The Gift Of Friendship Is Invaluable

For many people, friends are a rare commodity and true friends ever more rare. I have said many times before that if you have true friends that amount to the fingers on one hand you are truly blessed. Such was the case of two very special friends who were true to me no matter what happened over the years.

A Special Sister
One of these friends was a friend who I call sister, who I lost a few years ago to cancer and for me was a great sorrow. She was always there for me through all my various issues over the years and I would like to think that I was there for her especially through the last trying years of her life and she bravely fought cancer. Unfortunately, she didn’t win but what she never lost was my undying love and affection. I am very grateful that I had the chance to not only be a brother but a friend with her for many, many years. Her presence is still with me and she will never be forgotten for her kindness, encouragement , and devotion to her own family and to me.

Good Friends
I also had the privilege of knowing and being a friend to a special man who I went to university with and who also became the God-parent to one of my sons, in fact, my first born. Now, I’m sure all those males out there who may read this story will testify to is that they have had some great buddies over time and some still have the same good friends from their early school days. Well, I’m sure you appreciate them; at least I hope you do.
For me, I will always remember that fateful day when I received a call from his cousin who told me that he had died. I was in total shock. He was a vibrant person, never sick, no signs of weakness and in fact during our undergrad days we often played handball twice a week for several hours at a time. Barely able to speak, I asked what happened thinking that there may have been a car accident. What I was told totally blew me away – he died of a burst aneurysm. How could this be? A healthy and active person – what cruel fate had lead to the death of a thirty-four year old, seemingly healthy male? And, to make his loss even more difficult for me, I met his mother for the first time at the funeral. She recounted how often her son talked of our friendship and our fun together. And, to even add further to my despair, I was asked to be one of his pallbearers. I know that this was an honor but at the time I felt a tremendous weight on my shoulders as I carried my friend to the waiting hearse.

To this day, I still don’t remember much about that drive to his gravesite even though I was in the car immediately behind the hearse. The only thing I recall is that I stared at the back of the hearse in utter disbelief that it was carrying my friend.

No Longer Here But Remembered
Over the years since, I often recall these special friends that are no longer here and wish that I could have spent more time with them. I often ask myself if I valued their friendship enough, did I really let them know how much they were part of my life ? Maybe this is a sentiment that is felt by many people who lose a valuable friend. On the other hand, I can tell you this. I am fortunate to be able to have known them, to have been part of their life and to spend good times with them.

Friendship is a gift, value it!

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My Mother, My First Love

A sister sent this and it touched me. Pls read and pass on to those you wish to touch their lives.

Please read this at a slow pace, digesting every word at leisure…do not hurry….this is a treasure…

For those lucky to still be blessed with their Mom, this is beautiful.

For those of us who aren’t, this is even more beautiful. For those who are moms, you’ll love this.

The young Mother set her foot on the path of life. “Is this the long way?” she asked.

And the Guide said: “Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it.

But the end will be better than the beginning.” But the young Mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years.

So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried,

“Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said,

“Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and nothing can harm us.”

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary.

But at all times she said to the children,” A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed, and when they reached the top they said,

“Mother, we would not have made it without you.”

And the Mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said,”This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness.

Yesterday I gave them courage. Today, I’ve given them strength.”

And the next day came strange clouds, which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: “Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.”

And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said,

“This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent.

But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.

And Mother said,”I have reached the end of my journey.

And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.”

And the children said,

“You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.”

And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said:

“We cannot see her but she is with us still.

A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence……” Your Mother is always with you….

She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street; she’s the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks; she’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not well.

Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she’s crystallised in every teardrop.

She’s the place you came from, your first home; and she’s the map you follow with every step you take.

She’s your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space… not even death!

PASS THIS ON TO ALL THE MOTHERS AND CHILDREN YOU KNOW. MAY WE NEVER TAKE OUR MOTHERS FOR GRANTED NO MATTER WHAT...

Photo credit: Pinterest

Repost: 10 Signs You’re Not Lazy, You’re ‘Selectively Motivated’ –And That’s A Good Thing #BrianaWeist #motivation

When you look around your life and think: I could be more fit, I should have more money, I need to be doing more work, maybe the reason you’re not isn’t because you’re lazy or inherently unworthy, but because you do not care about those things as much as society is making you think you should.

The world conditions us to think that we have to be everything, all the time. That once we conquer one area of our lives, we need to put our energy toward fixing another. Maybe you’re not working on the book because you really don’t want to write, even though you like the idea of being a writer. Maybe you aren’t getting in better shape because you’ve been conditioned to think there’s something wrong with your body in the first place. Maybe you’re not working toward running your own business because you only think you want to. Sometimes, the thing that we can’t seem to fix isn’t meant to be fixed, and what’s distressing to us is that we are having a hard time accepting that it is the way it is. But successful people don’t do this. They don’t waste their energy on things that don’t matter, or that they don’t care about.

Here, how to know if you’re one of them.

1. When you aren’t genuinely inspired by something, you become paralyzed. You have a very hard time forcing yourself to do anything you don’t really want to.

2. You frequently give yourself a hard time for not doing “more.” In a world that conditions you to believe you need to be more, more, more, sometimes you fail to recognize everything you have done in the face of everything that you’re still struggling to juggle.

3. You’re not afraid to give up on what’s not working. A lot of people stay in the wrong jobs, commit themselves to projects they know aren’t right, or stay with partners they don’t actually get along with because they are afraid to disturb the status quo. Sometimes “giving up” is the most liberating and important thing you can do, and you would rather people judge you for changing than not do what you know is right in your heart.

4. When it comes to anything from reading books to attending classes in school, you excel when you’re genuinely interested, and just get by when you’re not. It’s not that you’re inherently less smart than other students, it’s that you can’t feign interest in things that don’t apply or resonate with you.

5. You believe you have a big purpose in life, one that’s far more than just going to work, paying the bills, and waiting around to die.

6. You don’t want to spend all of your energy each day working on creating other people’s dreams. You’re motivated by knowing you’re creating something for yourself.

7. You’d rather be fulfilled than comfortable. Being selectively motivated doesn’t mean you’re quick to give up or choose the easier path, it just means you’re only willing to suffer for what’s really worth it.

8. What you care about is what motivates you. What you’re good at is what motivates you. Those two things, when done in tandem, create your purpose. You realize that the things you like are not random, they are fundamentally a part of what you are supposed to do here.

9. You feel disproportionately motivated when it comes to “getting your life together.” You will happily spend 11 hours of your day working on your creative projects, but can’t get yourself to care about decorating your apartment better, or having more stylish clothing. A lot of things that other people seem to care about a lot don’t always register as important to you.

10. You’re willing to sacrifice some parts of your life to put your energy toward others. Maybe you wear a “personal uniform” each day so your first energy in the morning goes toward something other than how you appear. Maybe you’re choosing to stay single for a period of time because your focus needs to be primarily on yourself. Maybe you’ve moved to a cheaper city so you’re able to pursue more freelance dreams. The point is: you’re willing to do anything for what you care about, and you’re not afraid to discard what you know won’t matter in the end.

The Moment You Realize That God Is Not Done Teaching You Important Lessons: Repost

As an adult, you think when you reach a certain age that you already know too much. You’ve gone through enough experiences in life that taught you so much about love, heartbreak, wisdom, pain, healing and starting over.

You’ve met enough people who taught you how to determine who’s right or wrong, who’s honest and who’s shady and generally, you feel like you have a good sense of judgment when it comes to choosing the people you want in your future and making sensible decisions in your life.

You are aware that life is full of surprises and everything is unpredictable but for some reason, you have faith that what’s coming is better than what has passed. You feel like you’ve learned enough to pass the test and get a good grade, but then something happens that shakesyou. Something you didn’t see coming, something you didn’t expect, something you thought would never happen to you and that’s the moment you realize that the lessons are not over, that you’re not prepared for the test and that God is not done teaching you what you need to learn.

You slowly begin to understand that God has denied you certain prayers or certain wishes because his new lessons are going to change your mind or maybe your heart. They will make you wish for different things. They will make you a different person. They will make you thankful that certain things didn’t work out because they wouldn’t have aligned with who you want to become.

You begin to trust his timing and his plans, it starts making sense when you put two and two together. It adds up. You realize that without these new lessons, you could’ve made a decision that was going to hurt you or trapped yourself somewhere you don’t belong or with someone who makes you miserable.

You begin to appreciate the pain, the delays, the setbacks because through them you got to know yourself a little better. They led you to find yourself and your passion. They pushed you to end things and say goodbye to people you loved and wanted so you can be who you really want to be. They pushed you to be in a better place emotionally, mentally or financially.

When God doesn’t give you something you’re praying for right away, it means he’s not done teaching you what you need to learn. He’ll bring you changes that will ultimately changeyou and you’ll look back and understand why you had to wait. You’ll look back and thank him for not granting you those wishes right away.

You’ll look back and realize that sometimes you wished for things you were not ready for, things you could’ve easily destroyed if they were yours. You’ll realize that you still need to learn a few more lessons before you’re fully ready to embrace and appreciate his gifts and his blessings.

You’ll realize that you’ll forever be his student and he’ll always have the final say because you still won’t get all the answers right no matter who you are or how much you know. You still need his confirmation. You still need his approval. He’s always going to know better. He’s always going to prepare you for the hardest tests so you can achieve the greatest score.

A great contribution to my platform by one of my favourite writer and poet Rania Naim.

The Right Place

A mother and a baby camel were lying around under a tree.

Then the baby camel asked, “Why do camels have humps?”

The mother camel considered this and said, “We are desert animals so we have the humps to store water so we can survive with very little water.”

The baby camel thought for a moment then said, “Ok…why are our legs long and our feet rounded?”

The mama replied, “They are meant for walking in the desert.”

The baby paused. After a beat, the camel asked, “Why are our eyelashes long? Sometimes they get in my way.”

The mama responded, “Those long thick eyelashes protect your eyes from the desert sand when it blows in the wind.

The baby thought and thought. Then he said, “I see. So the hump is to store water when we are in the desert, the legs are for walking through the desert and these eye lashes protect my eyes from the desert then why in the Zoo?”

The Lesson: Skills and abilities are only useful if you are in the right place at the right time. Otherwise they go to waste.

Photo credit: Google