You’re A Keeper

Something to ponder upon!

My older brother sent this to me…

I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer’s night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away…never to return.. So… While we have it….. it’s best we love it…. And care for it… And fix it when it’s broken……… And heal it when it’s sick.

This is true. For marriage……. And old cars….. And children with bad report cards….. And dogs with bad hips…. And aging parents…… And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special…….. And so, we keep them close!

I received this from someone who thinks I am a ‘keeper’, so I’ve sent it to the people I think of in the same way… Now it’s your turn to send this to those people that are “keepers” in your life. Good friends are like stars…. You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there. Keep them close!

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One Response to You’re A Keeper

  • Cheryl says:

    Hi Mark!

    It’s so rare to see someone with this mindset. I know people who throw away perfectly good clothing when it starts to fade or a string gets loose, the kind of people who will open a container of cookies, taste 1, and throw the rest away instead of giving the rest to coworkers for free.

    But I grew up with an amazing mother and family friend. My mother builds and fixes everything herself, much like it sounds like your mom did.

    I bought a chair, because it was the only comfortable chair that I could find, but it had 2 arms and I needed it to have 1, and there was Mom with her hand-saw, a little bit of sand paper, and a big smile, and soon I had a chair with 1 arm.

    My family friend refuses to buy gifts. She collects things that are important to her and gives them away during the holidays so that everything that she gives is special. She reuses to-go containers from restaurants, wrapping paper from 15 years ago, and anything else that could prove even slightly useful. She also collects furniture from who-knows-where, the older the better, refurbishes it, and saves it in storage until the kids that she babysat for are old enough to need it. She is currently housing a chandelier for me. I’m not sure why, but it makes her happy, and that makes me happy. ^_^ lol

    She would give ANYTHING to someone she cares about – anything.

    Your mom and dad, I didn’t know them, but I sort of wish that I had. I know that must sound strange coming from a stranger, but people like that are hard to find. They’re a rare treasure in this age.

    I’m so glad that you had the opportunity to experience that, and even more so that you learned to appreciate it. That appreciation is one of the many wonderful things that they gave you, so really, thank you so much for sharing it with us. 🙂


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