Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
October 16, 2006

***  Kleenex Alert  ***

A teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. Even though the son was always on the bench, his father was always in the stands cheering. He never missed a game.

This young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high school. But his father continued to encourage him but also made it very clear that he did not have to play football if he didn’t want to. But the young man loved football and decided to hang in there.

He was determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he’d get to play when he became a senior. All through high school he never missed a practice nor a game, but remained a bench. His faithful father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him.

When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football team as a “walk-on.” Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but he did. The coach admitted that he kept him on the roster because he always puts his heart and soul to every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members with the spirit and hustle they badly needed.

The news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his excitement and was sent season tickets for all the college games. This persistent young athlete never missed practice during his four years at college, but he never got to play in the game. It was the end of his senior football season, and as he trotted onto the practice field shortly before the big play off game, the coach met him with a telegram.

The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, “My father died this morning. Is it all right if I miss practice today?” The coach put his arm gently around his shoulder and said, “Take the rest of the week off, son. And don’t even plan to come back to the game on Saturday.

In the third quarter, when the team was ten points behind, a silent young man quietly slipped into the empty locker room and put on his football gear. As he ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful teammate back so soon. “Coach, please let me play. I’ve just go to play today,” said the young man. The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted his worst player in this close.

Feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in. “All right,” he said. “You can go in.” Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, he passed, blocked and tackled like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose. His teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you’ve never heard! Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the locker room, the coach noticed that the young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone.

The coach came to him and said, “Kid, I can’t believe it. You were fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How did you do it?” He looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Well, you knew my dad died, but did you know that my dad was blind?” The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile, “Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he could see me play, and I wanted to show him I could do it!”

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author so credit can be given
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
October 14, 1995

Alison was a very determined four year old girl. She was interested in everything, but drawing especially was her expertise. Her mother Ann bought her papers and colors and brushes and pencils and it seemed Alison used them all in a day or two.

This time she had decided she wanted to learn to draw houses. Where ever you looked, you could see papers with drawings of square houses with square windows and little chimney’s on the roof – smoke curling up to the sky under a bright yellow sun, in an amazingly blue sky that invariably had one white cloud too. And there was always bright green grass around the house, speckled with red flowers. Alison loved red flowers.

Alison showed her drawings to everyone. She especially wanted to impress her father. There is a time when daughters and dads bond strongly, and Alison sure loved her dad and wanted to bond. She wanted to bond very much – but dad always seemed to be to busy. Ann watched with a heavy heart how daughter and dad very seldom played together and how the father reacted to Alison’s attempts to show her drawings to him.

- Yes, honey, that is lovely, he would barely glimpse at Alison´s drawings, and then answer his cell phone or go to his study.

One day Alison used many hours to draw a really detailed house. It was magnificent. She had drawn individual tiles and colored them one by one, carefully leaving white space between the tiles. She had drawn curtains in the windows, and herself, mom and dad looking out of the them. On the lawn was the puppy she so much wanted to have.

- Look, mom! she ran to show her drawing to her mother.

- Oh, Alison, this is so beautiful!! Your best ever!

Alison beamed.

- I´ll show this to dad now!

She ran down the hall to the closed door of her father´s study.

- Dad! Dad! She tried to open the door.

It was locked. Alison´s mom saw the expression of disappointment on her daughter´s face. She reached for the door knob once again.

- Dad?

They could hear him talking on the phone with someone. Then the talking stopped.

- DAD! Alison knocked on the door, – I want you to see the house I made!

- I´m sorry, Alison, I am busy, came the voice behind the door, – Can´t you show it to someone else?

Alison´s hand fell down to her side. She looked down on her magnificent drawing and her lower lip started to tremble.

- I don´t want to show it to anyone else. I want to show it to my dad. You’re the only dad I have!

The last words were no more than a whisper and yet they were left hanging in the air like someone had shouted them.

Alison´s mom felt such heaviness in her heart and she took a step towards her daughter, ready for a hug. But before she took another step, she heard a click. The door was unlocked and Alison´s dad appeared. He looked embarrassed.

- I´m sorry Alison. I was stupid, he kissed his daughter´s cheek, – Come here and we´ll look at your drawing!


Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
 so credit can be given
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
October 14, 2004

When my brother and I we were children we spent a few weeks each summer in the countryside. Our childless uncle owned a big house there and didn´t mind having children around, so of course our parents were happy to loan us for a few days at a time.

Our uncle was a geologist and loved to go on long walks to find stones to his collection at the university. More often than not we followed him.

One day we left early and this time uncle had bought us backpacks – You can help me carry the samples, he explained.

Sure, why not. The whole day we then walked around the countryside and every now and again uncle put stones in our bags. We were a bit surprised he also took some stones out from our bags at times, but figured he had just found better samples than the ones we already had.

Still, when we reached the house in late afternoon, we were tired. The backpacks were so heavy we gave a big sigh of relief when we thumped them on the porch. Yet uncle´s backpack was half empty.

- Why did you give us so many stones? we asked.

- I didn´t. You did, he said cryptically.

He waited for a while before continuing:

- You did not know it, but I made you go through a little attitude test today.

- What do you mean with attitude test? we wanted to know.

- It is something someone once did to me, and I shall always remember it. You see I listened to every word you said. And when ever you were complaining about anyone or anything, I added a stone to your bags. And when ever you talked about something in an attitude of gratitude and positive thinking, I took off a stone. And now look at your backpacks.

We did. They were almost bursting at their seams.

Moral of the Story:

Your negative thoughts are like stones which you carry in your mind just like those stones in a back-bag.

The more negative thoughts, the heavier your mind is. A positive thought, however, cancels a negative one.

So look at those bags and start paying attention to what you say and how you say it.

“Two types of voices command your attention today. Negative ones fill your mind with doubt, bitterness, and fear. Positive ones purvey hope and strength. Which one will you choose to heed..??”

Author - Max Lucado
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
October 13, 2003

It had been so hard for the children to wait for Christmas morning. The glass of milk and cookies were carefully put on the mantelpiece on Christmas Eve. The parents and grandmother had been sitting late in the living room, waiting for the children to finally fall asleep, shooing off the cat that showed great interest in the milk and the Christmas tree.

Whoever came up with the term Catmas was certainly a person who owned cats. The cat seemed to think Christmas was invented to amuse the feline kind. So during the years they had learned to tie the tip of the tree with string to a hook in the ceiling. Sure it caused the angel on top of the tree to tilt a bit, but if the option was “Timber!”, the angel could stay tilted.

Also the most precious glass baubles were tied to place with wire and the lower branches only had the cheapest plastic balls because the cat also thought football with Christmas decoration was a good way to pass time – preferably in the middle of the night when the sound effects were at their most efficient.

So they sat there, enjoying the brief silence before Christmas morning.

Ah, said the grandmother to her son, – This used to be my favorite moment each Christmas. You kids were asleep, everything was finally ready, and I could lift the weight off my feet. The only peaceful moment of Christmas for me.

Yes, I suppose we were quite a bunch to handle, her son chuckled.

You sure were… grandmother commented, – Our Christmas tree had to be tied to the ceiling as well, even though we only had an old dog who only wanted to eat and sleep…

I could write a short and funny story about each Christmas I remember, her son laughed. – OK, let’s think… Short and funny story number one: do you remember the time when we managed to get the turkey fall to the floor after you had put it on the table? Cranberry sauce was all over the new white carpet!

You could say that is a sight I’ll never forget… grandmother did not laugh quite as heartily as her son.

Short and funny story number two would be when we opened the package dad was planning to give to you for Christmas and the dog swallowed the diamond ring that fell out? You had to run after the dog everywhere and then dig the ring out of…

Mind your language. And yes, I do remember that.

The Mrs looked at her husband and shook her head slightly. The husband didn’t notice it.

And oh how we laughed when we changed your favorite Christmas record to a heavy rock record and turned the volume to the loudest… You sat there with a glass of red wine on Christmas Eve when you thought you were alone and put the music on… You never got the wine off your new silk pajamas… Now that was a funny Christmas story number three!

Grandmother looked at her son with a very tight lipped smile. He was roaring with laughter, hitting his knees with his hands.

Darling… Why don’t you go check if Santa Claus could come already?  Asked his wife and John went to check out on the kids one more time, wiping tears of mirth.

The children were fast asleep and so Santa could come and put all the presents under and around the tree. There was one big box that had a label “Merry Christmas to Dean and Mark, Love, Grandma”

Wow, that’s a big present! John said, – Must have been expensive!

He was dipping the chocolate chip cookies in the milk.

Yes, it was a bit, but I’m sure it’s worth every cent, grandma said.

They went to sleep and woke up to the yells of children in the morning. When they came down the boys had just attacked the biggest box, grandmother’s gift. The parents sat on the sofa and laughed at their kids joy.

The box opened and for a while there was a stunned silence. Then:

Wow… Thanks grandma!!

Out came one cowboy’s outfit, and one Indian chief’s. But that was not all – also a big water pistol (fully loaded) and a real bow and suction cup arrows. Lots of them. Before you had time to wink the boys were in their new costumes. The cat was wise enough to run for cover, but was chased out of its hiding place with a long squirt of water and then up the Christmas tree with suction cup arrows bouncing off its hairy behind. Interestingly the angel on top did not fall down, even though it looked like it was planning on taking off.

Mother! John shouted when the cat shot down the tree leaving it hanging on a sting, – Oh no… Didn’t you remember the havoc we used to cause when we played cowboys and Indians indoors?

Who says I didn’t?  Grandmother smiled sweetly,    Now, how about some coffee?

Originally posted on In The Corner:

You can imagine the trepidation that my husband and I felt when we walked into the hospital for my first chemo treatment.  Although the waiting room was beautiful, everything was a mystery.  Do we take a number?  Do we register?  Do I have a cold?

The night before, my family and I had sat down for what I felt was about to be the last supper.  My anxiety was through the roof.  I had actually felt my heart racing as I stared at the steroids I was to take to begin the journey.  These steroids were the threshold of a new world.

“Some ha’ meat and canny eat, and some ha’ meat but want it.  But we ha’ meat and we can eat, so let the Lord be thanket.  Amen”.  This grace, my Dad always spoke at family gatherings, enveloped my spirits.  I was reminded, once again, to count my…

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Originally posted on In The Corner:

“I can’t find it.”

“Maybe it’s gone.”

“What do you mean?”

“I had chemo last Tuesday. Maybe the chemo killed that growth.  It’s possible right?”

“It is possible.  Maybe.  Or maybe it’s hiding behind your bowel.”

Crap.  “No, I prefer to think it’s gone.”

This is the hope I hold onto as I move through my second week of post-chemotherapy stress disorder, or PCSD for short.  I wake up and think, “I wonder if it’s gone.”  I eat breakfast and think, “I wonder if this fights cancer?”  I shower and target the heat on the would-be tumors.  I drink water and imagine it rinsing the cancer from my body.  Down the sewer pipes it goes.  I heat my food on the stove – microwaves may be bad.  An apple a day keeps the cancer away and so I eat apples.  I lay down to rest to give my…

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
October 11, 2010

I closed Words of Affirmation – a book I was reading with my morning coffee. It did not seem to have the effect I wanted.

It was a Monday morning. A dark, wet Noveber morning when it seemed like it would take a million years to get to summer again. So dark I was sure I did not even remember what summer looked like anymore. And no affirmation seemed to work. I thought bears got it right – what a perfect idea to sleep through the lousiest part of the year and wake up when spring came!

I got into a conversation with a coworker about this when I got to work.

- You don’t think words of affirmation work? He asked me.

words of affirmation – mirror
– Today – no.

- I used to think so too, he said, – Until I realized the effect my words had on a certain person.

- What do you mean?

- Well, it was someone I knew pretty well. I have to say I treated him rather badly.

- You? But you are always so positive! How did you treat him badly?

- I told him I did not like anything about him, really. I looked at him and said he had grown a belly. That his face was sagging. His hair was thinning. I told him I did not even like his name.

I could not find words. I just did not believe him. He could see what I was thinking and nodded.

- I swear this is true. You can imagine what it did to his self esteem. If we hear such negative affirmations about ourselves, we tend to believe them, don’t you agree?

Well I sure agreed.

- I still cannot believe you! I said, – You are always encouraging others. How can it be possible you would have said such words to anyone you know?

- Such words and even more, he nodded, – Now I am not proud of myself, but I thought this would be useful for you to know when you wonder if words of affirmation work.It wasn’t only what I said – I also did pretty bad things to him. When he was feeling low, I did not want to sympathize but told him he should snap out of it and play cheerful. When he was hungry, I did not give him a chance to eat proper food.  When he felt like doing something fun I said to him that he was being childish and having fun was not productive. After all he was always short on cash so obviously he was a lazy worker.

- No…

- And worst of all – when he was sick and needed care, I did not care. I told him to get up and get to work. And when he did, I never told him he did good work. Oh no, I only told him he could do better.

I knew my coworker had been a boss at a smaller firm before. But still – surely he would never have behaved in such a way towards his employees?

- You could say I was ashamed of him, he said, – I wanted to get rid of him because he just wasn’t good enough for me – but couldn’t.

- But… That was heartless!

He nodded.

- I agree. I was a horrible person. I was cruel towards him. And I could see the effect of my words on him. He was depressed most of the time, tried to drown his sorrows by watching TV, drinking too much and calling in sick when ever he could.

- Well no wonder! I exclaimed, – But I have to say I never would have believed you could behave in such a way!

- Then one day it all changed, he said.

- What happened?

- I stood there in front of the bathroom mirror one morning. I saw the dark circles under his eyes, I saw the excess weight. I saw the hair that needed cutting. And I saw the eyes that once had looked at the world eagerly. Now they were so sad and tired. And there and then I realized he deserved better.I knew the time had come to start finding good things about myself. So I told the man whom I had disliked so many years that he was a good person after all. I decided to like every likeable thing about myself and tell it to myself too.

My jaw dropped.

- Yes. The man I disliked all those years was me. When I started working on liking myself, and telling that to myself every morning in front of the bathroom mirror, miracles began to happen. I reversed the negativity of the past. Positive words of affirmation have had a great effect!

I looked at him – full of positive energy, in good shape, always ready to encourage others.

- Wow…

He winked his eye.

- So how about having a little positive conversation with the bathroom mirror? The person in there has the greatest effect on you!

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
 so credit can be given

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