Monday, January 5, 2009

What a Wonderful World

Gratitude














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I see friends shaking hands and saying "how do you do"
they're really saying
"I love you"

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Louis Armstrong, the master himself, in a classic performance


















Followed by the elegant performance of Rod Stewart






Do you remember the movie, An Affair to Remember? In a nutshell, it's about a great love that is interrupted by a tragic accident. Even if you haven't seen it, you probably remember it referenced in the movie, Sleepless in Seattle, which is also a movie that begins with a loss. Lately, I've been asking myself, why do we have to wait for something painful to happen before we remember how wonderful it is to be alive and to appreciate the people who give us so much?





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You know what your problem is?
You want to be in love but you want to be in love in the movies.

Sleepless in Seattle

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A story with a happy ending...


Years ago my family, my husband, children and three kittens, were moving across the United States. The children were with my husband in a moving truck traveling ahead of me when I was in a near fatal car accident. It occurred in the desert about 9:30pm near Needles, California. A drunk driver who was going about 90 miles an hour crashed into the back of my little Geo Metro, and sent my car into a seemingly never-ending roll . When it finally stopped in the middle of a sandy unpopulated desert, my car could not be seen from the road. I want to say right now that I appreciate the stranger named Richard, who reported the accident on his CB radio and who pulled his truck over, walked a good distance across the dark desert landscape to my upside down car, and stayed and talked with me until the emergency help arrived. A stranger waited with me, a stranger stayed next to a car that might have caught fire and blown up. I so appreciate that heroic person. I could never find him to tell him how much gratitude I felt for his human compassion. I appreciate my three sisters who drove and flew from all over the United States to be with me in the Las Vegas hospital. I give thanks for my husband's best friend who also flew to Las Vegas to see if he could help. I'm grateful my husband and children were safe and not in the car with me. Thinking about this incident reminds me that I too, dear blogger friends, appreciate your friendship where real people can connect and communicate with each other across the real world.



How can we remember to appreciate? Maybe movies and books are not only for fantasy. Perhaps they remind us that we are alive in the world...and isn't that wonderful? My wish for all of my blogger friends and everyone everywhere is that we can remember to love.


May we all know what is important, when it is important. May we value life and each other without having to nearly lose them.



What a Wonderful World



25 comments:

  1. Natalie, Glad to share with you.:)

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  2. You are so right, Cynthia. I don't need to sit across from you in person to know from this post what a beautiful heart you have. You finish the telling of this terrible accident with Louis singing 'What a Wonderful World'. I'll have this song going through my head all day. Thanks.
    Catherine

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  3. Cynthia, you're right, we should always be grateful for the positive things in our lives and not brood over silly and negative things. Like Kimberley said 'you're a miracle". She called me to wish me a happy new year, what a sweetheart. She's a riot.
    blessings and happy Three Kings day.
    daphne
    get well, all is well, rest and drink a lot of green tea,

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  4. Dear Cynthia, thanks for sharing this story with us. Isn't it amazing that through this terrible near-tragedy, your eyes and heart were open to the love around you, to find something positive to come out of this awful experience.
    It is strange that it often takes an extreme situation make me pay attention, I am trying to notice these things now by living in the moment, being aware of the small everyday things that people do to show that they care.
    Love Dianne x x

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  5. What an incredible story. I was so frightened for you, but seeing how you were able to turn this into a positive story explains a lot about you. I'm glad so many people were there to help you at your time of need.

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  6. What an amazing experience. And yes, it is beautiful how both strangers and friends came to help you and your family. It is good to remember to appreciate our blessings each day but sometimes we do need a nudge to remind us. thanks for your nudge.

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  7. Love An Affair To Remember, have seen it often. And I think you're right, movies remind us of our own real life and emotions and connections. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Thank you friends, TCC-Catherine, Daphne, Dianne, Tangobaby, and Sukipoet, for reading my story and giving me your reactions. It's good to know that I can share freely from the heart. I think about how to connect without frightening people...by "over-sharing"...Some friends have told me that I'm reserved, if they only knew...I keep some secrets because I don't want to hurt people...but personally, I'm an open book.

    I've had to learn that when some people ask questions, they really don't want an honest answer. I rush a bit in friendships because I don't want to waste time...I feel that way more in my life since the accident.

    Today the internet was out! So it took me a while to respond...I have a cold and I gave myself permission to read "Almost French" (Sarah Turnbull) most of the day between naps. I only cooked Mac n Cheese-nothing special but my daughter wanted to talk...she misses my attention because I'm mildly or seriously addicted to the blogger's world.
    <3,<3,<3,<3,<3 (One for each of you)

    Charlotte, the 'bag o bones' perrito, is on antibiotics, she might pull through.

    If you want to read another heartfelt story, read the "Goodbye Sun" posting. It's about the murder of my mother, which happened over 16 years ago. I think it was written on her birthday, Oct 31, and yes, she sometimes called herself a witch!
    ps Sukipoet,
    The photo is a sample photo from the computer's picture files. I can't take credit! I've been talking with my blogger buddy TPC about how to not breach any copywrite laws. I think it's okay to use free samples.

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  9. Joanne, welcome to OWL blog~ and thanks for responding...maybe we cry during movies because we relate...just as you said...to our own experiences.

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  10. Thank you for this post. I read it yesterday while taking a break from a very busy day at the office. (I can't believe I'm back to the craziness!) Your words were just what I needed to re-center and get my brain back on track.

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  11. I heard a cover of "Wonderful World" by a woman singer (not sure who - super gravelly voice) and, needless to say, it brought tears to my eyes.
    Re your horrible accident. so glad you survived and discovered kindness.
    My husband had a hideous motorcycle accident and, in spite of awful pain, learned much about the kindness of strangers too.

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  12. JBA, thank you for letting me know that you appreciated the post. Is there any way to get back to a routine but just doing it? Argh! I go back to work in a week. I love long vacations. But I love chatting with my friends at work too. I've been sleeping in-so decadent-so spoiled-when work starts, I get up at 4:30am!

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  13. Elizabeth, the song is simplicity itself- straight from the heart. we saw an accident in Kentucky... smoke... a baby car seat, an overturned SUV. And a long row of cars had pulled over in front of us before we had arrived on the scene. Many people were helping.

    At that time I was upset with the small minded prejudice people that we were encountering in the South. I again realized that all people are capable of kindness.

    So glad your husband is okay.

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  14. Cynthia, what a gorgeous sunset – did you take the photo? It must be amazing living on a tropical island.

    I thought Sleepless in Seattle was a fun remake of the classic. It is true that we take ordinary life for granted until we encounter tragedy. I’m sorry you had to suffer through a car accident to realize that. My first blog post was about a car accident my husband survived that could have been worse. He was also helped by strangers. I felt much happier with life after not being swept out to sea in the tide. I should hold onto that. You ask good questions.

    Elizabeth, sorry to hear about your husband's accident but good to hear about the kindness of strangers.

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  15. Sarah Laurence,
    Yes, there is the remembering about kindness and the forgetting...life can be so shocking sometimes, it's good to reflect on its softness, too. Isn't it curious how fear triggers so many ideas...I was thinking of your posting about the tides and how it gave you a plot/book idea...and the storm too, remember?

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  16. Sarah Laurence, also, glad your husband is fine and that you're happy about being alive!!! Me, too. (That's a children's book title, do you know it?)

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  17. I always thought of helping strangers as angels. We are all connected. Isn't it amazing that you can change your mood from cranky or sad to happy if you start listing all the things you are grateful for? It works for me all of the time. Some people keep journals of gratitude were they write down all the reasons to feel truly blessed.

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  18. TPC, so true...it's all a matter of focus. Maybe we're using the blog format to think obout what's important...

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  19. A wonderful world....a wonderful post.

    So glad you survived that accident.

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  20. Oh Cynthia! Another great post! I just had to pop in to tell you that you made me remembersome great times while I was reading this! My mom was a huge Louis Armstrong fan and that was her very favorite song. You brought back some beatuiful memories for me just now and I thank you. She was amazing and truly made this a "wonderful world".
    Thanks Cynthia!
    Much love & best wishes my friend!
    xoxo
    Judith~

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  21. Judith (PA) so glad the post resonated with you and your life. There wa some confusion on the new post so maybe it was buried under some post you already read on your blog roll? I glad you saw this one though...music has a way of connecting us to our loved ones and other kindred spirits. Is there a greater blessing than to have a loving mother? Thank you for coming over, dear friend Judith...<3 <3 <3...:-)

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