Warning: this is a no-edit zone....
Some days are diamonds. This day is definitely one. You know, you often wonder if the things you do have a positive effect, and you so hope that they do. And every now and then, you're fortunate enough to know the truth--regardless of what it is. If you are having a positive impact, then your instincts on what you're doing are affirmed. And if not, you have an opportunity to change, to take added steps and actions to become a positive influence.
For me, the desire to be a positive influence came early. Unusual things can be the inspiration for us setting the course of our lives. For me, it was a headstone in a cemetery. The grave belonged to a woman, and on it, her family had written: "She was the Sunshine of our Lives."
I was very young, but I remember well standing there and thinking, I hope when I die, someone feels that way about me.
You would think, being so young, that this little incident wouldn't have a great impact. That being a kid, I'd forget. But I never did. It became an aspiration at soul level, and remains one today.
Being the sunshine doesn't mean being the proverbial Little Mary Sunshine. At least, not to me. It does mean shining light into darkness. Helping those you can to find the path to light when they're lost in the dark. Doing what you can to leave the world more hopeful than when you entered it. It means looking out and seeing the needs of others as well as looking in and seeing your own. Caring about others, and noticing the little things.
Life is in those little things.
I'm grateful today for that walk through that cemetery. And I wonder: If back then I had seen that saying printed anywhere other than on a headstone, would it have had the same impact on me?
I doubt that it would. The end of life is the ultimate "You can do no more here" notice. From the moment of death onward, you're perceived by others' memories of you and no more.
I guess if we all had warnings that we were going to die in x number of days or months, then we could prepare and be light-bearers then. But we don't know when death will claim us, and when you really think about it, for this purpose, it's just as well. You can't cram a lifetime of interactions with others into a few days or months. These types of memories start as soon as you begin interacting with others and continue until your last breath.
Today, a good friend, Debra Webb, sent me a dedication that will be in her June 06 Bombshell novel. I was stunned to see my name there, and to read her comments about why she'd dedicated this book to me. I was so touched and right then, I had to stop and pray that I live long enough and smart enough to become the person she believes I am. :)
Deb's words had the same impact on me that my mother always had. She believed the best, saw the best, encouraged the best. The ultimate, unconditional faith. And because she did, I sought it. There's such amazing power conveyed in belief!
That's the point I wanted to share. There is humility and fulfillment in attempting to be light, and there is power in belief. In yourself, your spouse and kids. In those you work with, and in your friends--like my diamond, Deb.
12/2005 WAR GAMES #5, DOUBLE DARE
1/2006: ONE WAY TO WRITE A NOVEL
2/2006: IT GIRLS #6, BULLETPROOF PRINCESS
3/2006: THE PROPHET'S LADY
4/2006: HER PERFECT LIFE
6/2006: COMMON SENSE GUIDE FOR WRITERS
RT Reviewer's Choice Best Romantic Suspense Novel of the Year