The Station

I can’t take credit for the story I am sharing tonight except for a few examples of why we yearn for the station and the closing. I received this in an e-mail 27 years ago from a friend of mine and found it a few weeks ago. I kept it all these years and realize it still applies.  Bea Positive and don’t worry about the station up ahead.

“Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows, we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour, we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there, so many wonderful dreams will come true, and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering – waiting, waiting, waiting for the train station.

“When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry.

When I graduate from college.

When I buy a new car.

When I make Vice President.

When I get married.

When I pay off the mortgage.

When I buy a bigger boat.

When I travel to Europe for a month.

When the kids move out of the house.

When I get well.

When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: “this is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles.”

Instead, cherish every moment you have with your friends, your pets, your family, your wife or your husband. The station will come soon enough, and not when expected.

Advertisements

The Gray Cat With Blue Eyes

Wednesday nights, all of us place the trash and recycle bins on the curb. As I was rolling the trash can to the curb, I heard a “meow” from the garage. I went back for the recycle bin, and I saw the gray cat standing next to the car. I tried to call him out of the garage, but he kept walking towards the back door.

I crept down in the driveway and called to him again mainly because I didn’t want him to stay in the garage! He kept meowing and looking at the back door.  We’ve never been “cat people”; we have always rescued little dogs. I’m not really sure how to act around cats.  As I squatted in the driveway, I called to him.  He finally came over and gave me “cat kisses” on my hand and legs; he kept rubbing his neck and body against my legs. He put his head in my hand and wanted me to pet him and rub his head and back.

I started crying and talked to the cat through tears, and said “why are you here of all nights? I’ve been asking John to speak to me all day, and now it’s dark.” I have no idea how to take care of cats. I kept crying, petting him and letting him “kiss” my hand. Then I asked, “by chance, is your name John? Are you trying to tell me something?”

He kept returning to the garage and sitting in front of the door, and then he laid down in front of the car. At this point, I had to find a way to get him out so I could close the garage. I took the garage door opener out of the car and coaxed the cat outside again.  I started walking down the sidewalk. The cat followed me, and I closed the garage. He walked with me touching my leg as we walked.

I decided to try Mac and Bambi, hoping they would chase the cat away. I put Mac’s leash on, and he went crazy as soon as he saw the cat.  Mission accomplished — the cat ran away.  Mac and I went for a walk down the sidewalk about a block and then returned home. We went through the front door, and I tried to collect myself.

Now, Bambi was ready to go out, so I let her out the back door. As soon as I opened the back door, I heard the meowing. The cat had returned and was sitting on one of the patio chairs by the grill. About this time, my sister, Beth, called me. I told her about the strange encounter. Because she has had cats, I asked her what should I do?

I described the cat to Beth. He is mostly gray with white “boots” on each foot. He has white patches over his nose and white-striped “eye brows” that look painted on – three vertical stripes over the top of each eye. Across the bottom eyelids, it looked like white eyeshadow was painted across. Once Beth saw his picture, she said “I’ve never seen a cat with those kinds of markings.”

Beth said, “he might be hungry, but cats won’t eat dog food. Do you have any canned chicken?” I didn’t, but I decided to try Bambi’s nuggets. The cat ate every nugget in the bowl.

While Beth and I kept talking, I sat down on our glider. The cat crawled up on my lap and wanted me to pet him. She said, “cats don’t come up to people, especially ones they don’t know.” And then she asked, “what color are his eyes?” I know why she asked . . . John has blue eyes.

After a few minutes, the cat wanted to go back outside, so I let him out. And then Beth said the most beautiful thing to me.  Maybe the cat is a God-Wink and “maybe he knew you needed comfort and sought you out.”  She told me that cats don’t “kiss” people, but this one “kissed” me. She said cats rub against you because they want to be touched and loved, or maybe he knew I needed to touched and loved at that moment.

I haven’t seen the cat since he left the patio last night.  I believe Beth is right . . . the cat was a God-Wink sent to me last night.  I needed to know that my angel, John, is watching over me, he loves me, he misses me . . . as much as I love him and miss him.  Last night, I was blessed with a beautiful gray cat with blue eyes.

Elliott Was Right . . . It Didn’t Rain On Our Wedding Day

On Sunday afternoon, September 8, 1996, John and I visited Nancy’s Secret Garden in Key West.  It had been raining most of the day, but we managed to find a break in the weather early that afternoon. We parked and walked through a small alley and then through the gate.  We walked into a tropical heaven.

There was a lady, her hair in a long braid cast from back to front over her left shoulder.  She was talking to a beautiful white parrot inside a large bird cage.  Nancy introduced herself to us – Nancy of Nancy’s Secret Garden.  She seemed delighted we were there and gave us a personal tour of her garden.

Not far into our tour, the rain started up again, and Nancy invited us into her home.  Me, John, Nancy and Elliott (her companion) sat on their screened porch, and we listened to her story.  Nancy’s grandmother brought her family to Key West with a vision to start the garden and get away from the “concrete jungle”.  She mentioned that some people have weddings in their garden.  “In fact”, she said, “we have a wedding here tomorrow morning!”  John and I smiled; we were the couple getting married.  She and Elliott grinned from ear-to-ear.

I think Elliott could tell by the look on my face that I was distressed by the rain as it continued to fall.  Elliott looked at me and John and said, “Don’t worry about the rain.  It has never rained on a wedding yet.”

We stayed for a little while longer waiting for the rain to subside.  Nancy and Elliott said they couldn’t wait to see us tomorrow.  And again, Elliott reassured us, “it’s not going to rain on your wedding.”

Our beautiful wedding day is best described in John’s lovely poem.  And Elliott was right after all – it didn’t rain on our wedding.  Happy anniversary, my love, my angel.

“I awoke to the sound of rain.  Oh, Lord, please not today,

For I’ve finally found love; this is my wedding day.

I gently eased back a curtain.  The sky was but clouds and rain.

I saw the look on your face as your tears slowly came.

“Perhaps, it’s not meant to be” those words I heard you say.

“It’s very bad luck to have rain on your wedding day.”

“The rain will go away,” I said, “just you wait and see.”

“It’s only Angels crying, happy for you and me.”

We slowly got ready, remorsefully drive in the rain.

We even drank some wine to try and ease the pain.

But as we reached the Garden, the rains began to slow.

We started feeling hope, but, how long, we did not know.

I looked up above to see the clouds part

As if someone had cleared a spot to join these two hearts.

The bouquet in the cottage brought a smile and then a tear.

I knew from that moment that all would be well from here.

We said our wedding vows as the flowers glistened in the rain.

I gave my heart to you as we became one.

We walked among the flowers, you, the most radiant of all.

As the angels held the rain away for not a drop on us did fall.

I never thought about angels, but I know that day for sure

That we have one watching over us because our love is true and pure.

I ask our Angel every day to keep you safe for me.

To help you with all you do and try to be patient with me.

I ask our Angel to let you know how much you mean to me.

To tell you how much love I have to give to my “B”.

Our Rings

%d bloggers like this: