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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 16, 2008

She dreamed of you from the time she was a little girl cradling a baby doll in her arms. She always saw you playing around the little cottage in her childhood dreams.

She carried you in her body and you made her sick every morning for weeks and weeks. She bore you into the world through intense pain but when she heard you cry and saw your wrinkled face she forgot all about it and wept tears of joy.

She fed you at her breast and her whole world revolved around you. She stole into your room at night just to watch you sleep and she was sure you were the most beautiful child on earth. She set up through the night to bathe away the fever and at breakfast your dad said; “Sleep well, honey?” oblivious to the all-night vigil. She somehow always knew when you needed her, even in the middle of the night, and she came to your room and changed your bedding and made sure you were warm and dry.

She covered your ears and gave you your coat and checked your homework and made you practice the piano and set through all your ball games and recitals like they were the seventh game of the World Series and a debut at Carnegie Hall. She nagged you to brush your teeth with words of wisdom like; “Be true to your teeth or they will be false to you.” She changed your diaper and cleaned up when you were sick and washed underwear no one else would touch without a chemical suit. And who do you think always cleaned the gunk out of the kitchen sink and bathtub drain?

She made sure you had the drumstick and your dad had the breast and acted like she preferred the wings. Her oatmeal cookies made you forget the beating you took from the neighborhood bully, or the slow rate of greeting card sales.

She listened to you and didn’t laugh when others would have mocked you. She believed in you when you didn’t believe in yourself and prayed for you even when you didn’t think you needed it. She made you think you could do things you were sure you couldn’t do. She was tough enough to call your bluff and discipline you and give you a sense of boundaries and the security that comes with it. She spanked you when “Spocking” was all the trend with lesser mothers. She knew when you needed a spanking or just a nap and she didn’t always give you candy though she longed to indulge you.

She was always waiting when you came in late. When you complained about it, she pretended to be asleep the way you always did when you wanted her to carry you in from the car after a long trip.

She read the Bible to you and read the Bible in front of you and did what mothers have to do to make sure the family is faithful in church. She made your dad a much better man than he ever would have been without her. She mended clothes as a labor of love and it broke her heart to see how quickly you grew out of them. She knew you were only loaned to her from God and soon the house would fall silent again. She washed mountains of dishes and truckloads of laundry. She put up food on the hottest summer days and didn’t complain.

Her most sincere prayers were the ones she sent heavenward in gratitude for you. She filled your home with fragrance and beauty and music. The smell or her perfume and fresh-cut flowers, bacon for breakfast and Sunday roast. Her eyes were bright and happy and full of life. She wept though, wept and worried a thousand times for you when no one ever knew.

She rose early on holidays so you could enjoy a festive meal and an enduring memory. She planned for days and worked for hours so that in a few minutes you could gulp it down and go watch football. You didn’t always thank her or help her with the dishes, but those meals have been a cherished memory for years.

She baked you special treats just to watch you eat them. Something inside made her happier the more you ate (If you could see me you would know this made my mother a very happy woman).

She wore old dresses so you could have a new ball glove. She skipped vacations and second honeymoons so you could go to camp. She limited expenses for her hobbies so you could get your band instrument. She was happy with last year’s fashion so you could have this years tennis shoes. She didn’t abandon the family when your dad was insensitive to her needs. She took the blame for your failures and stood back and let your dad have the glory for your successes. And having done all these things and a thousand others that make mother a sacred word, she still felt she wasn’t the mother she should have been.

By - Ken Pierpont   
      © 2002, Ken Pierpont. 
      All rights reserved.
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 14, 2012

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled. I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. but I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there’s warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you til noon when you get fed again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much. We go on “route marches,” which the platoon Sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A “route march” is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. The country is nice but awful flat.

The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don’t bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don’t move, and it ain’t shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull at home. I’m about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in SilverLake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6″ and 130 pounds and he’s 6’8″ and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,

Carol

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 10, 2007

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of Passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.

He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.

He cannot cry out for help to anyone.

Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.
He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm.

The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone. Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 5, 2003

Once there was a man who had 3 daughters and was a single parent to his children. One morning he asked his oldest daughter, Sonia, to do the breakfast dishes before going to school. Not realizing that she was already running late and facing too many tardy notices, he was stunned by her reaction. She burst into profuse tears. Again, misinterpreting the motive behind the outburst, assuming that she was merely trying to get out of an unpleasant chore, he demanded that she dry her tears and get back to work immediately. She reluctantly obeyed him, but her anger could be clearly heard in the careless clanking of the dishes in the sink, she turned back to her father and stared sullenly out the window.

Usually the man took advantage of the uninterrupted time to spend with his children while driving them to school by teaching poetry or religious verses. However that morning there was no songs- only deathly, stubborn silence. The man dropped his daughter, mumbled a good bye and moved on to his office.

He tried to work but couldn’t concentrate, all he could see was his daughter’s scared, tear-stained face as she hesitantly climbed out of the car to face her teachers and classmates. The man began to realize that his timing had gone wrong and with the passage of the day he began to feel remorseful. So he decided to say he was “SORRY” to his daughter and couldn’t wait till suppertime to apologize.

So, he took permission from the school to take his daughter for lunch and was astonished to see the surprise on her face. He led her by her arm through the corridor and as the doors banged behind them, he turned towards his daughter and said, “Sonia I am sorry. I am so very sorry! It’s not that I shouldn’t have asked you to help out at home, but I had no right on it this morning without any previous warning. I upset you at a time when you most needed my love and support- just before you went to school. And I let you go without saying ‘I love you’. I was wrong. Please forgive me.”

Sonia put her arms around her father’s neck and hugged him and said “Oh, Dad, of course I forgive you. I love you too.”

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 28, 2012

It’s a Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody runs in from the parking lot and says, “Turn on a radio, turn on a radio.”

And while the church listens to a little transistor radio with a microphone stuck up to it, the announcement is made: “Two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the mystery flu.” Within hours it seems, this thing just sweeps across the country. People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote.

Nothing is working. California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts. It’s as though it’s just sweeping in from the borders. And then, all of a sudden the news comes out. The code has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. It’s going to take the blood of somebody who hasn’t been infected, and so, sure enough, all through the Midwest, through all those channels of emergency broadcasting, everyone is asked to do one simple thing: Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood type taken. That’s all we ask of you.

When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly, and safely to the hospitals. Sure enough, when you and your family get down there late on that Friday night, there is a long line, and they’ve got nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it.

Your wife and your kids are out there, and they take your blood type and they say, “Wait here in the parking lot and if we call your name, you can be dismissed and go home.”

You stand around, scared, with your neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on and if this is the end of the world. Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He’s yelling a name and waving a clipboard.

What? He yells it again! And your son tugs on your jacket and says, Daddy, that’s me.” Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. Wait a minute. Hold on!

And they say, “It’s okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn’t have the disease. We think he has got the right type.”

Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses, crying and hugging one another-some are even laughing. It’s the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week, and an old doctor walks up to you and says, “Thank you, sir. Your son’s blood type is perfect. It’s clean, it is pure, and we can make the vaccine.” As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people are screaming and praying and laughing and crying.

But then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, “May we see you for moment? We didn’t realize that the donor would be a minor and we need … we need you to sign a consent form.”

You begin to sign and then you see that the number of pints of blood to be taken is empty. “H-how many pints?”

And that is when the old doctor’s smile fades and he says, “We had no idea it would be little child. We weren’t prepared. We need it all!” But-but…You don’t understand.” “We are talking about the world here. Please sign. We-we need it all!”

But can’t you give him a transfusion?”

If we had clean blood we would. Can you sign? Would you sign?” In numb silence, you do.

Then they say, “Would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?”

Can you walk back? Can you walk back to that room where he sits on a table saying, “Daddy? Mommy? What’s going on?” Can you take his hands and say, “Son, your mommy and I love you, and we would never ever let anything happen to you that didn’t just have to be. Do you understand that?”

And when that old doctor comes back in and says, “I’m sorry, we’ve-got to get started. People all over the world are dying.

Can you leave? Can you walk out while he is saying, “Dad? Mom? Dad? “Why, why have you forsaken me?”

And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son, and some folks sleep through it, and some folks don’t even come because they go to the lake, and some folks come with a pretentious smile and just pretend to care.

Would you want to jump up and say, “MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DON’T YOU CARE?”

Is that what GOD wants to say? “MY SON DIED FOR YOU. DON’T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?”

 

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 17, 2014

It started to happen gradually¦ One day I was walking my son Jake to
school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when
the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?”
“Nobody,” he shrugged.

Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we
crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, nobody?”
I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to
my family – like “Turn the TV down, please” – and nothing would happen.
Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand
there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder,
“Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing. Just the other night my husband
and I were out at a party. We’d been there for about three
hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from
work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I
whispered, “I’m
ready to go when you are.” He just kept right on talking. I’m invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way
one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone
and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m
on the phone?” Obviously not. No one can see if I’m on the phone,
or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the
corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can
you tie this? Can you open
this? Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a
clock to ask, “What time is it?”
I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” I’m a
car to order, “Right around
5:30, please.” I was certain that these were the hands that once held
books and the eyes that studied history and the
mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the
peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She’s going¸ she’s going¸ she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a
friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip,
and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting
there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard
not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style
dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair
was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut
butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with
a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.”

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why
she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte, with
admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would
discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I
could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no
record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see
finished They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of
God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man
who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a
workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and
asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that
will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it”
And the workman replied, “Because God sees.” I closed the book, feeling the
missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God
whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make
every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve
done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to
notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t
see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease
that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own
self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep
the right perspective when I see myself as a
great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will
never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be
built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice
to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s
bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the
morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and
presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine
or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if
there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it
there.”

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re
doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will
marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the
world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

The author of this story: Nicole Johnson from the book titled
 “The Invisible Woman” with the subtitle “When Only God Sees”
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 14, 1990

An old story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, “This is good!”

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, “This is good!” To which the king replied, “No, this is NOT good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. “You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”

“No,” his friend replied, “This is good!” “What do you mean,’This is good’? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?” “If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you.”

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