Thursday, December 6, 2007


Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at 2:30 AM, the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away.

But, I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.

So I walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.

By her side was a small nylon suit case. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets and there were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It’s nothing’, I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated”.

"Oh, you're such a good boy", she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice".

I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw that her eyes were glistening.

"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I’m tired. Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.

"Nothing," I said.

"You have to make a living," she answered.

"There are other passengers," I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.

What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unawares - beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance. Every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007


One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd."

I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.

My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, I saw a tear in his eye.

As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives." He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.

I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our Class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation.

I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak. Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous.

Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story."

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.

He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.
I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse, God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

"Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly"

Thursday, October 11, 2007


A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was very scared, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took hold of the rope, and started up the face of that rock.

Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens.

Well, there she was, on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there.

Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff.

She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it on its back.

Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."
I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will."

Saturday, September 29, 2007


The word "love" is far different from "commitment". Love is a gift that anyone can have, but commitment is a sacrifice for love that not everyone is capable of.
It’s just so sad that the word "commitment" comes with duties and responsibilities which make it heavy, which make some people reluctant and scared. They may be ready for love, but not for commitment. But come to think of it, isn’t love enough to keep a commitment?

Friday, August 3, 2007


A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?"

"Because I'm a woman," she told him.

"I don't understand," he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will."

Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?"

"All women cry for no reason," was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.

Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked, "God, why do women cry so easily?"

God said: "When I made the woman she had to be special. I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort.

I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.

I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.

I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly.

I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.

I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed."

"You see my son," said God, "the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides."

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Just for this morning, I'm going to smile when I see your face, and laugh when I feel like crying.
Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is.
Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.
Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.
Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one if he comes by.
Just for this afternoon, I won’t worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second-guess every decision I have made.
Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won’t stand over you trying to fix them.
Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald’s and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.
Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.
Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.
Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.
Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows. Just for this evening, when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.
I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children’s graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can’t handle it anymore.
And when I kiss you goodnight, I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then, that I will thank the Law for you, and ask for nothing except one more day…

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I LOVE HEROES! My kids and I just can't stop raving about the TV series Heroes. We sat together through a marathon of the Season 1 episodes and we were all cheering, screaming, laughing, and groaning through the action-packed sequences. It's like XMen meets Mutant X meets Justice League, minus the spandex, hehe! We all can't wait for the next season!

Of course, we all have our favorite heroes. My kids love Hiro coz he's so huggably cute as he provides the comic relief to the show; but we all agreed the most awesome is Peter Petrelli (played by dashing Milo Ventimiglia), (for me, because he's a hottie male nurse, hehe!) and because his power is: he gets to absorb the powers of all those he comes in contact with. How cool is that? Sylar (played by the handsome Zachary Quinto) is also a very powerful villain, almost like Peter's counterpart. But he gets his other powers only if he eats the brains of the people with “special abilities”!

The show starts with these ordinary people discovering they have extraordinary abilities, so what will they do about it? This show celebrates those comic book superheroes we are all so familiar with, and the premise is nothing new, what with the popularity of XMen and “mutations” and “evolutions” both in comic books and video games. But somehow creator Tim Kring managed to infuse the show with freshness and innovative storyline that just keeps the viewers craving for more. Let's face it, the idea of superheroes may be old, exploited, and rehashed to death, but admit it, it still gets us. I mean, who hasn't, at one time or another in his/her lifetime, fantasized about having super powers and secret identities, right? I know I have. And I'm certain the “inner child” inside all of us would agree. And with today's science, who knows? It's the next step in our evolution. You don't really think life has stopped evolving with us, do you? Hey, it could happen. =)

Friday, June 15, 2007


I got this from an email a friend sent me. Nobody knows who the origInal author is, but apparently, this has been making the rounds in emails, bulletins, blogposts, etc. I really like the thought, so I’m sharing this here.


In your life, you’ll make note of a lot of people. Ones with whom you shared something special, ones who will always mean something.

There’s the one you first kissed, the one you first loved, the one you lost your virginity to, the one you put on the pedestal, the one you’re with…and the one that got away.

Who is the one that got away?

I guess it’s that person with whom everything was great, everything was perfect, but the timing was just wrong. There was no fault in the person, no flaw in the chemistry, but the cards just didn’t fall the right way.

I believe in the fact that ending up with someone, finding a longtime partner that is, does not lie merely in the other person. I can actually argue that an equal part, or maybe even the greater part, has to do with you being ready to settle down and commit to someone in a way that goes beyond the little niceties of giddy romance.

When you’re not ready to commit in that mature manner, it doesn’t matter who you’re with, it just doesn’t work. Small problems become big; inconsequentials become deal breakers simply because you’re not ready and it shows. It’s not that you and the person you’re with are no good; it’s just that it’s not right, and little things become the flashpoint of that fact.

Then one day you’re ready. You really are.

And when this happens you’ll be ready to settle down with someone. He or she may not be the most perfect, they might not be the brightest star of romance to ever have burned in your life, but it’ll work because you’re ready. It’ll work because it’s the right time and you’ll make it work.

And it’ll make sense, it really will.

So that day comes when you’re finally making sense of things, and you find yourself to be a different person. Things are different, your approach is different, you finally understand who you are and what you want, and the time has truly arrived. And mind you, there’s no telling when this day will come. Hopefully you’re single but you could be in a long-term relationship, or married with three kids, it doesn’t matter.

All you know is that you’ve changed, and for some reason, the one that got away, is the first person you think about.

You’ll think about them because you’ll wonder, "What if they were here today?" You’ll wonder, "What if we were together now, with me as I am and not as I was?"

That’s what the one that got away is.

The biggest "What If?" you’ll have in your life.

If you’re married, you’ll just have to accept the fact that the one that got away, got away. Believe me, no matter how fairy tale you think your marriage is, this can happen to the best of us.

But hopefully you’re mature enough to realize that you’re already with the one you’re with and this is just another test of your commitment, one that will strengthen your marriage when you get past it. Sure, you’ll think about him/her every so often, but it’s all right.

It’s never nice to live with "might have been," but it happens.

Maybe the one that got away is the one who’s married. In which case it’s the same thing. You just have to accept and know that your memories of that person will probably bring a nice little smile to your lips in the future when you’re old and gray and reminiscing.

But if neither of that is the case, what do you do if it’s not yet too late?

Simple…find him, find her. ‘Coz, the very existence of a "one that got away" means that you’ll always wonder what if you got that one. Ask him out for coffee; ask her out to a movie.

You’d be surprised, you just might be "the one that got away" as well for the person who is your "the one that got away".

If the timing is finally right, it would be a great feeling, in the end, to be able to say to someone, "Hey you, you’re the one that almost got away".

Monday, May 7, 2007


When you meet the right person to love, at the right place, at the right time, that’s CHANCE.

When you meet someone you’re attracted to, that’s CHANCE, too.

Knowing that there are many people out there who are more attractive, smarter, richer, than your mate, and yet you decide to love your mate just the same, that’s a CHOICE.

Attraction comes to us by chance. But true love that lasts is truly a choice.

Listen: "Fate brings us together, but it’s still up to you to make it happen. We may meet someone by chance, but loving and staying with that someone is still a choice".

Monday, April 9, 2007


Doing the right thing…

Sometimes it means giving in
When you know that nothing else matters.

Sometimes it means needing to be quiet
When words can no longer deliver the message.

Sometimes it means going separate ways
When things have gotten unbearable and hopeless.

Sometimes it means turning away
When your presence will do more harm than good.

Sometimes it means giving up your dreams
When you no longer have time to dream.

Sometimes it means stop hoping
When there’s nothing else to hope for.

Sometimes it means giving up your reasons
When you know that they just don’t fit.

Sometimes it means masking your true feelings
When you know that you have to put up a face.

Sometimes it means keeping the love within your heart
When you know that it can only bring pain.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats.
Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window.
The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.
It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."
"There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations"
"Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled"
"If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy"
"Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present."

Friday, February 16, 2007


An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house." The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."
"For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house." Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

Saturday, February 3, 2007


In my random browsing through my old things, I came across a notebook which I filled years ago with compilations of great writings from various reading materials. Writings and ramblings which have struck a chord in me that has since then resonated in my own perspective in life. Here is one which I think reflects what I desire when “THAT TIME” eventually catches up with me.

“To Remember Me…”
(Robert N. Test, Cincinnati POST)

The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.

When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by use of a machine. And don’t call this my deathbed. Let it be called the Bed of Life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.

Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby’s face or love in the eyes of a woman.

Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.

Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchidren play.

Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.

Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.

Explore every corner of my brain.

Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday, a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her window.

Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.

If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses, and all prejudice against my fellow man.

Give my sins to the devil. Give my soul to God.

If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you.

If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you felt so empty for no reason?
Have you ever felt so down but you just can’t tell why?
Have you ever felt like the world suddenly spins around and you are caught in the middle going nowhere?
Weird, isn’t it?
But that is the beauty of being human…
It is knowing that there is a purpose for each existence…and whatever that may be, it is also the reason why we still wake up breathing each morning…to discover that missing piece of the puzzle that would make our lives complete…
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