Your Relationships

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

For me, it was the most heart-rending moment of the September 11 first anniversary observation at Ground Zero. There, at the very site where nearly 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center towers on that awful morning, thousands now were gathered for a solemn commemoration of their lives and of their deaths. The name of every victim was read aloud. But the one person at the microphones that I will not soon forget was a 17-year-old young woman who read a letter that she had written in memory of the stepfather she lost on that fateful September 11. Her letter was tenderly and lovingly written. But near the end, she read a simple admission that really touched me, and must have touched many others very deeply. She just said, "I don't know when was the last time I told you, 'I love you.'"

Friday, November 1, 2002

Our friend just got two beautiful new horses. The mother is half Morgan, the filly is mostly a Morgan horse - one of our favorites. The filly has a silky brown coat that is so smooth to touch and she's got this white blaze on her face that makes her look pretty striking. Of course, she's still a baby. She's still getting around on a foal's spindly legs. And it's interesting to watch the interaction between mother horse and baby horse. There are times when the mother nuzzles her filly lovingly and protectively. But there are also times when she nips her baby, usually when her little girl is doing something mom considers out of line or dangerous - like when she starts mixing with a strange horse that the mother isn't sure of.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

It was a mother's nightmare. A mother had just finished shopping at Wal-Mart and had just situated her three children in her mini-van and was returning her shopping cart. In that moment, a woman who had been cruising the parking lot snatched little month-old Nancy from her seat and started driving off with the baby. The mother raced to that fleeing car, and hung onto the door as long as she could. But the kidnapper got away with her precious baby. A store security camera actually caught the abduction on video, and millions of us saw it on the news. But, thank God, this was one child abduction that had a happy ending. Thanks to some alert citizens and good police work, she was found safe and her abductor was arrested. Needless to say, it was a beautiful, emotional scene when they returned that little girl back to her mother's arms. A family member said of that month-old little treasure, "It's like she was born again today."

Monday, October 28, 2002

When our friend Rich went for his annual physical, the doctor proclaimed him totally fit. Three days later he went on a business trip. That night his associates found him in his hotel room, dead of a massive heart attack. Later, his wife Linda told us, "We had some beautiful weeks before Rich died. And every wife I see, I tell: 'Cherish your man.'" Their kids had not been able to be with their folks on Easter, which turned out to be the Sunday before Rich's death. But Martha, his daughter, followed this prompting she had to call Dad and say she loved him that day. And Paul, his son, wrote Dad to tell him in writing what he had never been able to say to him - "I love you. You're the best Dad in the world." That was Sunday. Wednesday morning, Dad was gone.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

There was something particularly memorable about Miss America 1995. Like all Miss Americas, Heather Whitestone was beautiful, poised, and talented. But unlike any Miss America before or since, Heather Whitestone was deaf. Not long ago, she was in the news again - and what she said was as impressive to me as anything she did as Miss America. Now Heather Whitestone McCallum, she had a cochlear implant surgically placed in her right hear. She decided to have the operation when her two-year-old son, John, fell in her back yard. Here's what she told reporters: "I couldn't hear him crying. I need to be the first one to hear him."

Friday, September 20, 2002

Our daughter has always been the most sentimental member of the family, sort of the "keeper of the family memories." A lot of those memories are associated with the two homes we lived in as our kids were growing up. Recently, our daughter had the opportunity to visit both of those houses, thanks to the hospitality of the people who live in them now. Our first home was really small - but, of course, not necessarily to our children. And since our daughter is our oldest, she has the most vivid memories of that house. It had a little porch on the front of it - which apparently didn't seem all that little to her at the time. When she returned from her visit, she said, "You know, that porch on Baywood sure looked a lot bigger to me then than it does now!"

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Our son-in-law loves to ski, even though he doesn't get to do it all that often. And like everything else he does athletically, he really goes for it when he skis. But his last time on the slopes was different from all the other times in his life. See, for the first time, he has a son! And his little baby boy was on his mind when he was on the slopes. When we asked about his ski adventure, I got the distinct feeling that he didn't take the risks he's taken before. Actually, here's the way he put it. Moving his arms in skiing form as he said, "I just kept saying, 'I'm a Daddy. I'm a Daddy. I'm a Daddy.'"

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

It's amazing how creative parents can become when it's time to explain the facts of life to a child, especially in the vocabulary they choose. A parent says to their child, "This is your chin. This is your neck. That's your stomach. That's your - oogieboogiewagaboogie!" I've really heard some pretty funny names for human anatomy - words invented by red-faced parents, but not recognized by any doctor on earth. Of course, they're better than a lot of the words our children come home from school asking about. But when it comes to sex, it's important to use the right words - especially one.

Monday, August 26, 2002

It's one of life's passages - taking your first child to college. You drive off, leaving your firstborn there, knowing your life and theirs will never be quite the same. When we left our daughter at the Christian college she had chosen, her two younger brothers were sure they knew how their mother would react. In fact, without announcing it, they just kept watching her all the way home, waiting for my wife to cry. She never did, and they were baffled. They finally asked, "Why didn't you cry, Mom?" Well, see, the college had given us parents two days of very reassuring orientation, and we had been very impressed with how they had thought through their students' needs. So why didn't Mom cry? Well, she told them, "I don't cry about leaving my child when I know they're in good hands."

Monday, August 19, 2002

There's something about the Olympics that's just larger than life, and there are those images of past Olympic performances that we'll never forget. One of those happened in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Derek Redmond was representing Great Britain in the 400-meter event. Unfortunately, he went down on the backstretch with a torn right hamstring. And the medical attendants started to approach him, but he managed to fight his way to his feet. Maybe you remember seeing this. He set out hopping around the track, desperately trying to finish the race. When he reached the stretch, a large man in a T-shirt came out of the stands, and literally threw aside a security guard, and ran to the injured runner, and hugged him. It was Jim Redmond, Derek's father. Derek was weeping and in excruciating pain, and his Dad said, "'Derek, you don't have to do this." To which Derek said, "Yes, I do." And Jim Redmond said, "OK then, we're going to finish this together!" And they did. They had to fight off security men ... the son's head was sometimes buried on his father's shoulder ... but they stayed in Derek's lane all the way to the end - as the crowd stood and cheered and even wept.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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