Sunday, September 14, 2014

Forever Family

There is,of course, more than can ever be commented about. But here is one thing that is high on most people's list: Family.

And for those young ones who are missing a family, finding, and gaining acceptance in, a new family is high on the priority list.

The following story is going out to one such family, but I thought I'd share it with you folks here as well.

Critters of Habit

Forever Family

George Bear was elbow-deep in the stack of monthly bills when his youngest cub, LizaBeth, put her small paw on his much bigger paw.

"Yes, Li'l Bit?"
"What's a 'Forever Family'?"
"What do you mean?"
"There's this girl in class, Tanya, who was talking about her special day. The day she met her 'Forever Family'. She was all excited about it."
"Ah, you mean Tanya Sparrow?"
"Yes, Papa."
"Well, it's kind of complicated. But it's simple, too, when you get down to the basics of it. Are you ready for a story?"
"Is it a Dragon story, Papa?"
"No, it's a real story. The names might be different, but it happened, for real."
"Is it long?"
(smiling) "I'll try to keep it short. It's about a cub very much like you, maybe a little smaller, but she had the same eyes you do ..."
She had a mama and papa, like you do, but life didn't work out for them the way it should have, and the little girl found herself alone.
"That's sad, Papa."
"Very sad, Li'l Bit."
"I bet she cried."
"I'm sure she did. I'm sure she was very lonely and scared."
"I'd be scared, too, Papa."
"Me too, Li'l Bit."
"What happened to her?"
"Well. This cub ended up, for a time, being taken care of by this family and then by that family. And, while she was cared for and loved, she never seemed to end up in a place that didn't eventually - well the phrase we sometimes use is: 'work out'. Things didn't work out for the little cub, and she never got to stay for very long in a place that she could call home with a family that loved her.
Then she met a family that said: 'We'll make a place for you, here, forever.' …”
Worry drifted over LizaBeth’s face, "Do I have a 'Forever Family'?"
George took his cub and gently wrapped his huge arms around her.
"You sure do, Li'l Bit. We're your Forever Family, me, Mama Bear, JR, Aunt Cindy, Uncle Larry, Uncle Barney, ... the whole Bear Clan. You're our Li'l Bit, and we're yours forever. You're stuck with us," he said, and growled, "And don't you forget it!"
Li'l Bit giggled, "I won’t, Papa!"
"This cub didn’t want to make friends with this new family. If she did have to leave, like before, with her belongings stuffed in a sack, it would hurt ‘way too much. It took a long while for the girl to trust and believe that this new family meant it when they said 'Forever'. It seemed like the better part of forever before she did believe.
"But, she had a mama and a papa who helped her, and kept loving her, and a brother who called her 'Sister'. He even got into fights with the neighborhood bullies when they were mean to her.
"Eventually, she got the message, and she began to settle in and get comfortable. She smiled more. She even whispered some of her darkest secrets to her new Mama.
"One day, a very special day, the family went to the courthouse. The Judge asked everyone a great many questions. Finally he was satisfied that the people in the girl's home meant what they said when they said 'Forever'. Even the little girl believed it (which was the most important part).
"The judge banged his gavel – "
"What's a 'gabel'?"
"That's 'gavel', and it's something like a hammer or mallet, but not quite. Now hush a moment, this is the best, the most important part. As I was saying,"
The judged banged his gavel, but before he did, he said: 'Little Girl, this is now your family, forever. This matter is adjourned.'
Bang! went his gavel, and everyone was smiling. Especially the little girl. She knew, somehow, that she had a family again. She still wasn't quite sure what that meant, but she knew, at least, that she had not only a bed to sleep in, and food to eat, but people who would love her, forever.
"Oh. She must have been happy, Papa."
"She still is. And, even though there have been rough times - every family has 'em, don't you know? - the love that grew was strong enough to get them through those rough times. And all because one family said: 'We'll be your Forever Family,' and meant it."
"If Tanya’s new family is like that, she must be really lucky, Papa."
"Li'l Bit, there is no such thing as luck. What we call 'luck' is the Hand of God, moving where we can't see it. There is nothing that happens that He doesn't have a hand in.
"Now, then, my li’l cubchild, it's time for bed."
"Aww, Papa!"
"Don't you 'Aww, Papa' me. Git along, now!" George said gruffly, but with a twinkle in his eye.
George was turning back to the stack of bills, when he felt a gentle paw on his shoulder. "You told that story like you were there."
George looked up to see Ethel looking down, her eyes shining.  He said, "Well, I was, for some of it. I remember teasing you when we were cubs. I was kind of mean."
Ethel gave his shoulder a squeeze, "And I remember the thumping you got from my brother, Barney, when he heard you calling me 'Nobody's Cub'. And I remember him telling you, in no uncertain terms, that 'She was so, "Somebody's Cub", she's my SISTER!' And then he gave you one last thump, so's you would remember it."
"Yeah, he hits hard, when he’s riled up. And you sure grew up to be 'Somebody'."
George patted the paw on his shoulder, and looked up at his wife, "We sure do have some wonderful stories, don't we?"
Ethel merely smiled back.

Folks, there are many kids out there that need a 'Forever Family'. If you have the willingness and strength to be a special 'Forever Family' to a special kid, please, by all means do so. The results are world-changing, for the child, but also for you.

Yes, You CAN

Monday, June 2, 2014

What Do You Say When You Don't Have Anything To Say?

Garrison Keillor described it as 'The ability to say things while you're thinking of something to say."

Some people do this better than I do, Mr. Keillor, notably.

I was going to write about personal tragedies, but certain folk would prefer that
I don't share 'family business' ( I suppose even saying that much is saying 'too much'). So, let me just say that it's been a tough couple of years, and let it go at that.

Now that that is done, how are all of you folks? Keeping on? Still keeping the New Years' Resolutions?

I have only one this year: 


That one will be tough enough, I expect. If that word is a contract, then there are a lot of subordinate clauses that will need to be met as well.


'Stay healthy'
'Make more money'
'Have more fun'
'Keep loving the family'


"Non Illegitimi Carborundum"*

And, if I can, you can, too.

Yes, You Can!

* You'd best 'Google' it