partly the glory of being a hero, going off to a foreign country, and offering those poor, unfortunate souls democracy, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness, but more so, the promise of tuition and adventure that persuaded John to join. He would give those Commies holy hell! He recalled when he was younger and he and Bud would find some old 2×4’s, take the saw, and carve themselves some wooden guns and then head for the woods to kill the Nazis! Now he would be doing the real thing!

John came home that evening, proud and pumped up.  He had enlisted!  He was eighteen and signed the papers.

His parents were very supportive of John’s decision, especially since living in the North did not seem to offer many opportunities for employment at the time.  The economy was in the ditch and many people were out of work. The locals spent their time in the corner grocery store playing cards, while their wives worked either as nurses in the only hospital caring for the sick or establishing themselves as beauticians in the porches of their home beauty parlors to add to the glamour of the town’s faces.

“Better to devote yourself to something worthwhile—like helping others gain their freedom—than sitting around doing nothing,” his Dad offered.

His Mom, however, secretly cried at the thought of her young son leaving home when the summer months rolled around. She knew that he would be going off to another country—another world.  She would not be there to protect him.  Bud cried when his Mom cried, but John was thinking of adventure and leaving the forest of the North for sheer excitement.

Bud’s mind reverted back to an earlier time when John came home from school with two trophies he had received in basketball for his outstanding performance!  John shared one with Bud, and said if Bud had not been in the stands cheering him on, he never would have won it! Bud was so proud of the golden trophy on his shelf.

He and his brother were connected like the wind and the river…one gently pushing the other forward—always going forward.  John said, “Buddy, together we can do anything!”

Bud loved his brother John as much as any brother could.

Then Bud’s thoughts drifted back to the present and he was becoming anxious.  The train should be here soon. What would John look like?”  Would he have even bigger muscles than before?  Would he have a beard?  Would he have medals on his chest?  Bud had seen photos of his uncles from World War II.  They had all kinds of bright shiny metals on their jackets! He wished he had one!  He and John had done everything together forever, it seemed.  But when John joined the army, Bud was not allowed to. “Why?” He thought.  He was tall, strong, and fast but he had difficulty speaking and putting his thoughts together to form a sentence.

Often he was told, “Golden Boy, you have a good heart but no common sense?”  “What is common sense?” he thought to himself. “Whatever it is, it doesn’t appear to be that common, because I don’t see much of it around!” John was there to help him so it didn’t matter.  It was good that John was coming home now. Bud continued to peer down the tracks…waiting…waiting.

It was now almost 4p.m.  The whistle was getting closer.  It had to be past Crandon by now. Only another thirty miles after that and it would be pulling into the station.  Bud’s stomach was in knots; he was extremely anxious.  He recalled the time he had tried to be helpful on the farm, feeling badly that the pigs were all penned up, that he opened the gate and gave them their freedom.  Their Dad was a bit upset as it was time for butchering and now it would be delayed until all the pigs were caught! John gave up going to the movies and a date to help Bud gather the pigs together.  They had to walk over five miles before they caught every last pig. He was a great brother, indeed!

The shrill of the whistle was nearer but the sky was becoming more dismal.  Black clouds loomed over the town and the wind seemed to pick up speed. Then, around the bend, came the train! At last!

Bud ran as close as he could to the tracks, peering into the windows of the train, as it traveled past him, hoping to catch a glimpse of his brother.

Soon the train came to a halt.  The people filed off of the train.  Bud watched with eager anticipation, stretching his neck to find John.

Meanwhile, at the far corner of town, Bud’s parents were stopping at different stores looking for Bud.  They had been looking for him all day.  First they searched the barn, calling his name, and then with no response, scoured the nearby woods and creek.  Still…no Bud.  Finally, they drove to town.

Suddenly the last person had departed from the train.  Where was John?  Bud was quite nervous now and in a panic began shouting his name, “John!  John!  John!”

Around the corner, his parents appeared while at the same instance some men were lifting a rectangular box out of the cargo coach of the train.  Bud saw his Mom run to the box and throw herself on it, with her husband close behind, trying to calm her.  Bud was confused.  He ran to them.

“Mom!  Dad! Why are you here?  What is going on?  Why are you crying, Mom?  Dad?”

“Bud, “ his father spoke to him somberly, “Bud, we have been looking for you all day.  We did not mean for you to find out this way.  Bud, this is not going to be easy for you. We were aiming to tell you this morning, but we couldn’t find you. Your brother, John, was killed in Vietnam. This is his body. He threw himself over a hand grenade to save a young Vietnamese boy.”

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Ten years have now past since that November day.  The sky shifts from sunlight to clouds and back to the sun again…from spring to summer to fall and then the dreaded cold winter.  Time continues.  However, for Bud, life stood still that one winter day and has never been the same since.  Each morning he walks to the train track…waiting.  After the 4 o’clock train leaves, he somberly walks to his home, in silence and stunned.  He thinks that perhaps one day, his presence will change the outcome …one day John will bound off the train and together they will once again fish, swim and snowmobile through the northern woods. He is the lone soldier of the railroad tracks, standing vigil in remembrance of one who gave his life for another.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This story is part fictional and partly true. In Eagle River, when the railroad track was still present, there was a young man who would go to the railroad tracks everyday to wait for his brother to come home from Vietnam. Sadly, his brother was killed in that war.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Jane H. Johann and johannisthinking.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jane H. Johann and johannisthinking.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Footprints of Love

Kids in Turkana, Kenya, eating their porridge

Kids in Turkana, Kenya, eating their porridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One particular moment in time, where the sun meets the equator,

I had a  chance meeting with a tall, Turkana gentleman…

who left an indelible mark on my soul…

While living in Kenya, as an Associate Member of the MSOLA (Missionary Sisters of Our  Lady of Africa), one of the most precious moments of my life was visiting the Turkana people who had migrated down from the country north of Kenya. I had traveled northeast to visit my friend, Sister Maryann Calabrese, who had journeyed to Kenya with me. We found ourselves in two different locations–Sister Maryann worked as a social worker in Kisii, in the northeastern section of Kenya, and I found myself teaching in Kiriko, in a village nestled in the Aberdare Mountain range, 6,300 feet above sea level and 100 miles south of the equatorial line.

The day I visited with Maryann, she was to travel to the outskirts of Kisii, to the town garbage site.  There, amid all the trash of the nearby city, the Turkana people had built their homes out of the debris and garbage of the city. They fashioned little huts in the form of igloos that they lived in with their wife and children. Needless to say, it was heartbreaking to see the filth that they had to live in, with no fresh drinking water, and living only with what others discarded.  However, there were only smiles on the faces of these people as Maryann went to greet them.  The Turkana people were very welcoming and Maryann had a very gentle and open heart towards them. There was mutual acceptance.

As she went about conversing with the village women, I found myself surrounded by at least fifty children between the ages of 2 to 12. Unable to speak the language, I approached the children and tried my few words of KiSwahili with them. They were all smiles and then just because they were children, I became childlike and began singing Old MacDonald’s Farm and other silly little Yankee songs, that popped into my head, to amuse them. Soon the children joined their hands to mine and we formed a huge circle. We sang and  danced together, unaware of language or cultural barriers.  I, as well, was unaware of their footprints traced on my white shirt as I lifted them high into the air–they were filled with so much joy and laughter and made me feel so alive and wonderful! The children had the most beautiful and constant smiles I have ever seen!

Just as we were leaving, a very tall, Turkana man approached me; he had a bolt and a washer screwed into his chin to jewel himself.  Towering over my vertically  challenged height and not knowing what to expect, he asked me, “Where are you from?”

I responded, “Down country.”

He asked again, “No, where are you from –which country over the great waters?”

I responded,“America.”

He then said to me, “Thank you for coming all the way from America to love our children!”

His words touched my soul – they taught me that I held the capacity to love. That when I totally forgot myself, I did the most good and brought happiness to someone else! His words are always with me, when I need to feel some happiness…I remember one day I did some good…I remember how kind he was to thank me…and it reminded me to express to others in my life the gratitude I feel for them…no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to them. That one sentence has brought joy to me over and over. It is a moment in time I will never forget.

* * * * * *

© 2012 Jane H. Johann and johannisthinking.wordpress.com
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jane H. Johann and johannisthinking.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sentinel at the Railway Tracks

It was time for the 4 o’clock train to pull in. Buddy was standing alone at the railway tracks, patiently awaiting his younger brother’s arrival on the train. Snow was falling and the northern Canadian wind blew down the barren streets of Eagle River. The cold nimbostratus clouds hung  over the town, while at the same […]

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