Sunday, March 1, 2009

"Do Nothing" weekend!

I went absolutely nowhere this weekend and loved it!! I needed this time to decompress and not have to interact face to face with people. You know how babies don't like it when they're forced to be in the presence of too many people in too short a time? Well, that was me this past week. I was getting cranky due to having had to talk to too many people while on my military detail.
I didn't go to the gym, I didn't go to church, I didn't go to the mall BUT I did work out at home, I did have some personal time with God, and the store meeting was canceled so life is good.

This afternoon, I started Season 1 of ER and after watching the first episode it got me to thinking. See, in the first episode, Nurse Hathaway attempts suicide. Now, we all know there are multitudes of reasons why people make the attempt. That wasn't what I was thinking about. I was wondering what would happen if something like that happened to me. Now, stop before you panic. I'm not pondering taking that action. I was just exploring a natural curiousity of the repurcussions. It really makes you stop and appreciate all of the people in your life when you take an actual inventory of those who would be affected by such a thing.

Here's my list:
Mom, Dad, Bro, my children, their parents, my two BFFs, their families, my extended family, my coworkers, my squadron, my base, my neighbors, my friends here in town, my hairdresser, my coworkers at my part time, my classmates, my friends on MySpace, my friends on Facebook, and numerous folks on the Grocery Challenge. Imagine this: that list of people totals in the thousands. We all touch that many lives and most don't realize it.

A good friend of mine committed suicide my Senior year in high school. She thought she didn't have any friends. The darn church was full to the brim and it could hold a few hundred folks. The real sad thing is: she didn't want to die. She even took steps to try to reverse what she had done by calling 911 but it was too late. The pills took affect and that was that.

Right now, we are in crisis times. Pay attention to your loved ones. Reach out to everyone. You never know when you might just be stepping in at just the right time. Some of you may have seen this email but I'm going to post this story because it just might be true:
> > > One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd."> > >> I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.> > > My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives." He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!"> There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.> > > I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and themore I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.> > > Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy , you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed and handed me half the books.> > > Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always befriends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.> > > Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak. Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.> > > He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.> > > Boy, sometimes I was jealous.> > > Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled.> > > "Thanks," he said. > > >> > > As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story."> > > I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.> > > "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable." I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome,popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse.


bugsi033 said...

Wow! I got goosebumps when I got to the part about his speach. For you to have that compassion at an early age is amazing. Look at the recent trend of kids who've been bullied and later killed other kids, teachers, parents, and siblings. You should consider telling that story to kids at school, church, organizations, and even on-line. Who knows who else you may touch.

hitenney said...

Wow, nidena, that really illustrates how one act can changes lives in a big way. My friend and I were just talking tonight about that subject as her aunt is in the hospital, and in poor health, and does not want to live anymore. But she is 86, with a lot of health problems, so it's a little different. I remember being in my early 30's, and wondering, why go on alone? No sweetie or kids, just working to pay the bills. But things changed, and now I can't believe I even contemplated that. But sometimes, you can't see beyond your own misery. I'm glad you saw beyond Kyle's!
Aloha, hitenney

Chicagolandia said...

Though I've read this before, it never ceases to amaze me the people that come into our lives EXACTLY when we need them to. It's good to take time to appreciate the lives you touch and the lives that touch yours!