Shortarmguy's Inspirational Page
On this page, I will post the most inspirational material I receive on any given day. So email firstname.lastname@example.org the best stuff you get. Life can be darn tough sometimes and every now and then you might need a little happiness booster. I’m hoping this page may accomplish that. After you read a few of these, you can push back from your keyboard, throw your arms in the air, wave them back and forth and scream “I’m glad to be alive!” If this happens to you, please send pictures and I’ll post them here!
May 18, 2002
Happy Mother’s Day
This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, “It’s OK honey, Mommy’s here.”
Who walk around the house all night with their babies when they keep crying and won’t stop.
This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.
For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON’T.
This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.
This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at football or soccer games Friday night instead of watching from cars, so that when their kids asked, “Did you see me?” they could say, “Of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet like a tired 2-year old who wants ice cream before dinner.
This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to but just couldn’t.
For all the mothers who read “Goodnight, Moon” twice a night for a year. And then read it again. “Just one more time.”
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.
This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls “Mom?” in a crowd, even though they know their own off spring are at home.
This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they’d be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.
This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them.
For all the mothers who bite their lips sometimes until they bleed – when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.
What makes a good Mother anyway?
Is it patience?
The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew button on a shirt, all at the same time?
Or is it heart?
Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?
The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?
The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?
For all the mothers of the victims of all these school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.
For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.
This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children’s graves.
This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation.
And mature mothers learning to let go.
For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.
Single mothers and married mothers.
Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for you all.
So hang in there.
“Home is what catches you when you fall –
and we all fall.”
May 5, 2002
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway. It just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!
Now, the Moral of the Story: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
P.S.: The donkey later came back and kicked the crap out of the man that tried to bury him.
Moral: When you try to cover your ass, it always comes back to get you.
April 30, 2002 Emails
This was written by an 83-year-old woman to her friend. The last line says it all.
Dear Friend of Mine:
I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.
Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.
I’m not “saving” anything. We use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.
“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.
I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was. I’m guessing; I’ll never know.
It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them.
I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.
And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special.
Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift.
People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don’t need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there.
April 21, 2002 Emails
When I was very young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well, the polished old case fastened to the wall and the shiny receiver on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother would talk to it.
Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person and her name was “Information Please” and there was nothing she did not know. “Information Please” could supply anybody’s number and the correct time.
My first personal experience with this genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement. I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible but, there didn’t seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give me sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger finally arriving at the stairway, the telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and held it to my ear.
“Information Please” I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.”Information.”
“I hurt my finger” I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.
“Isn’t your mother home?” Came the question.
“Nobody’s home but me,” I blubbered.
“Are you bleeding?” the voice asked.
“No,” I replied. “I hit my finger with a hammer and it hurts.”
“Can you open your icebox?” she asked. I said I could. “Then chip off a piece of ice and hold it to your finger,” said the voice.
After that, I called “Information Please” for everything. I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me that my pet chipmunk, which I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.
Then there was the time Petty, our pet canary died. I called “Information Please” and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual thing grown ups say to soothe a child. But, I was inconsolable. I asked her, “Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?”
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, “You must remember that there are other worlds to sing in.”
Somehow, I felt better.
Another day I was on the telephone. “Information Please”. “Information,” said the now familiar voice.
“How do you spell fix?'” I asked.
All this took place in a small town in the Pacific northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much.
“Information Please” belonged in that old wooden box back home and somehow I never thought of trying the tall, new shiny phone that sat on the table in the hall.
As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.
A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half-an-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then, without thinking about what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, “Information Please.”
Miraculously, I heard the small clear voice I knew so well. “Information.”
I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying, “Could you please tell me how to spell fix?”
There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, “I guess your finger must be healed by now.”
I laughed, “So it’s really still you,” I said. “I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?”
“I wonder,” she said, “if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.”
I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.
“Please do,” she said. “Just ask for Sally.”
Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, “Information.”
I asked for Sally. “Are you a friend?” she said.
“Yes, a very old friend,” I answered.
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” she said. “Sally had been working part time in the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.
“Before I could hang up she said, “Wait a minute. Are you Paul?”
“Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called when she was too sick to work. Let me read it to you.”The note said, “Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He’ll know what I mean.”
I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.
Never underestimate the impression you make on others.
April 14, 2002 Emails
How to Stay Young…
1. Throw out all nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height.
Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. If you really need a grouch, there are plenty of people you encounter without planning to that may be able to do the job.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.
Just never let the brain idle.
4. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
Laugh so much that you can be tracked in the store by your distinctive laughter.
5. Do not worry about situations beyond your control.
God is still in control. What will be will be.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person
who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is family, pets,
keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don’t take guilt trips once it’s behind you. Take trips to the
mall, the next county, a foreign country, but not guilt.
10. Tell the people you love, that you love them, at every opportunity.
Life is not a dress rehearsal
April 7, 2002 Emails
A Trip To Holland
By Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability — to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans… the Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting. After several months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland!” “Holland?” you say. “What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy. I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.” But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It’s just a different place. So, you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, ” Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” And the pain of that experience will never, ever, ever, go away. The loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.