Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Daddy & Daughter Day at School

Every once in a while I read something that just have to share.   This is one of those times.

Cheryl Costello-Forshey quotes 

Her hair was up in a ponytail, her favorite dress tied with a bow. Today was Daddy's Day at school, and she couldn't wait to go.

But her mommy tried to tell her, that she probably should stay home. Why the kids might not understand, if she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid; she knew just what to say. What to tell her classmates of why he wasn't there today.

But still her mother worried, for her to face this day alone. And that was why once again, she tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school, eager to tell them all. About a dad she never sees, a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back, for everyone too meet. Children were squirming impatiently, anxious in their seats.

One by one the teacher called, a student from the class to introduce her daddy. As seconds slowly passed, at last the teacher called her name, every child turned to stare.

Each of them was searching, for a man who wasn't there. 'Where's her daddy at?' she heard a boy call out. 'She probably doesn't have one,' another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back, she heard a daddy say, 'Looks like another deadbeat dad, too busy too waste his day.' The words did not offend her, as she smiled up at her Mom.

And looked back at her teacher, who told her to go on. And with hands behind her back, slowly she began too speak.

And out from the mouth of a child, came words incredibly unique. 'My daddy couldn't be here, because he lives so far away. But I know he wishes he could be, since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know. All about my daddy, and how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories, he taught me to ride my bike. He surprised me with pink roses, he taught me how to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes, and ice cream in a cone. And though you cannot see him, I'm not standing here alone. 'Cause my daddy's always with me, even though we are apart.

I know because he told me, he'd forever be in my heart.' With that her little hand reached up, and lay across her chest. Feeling her own heart beat, beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere in the crowd of dads, her mother stood in tears. Proudly watching her daughter, who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love of a man not in her life. Doing what was best for her, doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down, staring straight into the crowd, she finished with a voice so soft, but its message clear and loud.

'I love my daddy very much, he's my shining star. And if he could he'd be here, but Heaven's just too far!

You see he was a fireman and died just this past year. When airplanes hit the towers, and taught Americans to fear. 'But sometimes when I close my eyes, its like he never went away.'

And then she closed her eyes, and saw him there that day. And to her mother's amazement, she witnessed with surprise.

A room full of daddy's and children, all starting to close their eyes. Who knows what they saw before them, who knows what they felt inside.

Perhaps for merely a second, they saw him at her side. 'I know your with me daddy,' to the silence she called out.

And what happened next made believers, of those once filled with doubt. Not one in that room could explain it, for each of their eyes had been closed.

But there on the desk beside her, was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose. And a child was blessed, if only for a moment, by the love of her shining star. 

And given the gift of believing, that: Heaven is never too far. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I would like to introduce you to someone I recently met. Her name is Heather and she has a very inspiring story to tell. I know this will be an inspiration to all who read it....

Hope Amidst the Darkness

There are some phrases in life that we never want to hear. I will never be able to forget the day that I heard three words that changed my life completely: "You have cancer."

Unfortunately, my diagnosis came during one of the happiest times of my life. Not even four months earlier, I had given birth to a perfect baby girl, Lily. It was love at first sight when I saw my daughter. Now, instead of enjoying being the mom of an infant, I was suddenly a cancer patient.

I received the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a serious cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. When I told people my diagnosis, they would always remark that they thought asbestos was illegal. It is true that asbestos is illegal now, but it has not always been that way.

I became ill with mesothelioma cancer as a result of secondary asbestos exposure many years prior. When I was younger, my dad worked in the construction industry. He spent his days completing various projects, and he specialized in working with drywall.

My dad would never have knowingly hurt his family, but he came home every day covered in dust from his work. None of us could have guessed that the dust contained harmful asbestos. As I hugged my dad and went about my daily life in my home, I was breathing in these deadly asbestos fibers. Many years later, that exposure resulted in mesothelioma.

The typical mesothelioma patients of the past were older males who worked in construction, mining or other trades. I definitely did not fit that profile as a 36-year-old female. At the time of my diagnosis, the Mayo Clinic said they had only had one other mesothelioma patient that was as young as me. However, the profile of the typical mesothelioma patient is changing.

More and more wives of husbands who worked in trades fields are getting sick from secondary asbestos exposure. These were the women who were washing their husbands clothes every evening, cleaning dust from their furniture and completing numerous other tasks around their homes. Because of this, they received a high level of exposure from the asbestos dust. In addition, the children in these homes were being exposed to the toxins every day.

As I travel advocating for mesothelioma, I am meeting other patients who are young like me. Most of us were in the prime of our lives when we were shocked by a cancer diagnosis. We have all received some of the worst news that a person can hear, but I am proud to say that we are very strong.

I love talking to other patients because it gives me an opportunity to spread my message of hope. A mesothelioma diagnosis is scary, but it does not have to be a death sentence. I have so many wonderful new relationships thanks to my cancer journey, and I will never forget the lessons that I learned during the hardest time of my life.

This is a picture of the happy family as they are today....  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who is your best friend?

Who has never heard the old saying.... "Dog is man's best friend" I am sure there aren't many hands up!!

I'm afraid that I have to admit that I am not much of a dog person and much prefer cats,  but I have a true story about my early childhood about a very loyal dog my parents owned.

At age 3-6 we lived on a smallholding just outside of a small town called Elliot, in South Africa. First few years we lived on our own, but after my grandmother passed on when I was 5 years old, we moved in with my grandfather who lived about half a mile away from our first house.

My parents both worked in town and until my grannie's passing, I used to stay with her during the day while my mother was at work.

As I mentioned before, they owned a dog. To save my mother time in the mornings she made good use of the dog's loyalty. She would place my arm in the dog's mouth and tell him "grannie" and he would walk me to my grandparents house. He would not release my arm until either my grandma or grandpa gave him a piece of chopped wood to take home. They actually tested him by ignoring us and carrying on with some chores outside. No matter how I pulled on my arm and spoke to him, he held on until the piece of wood was given in exchange. He refused to accept the wood from anyone else so it was quite safe to assume that he handed me to one of them.

If that isn't proof of loyalty and intelligence nothing is!

I am sure that many people have experienced such loyalty in their pets. Animals are strange creatures and often surprise us with their intelligence.

Here are a few "animal friends" quotes....

 There is in all animals a sense of duty that man condescends to call instinct.  ~Robert Brault

The kind man feeds his beast before sitting down to dinner. 
~Hebrew Proverb

Man is rated the highest animal, at least among all animals who returned the questionnaire. 
~Robert Brault

Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.  ~ Colette

The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude. 
~Robert Brault,

If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around. 
~Will Rogers

I hope all my friends enjoyed this true story.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Is nature sometimes stranger than fiction?
I have often learned lessons from nature - from plants and "dumb" animals.

Many things in nature work together to make for a more successful planet.  Some plants use other plants to keep them going - like some orchids that attach themselves to the bark of trees using that as their "home". They are not parasites that take anything from the tree, other than just having a place to live and survive. Some plants need insects and birds to help pollinate them and distribute their seeds, thus ensuring that they live on.

Then we find the unusual - Those animals who would normally not be friends but become bosom buddies. We had a few of these in the past.

We had a real "pet's paradise" for a few years. There were cats, bunnies, ducks and "silky" chickens. We obtained these as babies all at the same time, so they grew up together and all became friends.

We did not keep any of them in cages. Our back yard was well fenced in and they were left to roam as they liked.

Naturally they eventually had babies of their own - all except the cats - and once again these babies grew up together.

 Our cats used to play with the bunnies while one of the baby bunnies befriended a duckling. These two were inseparable, even when they were full grown.

We used to spend hours sitting on the garden bench, in the shade of a loqaut tree, watching our unusual friends playing with each other.

I believe that this is living out what is proclaimed in the Holy Bible.....

    "And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them."  Isaiah 11:6

I also believe that "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" Matt. 19:26

Once again I have to express my thanks and gratitude that I can ask our Heavenly Father for anything and as long as I believe, AND AS LONG AS IT IS IN MY OWN BEST INTEREST, my prayers will be answered. If I ask for something that is not going to be of REAL benefit to me, I will not receive. Sometimes when we pray for something, our prayers are answered in a different way to what we expected, because that is the way it must be for us.

We must learn to accepet whatever we receive even when it seems to be wrong. Nothing we receive in the name of God is wrong - God makes no mistakes!! We are often like small children who don't understand that we cannot always get what we desire - it is just the way it is. If your child asks you for a hot coal because it is pretty, will you give it to him? I'm sure you wouldn't.

As a parent I have often said no to my children when they ask for something - not because I want to be spiteful, but because I know what is best for them. In the same way, our Heavenly Father also knows what is best for us and will not always grant our wishes.

Whatever happens,

I know that I am safe in His love, even though I often don't understand - knowing that he loves me is good enough for me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We should see Gods hand in everything that happens to us.......

I suffer from asthma and during the dry winter months, my hometown is absolutely unsuitable for me. There are gold mines, and the dust that comes from the mine dumps makes it impossible for me to breath properly as it induces my asthma. Due to circumstances beyond our control we cannot move away to a more suitable environment, so I often visit one of my daughters during the winter months. This year I saw once again how God works in mysterious ways...

A cloud of dust lifting off a mine dump

Another cloud of dust from the dump 

                                                                                                                                                                                      Not many people can boast great grandchildren, but I can. I have one great grandson and one great granddaughter.
Shayne on his 7th birthday

Bianca showing off her "jewelry"

Besides being able to see them develop into real little people, I am very privileged to be in a position to help the boy get to grips with his first year at school.

He is a very active little boy and finds it difficult to sit still long enough to concentrate. His teacher insisted that he should be put on treatment for ADD even though he has not been tested correctly for ADD. We are all dead set against any kind of drugs, especially for little ones, so everyone has stood together and we are watching his diet making sure that he eats healthy food without artificial coloring, preservatives and too much sugar.

I offered to take him under my wing and oversee his homework. Although he is very sharp and quick when it comes to Maths, when I started helping him with his reading, he could not even recognize a word by spelling it. He also could not remember the letters, getting confused with d's, b's and p's.  Now, after three months of working with him intensely every afternoon, he has improved to such an extent that he gets 100% for his reading.

I am very proud of the way he has improved, but I am also thankful that I may have played a small role in getting him this far. He is reading well and puts expression into what he reads as apposed to his monotonous little voice and stilted reading in the past.

I thank God every day for the privilege and opportunity that He granted me in helping to get one of His children on the road to success. He loves reading so much now, that he wants to read more and more every day. He is never keen to keep to the time table the teacher set him for his reading, insisting on reading at least twice the number of pages that are set for him.

If I didn't suffer so badly with asthma, I would not have been here to help him, so it was a blessing in disguise. We must look for the good in everything that happens to us, even though it is sometimes very difficult. It is too easy to simply say: "Why does it always have to happen to me"  or  "I always have bad luck, no matter what I do"

Be thankful every day that we are showered with blessings. If we look in the right places, we will find them. Unfortunately human nature is such that it is easier to find the bad rather than looking just a little harder for the blessing in disguise. As long as we believe that our way is set out by God, then we will also manage to find the good in everything. Nothing is ALL bad - there is always something good as well.

Let us all look for the silver lining rather than only seeing the dark clouds and thank the Lord for that silver lining.

Find the silver lining - it IS there

Monday, December 28, 2009


As I stand at the end of yet another year, and I look back to the past year I have to reflect upon my many blessings. Sometimes they don't seem like blessings when they happen, but on hind sight I have to admit that I was never put in a situation that was bad for me, and I am grateful for that...

I am forever grateful for having friends who are always there for me whenever I need them. I know that I can depend on all my REAL friends any time of the night or day. I am also grateful that I can BE a friend..... to always be there for them too.

I am grateful for the gift of life and all it brings to me.....

Life is a gift that we must never take for granted. I am grateful for all my friends and family from North to South, from East to West - and everywhere in between. My friends who give me all the support I ever need - and then some!!

I face every new day with gratitude - whether it be sunshine or rain. Every night is a blessing - a time to rest and reflect upon the day that is just ending. We need every kind of day we are blessed with.... Those rainy days when I can be cosy in my home having a lovely comforting mug of hot chocolate. Then, when the sun comes out after the life-giving rain, everything is clean and bright and the birds seem to dance around with glee, singing and chirping with extra joy.

I am grateful for my home......

What would I do without the roof over my head - a place I can call home. A place I can feel safe.

More than anything else, though, I am grateful that I can call myself a child of God. That I have a Father whom I can call upon whenever I am in need - whenever I am in distress. I am grateful for the knowledge that my Father is my anchor no matter how rough the sea and how high the waves that break against my lifeboat. He will always be there to still the waters, to take my hand and lead the way - the right way for me, because I am as special to Him as each and every one of His children. It may not always be the way I want to go, but it will always be the RIGHT way for ME - the way I MUST go.

I am grateful!!! THANK YOU!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009



Everywhere we are met with the same messages......

Christmas is a time to be jolly.....
Christmas is a time to celebrate.....
Christmas is a time to toast.....

The question is.....

How and what should we celebrate, Why should we be jolly and what should we toast with???

To me Christmas IS a time to celebrate and be happy. To me Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, so we should be happy.

We should toast the fact that our sins will be forgiven and we will have ever lasting life if we truly believe in the real meaning of Christmas - the birth of the Son of God. We should toast this birth with the Water from the Spring of Everlasting Life and not with alcohol...the way most people are so bent on doing.

Many people profess to be Christians and that they believe in God and the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ, when they go to church each Sunday, but Monday to Saturday they live a different life. A life of the worldly.... the life of a sinner. As long as they attend a Church service every Sunday, all is well with their lives.

This is the time we exchange gifts with our loved ones, but what is the reason. Is it a status symbol showing off what we can afford. Is it merely something born of tradition - our parents did it, so we will do it - OR is it because we want to celebrate the GIFT that we received more than 2000 years ago. God's GIFT to us - His son who was given to us so that we can receive the ULTIMATE GIFT of everlasting life.

I know that we are ALL sinners and that nobody is perfect and without fault, but do you try to live as Godly as possible? Do you try to live your life without hurting your neighbor? We forget how easy it is to hurt other people's feelings by an unkind word - often not meant to be unkind, but the recipient may be going through a hard time that you know nothing about. They may have a problem that they have not shared with others and something you may consider as innocent, may be very hurtful to them. Please - always be thoughtful of other people and their feelings.

Let us start the new year thinking of others before ourselves. Let us think twice before we drop a seemingly innocent remark, or do something thoughtless that could hurt other people. Think about how we would react to a similar situation. It is very rewarding to see the gratitude from someone who has been given a compliment, and the pride when they are asked for their opinion in a matter.

It is always much more rewarding to give than to receive - try it and you will see what I mean. I don't profess to be the perfect friend at all times, but I try my best. I have many friends from across the globe, and I always try and listen to their problems, and even if I can't always help them physically, I will always lend an ear and try and give advice wherever I can. That is usually all your friends need - to know that you are always there for them. They don't need a proffessional to tell them that they are special - only a real friend.

Can we all try and look for the positive - the good in people. Is it possible that we can change our outlook on life to find the beauty instead of the ugly - this will bring such peace to our lives that we won't even think of the bad things that are happening around us, and if we all look at life like that, there will be more and more peace in the world. Peace starts with each one of us and goodwill should be spread all around us, by us..... Try it - you may even like it!!

How wonderful that would be - to be able to celebrate PEACE ON EARTH and GOODWILL TO ALL MEN!! After all, isn't that what Christmas should be all about.....

A time to be jolly....
A time to celebrate the right way.