"Wherever You’re At, Be All There"
This statement, although grammatically questionable, offers valuable advice for me and for others like me who tend to spend too much time analyzing the past and worrying about the future. I found the statement along with an article by Robert J. Hastings in a church newsletter shared with us recently by a relative. I am including the article and some comments by the church pastor with the hope that you too might find them meaningful for your life.
By Robert J. Hastings
Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent. We’re traveling by passenger train, and 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, or row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. There will be bands playing and flags waving. And once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true. So many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, cursing the minutes for loitering. . . waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
However, sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no 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.
"When we reach the station, that will be it!" we cry. Translated it means, "When I’m 18, that will be it! When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes-Benz, that will be it! When I put the last kid through college, that will be it! When I have paid off the mortgage, that will be it! When I win a promotion, that will be it! When I reach the age of retirement, that will be it! I shall live happily ever after!"
Unfortunately, once we get "it", then "it" disappears. The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track.
"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. Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.
So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.
We as Christians look forward to our staff and to feature her in this the day when the train will stop and we’ll get off in eternity. But in the meantime, let’s not forget that there is joy in the journey... Let us not let the memories of spring and the prospects of fall keep us from enjoying the wonderful last days of summer. Thank you for your support and friendship as we go about our business of serving you.
Robbie Ash, our featured employee for this newsletter, now assists Terry Robbins in the Elliott-Waller Insurance Office. She replaced Shirley Robbins, who decided to resume her nursing career, about six months ago.
Born and raised in Lafayette County, Robbie is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 0. P. Moore, of Etta. After graduating from Macedonia High School in Union County, she began 24 years of working with Bell Telephone Company. She worked first as an operator in Holly Springs and later transferred to Oxford, where she was promoted to Business Office Supervisor in 1967.
Robbie is married to Jim Ash, who is from Potts Camp, and they have three children, Pat Dickinson, Ronnie Ash, and Mike Ash, and six grandchildren. She belongs to the Philadelphia Baptist Church. In her spare time she enjoys working with flowers and reading. We are pleased to have Robbie on newsletter.
CHILDREN AND GRIEF
In an earlier newsletter we included an article on helping children cope with grief. Because families which included children have recently been at the funeral home, we felt additional suggestions might be helpful. The following guidelines are from a brochure, "Helping Children Cope With Grief: A Caring Adult’s Role," by Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt. We have copies of the brochure at the funeral home; just let us know if you would like us to send you a copy.
Suggested Guidelines Concerning Children and Grief
•As an adult, be a good observer. See how each child is behaving. Don’t rush in with explanations. Usually, it’s more helpful to ask exploring questions than to give quick answers.
•When someone loved dies, don’t expect children’s reactions to be obvious and immediate. Be patient and available.
•Children are part of the family, too. And reassurance comes from the presence of loving people. Children feel secure in the care of gentle arms and tenderness.
•When describing the death of someone loved to the child, use simple and direct language.
•Be honest. Express your own feelings regarding the death. By doing so, children have a model for expressing their own feelings. It’s all right to cry, too.
•Allow children to express a full range of feelings. Anger, guilt, despair and protest are natural reactions to the death of someone loved.
•Listen to children, don’t just talk to them.
•No one procedure or formula will fit all children, either at the time of death or during the months that follow. Be patient, flexible and adjust to individual needs.
•Adults must recognize their own personal feelings about death. Until they consciously explore their own concerns, doubts and fears about death, it will be difficult to support children when someone loved dies.
The following question with the answer by Dr. Billy Graham, deals with a feeling shared by many. Perhaps it will be timely for someone just now.
My husband died several months ago after a long battle with illness. I thought I would be ready for his death because he had been near death several times before, but I was wrong. Life seems so lonely and hopeless without him. I feel guilty because I know I ought not to be this way, and I know he is in heaven, but can you give me anything that will take away my grief?
— Mrs. K.L.S.
Don’t feel guilty over your grief. God understands and He knows the heartache you feel. Jacob grieved deeply when he thought his favorite son Joseph had been killed; David grieved over the death of his son Absalom; Jesus wept at the tomb of His friends Lazarus. The death of a loved one is like a painful wound; it does not vanish overnight, but must be allowed time to heal. And the time will come when you realize, with God’s help, that your grief is gradually losing its power.
Let me encourage you, however, to take some steps that can help you. First, let the truth of the Bible take root in your soul during this time in a special way. The Psalms, for example, can be a great source of comfort and encouragement because many of them were written by godly people who experienced God’s strength in the midst of great trials. "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4).
Then get involved — even if you do not feel like it right now —some kind of activity that will help others. For example, in your church there are undoubtedly others who have lost loved ones recently. Invite some of them over for lunch, and ask God to help you be an encouragement to them. In the process you will find your own grief begin to fade.
We dedicate this issue of SEASONS to those who have died and whose families we have served from May 26, 1987 to September 1, 1987.
Mr. Joseph Eugene Caldwell 5/26/87
Mrs. Richie Jordan Mims 6/4/87
Mr. Hubert Cummings 6/8/87
Mr. Emmett Cecil Gibson 6/12/87
Dr. Karl Morrison 6/16/87
Mr. Herman Henry James 6/17/87
Mr. George W. Buffaloe, III 6/18/87
Mr. William Tippah Spence 6/19/87
Mr. Terry Leake 6/27/87
Mr. Robert Fulton ‘Sam" Jones 6/28/87
Mrs. Evelyn Pauline Lovelady Webb 7/2/87
Mrs. Mary Bryan Tate Clifford 7/2/87
Mrs. Vernie Edwards Stewart 7/3/87
Mrs. Emma Gene Knight Winter 7/4 / 87
Miss Ruth Olivia Rushing 7/5/87
Miss Harriet Louise Bolinger 7/10/87
Mrs. Opal Louise Neal Flemons 7/13/87
Mr. Winston W. Mitchell 7/16/87
Mr. Scott Wayne Christman 7/18/87
Mr. Jack Durlon White 7/23/87
Mr. David C. Houston 7/23/87
Mrs. Frances Jane Lovelady 7/26/87
Mr. Johnnie Wright Bratton 8/1/87
Mr. Johnnie Louis Ray 8/2/87
Mr. Horace L. Vaughn 8/3/87
Colonel Hugh Lawrence Quarles 8/7/87
Miss Jennie Grace Dunlap 8/11/87
Miss Johnnie Elizabeth Kisner 8/11/87
Mrs. Martha Home Hardin 8/13/87
Mr. Richmond Eddie Reeves 8/19/87
Mr. Walter Hehmeyer 8/30/87
Dr. Joe K. Moore 8/31/87
MATERIALS ON COPING WITH GRIEF
We have filmstrips and other materials available to help people understand how to cope with grief so they will be better prepared to face death when it occurs. These cover a wide range of subjects including information on talking about death with children, coping with the death of a loved one, and coping with a fatal illness.
These messages are portrayed with great sensitivity, and we believe they can stimulate open discussion and lead to increased understanding of some very difficult subjects.
We are pleased to make the materials available to families, churches, schools, and civic groups. We can work with teachers, counselors, and club leaders in presenting these programs to classes and other groups.
If you think you might be interested in using any of the programs, please call us for more information (662-234-7971).
PURCHASE OF OXFORD-THOMAS FUNERAL HOME
We are pleased to announce our recent purchase of Oxford-Thomas Funeral Home from Mr. Charles Thomas of Holly Springs. News of this purchase was first made public by a notice which Mr. Thomas placed in the Oxford Eagle of August 24.
To those who had affiliated with the Oxford-Thomas Funeral Home through the purchase of insurance or through pre-need arrangements, we pledge, to serve you in the best possible manner in keeping with your wishes when funeral services are needed.
Please feel free to call or come in to inquire about the status of any transaction you may have made at Oxford-Thomas Funeral Home.