One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night.
"Could you possibly give us a room here?" the husband asked. The clerk, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town. "All of our rooms are taken," the clerk said. "But I can't send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o'clock in the morning.
Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It's not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night."
When the couple declined, the young man pressed on. "Don't worry about me; I'll make out just fine," the clerk told them. So the couple agreed. As he paid his bill the next morning, the elderly man said to the clerk, "You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe someday I'll build one for you."
The clerk looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh.
As they drove away, the elderly couple agreed that the helpful clerk was indeed exceptional, as finding people who are both friendly and helpful isn't easy.
Two years passed. The clerk had almost forgotten the incident when he received a letter from the old man. It recalled that stormy night and enclosed a round- trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay them a visit.
The old man met him in New York. He then pointed to a great new building there, a palace of reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky. "That," said the older man, "is the hotel I have just built for you to manage. "You must be joking," the young man said. "I can assure you I am not," said the older man, a sly smile playing around his mouth.
The older man's name was William Waldorf Astor, and the magnificent structure was the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The young clerk who became its first manager was George C. Boldt. This young clerk never foresaw the turn of events that would lead him to become the manager of one of the world's most glamorous hotels.
Judge me by the footprints I leave behind
A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco.
"Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've a favor to ask. I have a friend I'd like to bring me with me."
"Sure," they replied, "we'd love to meet him."
"There's something you should know," the son continued, "he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mind and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us."
"I'm sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live."
"No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us."
"Son," said the father, "you don't know what you're asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own."
At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide.
The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know, their son had only one arm and one leg.
The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don't like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren't as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are. Thankfully, there's someone who won't treat us that way.
Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are.
Tonight, before you tuck yourself in for the night, say a little prayer that God will give you the strength you need to accept people as they are, and to help us all be more understanding of those who are different from us!!!
There's a miracle called Friendship that dwells in the heart.
You don't know how it happens or when it gets started, but you know the special lift it always brings and you realize that Friendship is God's most precious gift!
Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.
Show your friends how much you care....
We often learn the most from our children. Some time ago, a friend of mine punished his 3-year old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper.
Money was tight, and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the tree.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father on Christmas morning and said, "This is for you Daddy."
He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found that the box was empty.
He yelled at her, "Don't you know that when you give someone a present there is supposed to be something inside of it?"
The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into the box, all for you, Daddy."
The father was crushed, he put his arms around his little girl and he begged for her forgiveness.
My friend told me that he kept that gold box by his bed for years.
Whenever he felt discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us, as parents, has been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children.
There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
CONTENTS (except as noted) ©2003-8 by Pediatric Services
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