Everyone has seen "It's a Wonderful Life." Amazing how true that story is. Every man's life touches that of others. Several months ago, I lost a friend to suicide. Jack had gotten himself into some legal trouble. Stubborn and proud as he was, he didn't know when to quit digging, and just kept getting himself in deeper and deeper. When the time came that he was going to have to spend a few months in prison, he killed himself.
He was a farmer and was into old cars. I met him through our love of old cars. I 'hobby farm' or 'play farm' just for the fun of playing with old machinery. Not being a real farmer, I always had questions for Jack who was always willing to lend advice on raising a crop. I miss that. We moved here 6-7 years ago. He was born and raised here. He knew the history of the area. There were so many times I wondered what some building once was, or things like that. He always knew. There have just been so many times that my wife and I would be discussing something and wonder this or that and we will look at one another and say "Jack would have known."
Yesterday was the Christmas parade for our town and a neighboring town. They are both on the same day. We have always driven our old car, truck, and/or tractor in them. This year, we missed the cut off for registration so we didn't get to participate. We were discussing how we let it slip up on us. We just didn't hear anything about it until it was too late. Then my wife said "I know why we missed it. Jack always gave me a registration form for this one and it reminded me to go register for the other one."
It is indeed amazing the little ways we impact other people.
Bad things sometimes happen to good people.
No matter how bad the weather, no matter how bleak the outlook, when we couldn't land the plane, if we could, we took a position in the holding pattern until things improved - if we did not have the fuel for that we went to our alternate.
All too often it happened that someone would make a bad choice and try to land during a bad storm. All too often, the clean-up crews worked in bright sunny weather the next day removing the debris.
No matter how bad things seem to be, there is always hope for a sunny day tomorrow. Have patience
Iím sorry to hear about your friend. Itís hard to lose a friend, someone you saw every day, laughed with and enjoyed the wonderful things in life. I wish you and everyone else close to him the very best.
You mentioned the movie ďItís a Wonderful LifeĒ. I as many have enjoyed Jimmy Stewartís classics. They always seem to have a good lesson in life. I believe it appropriate to share a tidbit about Jimmy Stewart and a personal experience he expressed in an interview in the filming of a scene during the making of that movie. This is what was written:
"Remember the scene near the end of It's a Wonderful Life, where Jimmy Stewart, playing the role of George Bailey, breaks down in a pub, crying out to God in utter despair? Apparently Stewart wasn't really acting; those tears were real.
In this 1977 article that Stewart wrote for Guideposts, the actor recalls that George "is unaware that most of the people in town are arduously praying for him. In this scene, at the lowest point in George Bailey's life, Frank Capra was shooting a long shot of me slumped in despair. In agony I raise my eyes and following the script, plead, 'God...God...dear Father in heaven, I'm not a praying man, but if You're up there and You can hear me, show me the way, I'm at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God...'
"As I said those words, I felt the loneliness and hopelessness of people who had nowhere to turn, and my eyes filled with tears. I broke down sobbing. This was not planned at all, but the power of that prayer, the realization that our Father in heaven is there to help the hopeless had reduced me to tears."
In the article, Stewart further discusses the making of the film, his faith, and how his dad held him accountable to attend church once he moved to LA from little Indiana, Pennsylvania. A good read about a fine man and a classic movie."
Like George Bailey, we often don't know our influence. Someone I knew since she was seven and I was ten was at my mom's funeral a few years ago. I was a bit shocked when this retired college professor told me, "You were our hero." The first job I held for any appreciable time was teaching. I never considered myself very good at it, and always felt guilty about all I didn't get done. Recently I received a Facebook message from a man now near forty who I knew as a fifth-grader during my long ago teaching incarnation. He mentioned some other members of his class and said they agreed I was their best teacher, and wished I could have stayed with them through high school. It took me several decades to awake to the lesson. You never know who's watching, and how they perceive you. It's a good reason for trying to be the kind of person you admire.
"It's a good reason for trying to be the kind of person you admire".
Can we credit you with that one Steve?
I guess so. It's certainly not an original thought, but I don't think I've read it in exactly those words.