On this Blog I will be posting things that people are doing to make this world a better place. In the comment section of each post I would like you to tell me about things you have done to make the lives of those around you better. It could be something as simple as buying someone in need a hot meal. Any of the things you put in the comments section will be posted on this Blog.

Request for (10) cards: Send a self addressed, stamped envelope to:

Promise Cards
4710 Farming Ridge Blvd.
Reading, Pa. 19606

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Remembering Those We Have Lost

      A few days ago I was organizing my home office, and I had to move a special card I keep tacked on the wall. I smiled and thought back to the past as I moved it to its new place a few feet away. It's a card that I had made to give out to family members at Christmas a few years ago. My Father had passed away unexpectedly ten months prior, and the holidays were a little sad. My Mother and Father had raised ten children and it was the first Christmas we had all spent without him. I call the card pictured above, "A Remember Card." I asked my Mom if I could borrow one of her favorite pictures and I added the words which are exactly how I feel when I think about him.

     My Father was the inspiration for this site, and the Promise Cards. I gave a eulogy at his funeral, to hundreds of people who filled the church. The service was actually delayed for a half hour as people formed a line to give condolences, which snaked through the church, into the vestibule, and out into the parking lot. I knew my Father was a good man, but until that day I had never realized how many people loved and missed him, and how much of a difference he had made in so many lives. My own life seemed so empty in comparison. I had been a loner most of my life, had very few friends, and rarely reached out to others. My Father had left this world, but he had left a part of himself behind. My life in comparison didn't have meaning, purpose, or direction. I started this site and the promise cards as a means to reach out to others, to become more like my Father, and maybe gain some meaning in my life.

     If you go to my other site at Simple Thoughts you can look at one of my most popular posts. It is called, "A letter to my Father," and it was written two years after his death. It is a letter to my Father to try to say some things that I never got to say to him. 

As long as those we have loved are remembered. As long as we hold their memory close to our hearts. They are still with us. 

     Those words still have the same meaning for me as they did that first Christmas. I'm sure a lot of the cards I gave out hold special places of honor in some homes, are used as bookmarks, are kept in wallets, stored in boxes of mementos, or are even tucked away in someone's Bible. I know my Father is still remembered.

     I know people who have lost loved ones, and they do their best to forget. Though they loved the person, the memory of their passing is so painful that they want to push the thought out of their minds. I'm sure when I handed out the cards that a few people looked at the picture, felt a pain deep inside, and felt all the sorrow of that day came rushing back. I don't blame them. Some days I miss him so much that I feel like sitting alone and crying. When I look at the picture on the Remember Card though, I feel better. I can close my eyes, and my mind wanders back through the years to special moments. I can almost smell the distinct scent of his favorite tobacco which he stuffed into his wooden pipe. I can feel the touch of his strong shoulders as I rode perched upon them as a child. I remember the look of pride on his face when I won two athletic awards my senior year of college. I remember how he was always quiet and unassuming, but strong and dependable when he had to be. I remember how he often worked seven days a week to support us, but always had time to do things with us. I can vividly remember all the wonderful stories people told me at his funeral.

When I gave his eulogy I said;

"The measure of a man is not how much money he has, the size of his house or how many cars he owns. His importance, and the meaning of his life is determined, not by wealth or fame, but by how many people will miss him, how many lives he has touched and made better even for a moment, and how many tears are shed at his passing."

     I'm sure that most of you have lost those you have loved. Some may have left this world recently, and the pain is still fresh, and others may be gone for years, and their absence leaves a dull ache in your heart. I know that you all have your own special memories, and they make you smile, and give you comfort. Maybe we should all get together once a year, and have a "remember day." We could pull out all our own special pictures, letters, or priceless mementos, and talk about those we've lost and miss so much. We could all cry together, but also smile as we remember what made those we lost so special.

     I know that all of you never knew my Father. You never saw his name on Forbes's magazine's list of the world's richest men. You never saw him on television, on the cover of a major magazine, on the sports page hitting a home run in the World Series, winning a Nobel Peace prize, or even shaking the hand of a President. Do me a favor and look at his picture for a moment. George Dykie was a good man. He had a kind and gentle soul. He left this world and it is definitely a poorer place without him. He will be missed, but more importantly he will be remembered.   

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