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Fellowship => You name it!! => Topic started by: TigerLily on June 14, 2003, 08:22:12 AM

Title: Sandpiper- a very touching story
Post by: TigerLily on June 14, 2003, 08:22:12 AM
 Got this in my mail and it truly touched my heart.. long but so good~

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I
> live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever
> the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sandcastle or
> something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea. "Hello," she
> said.
> I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small
> child.
> "I'm building," she said.
> "I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really caring.
> "Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand
> That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper
> glided by.
> "That's a joy," the child said.
> "It's a what?"
> "It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy."
> The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye Joy." I muttered to
> myself, hello pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed, my life
> seemed completely out of balance.
> "What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.
> "Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson."
> "Mine's Wendy... I'm six." "Hi, Wendy." She giggled. "You're funny".
> In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on.
> Her musical giggle followed me. "Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll
> have
> another happy day."
> After a few days of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an
> ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of
> the dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I said to myself, gathering up my
> coat.
> The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me.
> The breeze was chilly but I strode along, trying to recapture the
> serenity I
> needed. "Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?"
> "What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.
> "I don't know, you say."
> "How about charades?" I asked sarcastically.
> The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is."
> "Then let's just walk."
> Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. "Where do
> you live?" I asked.
> "Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.Strange, I
> thought, in winter.
> "Where do you go to school?" "I don't go to school. Mommy says we're on
> vacation."
> She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind
> was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a
> happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.
> Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a stat of near panic. I was
> in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch
> and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.
> "Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly whenWendy caught up with me,
> "I'd rather be alone today." She seemed unusually pale and out of
> breath.
> "Why?" she asked.
> I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought, My
> God, why was I saying this to a little child?
> "Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day."
> "Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and--oh, go away!"
> "Did it hurt?" she inquired.
> "Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself.
> "When she died?"
> "Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself.
> I strode off.
> A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't
> there. Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I
> went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door.
> A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.
> "Hello," I said, "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today
> and wondered where she was."
> "Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm
> afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please,
> accept my apologies."
> "Not at all -- she's a delightful child." I said, suddenly realizing
> that I meant what I had just said.
> "Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she
> didn't tell you."
> Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath
> "She loved this beach so when she asked to come,we couldn't say no. She
> seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days.
> But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly..." Her voice faltered,
> "She left something for you ... if only I can find it.Could you wait a
> moment while I look?"
> I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something to say to this lovely
> young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with "MR. P" printed in
> bold childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a
> yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird.
> Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.
> Tears welled up in my eyes and a heart that had almost forgotten to
> love opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms.
> "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," I muttered over and over,
> and we
> wept together. The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my
> study.
> Six words -- one for each year of her life -- that speak to me of
> harmony,
> courage, and undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea blue eyes
> and
> hair the color of sand -- who taught me the gift of love.
> NOTE: This is a true story sent out by Robert Peterson. It happened
> over 20 years ago and the incident changed his life forever. It serves
> as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and
> life and each other. The price of hating other human beings is loving
> oneself less. Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday
> traumas can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is
> only a momentary setback or crisis. This week, be sure to give your
> loved ones an extra hug, and by all means, take a moment...even if it
> is only ten seconds, to stop and smell the roses. This comes from
> someone's heart, and is shared with many and now I share it with you.
> May God Bless everyone that receives this!
> There are NO coincidences!
> Everything that happens to us happens for a reason.
> Never brush aside anyone as insignificant. Who knows what they can
> teach us?