Every once in a while, a story comes along that just tugs at your heart strings and makes you really think about life and how precious it is. This is one such story and I thought I would share it with all of you. This is a true story of two brothers, it made me think of the relationship I have with my own brother, Rick. I dedicate this story to him.
Born of German immigrants, during the 1940’s in a small farming community of Ohio called Stuebenville, James and Travis Hansen, sons of Lutz and Gwendolyn born just eleven months apart. Travis was the oldest. Growing up together, James looked up to his older brother, Travis and both maintained a very close relationship. Some said they were inseparable.
Both had blond hair, sturdy builds and great athletes. Academically, they were very good students. James and Travis were always together, studying, working and playing. Although they were a year apart in school, Travis stayed out of school his freshman year of high school so that he and James could play sports and graduate together. Stories still exist of how they blocked for each other in football and passed to each other in basketball, how Travis pitched and James caught in baseball. They even double dated and most girls would tell you, it didn’t matter which one you went with, because you had a feeling that you were out with both of them.
When they graduated, it was during the time of the Korean conflict. They both registered for the draft, and when inducted under the “buddy system,” they went to basic training together and later were assigned to the same unit, the same company. They arrived at the Yalu River, North of Panmunjom in January 1950, during a time of a major offensive.
Normally they received their duties together, but one night, James was assigned to a routine perimeter patrol designed to prevent enemy encroachment on their position. The patrol was ambushed and only two members struggled back to camp to report the disaster. James did not come back.
When word reached Travis, he went immediately to his commanding officer and requested permission to go and search for his brother. It was denied. The place of the ambush was assumed to be overrun by the enemy and it would be suicide to send a rescue team. Travis quietly explained his need to go, and even here, in this cold, barren, forbidding setting, the commanding officer realized that the boy was going to go, with or without permission.
He finally said that although he could not grant permission, he would not prevent his leaving. Travis spoke to the other two men who had made it back, learned the location of the ambush, and set out to search for James. It was completely dark, unbearably cold and perhaps hopeless that even if he found James, that he would be alive.
All through that dark night he searched, and just as the first light of dawn pierced the blackness, he located the place. He moved quickly from one frozen, shattered body to another, frantically searching, turning over body after body without success and then he found him; nearly frozen, mortally wounded, but alive. He cradled the head of his dying brother in his lap and wept. James opened his blood stained eyes, and with the last of his strength whispered, “Is that you, Travis? I knew you’d come…I’ve been waiting.” It was the last thing he said and died a short time later.
Some would say, is the power of love really that strong? I tell you YES! James trusted his brother because of the love between them, because love always produces a covenant of trust. He waited because he knew that if the situation were reversed, he would come or die trying. Because of his absolute faith, not just in his brother, but in the power of love itself, he found the strength, had the hope to stay alive, to wait for him to come.
We trust God because he has shown us and taught us love. His love has created a covenant between us and him. We trust God because we know him and believe that he loves us. We trust each other for the same reason. Because of our absolute faith in God’s unfailing, steadfast love, we find patience and the courage in the hour of our greatest need, to overcome this world and to wait for him to come.
WHEN EVERY OTHER REASON FAILS, LOVE WILL FIND A WAY.
I’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease for 10 years now and have been pretty optimistic throughout it all. But, like many other people with PD, I’ve had my share of down times too. It has been those times that the love of my younger brother Rick, has faithfully been there for me.
Michael J. Church
Friends ask what magic I know,
What secrets for happiness I hold,
My answer is simple and true,
I love myself as I love you,
What can I say, what can I do,
To ease this burden from you,
If I had some magic words to say,
I would shout them out right away,
But magic is not something I do,
Even though I would learn for you,
But I think the magic lye’s within,
All you have to do is reach right in,
It’s really no secret once you’ve tried,
You’ll find it again, time after time,
The magic is not just mine or for a few,
The magic is also inside of you.
When and Then
When your shoulder is hurting and nearly making you cry
When your whole body freezes, won’t move as much you try
When your limbs keep on flaying but they stop by and by
When your tablets don’t work and you don’t know why
When your voice is soft and you can’t blink an eye
When you have trouble, tying up that shoe lace and tie
When you can’t turn in bed how much you may try
When you are unable to cut up your meat pie
When your wriggling and twisting stops, that you can rely
When you get fed up complaining, to doctors so high
When you say its all to much and really that’s a lie
When you have dropped your bundle and had a good cry
Then you pull up your socks and get of your bum
Then you remember all the great things that you’ve done
Then you have to try harder this challenge has to be won
Then you can say I will beat this disease called Parkinson.
By Brian England
Sunday, January 29, 2006
REMEMBER the SEVEN YEAR OLD!
Do you remember when you were a kid, say about seven years old. The world was full of wonder. You and your friends could become whatever your imagination allowed. The vacant lot or field near your house became some foreign land, cardboard boxes or scrap wood became a club house or a pirate ship.
On a hot summer day, the sprinklers going off in your neighbors yard was cause for celebration, as you all cooled off running through them, running from the imaginary sea monster chasing you. You lived in the moment! Even if a disagreement or the disruption of your mother calling you to come in did not dampen your spirit long because there was always tomorrow.
Why is it that as we grow up, we forget that seven year old that still is inside of us. We get so caught up in being an adult we forget to enjoy with wild abandon LIFE! We battle the monsters of bills, illness, stress, and other adult problems. Where is it written that we must stop playing!
Sometimes, I think we need to be reminded to STOP and look at the world through the eyes of that child. If we want to experience life to the fullest we must remember to be seven again, even if it only for a little bit. The hardest part is remembering to do this when things seem to be at their darkest. However, that is when we have to go find a sprinkler or a fort.
The other day, I lost my ATM card, and a gift card to the grocery store,that was going to provide food for the rest of the month for me and my daughter. So, I had no cash, no access to any, a little food in the house, and I had no idea what had happened to these cards. I was fighting a monster! I tore the house apart, retraced my steps and remembered using my ATM card at the corner convenience store the night before.
I got on my very stylish red scooter, as my van is non operational, and scooted to the store to inquire if someone had found my cards. Hopeful, I entered the store and prayed that they had been found.... NO SUCH LUCK!
Dejected, I scooted my way back home, preparing myself to call the bank, cancel my ATM card, and deal with what lay ahead. I was being very adult! I was not in a good mood!
As I came around the corner on my street, I was met with the sight of a mother duck and her SIXTEEN (I counted) ducklings. I stopped scooting. I laughed as the one at the end of the line was trying desperately to find tidbits of something to snack on and would fall on his face every few steps as he tried to peck at the ground. Mama Duck would stop her brood and wait for him to catch up. I suddenly found that seven year old inside of me!
As she decided to cross the street, I moved my scooter into the middle of the road, to prevent any cars from harming this adorable family. A woman in her SUV pulls up, slows to a stop, and became seven again, as she grabbed a camera and smiling took a picture of this sight. Two maintenance workers in their golf cart, came on the scene. Elbowing each other and smiling, they too became seven again! Time stopped for all of us as we watched this family make their way across the street and into the shade of a tree.
Suddenly, lost cards, wherever the SUV lady was rushing off too, or rushing through a maintenance job were not important. We were living right there in THAT moment! As I slowly scooted off, I had to smile, and thank God for reminding me to stop and see the wonders of His world. I had a smile on my face the rest of the day.
So, I offer a challenge or a reminder to all. No matter how bad the day may seem, if you can find something that puts a smile on your face, gives you a laugh, or helps you even for a moment live life with the wonder of that seven year old, you will start to see that wonder more and more!
By the way, when I got home, I found another ATM card for my account, and the next day, a friend of mine, who knew about my misplaced cards, handed me a gift card to the grocery store. WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE!
What are you going to do today to LIVE life?!
President Movers & Shakers Inc.
Melinda you inspired this. Thanks!