On this blog page, author Mary C. Woolling posts an ongoing series of her essays showcasing the positives of life.

New essays are added often. You are cordially invited to become a regular reader. Also, please feel free to share this site with your family and friends via the “Tell a Friend” link, located in the right-hand column below.

Comments on Mary's essays are most welcome. Simply click on the “Post Comments” link appearing at the end of each essay, and share your thoughts.

If you'd like to contact Mary, you may do so at mary@herestolife.us

Friday, March 06, 2020

Happy Birthday, Dad!


This morning, I’m especially missing my father. He would have been 100 years old today, March 6, 2018.

Dad almost made it to this milestone. He was in his 100th year last Easter Sunday morning, April 16, 2017, when, with his final words of “Love you,” he quietly passed away. At the time of his death, his mind was still sharp and clear, but physically he was very frail. His vision had failed him. He had become so tired and weak, that he was unable to get out of bed. His body had simply worn out.

My dad was the very best of fathers: good, kind, caring, loving, and giving; always thinking of ways to make things happier and better for others. An exceptional doctor, brilliant scholar, and true gentleman in every sense of the word, that was my dad.

I take comfort believing that he is with God now. He is well. His sight has been restored, and he can move about freely. He’s with his beloved wife (my sweet mother) and with his parents and siblings, all of whom he’d been longing to see again.

Since my father is with God and God is with me, then I trust my father is with me, also. Often when I’m in the house or yard, near the things that he loved, a strange warmth and happiness suddenly comes over me. It’s difficult to explain the feeling, but it is most definite in its presence, making me believe Dad lives on here in spirit. I am greatly blessed to have this awareness of him beside me. I also was blessed to have had him with me all through the many years.

Even so, I wish the two of us could sit down and talk again. I wish I could hear my dad’s unmistakable voice once more, look into his dear face and see his smile, hold his precious hand, and hug him tight. I wish he could tell me how things are going and what it’s like over there. I’d like to tell him what’s been happening here, assure him that I’m OK, get his advice on some things.

Most of all, I’d like to say, I love you, Dad. I miss you, Dad. I’m thinking of you today, on your centennial birthday, and every day always . . . until we meet again.

Here’s to you, Dad!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine Verse

February 14th is Valentine’s Day,
When we celebrate love for each other.
The annual day we go out of our way
For sweetheart, best friend, and mother.

We seek to show through bright cadeaux,
And greetings full of flair,
How much we love our buddies and beaux,
And hope they also care.

With syrupy note and frilly gift,
We boldly state our case:
Our hearts ever gain a joyful lift
From each dear one’s presence and face.

Gift shops bedecked in rainbows of hue,
Heart-shaped boxes in reds ‘n pinks,
Gold and silver trinkets beaucoup;
The Love Bug’s unleashed methinks!

Cards embossed and doily-designed;
Some trimmed in ribbons and lace.
Foils and glitter that sparkle and shine;
Candy hearts are everyplace!

Whimsical drawings with comic verse,
Sweet notes with tender phrase,
Tablets for writing of ardent love
And friendships worthy of praise.

Assorted boxes of cards for kids,
Scented candles and Snoopy the dog,
Turtledoves and winged cupids –
The awesome sight leaves me agog.

Bakery shelves groan with sprinkle-topped cakes,
Frosted cookies and cream puffs galore.
Hand-dipped chocolates mouth water makes.
Éclairs, rich fudge, and s’more.

Pride of the flower shop? Long stem roses,
Spring tulips and lilies so fair.
The jeweler’s gems in displays he discloses,
All for our affection to share.

An unlimited array of offerings to choose,
When sent from the heart, each sure ne’er to lose
In successfully posing that time-honored line,
Will you be my Valentine?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Thanks for the Memories

Into my heart’s treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot take
Nor a thief purloin,-
Oh, better than the minting
Of a gold-crowned king
Is the safe-kept memory
Of a lovely thing.

The Coin, by Sara Teasdale, American poet (1884-1933)

Most of us are content to have things stay the same. We are happy with the familiar and the constant, but life is transitory. Nothing stays the same. Special days anticipated long in advance come and quickly go. People grow up, move to other places, and die. Everything in its time passes away. We can’t alter that fact and, yet, in a way we can, through our faculty of memory, wherein events of our past remain preserved, permanently current and unchanged.

Memory is defined as the ability of the human mind to store, retain, and subsequently recall information, personal experiences, and procedures. Memories can never be destroyed for they are indelibly etched in our minds and indeed in our hearts. They make us who we are, by linking the unique occurrences of our individual pasts with our presents and, in turn, our futures.

We often say, “That time was so wonderful. I wish I could be there all over again!” Through our memories, we can. Our power to hold on to the events of our days through recollection allows us to re-live those times that meant the most to us whenever we wish.

Just a whiff of perfume or a few notes of a musical tune can instantly transport us back to a notable moment or help us call to mind an acquaintance of yesteryear. Anytime we choose, we can recapture the excitement we felt on receiving our very first bicycle, the exhiliration of hitting a home run, taking that first plane ride, or making it through a speech and receiving applause. We look at young people graduating from college and see them as ones we knew as toddlers just starting out.

It is wonderful to be able to recollect happy days, kindnesses shown, and exceptional people whose paths crossed ours. When loved ones die, it’s the good times we shared with them that we remember, and in this way we honor them. We may help individuals who have sadness or regret surrounding a certain day or event by sharing a pleasant reflection of our own from that same time.

Those who have lived many years enrich us with their tales of past happenings and turns of events that made the difference for them and those in their world. The days recounted are long gone, but those individuals were once actually there, and, through their retrospection, we are there, too. Likewise, we can help make memories for younger generations by reaching out to them and relating our stories.

Everything in life ultimately becomes old and just a memory, but this should not be cause for sadness, because once something becomes a memory, it is ever-new and with us always.

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