August 15, 2008

So True

A 92-year-old, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably coifed and shaved perfectly applied, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home,he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.

"I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

"Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait."

"That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied.

"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it."

"It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice;I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life."

"Yes, old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!"

I don't know the origin of this was sent to me as an email, but I find much truth in what is said..when it comes right down to it, I guess, happiness really is a state of mind.


rockync said...

That is such a wonderful story! You know, in recent years I have been on a deeper spiritual journey trying to find my true purpose and tuning in to the messages being sent to me from God and the universe. One of those messages was, "just be glad to be alive".
So, I wake up in the morning, take a deep breath, smile and say,"Thank you God for letting me wake up and breathe - today is a great day."
As the day goes on and all the petty annoyances start to creep in, I just call to mind that moment first thing that morning and I'm able to smile and move on.
It's all about attitude, isn't it? You can't always control the circumstances, but you can control your reaction to them.

Jan said...

rockync..yes, we all take way too much for granted, don't we?

My husband and I always say that we shouldn't major on the minors, but it is very easy to do, sometimes, isn't it? :)

Desert Cat said...

Probably the single biggest advantage we have as Christians is our awareness that this world is not the totality of our journey.

No matter *what* we face here, we have a better home waiting for us. Our happiness here depends in large measure on the depth to which we have internalized that truth.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around, and marveling at the degree to which my father did so--to the point of saying, "fooey on fighting this disease", and then going home little more than a couple weeks later.

Jan said...


Yes, I've thought about your Dad often, and I know that you are thankful for the faith which he expressed as he neared the end of his life, here.

I know that you are comforted by that, and have been made stronger because of it.

GUYK said...

"just be glad to be alive".

Yep..and the older I get the more I appreciate it. I have learned to take one day at a time and get all I can out of it..and to never go to bed at night without telling my sweetthing how much I love her and appreciate her.

I am one of the fortunate ones maybe..I have some memories that I had just as soon forget but I have enough good ones to write a long book..and I savor them just about every day.

k said...

Oh yes. Happiness is a choice.

It takes some work sometimes. Some care, nurturing, feeding. Effort.

But it's way worth it in the end.

I think realizing we have a right to be happy may be the single most important step in that process. I wrestled with that one for many years. Too often we're taught that it's selfish, and that's a lot of what I absorbed, growing up.

It's not selfish at all. Being happy doesn't mean we're stealing happiness from others. It doesn't mean we never think of others. In fact, it seems to me we're more free to attend to other people once we've become contented in our own skin.