How To Save A Life

What connects us, what keeps us safe and strong and weaves its way along the dark corridors of our conscience when we are alone with our thoughts?

Bournemouth Beach February 2015 (c) Sherri Matthews

Bournemouth Beach February 2015
(c) Sherri Matthews

When does the caring start, the thinking of others, the wanting to help them in their distress by not only showing concern, but by doing something, anything, to help?

File93

Eldest Son reading Curious George to Aspie D (c) Sherri Matthews

Are we troubled when we turned a blind eye, said never mind or who cares, it’s not my problem?

Did I stop for the man standing in the cold rain selling magazines saying God Bless you as I walked by thinking, next time, next time when I’m not so busy and rushed, I’ll definitely buy one of his magazines and support a good cause.  But then again, he’s probably just a junkie.

Or an alcoholic.

Like the old man sitting alone in his room at the halfway house, hoping nobody will notice that he has sneaked in a bottle of whiskey.  Who wants to listen to him anyway, rambling on about his days in the Royal Air Force when he was a medic and when he was a prize boxer, when he was young and fit and handsome. Who cares? He made his choices.  Right?

A Family Man 1960s (c) Sherri Matthews

A Family Man Once  – 1960s
(c) Sherri Matthews

Who is that child who doesn’t have any friends at school because he is mean?  Can we afford to judge him and blame it on his home life and his lousy, low-class parents who yell and scream and swear and get drunk at night, never caring that their child is listening and crying?

Not our problem is it, unless it lands on our doorstep.

But we have to make him, them, our problem.  We have to make the lonely, the lost, the sick, the elderly,  the children who suffer at the hands of their abusers, the alcoholics, the drug addicts, the prisoners, the homeless, all of them. Our problem.

We cannot go about our day with a smug grin and say I’m alright.  We have to care.  But how do we make a difference? How do we save a life?

There was a baby girl, born with her eyes wide open, happy to arrive.  She welcomed the world but she learnt that the world did not welcome her.  She felt alone and alienated, a foreigner in a strange land that she did not understand and rejected her and bullied her and called her a freak, just because she dyed her hair black and hated parties.

So she took herself away and found her life with friends who did understand, with those who accepted her and cared for her and saw her beauty and her strength, who didn’t insult her because she has Asperger’s Syndrome.

I am a better person because of her.

I See You (c) Sherri Matthews

I See You
(c) Sherri Matthews

If we are shown love and compassion, care and concern, surely we then show it to others?  How can we not?  But we all make our own choices, we decide the path we will follow and ultimately we are accountable for those choices, nobody else.

What though if all we know is rejection, abandonment, betrayal, hurt, and pain?  I believe it is still possible to search our hearts and find the way, the only way, through love and compassion, a moment when we can take someone’s hand and lead them out.

But I don’t have the answers to any of these questions.  I only know what came to me in my darkest hour.  Somebody said I’ll take you into the sunshine and I’ll show how to live again.   Maybe we can all save a life.

We begin with ourselves.  One kiss at a time.

Eldest Son has a heart full of love for his little brother (c) Sherri Matthews

Eldest Son has a heart full of love for his little brother.  My boys showed me the way. They took hold of my hand and never let go.
(c) Sherri Matthews

Today, February 20th,  1000 voices speak for compassion.
I am honoured to share one small voice amongst the many.

1000voices_zps11edff99

“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’  Matthew 25:45

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in Asperger's Syndrome, Blogging, My Dad's Alcoholic Prison and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to How To Save A Life

  1. Pat says:

    I feel the compassion ring out in your words, Sherri. They tug at my heart and wonder how many more events and stories are out there in the making right now . . . and, so it goes. Life keeps moving us along with all the highs and lows as we try so hard to kiss away the tears and mend the hearts to make it all right. I wonder if it’s not all the fixing we need to do but the feeling of it in the process. Hmmm — is that what it’s all about?

    Keep doing what you’re doing, my friend. Your voice matters and is adding to the compassion that’s being put out there in the world. I see a type of movement with more songs being sung and stories being told with care and love. Have a great weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Pat, in the helplessness of not knowing what to do in so many situations and being so caught up in our day-to-day lives, when there is trouble enough, I simply couldn’t find how to express the myriad of thoughts tumbling around in my head. So I went with what I know and where I believe true kindness, caring and compassion starts – in the home, quite literally, one kiss (and hug and cuddle) at a time. You make an excellent point – ‘the feeling of it’. Yes, that is the difference that drives what we end up actually doing isn’t it? We have to feel it, we have to let the passion flow through us, even in the smallest thing, so that we can then show true compassion. Thank you so much for your great comment Pat and for making me think even deeper. And so it goes indeed. You have a great weekend too 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Pat says:

        There are so many situations and scenarios, Sherri, and you did good in sharing yours on compassion. Not only are the situations varied and as many as we are but they change and shift all the time. It sure makes for a lasting conversation. Love it. 🙂

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        It sure does Pat! We could write all day on this subject alone couldn’t we? Have a great week my friend 🙂

        Like

  2. TanGental says:

    I’ve read a bundle today, despite a manic set of strings tugging me to A&E (false alarm for son with non broken foot), supermarkets, parks, garages, four stations… all minor stuff compared to the posts and then I read your set of questions and it is in mulling the answers that the day calms down, sense seeps into the cloud and I feel an unexpected tension go – each question answers itself in a glorious rousing evangelical way. I don’t know if this took you days to compose or it gushed forth but it is emotionally prismatic, breaking the white light of compassion down into a spectrum of steps that go to make compassion fuction. Tough act to follow, Sherri.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Geoff, so relieved to hear of your son’s false alarm – phew! – but sorry for your crazy-busy day, knowing how stressful those can be. I know those kind of days, I really do. Yesterday was a mixed bag of emotion for me too, parallel to thinking all day about this post and what to write while running here and there, against the backdrop of a phone call from ‘old crook Dad’ in the week and then news yesterday that my daughter is at last being listened to and at long last, being given proper help for her debilitating anxiety. A long road yet to travel, yes, but it is a step in the right direction. Somebody listened Geoff!! So yes, stirred up just by a few things, the words ‘gushed forth’ in the hopes that I could express something of what I wanted to ask myself I suppose. And once again, you leave me deeply humbled by your response, which in and of itself is ’emotionally prismatic’. Beautiful. Thank you so much…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        The relief when someone listens, eh. My mum in law, not the easiest woman let us say, has diabetes. So many doctors told her to take this or that medication without listening to her on the side effects. So she kept stopping. Then this young man listened and explained a process to find the right balance. And at every stage, at her every little grumble he listened again. He gained her trust which is what was needed and as a result she battled through to a cocktail that works for her. Now of course she wants his advice on a new car, is it time to plant geraniums and what does he think about the culling of East Enders. Poor man. It’s entirely his own fault. If only he had considered the side effects f his compassion…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        Haha…well, that young man did a wonderful thing for your M-i-L but nobody could blame him for his more than understandable misgivings. Actually, I do have a few questions of my own about my garden now that I think about it…
        Seriously though, this is exactly what I’m talking about with my daughter. She was diagnosed four years ago, and of course struggled long before that, all through her teens (but how do you tell the difference between a ‘difficult teenager’ to one who also happens to have Asperger’s?) and up until a year and a half ago, I fought many battles to get her with the right professional, someone she now fully trusts and who really listens. Now he is helping her through this next stage. Having that trust and rapport with him is paramount to my daughter. He understands Asperger’s and now he understands my daughter, so he can guide her along the way. It’s wonderful isn’t it when this happens? And he has a reprieve from my endless emails…so that is a mercy right there…

        Like

  3. Beautifully writen, so glad you found/created your safe haven.

    Like

  4. So many compassionate thoughts tumble out of this piece Sherri – it is deeply thought provoking!
    I have long pondered on our choices – the ones we make that lead us to where-ever we are, in whatever state we arrive in ……. I think knowing we have each of us chosen the life we live today does not preclude us from having compassion for and offering a helping hand to, someone who needs it. Our interactions are the stuff of life, they are at the heart of being human and learning to lean toward those whose choices were ‘wrong’ without judgement or sermonising is a gift we give ourselves. Our roads are many and varied and individual. But they all lead somewhere. I was the recipient of many willing helping hands for the first half of my life – without them I would not be here today. My parents did not have that proffered to them or if it was, they did not grasp the opportunity. I consider myself most fortunate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, I believe just the same Pauline. I, too, have had many helping hands along the way, at the time when I needed it, so that even when those that should have been there were snatched away, I still feel, as you do, that I was fortunate. And so I hoped that I too would be able to extend the same hand of friendship to others along the way. And one thing I’ve learnt is that we cannot possibly understand what others are going through unless we have walked in their shoes. But we can ‘be there’, caring, being kind, and, so importantly, listening. I think this is the thing we miss so much in this world today: we aren’t properly listening. When we do that, and really pay attention to what the other peson is saying, hearing the cry of their heart, then I believe we are starting at the right place. Thank you so much for your great comment Pauline.

      Like

  5. Charli Mills says:

    Sherrie, you are such a beautiful writer. Your words, your compassion, flow out like a lifeline, a siren’s call to extend our own. Yes! One kiss at a time *blows you a kiss across the pond* ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Charli, I don’t what to say except thank you so much for your own beautiful words and heart of compassion. And blowing a kiss right back to you, here it comes… ❤

      Like

  6. Your heartfelt passion for this post glows with warmth and understanding, Sherri. Your voice is strong and convincing. A wonderful contribution. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Like

  7. So beautiful my wonderful Sherri. Your love and compassion are always tangible to me, and these words absolutely resonate. Thank you for sharing such loving and kind thoughts. ❤ XXXXXXXXXXX HUGS!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh dear, lovely Jo, your heart is filled with kindess, love and compassion and you bring such warmth to my own heart, so I would thank you so much right back 🙂 And send you huge hugs too… squeezing… xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ❤ ❤ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Like

  8. Such a genuine and poignant post, Sherri.
    I was especially touched by your references to the assumptions made by onlookers. It’s so easy to make judgments about those different from us, needing help, struggling. I’ve learned that when my inner critic rattles in my mind, I take a deep breath and repeat over and over in my mind this mantra: You don’t know the whole story; only God knows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Marylin, you are so right. I hoped that this post didn’t give the impression that I find it easy in certain situations to show compassion, for I don’t. And I have passed judgement too many times, believe me. I needed to ask myself these questions as I wrote them, but I have learnt in life the very thing you say here: ‘You don’t know the whole story; only God knows’. Or, as I keep telling myself, you can’t understand if you haven’t walked in their shoes. But we can listen and pay attention and just ‘be there’ and so learn that caring and compassion truly does begin with each of us, one kiss,or one hug, or one listening ear at a time. Thank you for reminding me that stopping to take a deep breath is a great place to start.

      Like

  9. You have an amazing gift to write with such compassion and warmth Sherri. Your series of questions leaves me thinking about how we never truly know what someone’s story is until we take the chance to get to know them. And in our busy lives it seems so easy to only focus on ourselves. But when we step outside our comfort zone, that is when we can reach out and make a difference. Very powerful thoughts Sherri. Thank you for sharing and getting us all thinking about how we can make a difference in someone’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Heather, it is, as you say, so easy to get busy in our daily lives and not pay attention. So easy to judge, as I have done. But how can we when we don’t know the full story? I can’t get my head around all that we hear about on the news these days, the barbaric violence in places, the hatred and just plain evil. I felt overwhelmed in writing this post, where to begin? So I asked myself these questions, and then I knew that we can start right here, with what we have, with the love and kindness and care we have in our hearts for our family, friends and loved ones and then who knows? Even in the smallest of actions, in just one kiss, I do believe we make that difference. Thank you so much Heather for your comment, coming as it does from your own beautiful heart ❤

      Like

  10. jenniferkmarsh says:

    Beautiful beautiful, Sherri! And so true. I wish only for this attitude to radiate in all the hearts of the world. We can dream, we can aim. Funnily enough, last night I got myself all depressed over a matter similar to this, whereby I got unbelievably frustrated with myself for not knowing ‘where to go’ career-wise in my life, and how all I want to do is try to bring good into the world, or help as much as I can for my part. I simply cannot live my life not even attempting to something for the greater good, but where can you go? Agghhhhh. Darn society, with its obsession for money to survive, and darn studying, with its obsession that you must have grades/qualifications to achieve anything. It is as though mankind has specifically designed its society to crush the kind spirits of the world. Still. We’ll rise above it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh dear Jenny Jen Jen, I hear your cry, I really do! My middle boy is going through just the same as you are right now. He so much wants to make a difference and get out there and have a career where he can help people, do good, help others, but as you share here, time and time again the door seems to slam shut in his face: not the right qualifications, not enough money saved to be able to take time off work and study (and he pays his rent how?), can’t take out any more student loans to return to full time education to get more qualifications. And then what? No wonder so many young people feel so disenfranchised and crushed. What to do? I tell my son to keep pushing, keep looking, not give up but it is so hard. And so, in writing my post yesterday, I posed these questions as I grappled with my own conscience and my own thoughts about all the judgements we make and of course, these barely scratch the surface. But we can start here and now and help one another along the way. I hope and pray that you will find your way Jenny, don’t let this society crush your beautiful, kind, caring and compassionate heart, for that would be a tragedy. Let the light of your darling moon bathe you in it’s silver glow and lift you up to a place of peace and calm. Hugs to you from me… ❤ xxx

      Like

      • jenniferkmarsh says:

        Oh, how I feel for your son 😦 I know the misery off it all too well myself! But, thankfully, people with such a conviction to do good do let the societal restrains chain them down. They are the ones who find the strength to break free and make a difference. He can do it. Don’t let him be demoralised!
        Thank you, dear Sherri P ❤ My heart will not be crushed. I like to think of it as a chipped stone 😉 I will always embrace my darling moon, and whatever it is that brings you peace and calm, embrace it too. xx

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Bless you and thank you again dear Jenny Jen Jen, so very much…and so glad you are not crushed and never shall be,, and neither will my boy ❤ xxx

        Like

  11. Dina says:

    Beautiful post, Sherri! ❤

    Like

  12. Norah says:

    Oh, Sherri. This is a beautiful, warm, challenging, sad, thoughtful, affirming post. Your questions were confronting, but your answers (or were they mine?) were at times affirming while at others reminders of the times I passed judgment and dismissed another much too quickly. Home is definitely the place to start with our compassion, or should that be with ourselves? But home is where our heart is and that’s where compassion starts – in the heart.
    I love the photos of your boys and your daughter. What a lovely family; and I recognise, from other stories you have shared (and from my life) some of the people, and some of the questions you have raised. Your post is a beautiful demonstration of what true compassion is. It starts with us. The comments of others also testify to the warmth of your heart. Thank you for sharing the love around.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Norah for your kind, considered and heart-warming comment. I felt that as I wrote this post, I was asking myself these questions, raising up the challenge and so hoping to find answers. But then I realised that I don’t have the answers but I do know that, as you say, home is indeed where the heart is and compassion surely begins there 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos too, so many memories and yes, more to be made as the years go on! Your very own kind heart and loving nature warms my heart greatly Norah, I am honoured to share a little of my family life here in a post such as this…and it is I who is deeply grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        Thanks for sharing your warm fuzzies around the world, Sherri. It is indeed lovely to find someone so far away but with whom we can so easily bond. It is always a pleasure to read your thoughts and have an insight into your world by reading your blog. 🙂

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        And now I’m sending you huge ‘blugs’ as Geoff would say…I’m so happy that our worlds collide here Norah 🙂

        Like

  13. What a beautifully written piece, Sherri. You touched on many areas in your own life as well as many of ours. I’ve always believed, when we write from the heart, it’s our most powerful writing. You proved that my friend! I loved the photos too! xoxo

    Like

  14. jennypellett says:

    Sherri, this is such an emotional and heartwarming post, what you have managed to convey here in your writing is wonderful.
    We do learn things the hard way, in ways we probably wish we didn’t have to. I know that since I’ve been working with ASD students I have learned so much through them and they have definitely made me a more tolerant person. We all, each and every one of us have failings and it sometimes takes a lifetime to recognise them, let alone admit to them. Keep writing posts like this Sherri, to remind us all to focus on ourselves and ultimately how that then radiates out to others. Enjoy the weekend – I’m hoping it’s sunny where you are today 😃

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Jenny, thank you so much for your lovely comment, I’m really humbled by it. I know I don’t have the answers anymore than the next person, but I do know that we can look to ourselves and so hopefully, from there, help others.
      Had a lovely weekend thanks, but Sunday was bitterly cold and very wet, cold again today. Perfect ironing weather. Well, you know what I mean :/ Hope you did (a good weekend, not the ironing)…and a good week ahead 🙂

      Like

  15. lbeth1950 says:

    The world needs each of us. Please tell your daughter that I love everything I’ve heard of her. She has brightened my life. I do love her and yo for sharing.

    Like

  16. Annecdotist says:

    Your post sings with compassion, Sherri. Moving words, beautiful photographs and such a clever title, very apt, and thanks for introducing me to some new music.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Anne. I’m glad to introduce you to this song by ‘The Fray’, one of my favourite songs which somehow seemed fitting for this post. I hope you enjoyed it.

      Like

  17. Wow! Wonderful heartfelt post.
    if only we all would take the time out to find that kindness for others.

    Like

  18. cardamone5 says:

    Lovely, Sherri, although I expect nothing less from you. Such personal and universal sharings. I appreciate your honesty and loving nature.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeh

    Like

  19. Heyjude says:

    Sherri, you come along with this type of post that make me stop and think. I cannot ever be with you on the religious front, but everything else you say, yes, I hear you. And I am so glad that we met.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      And I am so glad we met too Jude…and I totally respect you and all you say, thank you for that 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heyjude says:

        Sherri I would like to invite you to join in the black and white 5 day challenge that is taking place at the moment. I would love to see what you can produce.
        There are only two rules for this challenge:

        On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
        Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.

        You are under no obligation to join in and I realise you are a very busy woman, so only do it if you want to!!
        Jude xx

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Yolanda M. says:

    Oh Sherri ❤ what a beautiful post. How quick we are to judge. I was thinking of just that earlier today. It is part of our design. What is lacking in my opinion is self-awareness and a willingness to be and do better. Most people are walking around in a daze of sorts – self-preservation perhaps? You are brave and strong, as is your daughter, who I hope realizes it's better to be a warrior than a slave to the 'ordinary'. Earlier today I learned a friend of my son's tried to commit suicide (again) because he is bipolar. What to say? what to do? an open heart, an ear, a shoulder…

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Yolanda, I am so, so sad to hear this about your son’s friend. Such a tragedy that he got to that terrible place in his life. And it doesn’t have to be, it shouldn’t have to be. I think you said it with self-preservation. We don’t want to get involved and be ‘dragged down’ but if we don’t do it, then who will? You are such a loving, kind, wise and caring person, I see that in and through your writing and your heart-felt comments and thank you, I love what you say about it being better to be a ‘warrior than a slave to the ordinary’. One thing I know is that my boys and my daughter beat to their own drum and I am so very proud of them. As I am very grateful for your shared words and open heart and ears… ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  21. yprior1 says:

    Hello mon amie – this piece really was powerful. it was so intense – yet written with a depth that was not angry – in fact, I am still figuring out the tone that i felt – assertive and tender…
    also, the mix of personal pictures made this a Matthews treasure – and they were placed so well! but if you take out the well inserted photos – the words become this universally applicable piece that reached your goal to “speak for compassion” – (2 thumbs up) and then the Matthew verse was personally a favorite – because that verse is very dear to my heart and you also used it perfectly – let it speak for itself and well… now I am ready for some tea… mmmm

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Y. I never fail to be amazed at how you pick up on things as well as you do. How you read beyond the words and find the meaning behind the message, with or without the photos. I struggled all day as I thought of what to write with so many things running around my mind and in the end, this is what poured forth. I get a bit stirred up sometimes and then I ponder and then I think, hmmm…how will I express what I’m trying to convey adequately? And then the Matthew verse came back at me (which blesses me to know that it is one of your favourites 🙂 )and I thought, yes, this is ultimately what is knocking at my heart. And I am calling myself to task the whole time, asking myself these questions, raising the challenge to myself. So yes, the kettle is on, pop in before you go, and also , on a lighter note, I am so grateful for 2 thumbs up (remember that guy, but not his name…!). Thank you as always so much mon amie for your wonderful words 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Let’s hope we can all save a life Sherri. This was such a heartfelt outpouring that made us all stop and think. Hopefully that stopping, reflecting and thinking will make us stop when we are next confronted with situations where compassion rather than condemnation could make such a huge difference. Well done my friend. ❤ 🙂

    Like

  23. Denise says:

    I like the way your post pulls together two misunderstood sections of society – those like Aspie D born different, and those who behave in the only way they understand, as taught and then hardwired into them by their parents as they grow up. These are people who need others to stand up for their right to be understood, which you have done beautifully here.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It is easy to pass judgement on certain types of behaviour isn’t it, but without knowing what lies behind it, how can we really do that? I ask myself this all the time. And then of course comes the misunderstanding with those who are born different and find it hard to ‘fit in’ yet have so much to offer given the right support. Thank you as always for your thoughtful and insightful comment Denise xx

      Like

  24. simplyilka says:

    This is such a wonderful, touching and loving post written by a wonderful and loving person who touches lives. Nothing to add; pure emotions reading it.

    Like

  25. I wanted to do more than just like this but had to come back to it. What can one say to a beautifully written piece on a subject dear to my heart. You’ve done amazing work with all the challenges you’ve been given. Sometimes, I think they are set on our path to show us how much we are capable of overcoming with Grace. I’m happy things are getting better for your daughter. She is a wonderful teacher of kindness and compassion for the rest of us. Hugs to all of you.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      What a beautiful comment Marlene, your heartfelt wishes and kindness fill my heart with such warmth, thank you so much. And you summed it up perfectly in that one word: ‘Grace’. Hugs back to you too xo

      Like

  26. Stunningly beautiful post, Sherri. Compassion is being able to share in other people’s suffering and trying to understand what they are going through. Sometimes we can’t do much to help, but at least we can be there for them and lend a listening ear. I loved seeing your family photos. What gorgeous children you have. The photo of your dad must be very precious to you. I hope he’s doing okay at the moment. Lots of hugs and love to you and your family. xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, so lovely and kind you are dear Sylvia, thank you so much. That particular photo of me and my brother with my dad is very precious to me indeed 🙂 I remember that day (we were visiting The Bluebell Railway and my dress was pink and yellow – I adored it – and posing for that photo). And thank you so much for asking, so far as I know he is okay, in his halfway house… and so we go on.
      Lots of love and hugs back to you too…feeling the love ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  27. reocochran says:

    I especially liked how you mentioned your daughter and shared those precious photos that really show the love your son and daughter have for each other, Sherri.
    “There but for the Grace of God go I…” I try so hard to live a life full of compassion and giving. Sometimes, all I can give is to listen. I have given rides to people who needed them in this freezing cold. I could not just walk by people who need someone to care. I was in wonder of your sharing about your father in a halfway house.
    My Dad’s father was in a mental ward of a Veteran’s Hospital when my Dad had to start working, hitchhiking across state lines to Kentucky where they had no child labor laws. He swept out a White Castle restaurant for dollars. My Dad was one who put us in front of mirrors, more than once in each of our lives, telling us, “You are white, this is a responsibility and way to get doors opened. When I give to charity and causes, you are not of the minority I will be giving to.” It was a funny way to show us that we were of the majority, not that being black was ‘bad’ or not a ‘blessing,’ but that we already had it ‘made.’ My brother ran and won races in K-Mart tennis shoes, then he earned money to buy his own Tiger brand shoes. My other brother used a basic trumpet or cornet in band, but when he knew he wanted to play well, he worked to pay for the better quality instrument. My parents, a teacher and nuclear scientist at NASA could have given us privileged lives but we instead packed up our toys and worked during the summers of 1962 through1964 at Head Start when it was a volunteer organization. (Held in basements of churches.) We went and spent a week while the Marched in Washington, D.C.
    Why write this all out, Sherri? It is to say we all can be more giving and starting while our children are early. Letting them know, as you pointed out, “How to Save a Life.”

    Like

    • reocochran says:

      I wanted to add an ‘s’ to your son in my comment. Two brothers in one photo are so sweet, Sherri. Also, how your sons and daughter are such blessings in your life.

      Like

      • Sherri says:

        Ahh Robin…’There by the grace of God go I’ indeed. Reading your testimonial comment here I am reminded so strongly of that saying: ‘we are only six dinners away from anarchy’. How quickly people can lose everything and become homeless; how close so many of us come to hunger and poverty; what a short time it would take for us to revert to survival instincts when we have nothing left. Can we make a difference? Well, as you say, we can by listening and paying attention and giving up our time even when we don’t feel like it. I can see why you are the beautiful, kind and giving woman you are, for it does indeed start young and in the home. No matter our colour or creed, we can all reach out to one another as we feel led. Thank you so much for your touching and inspiring words dear Robin ❤

        Like

  28. Luanne says:

    I read this yesterday. So beautiful, Sherri. I will try to remember to come back when I’m not on thus stinken iPad ;).

    Like

  29. Ste J says:

    That is some hard hitting and spot on wordage you have going on here. Society is only as strong as its weakest links so we should be helping, after all what if we end up in a position when we need the help later on in life. It would be nice to think there would be somebody there for us, or somebody was helped by somebody we had in turn helped and the chain reaction grows. A difference can be made if we all do ti together.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      A chain reaction is what happens indeed. When we go through trials and tribulations, we can then help others who are going through theirs, sometimes merely by sitting quietly with them and listening. Paying attention. Not thinking of our own agendas. This is something our society finds harder and harder to do I think, with so many having their opinions, their views, their ‘rights’ to display for all the world to see. Yet…what about their responsibilities along with those rights? You are right Ste, if we all do it together what an amazing difference we could all make…

      Like

      • Ste J says:

        What is responsibilities when we can troll the internet throwing out opinions and such! That is the problem, there is no accountability and with so many opinions the sheer amount of them is just overwhelming. Luckily we can avoid the bile and ignorance with our critical thinking (and obligatory ninja skills of course).

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Ha! Absolutely. And I need to polish my ninja skills.. definitely…!!!

        Like

  30. Sherri I hear you loud and clear. I teach my children to have compassion. Even make them think about that kid at school, the one that likes to bully others. He is being bullied too, thats what I tell them. I like to celebrate our uniqueness and tell them we are all different and we all have something to offer this world. Beautiful heartfelt post.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Kath, I can only say yes, yes, yes, to everything you say, for I have done just the very same with my children. We have to be able to ask ‘but what is going on behind the scenes to make these kids behave like this?’ Kids learn from home, good and bad. Thank you so much as always for sharing your thoughts and wonderful insight.

      Like

  31. restlessjo says:

    She is so beautiful, Sherri! 🙂 I wish I’d read this on the day so I could have shared it then but I’m coming to it late. Late but in awe of the love you bring to this life. God bless you, Sherri. You’re a lovely lady with an amazing ability to touch people.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Such a powerful post … It’s all too easy to focus on our own cares and concerns and yet be oblivious to those of others, or worse yet, to judge harshly. We must open our hearts to compassion. I’ll be reflecting on this post for some time. Thank you, Sherri, for this compelling message.

    Like

  33. Pingback: I feel good! | Norah Colvin

  34. Marie Keates says:

    Beautifully written. The world could always do with a little more compassion.

    Like

  35. Your words, Sherri, have left me speechless, touched, moved. What more can I add? xxxx

    Like

  36. Mahesh Nair says:

    One of your beautiful posts! In simple words you simplified the simplicities of our existence – and how we should continue to live, also for others. I like that you don’t have answers. None of us has. But we in our limited capacities can do so much, if we want to. Thank you for this post, my friend – and, you have a BEAUTIFUL family. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      God bless you too Mahesh, thank you so much for your beautiful words and heart. No answers, and asking myself these questions. But I do believe that we really can make a difference, one kiss at a time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Beautiful post, Sherri. Thank you for helping me start my day with a full heart.

    Like

Lovely to chat...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s