Saturday, May 17, 2014

Before Johnny and I moved here we lived in Eugene, Oregon, in one of those beautiful apartment buildings for people over fifty-five. While there I'd take a walk around the grounds every day, mostly with Johnny, but often by myself. There was a lot going on in my life, some really hard, painful stuff, and I was getting discouraged, sad, fearful and was, too often, sitting on the pity pot, thinking about just throwing in the towel and giving up.
    For about three weeks, while walking alone, I'd see this elderly woman, probably about eighty or so.-(-lol It just occurred to me that in two years I'll be 80 ).
Any way, to continue...this dear lady was in a wheelchair and always looked very sad.

 I'd always say hello to her. She seldom answered, but once in awhile would nod her head, acknowledging that she heard me.
    One day, while walking by I saw that she was crying, so didn't hesitate to go over to her. "What's the matter, dear?" I asked, while sitting down beside her.
    "I'm okay." she said, wiping her tears with her fingers. "Really." she added, as she looked up at me. I could see that she wasn't okay, that she was hurting really bad. I didn't want to pry but did want to help, so silently asked God to show me what to do.
    "You don't have to sit with me." she said, suddenly, while twisting her handkerchief in her hands. "There's nothing you can do anyway."
   "I'd like to try."I replied, "but can't help if I don't know the problem." She looked down, began wiping her tears as they began to rain down her cheeks.
"I'm old." she said, the pain in her voice so deep it was all I could do to keep from crying myself. " I"m old and wrinkled and of no use to anybody."
   "Oh, but you are."I told her.
  "No! I'm not! That's why you always see me sitting here by myself. My family lives right here in this town but never come to see me. They just dumped me here and left."
    God gave me the words to say to her. "I'll be your family." I said, and hugged her before she could have a chance to protest. "Would you like that?" Her frail arms returned my hug and she broke down- cried so hard I began to cry with her. "Will you?" she asked in a quivery voice? "Will you really be my family?
   "I will." I said, and was.
 That was the beginning of a new chapter in her life- and mine. I walked with her every day, sometimes Johnny went with us. I'd read her stories, and Johnny and I took her for long rides and to dinner with us.
    One day, knowing she was missing her family more than usual, I wanted to cheer her up, wanted to make her laugh. I went to the store and bought two huge bottles of Bubbles and two bubble pipes. I wish you could have seen the joy on her face when she opened the bag and saw that pipe and jar of bubbles. "I remember these." she said, while opening the bottle. "I used to spend hours blowing bubbles for my kids."
   "Well now we can blow them for each other, can't we?" I said.

I grew to love that sweet lady. It broke my heart when she died a few months later. That experience with her taught me a  big lesson; that all of us can make a difference ...can put some SHINY moments in  another persons life if we are willing to try.
   I have, since doing that with that lady, bought many bottles of bubbles, always have some with me in case I run across someone who is sad, lonely, lost, or in need of a friend. I encourage you to do this for somebody, especially somebody like this precious lady. Bubbles, most people think, are for children. But that isn't true. Bubbles are also for adults  willing to view and experience once again, the world through a child's eyes. The best part about trying this is that afterwards, you  feel so good; feel good because you made a difference.Well, I'm  behind on chores so better get started. I hope every one of you has an awesome day; that you're surrounded by people who love you, believe in you, and take time to have some fun with you.

I shared this post again because I have discovered that there still aren't enough people reaching out to others. There are still far to many lonely, hurting, friendless people around us, oftentimes just across the street.

I share bottles of bubbles, magazines, and books. One of the things I love most to do is leave encouraging notes and little surprises for those who serve me: waitresses, cashiers, service station attendants, mail men, etc. The cost is little- the rewards enormous. A few dollars spent on magnets that say "Great job"  "Thank you." "You're really great at what you do." "You really stand out."  can have a lasting effect on another person's life.
   Leaving a post it for a new waitress saying " Hang in there. Tomorrow will be better." Is a huge help too. Of the many surprises I leave I have the most fun with the bubbles. I think it is because we all miss those former years, when life was slower- the world a safer, more calmer place. Sitting with friends and blowing bubbles lets us be a kid again, reminds us that one is never to old to have enjoy life.

Have an awesome day. Do something for somebody else. And a little something for yourself. YOU count too.

Love you



Elizabeth Dianne said...

Oh Barb, I absolutely love this post--it was wonderful--thank you dear heart. Love you and am sending bubbles your way--

Debbie said...

How wonderful! You should have a lifetime of bubbles given to you in return for the love and compassion you give and share with others.

elizabeth said...

I think that reaching out to others is the best cure for your own discouragement. Great post!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a wonderful story of your time with that dear friend. You were there for her at a time when she desperately needed someone. There are many that don't have anyone and are so alone.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

A lovely story. I'll never understand how people can cast off their older relatives like worn out shoes. As to bubbles, since our first grandchild is in our life there is lots of bubbles. Last weekend I caught Pete outside blowing bubbles by himself.

Glad to have you spreading your warmth and love in the blogoshere again.

jack69 said...

Hey there Barb. This is one of the sweetest blog entries I think I have read. Super and sweet.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by the Shipslog.
I think it is great you guys could truck. We actually thought of it since I had at least 8 long haul truckers in our family, but it did not come about.
Anyway, Thanks again for a lead to a sweet blog.

Sarah! said...

Hi Barb...I love this post. It is so up-lifting and a beautiful story. It is true, helping others is fulfilling to those as well as giving the help. Just reading this has up-lifted my own spirits.
Barb, you are a wonderful lady. Big hugs coming your way. tc xx

Veronica B said...

What a great post!! Thanks for sharing... I love bubbles and it's really a great way to lift someone's spirits...!

Crown of Beauty said...

Barb, what a precious story. I read this before, but I was happy to read it again, every word of it. What a beautiful thing you have done for that lonely woman, and you surely made a huge difference in her life at the end of it! What a blessing bubbles are! I think I will go buy a few bottles myself and look for someone to share them with. Love you, dear friend. Your friendship is God's gift to me. Love.

Jeanie said...

You are how all humanity should be. Caring and watching out for each other. Love you! Catch a big ((((HUG)))) from me and lots of bubbles too!