Friday, October 31, 2014

One of 'Those'

Lynn, David, Owen, me, Mom, Mark, and Dad. And
J.D. and Lewis would come alone a little later.
October 31 is one of those 'things', one of those 'days', one of 'those' that some of us rather at times forget. Or, it could be one of those 'things', one of those 'days', one of 'those' that you cannot stand not to remember. Sometime 'those' are painful and sometime they are memories that you don't really know how to explain other than to say they are parts of our treasure chests of yesterdays.

You see, October 31, 1972, Halloween, was the day that the life of our family made a dramatic turn that would never find round-about, make a U-turn, or go in reverse. This was the day that my mom left my dad. This was the day that brothers and a sister were separated, some with my dad and some with my mom. I was taking with mom.

Mom and Dad in 2004 family gathering
Like I said, it was one of 'those' days, one of those 'things', it was just one of 'those'. Of course I hated it, we were all hurt, we all suffered, but we as a family persevered and never lost our love for one another. Mom and Dad even becam
e best friends through the years. They died less than a year apart and are buried together. Of course our family relationship with one another has seen better days, but that's a part of growing older and having so much responsibilities and busyness.
Me, Owen J.D., Lewis, David, Lynn, and Mark
in 2004.

So as one of those 'days' that one rather not remember but others cannot help but want to remember, Oct. 31, is just that. I'll never forget, at times wish it never existed, but then again, I cannot help but to want to remember it. For it gives me the opportunity to remember the last day that I was a part of a whole family with my mom and dad, all my brothers and my sister, at least until around 3:30 that particular afternoon, right after I got off the school bus.

But hey! If we want to, we can all dress up real funny and make the best of it. Why not? It's one of 'those' days.

The Herring clan in 2004. David Jr. was home on
from Iraq and we were all able to get together for
time in over 20 years. Been a few more added
to this great family since then.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What Advice Would You Give to Self?

  Recently my niece, Felicia, who is a wonderful representative of beauty inside and out, posted a question on her Facebook page. It was one of those questions that most of us have had the occasion to contemplate at one time or another.

"If you could go back and give your younger self advice, what would you say?"

  At last count she had 30 comments. Some of the comments were somewhat funny, but the majority were serious comments. You could tell that many of those who commented had already thought about this question long before Felicia posted it, or at least a similar question.
My niece Felicia. She is definitely all Herring

  Here are some of the comments:

"Go to college right after high school while everything is still fresh."
"You don't always have to be so strong. Weakness is a sign of strength."
"Join the military."
"Don't let what others say keep you from attempting the things you want to try and go after your dreams."
"Be closer to your sister, she'll be your best friend one day..."
"You're not worthless. You ARE good enough. You're smart. Stay true to who you are and know that you can do the things you want to do. You're beautiful the way you are."
"You are worth so much more than what you think and are told!! Your past will not define you! It will make you stronger. Promise! I would tell her she's so beautiful and make her believe it, and smart and hug her for the longest time until she felt loved and at ease."
  All the comments gave good advice. I commented also. I, probably like most, didn't have to think hard about it. like I said earlier, most had already thought about it before. This is how we humans are. We can't help but to think about the "what if" question.
Felicia competing in 2013 Mrs. Alaska competition
  What if we could go back in time and change something about ourselves or a change a life circumstance that has haunted us for a life time? Would we do it? I honestly believe that most would, including myself on some things. Who wouldn't want a better life? Who wouldn't want an opportunity to go back and correct a bad decision in life?
  In physics there is a theory called Chaos. Chaos Theory declares that tiny changes in circumstances can have major ramifications later on.
  Although the idea of the Chaos Theory has been around since the late part of the 19th century, its study came into full swing in the 1960s by Edward Lorenz, an American mathematician and meteorologist, and with the development of computers.
  The thought, or main idea of the Chaos Theory is often referred to as the 'butterfly effect', taken from Lorenz's idea of a butterfly flapping it's wings and causing a tornado.--"Tiny changes in circumstances can have major ramifications later on."
  One of the example in human form, given in the book I gleaned this information from, is from the 1946 film "It's a Wonderful Life", starring Jimmy Stewart. In it, the main character George, played by Stewart, is shown by an angel how miserable his town would've been if he hadn't been born.
  The angel says to George, "You've been given a great gift , George: a chance to see what the world would be like without you." George finds out that because he had been born, he had saved a boy from drowning years before and that boy named Harry grew up to be a war hero.
  "Every man on that transport died! Harry wasn't there to save them because you weren't there to save Harry! You see, George; you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?"
  Life is a journey without caution lights and sirens that warns us of future 'accidents'. It's easy to be sitting in the presence, whether its in the gloom or the happiness, and look back over our journey and see all the cross-roads, man-made obstacles, and wrong turns. We eventually find ourselves saying "If only I...".
  The problem with that is we can keep thinking about "if only I..." so much that we begin living only in the past and forget where we are now. There are many blessing in the "now". I have no doubt that there are persons who are living a life of suffering because of the events of the past. But here I'm referring to the people who has overcome the past in such a way that the blessings has overpowered the events of yesterdays.
  In the controlling world of "If only I...", it is easy to overlook the blessings. Many of the blessings we have now exists because of the brokenness, mistakes, crossroads, and wrong turns or other events we rather not remember.
  I am extremely thankful that Felicia posted her question. It stirred many personal thoughts and feelings which I have stored in the locked chest of my mind. It was obvious by the comments she received that I was not alone. It also gave me comfort to be reminded that we are not perfect, but we are blessed. It also gave me comfort and reassurance that we were given a promise by the Lord that He would never leave us nor forsake us.
  To all of Felicia's Facebook friends who responded I would like to repeat what Meghan Trainor sings in her hit "All About That Bass"; You are perfect from the bottom to the top!