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WITandWISDOM(tm) - January 30, 1998
The only time people can be happy is when they give to others. Nothing material can make you completely happy on its own. It might make you comfortable, but giving to others, doing for others - that's where your happiness really comes from. - Sara B. O'Meara
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
By Mary McCool firstname.lastname@example.org
I saw Sister Mary Scullion on the news again last night. Sister Mary is a highly respected advocate for the homeless here in Philadelphia. She is frequently in the news. This time she was with actress Lily Tomlin who was here doing a benefit performance for the homeless. As always, as soon as I heard her name mentioned I stopped what I was doing to sit and watch. I used to know Mary Scullion. We went to Little Flower High School together and since my last name used to be Sciole and hers was Scullion I ended up sitting in front of her in home room for four years.
We didn't hang around together or anything. She was on the Student Council and was always volunteering for this and that. I was in the orchestra and that pretty much took up all of my time. But you can't sit in front of someone for 45 minutes a day for four years without getting to know them a little. She was an easy person to be friendly with. She was
funny, good natured, and down-to-earth, the kind of person you could be buddies with. She was an ordinary girl.
At first when I used to see her on TV or read about her in the paper it would bother me. She reminded me of that poem by Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken." He writes about having to choose between two roads. He "took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
Mary and I graduated from high school together. She took the road less traveled. She deliberately chose a difficult life, one of constantly fighting to help people unable to help themselves.
I, however, never wanted a difficult life. I always tried to take the easy road, and make the easy choices. I went to college, chose a major that wouldn't give me much trouble, graduated, got married, got a job in an office, all ordinary things. There I was traveling down that nice easy road and all of a sudden there's a roadblock.
Nineteen years ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Katie. Ten little fingers, ten little toes, and 47 chromosomes. All of a sudden I couldn't get down that road I chose. I had to detour over to the road less traveled and start struggling through the underbrush. And I really didn't want to do it.
Everyone told me that God had chosen me to have a Down's Syndrome child for a reason, that I was special. I didn't want to be special. I wanted things to be easy. But even though I wished that God had chosen someone else I did the best I could. I learned all I could about Down's Syndrome and mental retardation. I got her into an Early Intervention Program and did all the infant stimulation exercises with her. My husband and I got involved with the parents group at her preschool and when she got older we fought with the school district to get her into the most appropriate program. We continue to fight for her.
After a while things seemed to get easier. The path looked like it was getting clearer again. I had a standard model son, Jay, who is now thirteen. I figured I could relax. Then almost nine years ago God chose us again. I just don't understand what it is with God. I had another beautiful baby girl, Molly, who at first seemed perfect. Then when she was eight weeks old she had several seizures and after extensive testing the doctors told us she had an abnormality of the white matter of the brain.
So there I was getting detoured again, back on the road less traveled, struggling through the underbrush. And this time the going was a lot harder. Katie was handicapped but always healthy. Molly had had seizures and apnea episodes so the first year and a half of her life was spent on medication and an apnea monitor. In addition to cognitive and motor delays she also has an auditory dysfunction and vision problems. We went back to Early Intervention and infant stimulation and this time a lot more doctor visits. Now I'm learning sign language.
I used to watch Mary Scullion and feel guilty. I thought that there is a person who obviously is good at the hard stuff. She chose that road. Me, I wanted it easy, I'm not good at this. It's a constant struggle. God shouldn't have picked me. He should have picked Mary Scullion.
Then not too long ago something finally occurred to me. Maybe Mary deliberately picked the road less traveled and I got detoured onto it but once I got here I had a choice. I could have chosen to lie down in the road and let the weeds grow over me. I'm not. I'm fighting my way through the underbrush. Maybe I'm not too thrilled about it but I'm doing it and when I stop to think about it I think I'm doing it pretty well. Maybe God knows what he's doing after all.
Hear that noise? That's Mary Scullion and me, chopping down the weeds. It's not hard once you get used to it.
Shared by Jim Newman
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
BUMPER STICKERS, etc.
God hasn't made many of us lawyers, but He has subpoenaed all of us as witnesses. - Lynn Buckingham, New Jersey
NEAT BUMPER STICKERS
No Radio - Already Stolen
All generalizations are false
I Brake For No Apparent Reason
Remember you're unique, just like everyone else
I'm out of bed & dressed. What more do you want?
Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition
Forget about Karma... Visualize Using Your Turn Signal!
Shared by Jim Moore Jr jimjr@PIPELINE.COM
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
While cruising at 40,000 feet, the airplane shuddered and Mr. Benson looked out the window. "Good heavens!" he screamed, "one of the engines just blew up!" Other passengers left their seats and came running over; suddenly the aircraft was rocked by a second blast as yet another engine exploded on the other side.
The passengers were in a panic now, and even the stewardesses couldn't maintain order. Just then, standing tall and smiling confidently, the pilot strode from the cockpit and assured everyone that there was nothing to worry about. His words and demeanor made most of the passengers feel better, and they sat down as the pilot calmly walked to the door of the aircraft. There, he grabbed several packages from under the seats and began handing them to the flight attendants.
Each crew member attached the package to their backs. "Say," spoke up an alert passenger, "aren't those parachutes?" The pilot said they were. The passenger went on, "But I thought you said there was nothing to worry about?" "There isn't," replied the pilot as a third engine exploded. "We're going to get help." (Shared by PowerMoose
Part 1 of 2 - The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in Krakow, Poland, has over 125 miles (200 km) of underground passages and more than 2000 chambers carved entirely out of salt! The Chapel of the Blessed Kinga, is in a chamber over 160 feet (50 m) long, 50 feet (15 m) wide, and 40 feet (12 m) high, located 330 feet (100 m) underground!
Shared by Cool Fact of the Day http://www.LearningKingdom.com/join.html