Parent_family

The Grass Cutting Days

by Stephen on July 15, 2013 · 15 comments

in Education, Life, Parent_family

The pastor called me to come forward. I walked to the pulpit confident and proud. I looked out at my family. Some wore somber expressions. Others had faces still damp with tears. Then I gazed down at the shiny black coffin crowned with yellow flowers.

My father, Charlie Lyons, was gone. It was my turn at his funeral earlier this year to pay tribute to the man who taught me so much growing up on the Northside. How do you sum up a lifetime in 10 minutes?

I flashed to Dad holding the handlebar and jogging alongside my bike until I felt ready to ride on my own. I saw him pulling up to my broken-down car at night, doing a quick fix and trailing me home. I thought of the hug we shared at my wedding.

Then, I started talking about a special moment I draw from now. Dad was always full of advice, but one of the biggest lessons he taught me one summer was about having a strong work ethic. When my brother and I were growing up, we mowed yards during the summer to earn pocket change. Dad was our salesman. He pitched our service to neighbors and offered a price they could not refuse. My brother and I got $10 per yard. Some yards were a half-acre. I later found out our friends were charging $20 or more for the same amount of work.

Every time we headed out to mow lawns, Dad was there to watch. I used to wonder why he came with us. He stood supervising our work in the sticky Florida heat when he could have been inside relaxing with air conditioning and an icy drink.

One day we were cutting our next-door neighbor’s yard. She always waited until the grass was knee-high to call us over. To make matters worse, we had an old lawn mower that kept cutting off as we plowed through her backyard jungle. This particular afternoon, I was finishing up and was tired and sweaty. I pictured the tall glass of Kool-Aid I would gulp in a minute to cool down.

I was just about to cut off the lawn mower when I saw Dad pointing to one lone blade. I thought about the chump change I was getting paid for cutting grass so high it almost broke the mower. I ignored him and kept walking. Dad called me out and yelled, “You missed a piece.”

I frowned, hoping he would let me slide and go home. He kept pointing. So beat and deflated, I went back to cut that piece of grass. I mumbled to myself: “That one piece isn’t hurting anyone. Why won’t he just let it go?”

But when I reached adulthood, I understood his message: When you’re running a business, the work you do says a great deal about you. If you want to be seen as an entrepreneur with integrity, you must deliver a quality product. That single blade of grass meant the job was not done.

Other neighbors took notice of the good work we did and we soon garnered more business. We started out with one client, but by the end of the summer we had five, which was all we cared to handle because we wanted time to enjoy our summer break from school.

The lesson my dad taught me stayed with me: Be professional. If you say you are going to perform a job at a certain time, keep your word. Give your customers the kind of service you would like to receive. It shows how sincere you are and how much pride you take in your work.

Before I knew it, my tribute was over. I saw my wife jump to her feet in an ovation. The pastor embraced me. People rushed to shake my hand. Though Dad’s body lay inside the coffin, I felt his spirit there. I pictured him standing in the sanctuary, wearing the white T-shirt and blue shorts he did on grass-cutting days. Always there for me and always proud.

By Patrick A. Lyons

{ 15 comments }

Dearest grandmama

by Stephen on November 10, 2012 · 33 comments

in Parent_family, Touching Stories

Hi all, I would like to share a story with you, a person who has been a source of inspiration to each and everyone of our family member.

She is (was rather, she is no more) my grandmama. She was an affectionate woman who could win over anyone with her undying love, no matter what. Let me narrate to you, the story of her life, the trauma that no woman should ever undergo!

She was the eldest of a family of 7 girls and 1 boy. Of these, 2 children died shortly after birth. Right now, only 2 of them are alive.

At the age of 16, my grandma got married as a second wife to a 40 year old man. She lost her husband 1 year after her wedding. By God’s grace she had a son whom she considered a solace. But that didn’t last, as the son passed away shortly too! Ultimately, by the age of 25 she lost her entire family! Nevertheless, she then dedicated her life towards the upbringing of each and every child in the family. This was the reason she was loved and respected by everyone in our family.

Last year, by this same time, my marriage was fixed. Being the oldest grandchild in my family, she was very happy and said she would bring up my kid too! I was in tears and said of course you will have to! Shortly before my engagement, she had a fall one night when sleeping. It left her right hand fractured. There began all the trouble. She was 83 years old by then.

At my engagement function, all she could do was sit quietly in one place. It was a hard hitting reality for all of us since we got used to seeing her doing the entire household chores all by herself!

There was hardly a month left for my wedding. She developed a strange mental depression since that time, imagining things, fearing death, longing to see my wedding and the like. All of us assured her that she would be the first person to bless me at my wedding. But nature is inevitable as we all know.

She was admitted in the ICU for nearly 20 days. All day we would stay at the hospital, praying for her. One fine day it happened-what we all feared. She was no more, and left all of us teary-eyed.

My dad was the eldest child in the family, so naturally he had to do the rites. But our family stopped him since I had my wedding the next month. We (me, dad, mum and sis) weren’t allowed to even see her face! Imagine our plight!

At my wedding, her garlanded photo was in front of me and my husband. I was speechless, moved to tears. I knew, my dearest grandmama will bless me as ever!

Even today, we don’t feel her loss, I only feel why she isn’t around to share our joys and sorrows.

I’d like to conclude by saying not only parents, grandparents need our affection and care! They are precious, do not lose them at any cost!!

By visitor Shenba Srinivasan

{ 33 comments }

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