Beef With a Bucket List
No sooner did last week's column, "Baby Benedict and the Bucket List" hit print when emails began coming in. Also telephone calls. Everyone felt touched by the story of a terminally ill baby whose family (including 30 cousins) decided to put together a bucket list of things for the 5 month old baby to experience while there was still time. If you missed that column, let me know and I'll send it to you.
Here are some examples of what readers had to say:
“What a wonderful article. I was thinking about this yesterday when I attended a 90 year olds birthday!! I'm going to ask her if she has a bucket list. Catherine is my best friend's grandma. I call her grandma, too and she calls me one of her granddaughters. I am blessed to know her and love her dearly. I am very sentimental and you have really touched me. You write beautifully. Thank you and God Bless” Laura - Lee's Summit, Missouri
Here is a letter you may find particularly interesting. This person, who lives in Saudi, Arabia, wrote to me not long ago after reading one of my stories in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grief and Recovery.” On a whim, I sent her Baby Benedict's story. My husband Burt suggested I share Hamza's wise words with you:
“Hi Bobbie, You are always making us cry uncontrollably. After reading the story of the woman who could not stop crying, Benedict's poignant story touched my heart and shook me vigorously. His parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, and cousins could not add extra days to his life. But they certainly added life to his last days on earth with joy and delight. He is now enjoying the presence of God in a better world.”
Have a blessed Sunday, Hamza, Saudi Arabia
“Wow, This is Wonderful! A life lesson for us all to live a full life through to the end.” Linda Kilbride, Newport
Right about the time that column came out, I was channel surfing and ran into a political talk show group who appear regularly on the FOX channel. The group usually consists of two women and two or three men. They rag on everything, mostly political and often they all try to out-talk one another at the same time. One of the guys looks about 12-years-old, slumps in his chair like a ticked-off teenager, and I guess he thinks he's cute. I find him annoying. The day I happened to catch the show, this guy/kid was expounding about how much he totally hates the idea of having a bucket list. I sat up straight in my lazy girl chair and yelled at him that he was such a jerk. I wanted to track him down and make him read the story about Baby Benedict, although I doubt he would get the point.
And now, still on the subject of having a bucket list, guess who has been wanting a really special American flag since we moved into this house seven years ago: Uh huh, my husband Burt. Every year we attend the home show at the fair grounds and Burt ends up chatting with this nice man who specializes in high quality telescoping flagpoles and well-made American flags. Every year Burt walks away saying, "I'll think about it."
Yes, we have always flown a flag since moving to the Oregon coast, but inexpensive flags don't last long when you're close to the ocean and neither do the poles. One or two seasons and wham, gone with the wind. And then, this year the Home Show took place in the Newport Recreation Center. What a class act! What a great idea. Of course we went and, of course, there was the usual nice man beckoning Burt to stop by the booth to "talk flags and poles."
I lingered long enough to sneak a peak at the slick, new solar lighting system, designed especially for cloudy days on the coast and guaranteed to light up the flag at night so you don't have to follow protocol and take it down. Wow. How cool is that? I wandered off, hoping Burt would stop procrastinating and get this flag thing off his bucket list once and for all. I watched from a distance. To my dismay, my husband walked away telling the guy he would "Think about it. Maybe come back tomorrow." Once in awhile we women have to step up and take charge. I dragged him back to the Flag Booth and we left the Rec. Center with the telescoping pole, the solar lights that go on top like the Statue of Liberty and a beautiful new flag that will hopefully last as long as we do. You may not believe this, but I have opened one eye at 4 a.m. and there is my husband standing by the glass doors in our bedroom, gazing upwards, admiring his flag. In fact, the solar lights work so well, they light up the deck and half of my husband. The sight is enough to make me get all emotional.
I wonder what that guy on the FOX talk show would say about an 85-year-old U.S. Navy Veteran who chokes up when he hears Taps and just scratched Super Special American Flag off of his bucket list.
Happy Fourth of July everyone.
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