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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Books and Movies and Games… Oh My!

My husband and I have begun the heart-wrenching task of going through Randon’s things and deciding how to best dispose of them. Our thought is to clean out the room that was his most of his 24 years and convert it to a guest bedroom so that our other kids have a place to sleep when they visit other than the living room floor. I knew this would not be an easy undertaking but never could I have imagined just how difficult it would be. Not only is the sheer volume of things a bit daunting, but the idea of giving away, or worse – throwing away, the things that meant so much to Randon has proved to be overwhelming. There were many things in life Randon could not enjoy or participate in like most of us do. Because of that his family, (okay, in particular his mother) tended to indulge in the things he could enjoy and appreciate. I’ll begin with his book collection. Randon loved to read. His favorite was mysteries but he read most anything. He owned whole series such as Boxcar Children, Young Classics, Little House books, Rose Wilder books, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and perhaps his most favorite of all, Hank the Cowdog. He also had all 39 books in the Trixie Belden series that his Aunt Jill loaned to him. He dearly loved Trixie books. But now what? I’m sure Randon would be disappointed in me if I simply left all his books to collect dust on shelves in his room, never to be enjoyed again. This one was easy. We boxed up books of all sorts and donated them to the school library in Randon’s name. The library was kind enough to not only accept our donation, but is in the process of setting up a special display of Randon’s Hank the Cowdog books and other memorabilia complete with a plaque commemorating the gift. Thank you, Jennifer and everyone involved in this project! You can’t possibly know what this means to our family. Books now settled into new shelves with many potential readers to treasure them, my focus shifted to the movies. I don’t know if Randon loved movies more than books or the other way around, but however it worked, movies were a huge part of his life. And, as with books, he didn’t just enjoy them once but multiple times. And he never gave any of them up or grew out of them. He loved them all. Once again, the school to my rescue. I learned that I could give all G-rated movies to the school for use in classrooms and the library. My sweet friend Tammy offered to set up the “BlockBuster” outlet in her classroom and I proceeded to go through the movies to find the “Gs”. After holding a few out to be donated to the church, I ended up with 277 movies for Tammy to distribute. Again, children can now continue to enjoy Randon’s treasures as he would have wished. So now, here I am on my blog appealing to my friends for your continued help. I have just as many or more PG movies that still need a home, perhaps a few PG13s. I have piles of board games, some never taken from the plastic wrappings. I have miscellaneous toys, tricks (which he dearly loved), bags, stuffed animals and puzzle books. I have very high quality specially ordered clothing in sizes 4x-5x that someone would surely find quite valuable, but I don’t know who that someone is. Some of it has never been worn. I know in my heart that Randon would have given anything he had to whomever he thought might need it, regardless of how much he treasured it. I need to find those recipients of these gifts. His possessions mean too much to me to take them to the Goodwill store to be used by someone who didn’t even know Randon. This is much more important to me than disposing of things I don’t need or want. It’s about sharing Randon’s life and loves with the people he cared about. Please contact me if you know someone who might be thrilled to have something from this list. I would be thrilled to give it to them. I have my memories of Randon that will live in my heart as long as I walk this earth. I know Randon would be pleased to know his possessions were bringing usefulness and joy to others. And Ty & Rachel would most certainly appreciate the spare bedroom.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

You've probably seen this quiz before. Its the Charles Schultz philosphy of life and it does us all good to see it again. You can even cheat and look up the answers if you want. 1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world. 2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners. 3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant. 4 Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize. 5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress. 6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners. How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies.. Awards tarnish.. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners. Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one: 1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school. 2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time. 3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile. 4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special. 5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with. Easier? The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the Most credentials, the most money...or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most. My addition to Charles Schultz' words of wisdom: Be the answer to the second quiz in someone's life. Be the one who cares the most.