You know, wives love to take their husbands to weddings. Hopefully, the love-feast will jumpstart a little romance in the old boy's soul. Recently, I saw a lot of hand-holding and sitting close when Jimmy and Tanya got married. Oh, it works, girls!
It was right after Christmas in 2004, and Damian Barrett was on a beach in Thailand. Suddenly he saw the tide go out so quickly that the bay was drained dry. And moments later, the ocean came roaring back with that monster tsunami that claimed so many lives that day across South Asia. A massive wave swept Damian into the shopping area and then into a store which then started filling with water. He was carried to the ceiling by that rising water. He was sure he was going to die there, until the water actually pushed him through a gap in the roof.
The florists have been looking forward to their recliners. They finally get to recover from their busiest day of the year. You know what that is, Mother's Day. Hallmark counting on all their Mother's Day card money. Phone companies getting pretty happy. It's the busiest calling day of the year. Okay, Mother's Day, well, it only lasts a day and then it's over until next year. Oh, but not their marks on your life.
It takes a little longer to pick out a cereal at the supermarket than it used to. You've got to read all the ingredients these days; all the nutrients, and how much calcium, and how much of my daily requirement of vitamin C, and vitamin X there. You know all that. Well, it's on the package. In fact, on everything we buy in the supermarket, it's there because of laws that we call "truth in packaging." Good idea.
Buck Helm - yep, that name was one light in the darkness on October 17, 1989, the day of the tragic San Francisco earthquake. It was the day the whole freeway collapsed, burying scores of people. And just when the rescuers thought there was no life left to find, an engineer spotted movement under one heavily damaged section. Under there they found, still alive miraculously, Buck Helm, a 57-year-old longshoreman. He'd survived four days in that rubble. And I think that's why we felt so sad when word came four weeks later that Buck Helm had died suddenly in the hospital. He was rescued, but he was lost. We can't always hang onto what we save.
It was a tough stretch for our two-year-old grandson. Mommy was expecting his soon-to-arrive baby brother, and she was sick with a respiratory infection. Normally, Mommy and Daddy were both in the room where my grandson slept. But for comfort and health reasons, Mommy had to sleep in another room for a few nights. My grandson never said anything about his mother not being there during the night, but it obviously affected him. He slept in the big bed with Daddy, but he didn't sleep much. Neither did his father of course. Every few minutes, he'd snuggle up against Daddy and just say two words until his father responded, "Daddy, hold."
Our grandson was gaining weight, and boy, he was going to be glad! (Unlike his grandfather who happens to find weight gain depressing.) Yeah, he was soon going to be over 20 pounds. Well, that meant his parents would turn his car seat around. No more looking out the rear window. That's a great feeling! You know, you don't have to keep looking back at where you've already been. It's all about looking where you are going - now.
I don't talk about it much, because I don't want people putting me on a pedestal or asking for autographs. But the fact is I was the (Are you ready for this? Drum roll...) the champion of our county's 8th grade spelling bee. Yep, I even got a trophy. That's right.
I'm having sort of flashbacks of some very special Easters past; often at a sunrise service. Like the Easter in Miami, with the sun rising over Biscayne Bay as I spoke about Jesus rising from the dead. Or celebrating Jesus with Native Americans in a public park. And the... Oh, yeah, there was the one on the mountaintop near New York City.