"Make it a good day or not. The choice is yours"
The principal at my kiddos' school says this every morning over the intercom right after the Pledge of Allegiance and morning announcements. I love this quote and constantly remind myself that my attitude towards - and perception of - a situation can affect my whole day - if not my life.My friend Violet truly epitomizes this quote. Yesterday I had lunch with Violet and her husband John. I first met Violet several years ago at our local gym. We got to talking and I was fascinated by her stories of growing up and working on her family's farm. I soon found out that she also sews, quilts, gardens, carves wood, knits, makes dolls and publishes her own children's books. You would never know that this woman in her eighties has been living with advanced Parkinson's disease for the past eight years.
For lunch Violet served the tastiest vegetable soup and ham and cheese sandwiches. It could be that the soup way so delicious because it was prepared with vegetables organically grown, harvested, and canned by this amazing woman. Take a look-see at her pantry.
And her other pantry...
How awesome is this?
Several months ago Violet's husband, John, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He is currently off all medications and his prognosis is not good. However they only missed several weeks at the gym. This inspiring couple continues to arrive at the gym every single morning with huge smiles on their faces and spirits that light up the room - and it's a big room. And the first thing that Violet did when she realized that her beloved husband of fifty-eight years was not going to be around for much longer was write a fifty page autobiography of their childhoods, their relationship, and their love for one another. She then attached photocopies of dozens of photographs and had it professionally bound.
Then after lunch Violet gave me a lesson on her embroidery machine and a demonstration on how to construct a set-in sleeve on a shirt. Her hands shook as she cut the fabric (due to the advanced Parkinson's) and I tried not to hold my breath when her fingers came dangerously close to the needle but within minutes she had perfectly sewn two sleeves into a child's sized shirt. Did i mention that she cut all the fabric freehand without a pattern? Well she did. And all the while she gave me detailed step-by-step instructions.
I had a wonderful afternoon and I learned so very much. And when it was time for me to go Violet thanked me for coming. So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Violet for all that she has taught me.
"Make it a good day or not. The choice is yours."