Former resident recalls the past
I am inspired by the recent Letter to the Editor by Penny Dollar, recent events concerning the city of Hartselle, and the last two years of my own family's life.
We come into this world as a soul's energy, the result of our biological parents' actions. We are shaped and formed each day into an individual spirit with our own unique personalities and priorities.
There is hardly a moment in our lives we do not affect or become affected by others' activities. When it is our time to leave this earth, we leave with no more material possessions than we had when we were created-only the memories and results of our existence.
When our lives are over, we either exit it slowly, quickly, or by our own hand. While those left all go through the same grieving process, each situation is uniquely different, as is each individuals' way of dealing with loss.
On June 14, 2002, my dear husband of nearly 30 years died of a massive heart attack. In less than one hour, my family's lives went through a 180-degree change. Each of us has dealt with his passing in our own way and, despite our common bond, cannot understand completely what the other has felt.
As for me, life has come full-circle. Though I will never be the same, I am now thankful that when God took him back, Larry was in a beautiful setting with a good friend doing something he loved. He was happy, left quickly and did not suffer.
I am proud of the legacy he left behind.
So often we spend all our lives "keeping up with the Jones" and strive only to accumulate money and possessions and stroke our own egos, forgetting the ripple effect each action we take has on others and in what way we touch them each day.
While we should all do what we must to survive, when do we cross the line into greed, excess and priority of self at others' expense? We justify our crossing by savoring the misfortune of others because when we can feast on a morsel of gossip about another, our own souls don't look as black.
Forget about truth and compassion-a bite of gossip tastes much better.
In the spring of 1998, my son was working at Books-A-Million on University Drive in Huntsville. An old homeless man named Marvin lived under the bridge at the intersection of University and Memorial Parkway.
My son would spend his break with Marvin talking and offering him a cup of coffee, kind words and companionship. Years later, when my son learned of Marvin's death, he genuinely grieved because he saw the beauty of an old man's life that most of society would consider worthless.
While serving and supporting missions and hunger overseas is important, so is supporting the misfortune in our own country or across the street. A simple moment of compassion is priceless.
When our lives are over and we are gone, will we be remembered as a Hades-raising vigilante who lived to pass judgement and feast on others, or a self-seeking egomaniac who tore others to shreds for the sake of sensationalism or a dollar?
They look at a glass of water and see it half empty,
For a gentle soul that hurt for an old man he briefly knew and stopped on the side of a busy interstate to rescue a small puppy that had been hit, and cared for one of the smallest of God's creatures-these people look at a glass of water and see it as half full.
I prefer to be the latter.
Vickie C. Sharp