His son came to him with tears in his eyes…he was crying…

both of them were sad

His son had lost his Grandpa…and he had lost his dad.


“What am I going to do?” his son asked…his sadness on display

“Is there anything I can do to make this sadness go away.”


He hugged his son, lifted him up then lovingly placed him on his knee

“Let me teach you something,” he said…”your grandpa taught to me.”

Let’s sit here together close our eyes and think of Grandpa for a while.

Think of all you the time we spent together…all the times he made us smile.


“Today we’re feeling one huge sadness…and here is what Grandpa taught us:”

“Not to let this one huge sadness outweigh all the happiness he brought us.”


He said, “sadness and happiness are incompatible. They can’t take up the same space

and the best way to remove a frown is to put a smile on your face.”


“It’s not always easy.” he knew… “like today when we’re both so aware

how Grandpa is no longer with us…how sadness fills our air.”


“But Grandpa knew what he was talking about and when sadness comes our way

we must remember happiness…to make that sadness go away.”


So they sat together father and son…and they thought of him a while…


and on one of the saddest days in both their lives…they found a way to smile.

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With the memory of her death still fresh in his mind

he pauses to think about her…

and he wonders…

if the world will always be this quiet

and this lonely…


without her.

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When her Grandma was alive sometimes they’d sit in her backyard without saying a word.

They’d throw little pieces of bread upon the ground and silently feed the birds.


“Sometimes I get lonely.” Grandma would tell her in a sad and mournful tone.

“But as long as birds are visiting, I never feel alone.”


There were days they lost count of how many birds there were…

It’s just one of the wonderful memories her Grandma bequeathed to her.


She remembered this heading to the car for Grandma’s funeral

“Wait…I’ll only be a minute!” she said

Then she ran back into the house and came out with a loaf of bread.


At the cemetery when the service was completed…she gave Grandma a goodbye wave

then gently sprinkled little pieces of bread quietly upon her grave.


“What are you doing?” her mother whispered as her last little pieces were thrown…


“It’s to remind the birds where grandma is.” she said, “so she’ll never be alone.”

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He was looking at a picture of his wife…thinking of their first date… first kiss…

and now that she is gone…all the things that he will miss…


“You look sad.” the young girl said to him as he sat upon ‘their’ rock

“Sometimes I get sad too.” she said…but he didn’t want to talk.


“Why are you here all by yourself?” He asked.

“What are you doing talking to me?”

“Don’t you have someplace else to go?”

“Someplace else you need to be?”


“Do you like ice cream?” she asked

“How long since you were born?”

“How dangerous is it to pet a snake?”

“Have you ever seen a unicorn?”


The old man tried his best not to answer…but there was something about her smile he adored…

and as the questions kept on coming…she was too hard to ignore.


“I’ve never seen a unicorn.” he said

“Snakes are dangerous…you know.”

“I like my ice cream chocolate…and I was born a long, long time ago.”


She kept asking questions because that’s what a little girl does

and as the old man kept responding he forgot how sad he was.


After a while from atop that rock he was now happily sitting on

he turned to thank the little girl

but he couldn’t

she was gone.


He looked but could not find her.

Where was she?

He didn’t know…but she took with her his sadness 

she took with her his woe.


“It can’t be…can it! he wondered after sitting there a while

and returning to the picture of his wife he nodded,


“I thought I recognized that smile."

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It was their special way to say goodnight…he’s not sure when it started

or how they began to use it whenever they departed…


When he was young at bedtime she’d lean down and kiss his forehead…

as she had done the night before

“I will miss you while I’m sleeping.” he’d say

then she would whisper… “But I will miss you more”.


It’s funny how a little thing like that…a little thing you hear or see

when done with so much love…imprints in your memory.


Even as a teenager when sons and mothers sometimes fight

all would be forgotten when she came to say goodnight


When she leaned down to kiss his forehead…

as she had done the night before

When he said, “I will miss you while I’m sleeping.”

and she’d whisper… “But I will miss you more.”


Even when he grew up and left the house… even the older he became

after every visit together their message was the same:


She would kiss him on his forehead as they stood by her front door

“I will miss you while I am away.” he’d say.

Then she would whisper… “But I will miss you more.”


Then came the day no parent and child wants…

a day with tears filling up his eyes

when he sat beside her on her bed…

when he came to say goodbye…


He took her frail hand in his and they sat in silence for a while.

She opened her eyes and for a moment between them passed a smile…


Then he leaned over and kissed her forehead…

as she had done so many times before….

“I will miss you while I’m sleeping.” she said


and he whispered… “But I will miss you more.”

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It took him a long time to laugh after she was gone

even once the initial sadness faded.

He thought it would be disrespectful.

He thought her memory would be jaded…


But then in the midst of his sadness

he remembered her laugh one day

and he knew how sad it would make her feel

If her death took his laugh away.


Remembering her laugh made him realize

how by her memory he is blessed

how finding joy and laughter without her

doesn’t mean he misses her less.


So today he loves to laugh

he no longer feels blue…

for he knows when he is laughing…



she is laughing too.

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He was already a man of few words

but her death left him completely silent 

and bereft

as if she took to heaven with her


whatever few words he had left.

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It happens every day…it comes as no surprise

When the day is done…we fall asleep…we gently close our eyes…


And we assume that every morning…again we’re not surprised

when a new day will dawn before us…as we open up our eyes.


But the other day a friend of ours…it was kind of a surprise

went to sleep and it was the last time she ever closed her eyes…


I’m sure, although, she was prepared, she didn’t know right then

once she closed those beautiful eyes…they would never open again.


And so it makes us wonder…it makes us think…sometimes we agonize…

Will we be happy with the life we’ve lived…the last time we close our eyes?


Have we played and laughed and smiled enough?  Have we been kind in our replies?

Have we danced and sang and shared enough before that last time we close our eyes?


Have we loved and have we been loved?  Have we enjoyed the oceans and the skies?

Have we accomplished some of our hopes and dreams…before that last time we close our eyes?


Have we been compassionate and accepting to everyone we greet?

Have we been the kind of person…we would like to meet?


If today is the day we experience our final moments…our final awakening…our final sunrise…

Have we left good memories for those who tomorrow will open up their eyes?


Of course each one of us has our own questions….our own list we must comprise….


Things to make us wonder…before that last time we close our eyes.

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Time and fate are unpredictable as united in life they flow

Take the man and the woman in this story…lets go back an hour ago.


They had a pleasant morning…she had coffee…he…cocoa

as they talked and laughed together…only an hour ago.


When the policeman told him she was gone…he screamed…he hollered NO!

You must be mistaken, he cried…she was here an hour ago.


You must be confused…I’m sure…in fact…I know

you must have the wrong person…we were together an hour ago.


The policeman explained there was an accident…it happened in the snow

she died immediately, the doctor said…about an hour ago.


The policeman stood in silence…as the man swayed to and fro

Thinking how his life was different…only an hour ago.


The policeman’s seen it many times…he never gets use to it though…

How people wish their lives would return to where they were an hour ago…


He sees it on their faces…they instantly lose their glow

when they realize their life will never be the same as it was an hour ago…


It reminds us all to cherish every moment…because we truly never know


when our life will change forever…like theirs did…one hour ago.

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