Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tribute To My Dad

After our day at the barn with Dad, I began thinking of what a wonderful privilege it's been to have him for my dad. He is a sweet christian man who has lived his life and taught his family to live according to Biblical principles. He has a gentle spirit and is so very kind. He looks for the good in everyone, even those who are so very hard to like or love. I received this story from someone, and I want to share it, as I think in many ways it reflects the character and spirit that is demonstrated by my Dad.

A man of 92 years, short, very well presented, who takes care in his appearance, is moving into an old people's home today. His wife of 70 has recently died and he is obliged to leave his home.

After waiting several hours in the retirement home lobby, he gently smiles as he is told his room is ready. As he slowly walks to the elevator, using his cane, I describe his small room to him, including the sheet hung at the window for a curtain.

"I like it very much" he says, with the enthusiasm of an 8 year old boy who has just been given a new puppy. "Mr Gagne, you haven't even seen the room yet; hang on a moment, we are almost there".

"That has nothing to do with it" he replies. "Happiness is something I choose in advance. Whether or not I like the room does not depend on the furniture or the decor--rather it depends on how I decide to see it".

"It is already decided in my mind that I like my room. It is a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I can choose. I can spend my day in bed enumerating all the difficulities that I have with the parts of my body that no longer work well, or I can get up and give thanks to Heaven for those parts that are still in working order."

"Every day is a gift and as long as I can open my eyes, I will focus on the new day, and all the happy memories that I have built up during my life."

"Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw in later life what you have deposited along the way. So my advice to you is, deposit all the happiness you can in your bank account of memories."

This is a great way to live, not just for the older folks, but for all of us. We can choose how we will respond to whatever circumstances come our way. It's a matter of choice.

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