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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
She was six years old when I first met her on

the beach near where I live. I drive to this

beach, a distance of three or four miles,

whenever the world begins to close in on me.

She was building a sandcastle or something and

looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.

"Hello," she said.

I answered with a nod, not really in the mood

to bother with a small child.

"I'm building," she said.

"I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really

caring.

"Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of

sand."

That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my

shoes. A sandpiper glided by.

"That's a joy," the child said.

"It's a what?"

"It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to

bring us joy."

The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye

joy, I muttered to myself, hello pain, and

turned to walk on. I was depressed, my life

seemed completely out of balance.

"What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.

"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson."

"Mine's Wendy... I'm six." "Hi, Wendy." She

giggled. "You're funny".

In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked

on. Her musical giggle followed me.

"Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have

another happy day."

After a few days of a group of unruly Boy

Scouts, PTA meetings, and an ailing mother. The

sun was shining one morning as I took my hands

out of the dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I

said to myself, gathering up my coat.

The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited

me. The breeze was chilly but I strode along,

trying to recapture the serenity I needed.

"Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to

play?"

"What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a

twinge of annoyance.

"I don't know, you say."

"How about charades?" I asked sarcastically.

The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I

don't know what that is."

"Then let's just walk."

Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness

of her face. "Where do you live?" I asked.

"Over there." She pointed toward a row of

summer cottages.

Strange, I thought, in winter.

"Where do you go to school?" "I don't go to

school. Mommy says we're on vacation."

She chattered little girl talk as we strolled

up the beach, but my mind was on other things.

When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a

happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I

smiled at her and agreed.

Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a

state of near panic. I was in no mood to even

greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the

porch and felt like demanding she keep her

child at home.

"Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when

Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone

today." She seemed unusually pale and out of

breath.

"Why?" she asked.

I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother

died!" and thought, My God, why was I saying

this to a little child?

"Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad

day."

"Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day

before and--oh, go away!"

"Did it hurt?" she inquired.

"Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her,

with myself.

"When she died?"

"Of course it hurt!" I snapped,

misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I

strode off.

A month or so after that, when I next went to

the beach, she wasn't there. Feeling guilty,

ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I

went up to the cottage after my walk and

knocked at the door. A drawn looking young

woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.

"Hello," I said, "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed

your little girl today and wondered where she

was."

"Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy

spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her

to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please,

accept my apologies."

"Not at all -- she's a delightful child." I

said, suddenly realizing that I meant what I

had just said.

"Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had

leukemia. Maybe she didn't tell you."

Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to

catch my breath

"She loved this beach so when she asked to

come, we couldn't say no. She seemed so much

better here and had a lot of what she called

happy days. But the last few weeks, she

declined rapidly..." Her voice faltered, "She

left something for you .. if only I can find

it. Could you wait a moment while I look?"

I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something

to say to this lovely young woman. She handed

me a smeared envelope with "MR. P" printed in

bold childish letters. Inside was a drawing in

bright crayon hues -- a yellow beach, a blue

sea, and a brown bird.

Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER

TO BRING YOU JOY.

Tears welled up in my eyes and a heart that had

almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took

Wendy's mother in my arms. "I'm so sorry, I'm

so sorry, I'm so sorry," I muttered over and

over, and we wept together. The precious little

picture is framed now and hangs in my study.

Six words -- one for each year of her life --

that speak to me of harmony, courage, and

undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea

blue eyes and hair the color of sand -- who

taught me the gift of love.

NOTE: This story serves as a reminder to all of us that we need

to take time to enjoy living and life and each

other. The price of hating other human beings

is loving oneself less. Life is so complicated,

the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas can

make us lose focus about what is truly

important or what is only a momentary setback

or crisis. This week, be sure to give your

loved ones an extra hug, and by all means, take

a moment...even if it is only ten seconds, to

stop and smell the roses. This comes from

someone's heart, and is shared with many and

now I share it with you.

There are NO coincidences!

Everything that happens to us happens for

a reason.

Never brush aside anyone as

insignificant.

Who knows what they can teach us?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
snowmobile, some times, YA JUST GOTTA SUCK IT UP!!! this is a nice meaningful post. And many of us come in here all day and there is nothing really to read. So, here is a nice short story.

 

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QUOTE(pauligan @ May 28 2003, 08:49 AM)snowmobile, some times, YA JUST GOTTA SUCK IT UP!!! this is a nice meaningful post. And many of us come in here all day and there is nothing really to read. So, here is a nice short story.


 

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QUOTE(pauligan @ May 28 2003, 08:49 AM)snowmobile, some times, YA JUST GOTTA SUCK IT UP!!! this is a nice meaningful post. And many of us come in here all day and there is nothing really to read. So, here is a nice short story.

Yeah GoldenSnowShower.... where's the LUV???
 

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QUOTE(Focker @ May 28 2003, 08:58 AM)
Yeah GoldenSnowShower.... where's the LUV???
 

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QUOTE(pauligan @ May 28 2003, 07:49 AM)snowmobile, some times, YA JUST GOTTA SUCK IT UP!!! this is a nice meaningful post. And many of us come in here all day and there is nothing really to read. So, here is a nice short story.


No explanations necessary.....
Good stuff!
 

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YOU JUST MADE MY TWO FEUDING EMPLOYEES KISS AND MAKE UP!!!!
THANK YOU!
 

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QUOTE(Top Gun @ May 28 2003, 09:08 AM)YOU JUST MADE MY TWO FEUDING EMPLOYEES KISS AND MAKE UP!!!!
THANK YOU!
I hope it wasn't two dudes.
 

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Maybe I should read this thing. <_<
 

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As always, Pauline you post some very cool stuff.
 

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QUOTE(canehdiangirl @ May 28 2003, 10:20 AM)bawling over here....

MY HANDS IN THE AIR!

WILL NOT ADMIT IT
 
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