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Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Sand and Stone

Two friends were walking through a desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, he wrote in the sand, “Today my best friend slapped me in the face.”

They kept walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but his friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: “Today my best friend saved my life.”

The friend, who had stopped and saved his best friend, asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?”

The other friend replied, “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, so no wind can ever erase it.”

Learn to write your hurts in the sand, and to carve your benefits from others in stone. It takes minutes to find a special friend, hours to appreciate them, days to love them, but an entire life to forget them.

Take the time to live. Do not value the things you have in your life, but value who you have in your life.

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A Small Way to Help

Hal was afflicted with a slowly progressive disease of the motor nerves, affecting first his right arm and leg, and then his other side. He couldn’t walk properly but he still drove to and from work each day, with the aid of special equipment installed in his car.

It was raining when he started home that night; gusty winds and slashing rain beat down on the car as he drove slowly down one of the less-traveled roads. Suddenly the steering wheel jerked in his hands and the car swerved violently to the right. In the same instant he heard the dreaded bang of a blowout. He fought the car to a stop on the rain-slick shoulder of the road and sat there as the enormity of the situation swept over him. It was impossible for him to change that tire.

He remembered that a short distance up a little side road was a house. He started the engine and thumped slowly along, keeping well over on the shoulder until he came to the dirt road and arrived at the house. He pulled into the driveway and honked the horn.

The door opened and a little girl stood there, peering at him. He rolled down the window and called out that he had a flat tire and needed someone to change it for him because he had a crutch and couldn’t do it himself.

The little girl went into the house and a moment later came out bundled in raincoat and hat, followed by a man. Hal felt a bit sorry for the man and little girl working so hard in the storm while he sat inside the car comfortable and dry. The rain seemed to be slackening a bit, and Hal rolled down the window to watch. It seemed that they were really slow. Hal heard the clank of metal from the back of the car and the little girl said, “Here’s the jack-handle, Grandpa.” She was answered by the murmur of the man’s lower voice and the slow tilting the car as it was jacked up.

There followed a long interval of noises, jolts and low conversation from the back of the car, but finally it was done. Hal felt the car bump as the jack was removed, and he heard the slam of the trunk lid, and then they were standing at his car window.

Grandpa was an old man, stooped and frail-looking under his slicker. The little girl was about eight, with a merry face and a wide smile as she looked up.

Grandpa said, “This a bad night for car trouble, but you’re all set now.”

“Thanks,” Hal said, “how much do I owe you?”

Grandpa shook his head. “Nothing. Cynthia told me you were on crutches. Glad to be of help. I know you’d do the same for me. There’s no charge, friend.”

Hal held out a ten-dollar bill. “No! I like to pay my way.”

Grandpa made no effort to take it and the little girl stepped closer to the window and said quietly, “Grandpa can’t see it.”

A blind man and a child, fumbling, feeling with cold, wet fingers for bolts and tools in the dark, just changed a tire for him.

Nobody Told Him He Couldn’t Do It

When Kathy’s son Joey was born, his feet were twisted upward with the bottoms resting on his tummy. The doctor said Joey had been born with club feet and assured Kathy that with treatment Joey would be able to walk normally, but would probably never run very well. The first three years of his life, Joey spent in surgery, casts and braces. His legs were massaged, worked and exercised. By the time he was seven, he could walk normally.

However, if he walked great distances, he complained that his legs were tired and that they hurt. Kathy didn’t tell him why his legs hurt and why they were weak. She didn’t tell him that he probably wouldn’t be able to run as well as the other children. So he didn’t know.

In seventh grade Joey decided to go out for the cross-country team. Every day he trained with the team. He seemed to work harder and run more than any of the others. The team runners are the top seven runners of the school. Although the entire team runs, it is only these seven who will have potential to score points for the school. Kathy didn’t tell Joey he probably would never make the team, so he didn’t know.

Joey continued to run four to five miles a day, every day. He once had a 103-degree fever and he couldn’t stay home because he had cross-country practice. Kathy worried about him all day. She went out to the cross-country training area and found Joey was running along the side of a long tree-lined street, by himself. Kathy pulled up alongside of him and drove slowly to keep pace with him as he ran. She asked how he felt. “Okay,” he said. He only had two more miles to go. As the sweat rolled down his face, his eyes were glassy from his fever. Kathy never told him he couldn’t run four miles with a 103-degree fever. So he didn’t know.

Two weeks later, the names of the team runners were called. Joey was number 6 on the list. He had made the team. He was in seventh grade while the other six team members were all eight-graders. Nobody told him he couldn’t do it, so he didn’t know. And he just did it.

Make a Wish

Anna will never forget the day her mom made her go to a birthday party.

“I’m not going,” Anna said. “She’s a new girl named Ruth, and all my friends aren’t going. She asked the whole class, all 36 of us!”

Anna’s mom studied the handmade invitation and she looked sad. Then she announced, “Well, you are going. I’ll pick up a present tomorrow.”

When the day arrived, Mom rushed Anna out of bed and made her wrap the pink mirror-brush-and-comb set she’d bought as the present.

They drove over to Ruth’s house. Ruth answered the door and motioned Anna to follow her up the staircase. Stepping through the door brought Anna some relief. The hardwood floors gleamed in the sun-filled parlor. Snow-white doilies covered the backs and arms of well-worn overstuffed furniture.

The cake sat on the table. It was decorated with nine pink candles, a messily printed Happy Birthday Ruthey. 36 Dixie cups filled with homemade fudge were near the cake – each one with a name on it.

“Where’s your mom?” Anna asked Ruth.

Looking down at the floor, Ruth said, “Well, she’s sick.”

“Oh. Where’s your dad?”

“He’s gone.”

Then there was a silence, except for a few raspy coughs from behind a closed door. 15 minutes passed … then 10 more. Suddenly the terrifying realization set in. No one else was coming. “How could I get out of here?” Anna thought and as she sank into self-pity, she heard muffled sobs. Looking up she saw Ruth’s tear-streaked face. All at once her heart was overwhelmed with sympathy for Ruth and filled with rage at her 35 selfish classmates.

“Who needs them?” Anna proclaimed loudly.

Ruth’s startled look changed to excited agreement. Then, there they were – 2 small girls, 1 cake, 36 candy-filled Dixie cups, ice cream, gallons of soft drinks, 3 dozen party favors, games to play and prizes to win. Anna sang “Happy Birthday” while Ruth made a wish and blew out the candles on the birthday cake.

In a flash it was noon and Anna’s mom came to pick her up. Gathering up all her goodies and thanking Ruth repeatedly, Anna dashed to the car and she was bubbling over.

“I won all the games! Well, really, Ruthey won one but she said it wasn’t fair for the birthday girl to win a prize, so she gave it to me, and we split the party favors 50/50. Mom, she just loved the mirror set. I was the only one there – out of the whole class. And I can’t wait to tell every one of them what a great party they missed!”

Mom pulled over to the curb, stopped the car and hugged Anna tight. With tears in her eyes, she said, “I’m so proud of you!”

One person could really make a difference. Anna had made a big difference in Ruth’s ninth birthday, and her mom had made a big difference in Anna’s life.

Avalanche

It was Alex’s dream cabin – 10,000 square feet of luxurious space overlooking a majestic waterfall, near the famous Sundance Ski Resort. It took him and his wife several years to design, build and furnish it. But it only took 10 seconds to completely destroy it.

It had snowed heavily that day. Still, Alex’s wife braved the weather for the 30-minute ride up the canyon from their current home to visit their newly completed mountain home. Alex was to join her later and bring their nine-year-old daughter.

Alex received a call from the Sundance Ski Resort at about 3pm: “There is a problem at your cabin. You’d better come immediately.”

They gave no more details. Alex anxiously dashed up the canyon on snow-clogged roads. When he arrived at the ski resort, the director of the resort and his staff greet him.

“There’s been a catastrophe at the cabin. We think your wife was there. Jump in the four-wheel drive. Let’s go.”

The cabin was adjacent to the ski resort and was accessible only by a narrow, winding mountain road. As they frantically raced up the road and pulled near the cabin, Alex spotted his wife in the roadway surrounded by several members of the ski patrol. As Alex jumped out of the vehicle and ran toward her, she pointed to the trees above the cabin. Alex was shocked.

The swath of a monster avalanche had blasted down the mountainside, leaving massive trees snapped and broken in its wake like match sticks. In seconds, the avalanche had blown out all of the windows and piled tons of snow into the huge living room, collapsing all the floors. What remained was just a shell. Outside, the carefully selected furniture were smashed to bits in the snow.

The ski patrol hustled them out of the avalanche zone quickly, as new avalanches threatened. The loss of the cabin really shook Alex and his wife. Why did it happen to them?

The story could end here. But there was a miracle happened that day and Alex didn’t discover it until eight months later.

At a business meeting, a colleague of Alex asked him, “Did your wife ever tell you that my wife and your wife almost had an accident on the road to your cabin on the day of the avalanche?”

“No,” Alex replied. “What happened?”

“Well, my wife and our boys were staying at our Sundance cabin that day. Because of the heavy snow, they decided to leave and come back home. They then started down the narrow road. Your wife, driving up the road, saw my wife and the boys in our Suburban. But when my wife slammed on her brakes, the car wouldn’t stop. It skidded down the slick mountain road gathering speed. There was nothing she could do to stop it. Finally, at the last moment before the two vehicles were to crash into each other, she turned the wheel, slamming the front of the Suburban into the snow bank on one side of the road while the rear of the vehicle slammed into the bank of the other side … virtually blocking your wife from proceeding up the road. They tried for almost an hour to get the Suburban unstuck and finally had to get help from the ski resort.”

“That’s amazing,” Alex said. “My wife never told me.”

They chuckled about the accident and parted company. Then the force of what had just revealed hit Alex.

If it hadn’t been for this accident, his wife would most certainly have been killed in the avalanche! He could imagine about that accident in the roadway. He could see his wife sitting there in frustration as the Suburban blocked her way to the cabin. He could see his friend’s wife at the scene, embarrassed by the whole situation. He could see her boys upset and wonder why this happened to them.

At the time, everyone viewed the situation as a complete disaster. And yet, with perspective, it was obvious that they had all unknowingly participated in a miracle.

To every disadvantage there is a corresponding advantage. When “accidents” happen, instead of wondering “Why me?” simply say “Thank you.” Then wait until all the evidence rolls in.

The Accident

Christmas Eve came on Sunday that year. As a result, the usual Sunday night youth group meeting at the church was going to be a big celebration. The mother of two teenage girls asked Robert after the morning service if he could find a ride for her girls that night. She was divorced. Her ex-husband had moved away. She hated to drive at night, especially since there was a possibility of freezing rain that night. Robert promised to get the girls to the meeting.

The girls were seated beside him as they drove to the church that night. They came up over a rise in the road, only to see that a multiple collision had just taken place on a railroad overpass just ahead. Because it had started to freeze and the road was very slick, they were unable to stop and slammed into the back of a car. Robert turned to see if the girls were fine when he heard the scream from the girl beside him. “Oh, Donna!” Robert leaned forward to see what had happened to the girl seated by the window. She had been thrown face first through the windshield. The jagged edge of the broken windshield glass had gouged two deep gashes in her left cheek. Blood was streaming down. It was a horrible sight.

Fortunately, someone in one of the other cars had a first aid kit and applied a compress to Donna’s cheek to stop the bleeding. The investigating police officer said the accident was unavoidable and there would be no charges made, but Robert felt terrible that a beautiful 16-year-old girl would have to go through life with scars on her face. And it had happened when she was in his care.

At the hospital emergency room, Donna was taken immediately to the doctor to have her face stitched up. It seemed to take a long time. Afraid there were complications, Robert asked a nurse why the delay. She said the doctor on duty happened to be a plastic surgeon. He took many small time-consuming stitches. This also meant there would be minimal scar tissue.

Robert dreaded visiting Donna in the hospital, fearful she would be angry and blame him. Since it was Christmas, the doctors in the hospital tried to send patients home and also postponed elective surgery. As a result, there were not many patients on Donna’s floor. Robert asked a nurse how Donna was doing. The nurse smiled and said she was doing just fine. In fact, she was like a ray of sunshine. Donna seemed happy and kept asking questions about the medical procedures. The nurse confided that with so few patients on the floor, the nurses had time on their hands and made up excuses to go into Donna’s room to chat with her!

Robert told Donna how sorry he was for what had happened. She brushed the apology aside, saying she would cover the scars with pancake make-up. Then she began to excitedly explain what the nurses had been doing in the hospital. The nurses stood around her bed smiling. Donna seemed very happy. This was her first time in a hospital and she was intrigued.

Later at school, Donna was the center of attention as she described again and again the wreck and what happened in the hospital. Her mother and sister did not blame Robert for what happened and even went out of their way to thank him for taking care of the girls that night. As for Donna, her face was not disfigured and pancake make-up almost covered the scars. That made Robert feel better, but he still ached for the pretty girl with the scarred face. A year later, Robert moved to another city and lost touch with Donna and her family.

Fifteen years later, Robert was invited back to the church for a series of services. The last night, he noticed Donna’s mother stood in the line of people waiting to tell him goodbye. He shuddered as the memories of the wreck, the blood and the scars cascaded back. When Donna’s mother stood before him she had a big smile on her face. She was almost laughing when she asked if he knew what had happened to Donna. Of course, Robert did not know what had happened.

“Well, did you remember how interested she was in what the nurses did?” Donna’s mother went on:

“Well, Donna decided to be a nurse. She went into training, graduated with honors, got a good job in a hospital, met a young doctor, they fell in love and are happily married and have two beautiful children. She told me to be sure to tell you that the accident was the best thing that ever happened to her!”

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shapes of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience, and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.

New Hair Clips

clip

A very poor man had a beautiful wife. His wife had luscious and beautiful long hair that she loved and adored. One day, her hair clip broke and she wanted a new one to take care of her hair.

“Honey, can you please bring me a new hair clip?” asked the wife.

“I’m sorry, honey, I can’t even afford to get my broken watch strap fixed.” Husband said with a heavy heart. His wife did not insist on her request.

As the husband was walking to work, he passed by a watch shop. He suddenly thought of something. “Why don’t I just sell my watch for a little money to get my wife her hair clips?”

So he sold his watch with the broken strap at a low price and bought his wife new hair clips.

As he got home that night, he was shocked to see his wife with short hair.

“Honey, I sold my long hair to the salon and bought you a new watch band.” She said with a smile on her face.

Tears started rolling down her husband’s eyes as he gave her the hair clips he got for her.

We all have to make sacrifices for the ones we love. Material things and beauty won’t last forever, true love will. Never take love for granted.