Monday, September 16, 2013

The Sandpiper

I read this on a friend's Facebook post and it really touched me... I have been sharing it too.  Then I googled it and found the picture, one that a child could have drawn....

The Sandpiper

by Robert Peterson

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live.
I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.
"Hello," she said.
I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.
"I'm building," she said.
"I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really caring.
"Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand."
That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes.
A sandpiper glided by.
"That's a joy," the child said.
"It's a what?"
"It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy."
The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye joy, I muttered to myself, hello pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed, my life seemed completely out of balance.
"What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.
"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson."
"Mine's Wendy... I'm six."
"Hi, Wendy."
She giggled. "You're funny," she said.
In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on.
Her musical giggle followed me.
"Come again, Mr.. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day."
The next few days consisted of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I said to myself, gathering up my coat.
The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me.. The breeze was chilly but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed.
"Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?"
"What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.
"I don't know. You say."
"How about charades?" I asked sarcastically.
The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is."
"Then let's just walk."
Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face.
"Where do you live?" I asked.
"Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.
Strange, I thought, in winter.
"Where do you go to school?"
"I don't go to school. Mommy says we're on vacation"
She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.
Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.
"Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone today." She seemed unusually pale and out of breath.
"Why?" she asked.
I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought, My God, why was I saying this to a little child?
"Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day."
"Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and -- oh, go away!"
"Did it hurt?" she inquired.
"Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself.
"When she died?"
"Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding,
wrapped up in myself. I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there. Feeling guilty, ashamed, and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.
"Hello," I said, "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was."
"Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please, accept my apologies."
"Not at all! she's a delightful child." I said, suddenly realizing
that I meant what I had just said.
"Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia
Maybe she didn't tell you."
Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath.
"She loved this beach, so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly..." Her voice faltered, "She left something for you, if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?"
I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with "MR. P" printed in bold childish letters.. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed:
Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," I uttered over and over, and we wept together. The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words -- one for each year of her life -- that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding love.
A gift from a child with sea blue eyes and hair the color of sand
-- who taught me the gift of love.

NOTE: This is a true story sent out by Robert Peterson. It happened over 20 years ago and the incident changed his life forever. It serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and life and each other. The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.

Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas can make us lose focus about what is truly important
or what is only a momentary setback or crisis..
This week, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all means, take a moment... even if it is only ten seconds, to stop and smell the roses.
This comes from someone's heart, and is read by many
and now I share it with you..
May God Bless everyone who receives this! There are NO coincidences!
Everything that happens to us happens for a reason. Never brush aside anyone as insignificant. Who knows what they can teach us?

I wish for you, a sandpiper.

It didn't matter how much of this was true but I did check it out on  and still interesting....

So, to you, I wish for you, a sandpiper,  to bring you joy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Light a Candle at 8pm

World Suicide Prevention Day~PLEASE LIGHT A CANDLE at 8PM.

Can you imagine this statistic?

But much more than a  statistic, these are our family members, our friends, our neighbors, people we know and some we have only know of. They are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers... and on that 41st second, some one's life will never be the same and will never get over it...despite what you think.

 Personally, I HAVE thought about it but for one fail, I never acted on it again.  As bad as I felt, I had people that did worry about me and truthfully made pain in the asses of themselves and I am thankful for them.  But sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop someone who is in that much pain, and I'm not saying no one cares about other people...I'm saying please don't blame yourself (I know, easier said than done.)  I think a great organization to check out is:  American Foundation for Suicide Prevention .  Know that you are not alone in this... unfortunately.

On the other side, if I could say one thing, it would be:
IT'S NOT THE END, IT DOES GET BETTER! There are times when that cloud of depression just stays over your head and it just won't lift.  It's like a storm of 30 days and 30 nights, only sometimes it feels like forever!  That pain will go away... it can. And I am sorry it hurts so much. I have to thank some one that did stay up all night... with me.  As much as I recommend talking to anyone, I suggest a professional uninvolved person with an objective view to talk to... sometimes it's easier.  Call the Hotline:  1-800-273-8255.

I am lost for words... but I do know this much for sure...
Death is very final for those who are gone and for those left behind.  Life as we know it will never be the same... never ever.  Life as friends and family of Laura and Jennica know it, and so many more, will never ever be the same be the same.  Jennica's daughter will never be the same...

Had any of us known, we would have stayed up all night... but now, going forward, remember, there are ways of How To Save A Life... 

Last year's, 2012, post for World Suicide Prevention Day ~ Please light a candle tonight at 8pm.