“Therefore encourage each other and build each other up” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
I’ve been thinking a lot about falling lately. I guess because I fell last week. But all this thinking made me remember a simple phrase used by a cute little lady named, Helen. In her 80’s she was walking through our woods and we cautioned her to be careful. She just shrugged her shoulders and simply said, “If I fall, I get back up.” Then slowly, falling and getting back up took on deeper meanings; never give up, keep on keeping on, rise up, always. After all, when we fall, what choice do we have? We can stay down, or we can get back up. We can get back up and tackle this wonderful gift called life.
This is where honoring my brother comes in. I admire and love all my siblings. But, Billy, my younger brother, stands out in the crowd. That’s not just because he is tall and always holds his head up high. It’s because he epitomizes “falling down and getting up.” He’s been on dialysis for 20 years. Over the years, he’s faced health challenges associated with being on these life-giving machines. The phenomenal thing about this is I have never heard him complain. I have never heard him come across as a victim. I have never heard him express self-pity over his situation. He goes to dialysis several times a week and works several days a week. He is an intellect, an encourager, an excellent listener and fiercely protective of family. He is blessed to have a loving, supportive wife, Cheryl, who Billy readily admits is his advocate, his champion, his best friend. I say, they are blessed to have each other. I also say we all are blessed to have Billy in our lives.
During this holiday season, I want to honor the people I love; through calls, texts, get-togethers, cards, letters and prayers. Acknowledging the people we care about creates magic in the air and brings sweetness into all of our lives. As mom said, “give me my flowers while I can still smell them.” This season is a wonderful time to give the people you love their flowers while they can still smell them. Love them, call them, text them, send them a card, pray for them.
Billy, these are for you:
Dear God, let me always be a blessing to others by letting them know how much I love and appreciate them through my words, my thoughts and my deeds. And, let me present this sweet aroma while they can still smell them. Thank You God. Amen
These are for you, my “forever” friend! 🌸🌷💐🌷🌸💐
I will see you soon!
Erika MCBRIDE MCDOWELL
Dearest Mary, thank you for such kind heartfelt words. It brought tears to my eyes. Family is all we have and I’m blessed to you and all my relatives. I thank you because being the educator that you were born into I feel pride in being you’re first student. You instilled in me my love of reading and comprehension when at 4 you drilled me on the comic section of the newspaper. You were my kindergarten . The saying ” God never gives you more than you can handle” is true. I’ve learned that in life it’s process over product. You learn from dealing with your problems. So “Thank You Father” for you Mary! I love you more than you can imagine!
Beautiful Mary and so well deserved! He is truly the epitome of all that you said and described! Because he has been in my life for many years my personal journey has been enhanced many times over! A beautiful tribute indeed!
Mary, as you know I’ve been having issues with my phone & was disappointed that I was not able to log-in to your web site for my daily dose of inspiration. I decided to try again today, & to my delight I was able to log-in and read your wonderful tribute to our fantastic, awesome brother Bill.
I am so greatful & blessed to have a brother like Bill. I feel such pride when someone at work ask me how my brother Bill is. He makes an impression on everyone he meets.
Respect, admiration & Love! In the words of my husband John , Bill is a “bonified soldier”. Thank you Mary for always writing how I feel in my heart. Bill, the epitome of living life well & the best brother ever!