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A Cacophony or A Euphony?

 

T.S. Eliot said, “You are the music.” There is only one of you. How are you celebrating the music in your life?

When I was around 5 or 6 years old, I remember my dad coming home Christmas Eve with a homeless man named Russ. After Mom, myself, and my younger brother Ted were introduced, we were told Russ would be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas day with us. We didn’t have much at the time, but were happy to welcome someone in need into our home. My dad had good instincts and would not have put any of us in harms way. For Christmas dinner we had meatloaf, as my parents couldn’t afford a turkey at the time. Dad didn’t have the extra money to get mom a gift, so he found a piece of baby gift wrapping paper and wrote mom a beautiful letter, thanking her for being a good mom and a good wife. A couple of inexpensive gifts were put under the tree for myself and my brother Ted. I still remember the “old school” icicle tinsel we hung so carefully on the tree.

My dad volunteered on skid row along with people from the church we attended in Phoenix, Arizona. The church would give out gift certificates to the homeless over the holidays. This is where dad met Russ. We had a old Nash automobile which got dad a ticket for obstructing traffic from the smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. The Nash (again, old school!) was not worth much and we were in immediate need of another car, so dad offered the car to Russ for free, on the condition he fix the smoke issues. The car was signed over and Russ went on his way. I remember dad telling us years later that Russ had planned on committing suicide on Christmas Eve. The time spent with our family altered this mans decision and changed his life.

My parents eventually bought a house in Phoenix in 1960. As we came home from church on a Sunday in 1965, there was a Cadillac parked outside the house. After we went inside, there was a knock at the door. A stranger stood there asking, “Do you know who I am?”  After we said we did not, he said “I’m Russ, the man you brought home for Christmas and gave the Nash car to several years ago.” Russ went on to tell us he had cleaned up his life, was married with a child, and was on the city council nearby. He said, “Because you trusted me to come into your home and extended your kindness, I got my life together and wanted to come by to thank you.” He had looked my parents up in the phone book, remember those?

How to explain to someone why they should care about other people, because what affects one, affects all. Energy is energy, after all. Our world is changing quickly and people say they want change. With world politics and political fatigue separating people, just as it has in generations past, a fervor of difficult and unkind behavior is an ongoing conundrum. A cacophony of noise that assaults the ears, the senses, the body, mind and spirit. We need serenity and tranquility – a euphony (pleasing to the ear) of beautiful music in which to celebrate life.

How to achieve this state of harmony that encourages us to celebrate the music in our lives? Like the homeless man Russ who left our home and changed his life, we make choices in every moment that support our lives, or tear it apart. You choose your thoughts, feelings and actions. Make them count if you wish to contribute to a better world.

Pa rum pa pum pum – enjoy your holiday and if you have a tree, throw some icicle tinsel on it, if you can find it!

 

Comments

  1. What a sweet story, Debra! thanks for sharing that.

  2. What a beautiful uplifting story, Debra! I feel honored that you have shared this personal experience with us, a great way to ring in the holidays. Many Blessings to you and yours in 2018 xx

    • Debra Oakland says:

      It truly was a wondrous experience and I love to share this story on the holidays. Blessings to you and yours Lisa! xx

  3. What a beautiful story, and what a perfect example of how we never know how one act of kindness can change the course of someone’s life!

  4. Beautiful story, Debra. Thank you for sharing this heart-warming message of compassion, generosity and unconditional kindness. We may not always be blessed to witness the impact we have on the lives of others, however our actions have a lasting affect. “Energy is energy, after all.” happy holidays to you and your family.

    • Debra Oakland says:

      There are many ways to impact the lives of others. I am blessed to have witnessed this act of kindness by my parents. Happy Holidays to you Cindy!

  5. What an uplifting story! We need more stories like this, and we need more people helping others. Your dad (and your family) are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this story.

    • Debra Oakland says:

      Thanks so much Jill! I truly have a wonderful family. My dad has passed on but he lives in my heart forever!

  6. Wow Debra, what a touching and inspiring act of kindness. Nothing to be said for following our intuition and opening our hearts to the miracles right under our noses. Thank you! Happy holidays to you and your beautiful family. I’m sure Russ is glad to have met you all.

    • Debra Oakland says:

      Happy holidays to you and your family Ginny. Miracles are all around us and I am sure Russ a grateful man indeed!

  7. Beautiful story Debra!!!

  8. What a beautiful, heartwarming story. My soul is deeply touched by it. Thank you.

  9. What tender heart-tuggers: “Dad didn’t have the extra money to get mom a gift, so he found a piece of baby gift wrapping paper and wrote mom a beautiful letter, thanking her for being a good mom and a good wife…” and “…The car was signed over and Russ went on his way. I remember dad telling us years later that Russ had planned on committing suicide on Christmas Eve. The time spent with our family altered this man’s decision and changed his life.” And finally a resounding AMEN to, “A cacophony of noise that assaults the ears, the senses, the body, mind, and spirit. We need serenity and tranquility – a euphony (pleasing to the ear) of beautiful music in which to celebrate life…”

    I’ll be happily sharing this gorgeous story, Deb. Hugs xoxox

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