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"Thus may the 4th of July, that glorious and ever memorable day, be celebrated through America, by the sons of freedom, from age to age till time shall be no more. Amen and Amen." ~the Virginia Gazette, July 18th, 1777
Even though this story was first written in 1963 (before I was even born!), the message is as accurate as if it were written today. Don't forget to visit our Patriot page on 2TheHeart and feel free to niminate other patriotic sites for this page! www.2TheHeart.com/patriot
by Marylyn J. Gfeller
Even a two-hour train trip with five small children can be a trial. This particular Independence Day, I was taking the children to visit my parents in another city.
Settling the older children with books and crayons and getting the baby asleep on my lap, I looked listlessly out of the train window.
Trains always seem to go through the most miserable sections of town and the ugliness and poverty I saw through the car windows accentuated the despair I felt.
My husband was ill and would be in the hospital for a few months. I was lonely and resented having to accept welfare funds for support.
Out the window I saw another settlement of shanties, with what looked like a dump behind them. I noticed something red in front of the house closest to the tracks. It was a red and white checked tablecloth spread over a card table in what couldn't rightfully be called a yard, since nothing could grow in that mess of cinders and sand. Sitting at the table was a man eating a chicken leg and at his feet was a luscious-looking watermelon. As the train slowly passed, the man smiled and waved the drumstick as if to wish us a happy holiday.
A little further down the tracks, we passed a row of old houses. Most had trash piled up back and front, no curtains at the windows, dirty children grubbing in the mud. This only made the yard with the magnificent red rose trellis all the more noticeable. The roses seemed to glow; there was no trash in this yard. I felt a wave of admiration for the person who had created this bit of loveliness in the midst of squalor.
Suddenly I thought of my clean house in a nice part of town; the strength and guidance of a wise and kind minister; my healthy children; loving parents; the friends who had rallied to my side when trouble came. I thought of the new drugs and the doctors who were working to restore my husband to health so he could be with us.
God had given me all these blessings, but I had been thinking only of what I did not have.
It had taken commonplace things?a watermelon and a rose trellis?to remind me that God gives us the strength to face whatever problems we have. An amazing change occurs when we offer a prayer of gratitude and set out spiritually to plant a rose where other people have left only trash.
Marylyn J. GFeller copyright 1963
Marylyn is from Mansfield, Ohio and this story was published in Guideposts magazine in 1963! You can email her regarding her story through 2TheHeart.
The Letter Box:
This is the first time, in a couple of day's, I've had a chance to view any 2theHeart mail. I wanted to tell you how moving "Daddy's Hand's was for me. I didn't grow up with anyone in my family deaf, but, my Daddy always prayed with us too, and the little boy across the street was deaf. His name was Greg Moore. That was 40 years ago or more, and Greg is just as much in my mind today, as he was then. Sign is something that has always fascinated me, and is something I hope to learn to do, one day.I applaud both, you and your husband for the love and caring you show all your children.It's one of the very many reason's I love you.
Mark Crider...I am so jealous... To be able to live on a bird sanctuary... How wonderful ! As the proud, loving Mother to two human children, four cainine one's, one feline, and "The Boss Bird" ( all but 2 of them rescue's) I applaud you and your wife for The Lottery Winner ( you never did tell us her name, but I'd call her Blessed) I know how hard it is to lose a pet. We were blessed to have Gypsy for 21 years. (smartest dawg in the universe) I thought I'd never want another dawg, but there is this sign out there on the road, that has my name and address on it, that say's, All stray's welcome here, and, for the life of me...I CANNOT find it....so, until I do, I guess it's true....Here's a hug to you and your wife for "Blessed" and here's one for her, too.... Sandy Smith
The little critter--Lottery Winner--really tugged at the heartstrings. From Misty Blue to the sweet and feisty new terrier, the story on 2theHeart today made for high interest and good reading. We had a terrier in the yard behind us for awhile, and Heidi did the same sort of vigilant supervision that little LW does.
Best, meg Mary-Ellen Grisham
I am partial to stories about animals and yours was wonderful! It's nice to see a happy ending and your Lottery Winner is as lucky as your family is to have the little guy! Thanks for a great story! Michael T.
Dear Mark Crider,
The Lettery Winner was such a sweet story!!!! It reminded me of my mother's dog, she had him for many years and when he died, she vowed to never have another dog. One day we came to visit her and found the cutest little puppy sitting on her front porch, wagging his tail, like he belonged there. When she opened the door to us, she asked "Is this your dog?". We told her no, but we though it was hers, and after trying to find a home for him for two weeks, she became so attached that she ended up keeping him! That was four years ago and he never leaves her side! God bless, Geena