Tony A. Smith

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Priceless Gifts

priceless-gifts

Christmas is a time for being with family, good food, giving gifts, and celebrating the birth of Christ. Let us not forget though, that some of the most meaningful gifts we can give come from our heart and need not cost anything at all.  Here are a few of those …..

– Shovel snow off your neighbors sidewalk and driveway.

– Rather than give advice to someone, ask for some.

– Open the door for someone else.

– Read stories in your local library to children or seniors who can’t.

– Help in your local nursing home by  just visiting and talking with some of the residents there who never have anyone to come and visit them.

– Let someone go on ahead of you while in line at the store.

– Give away some of your secret and most favorite recipes to your friends.

– Visit the Humane Society and adopt an animal if you can.

– Smile whenever you can at others. You never know how much you may change their day or outlook on life.

– Save up some fabric scraps and give them away to someone who quilts.

– Write a letter to the editor agreeing with his views on something.

– Volunteer to be a bell-ringer at your local Salvation Army.

– Write a letter to your friends you haven’t talked to in a long time and see how much it means to them.

– Say please and thank you whenever you are given the opportunity.

– Pick up after yourself around the house, and give others who usually do it a break.

– Say you’re sorry when you need to and forgive others when they do the same and are sincere.

– Call your family members on the phone just to tell them you love them.

– Tell someone you are proud of them.

– Be a mentor to a young person and show them the way to go.

– Take a cancer or dialysis patient to their treatments if they have no one who can help out.

– Volunteer to babysit for parents with a newborn baby to give them a night out once in a while.

– Pray for those who need prayer.

– Bake a cake or pie and take it to the new neighbors on the block.

– Don’t hold a grudge more than 12 hours and try to reconcile differences before the sun goes down each day.  It will give both of you a good nights rest!

– Give yourself a gift by not worrying.  It ends up getting you nowhere in the long run.  Most of the stuff we worry about never comes to pass anyway. Worrying is just a changeless proposition.

A Letter To My Daughter

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“I know that one day soon you will have children and a family of your own.  I keep praying for that and I know GOD does have a great plan for your future.  I hope I have instilled in you a sense of what matters most in life.  When I am gone from this earth I hope you will reflect upon the life we have lived together.  I hope I will have left something you can hold onto that will last and that you can in some way transfer on to your own children.  I hope that you will be able to smile when you think about the times we had together.  Never forget that I love you my sweet, sweet daughter.  I know I have made some mistakes in my life.  I hope most of all that I have made a difference in your life.  I know you have made a difference in mine.  I love you forever my baby girl!”

This is a part of a letter I wrote a few years ago before my daughter was married; and now she is going to have a baby girl of her own to raise and care for.  GOD is good and he does answer our prayers in his perfect timing and in his perfect way!  And now, she has a chance to make a difference in the life of her own daughter.

 

 

Being Happy

littlewomen11

“Once upon a time, there were four little girls, who had enough to eat and drink and wear, a good many comforts and pleasures, kind friends and parents…. and yet they were not contented…. these girls…. made many excellent resolutions; but they… were constantly saying, “If we only had this,” or “If we could only do that”….So they asked an old woman what spell they could use to make them happy, and she said,, “When you feel discontented, think over your blessings, and be grateful.”

     “They decided to try her advice, and soon were surprised to see how well off they were.  One discovered that money couldn’t keep shame and sorrow out of rich people’s houses, another that she was a great deal happier with her youth. health, and good spirits than a certain fretful, feeble old lady, who couldn’t enjoy her comforts; a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to have to go begging for it; and the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behavior.  So they agreed to stop complaining to enjoy the blessings already possessed.”

Written in the Book – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

True happiness is indeed something that comes from within and does not relate to what we have or don’t have.  It relates to what we make of the day and the time we are given.  I have found in my own life that I am happier when I choose to make the lives of others happier. Everything we have on this earth is a gift from GOD.  The very breath we breathe is a gift.  

This past weekend I was able to see my little grand baby on an ultra sound monitor at only 16 weeks old.  The little baby is 4 1/2 inches long now and weighs in at a whopping 5 ounces.  Yet, as small as our baby is – I saw tiny legs, arms, fingers, and toes moving around and legs kicking like a wild one already. Yes GOD breathes the very breath of life into each of us and what a precious gift a new life is.  I am thankful, and happy I have lived long enough after my widow maker heart attack to be able to see my little grand baby before even coming out of the womb.  

baby-wikimedia-commons

When I was youngster growing up on the south side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma we didn’t have much in the way of material things.  My brother and I got school clothes once a year which consisted of 2 pairs of jeans, 2 shirts and 4 or 5 pairs of socks.  That was supposed to last us the whole year.  If we got holes in our jeans, Dad ironed on a patch or two to get us through until the next year.  There were many days we went without lunch and breakfast simply because we didn’t have enough money to make it to the end of the week.  I can remember being so hungry sometimes that I even thought about eating the crab grass in our front yard. Dad had an old Chevy that he paid $50 for that hardly ever ran.  Not having much though didn’t seem to bother us. We were content with playing baseball, hide and seek, freeze tag, and enjoying time with our friends.  Even if our stomachs were growling at us begging for food as we sat our desks in school, we were still happy for what we did have. 

old-house

Sometimes when we start feeling down about ourselves, about what we don’t have, or how our life is going, it is best to start thinking about what we do have and in how many ways we have been blessed.  It might be time to look for ways we can be a blessing to others who cross our path.  That’s the path where true happiness can be found. It won’t be found covered up with things, but is waiting for you to find it where it’s been all along.  

United Heart of America

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Well it’s been a few weeks since the election of our 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump,  and there are still those interested in pursuing a recount of votes – like Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party.

While it is true that Hilary Clinton does now lead in the popular vote by 2,357,260 votes with the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania still busy recounting votes, Donald Trump is way ahead in the electoral college by a whopping 104 electoral votes.

We all know that the electoral college is the vote that really counts in electing the President as was set up by the Founding Fathers of America under article 2, section 1 of the United States Constitution. There are a total of 538 electors which are based upon the number of members of congress per state.  The exception is the District of Columbia which has the number of electors of the smallest state which is currently 3. Two-hundred seventy electoral votes are needed to elect the President, or which Donald Trump has 306 already.  Some argue that the electoral college is not a fair system and should be eradicated.  My argument to that insane comment is that there would be no fair balance between the smaller states and larger states in voting for the President if it was abolished.

When I was going to elementary school, there is something we did every single day of school before we would start our day.  We would stand up beside our desks, place our right hand over our hearts, face the United States flag of America positioned in the corner of the room,  and boldly say these words.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Hilary Clinton has already conceded, and it looks as if she does not, and will never have enough electoral votes to win the election, in spite of her lead in the popular vote. Nothing will change the outcome of Donald J. Trump officially becoming our 45th President of the United States in January 2017.

No matter how much we protest in the streets or pout, or want to move to another country, nothing will change the outcome.  Division gets us nowhere as a country. We as Americans need to unite behind our flag and President and move forward as a nation of one now.  We have much to accomplish to make our country even better than it is now!

 

My Letters From the Heart

Fly High

Takiing A Step Fort Gibson Oklahoma (2)

A Delightful Life

Fireplace_Burning

The Last Day

Waters Rising

 

You ask if I’m okay

It’s not that hard to say

I felt the nasty gut punch today

Like many others have before

 And now they’ve added one more

I search for air but find none anywhere

My heart throbs and presses in

Where will this top spin

Worry waters rush and rise

I stare ahead and rub my eyes

Surely this will go away

But such is not to be today

For fifteen years I toiled and toiled

Maybe I was just a bit spoiled

My heart throbs and presses in

Where will this top spin

Today I said good-bye to one and all

The box they gave me was kind-of small

The door, it’s so far away

Tomorrow will never be for me

This is the last and final day

The Clock Isn’t Moving

I’m sitting here with hands on both sides of my black armchair this morning. The one with the fluffy arms and seat. Staring straight ahead at the oversize white-faced Grandfather clock sitting at the side of the fireplace.  I know time is passing since I see sunlight starting to burst through the drapes on the sides but the clock doesn’t seem to be moving.  Neither do I.

I can’t think anymore.  I’ve even lost that.  All I can do is stare straight ahead. My eyes feel moist at the corners with droplets of tears.  I raise my shoulder close to my eyes and grab a piece of shirt to wipe them dry.  Every time I start to think about what happened, that’s what they seem to do.

Last night my sister, Sarah, called me on the phone at 1:00 in the morning.  She never calls me late at night.  I go over and over in my mind , what’s left of it; that is.  I hope somehow by going over it and over it again and again it will somehow not be true.

“Ben, Dad just died of a massive heart attack.  The ambulance rushed him to the hospital but it was just too late.  I’m sorry little brother, our daddy is gone.”  I broke done crying on the phone like a little kid.  I know grown men aren’t supposed to cry, but do you mind telling me why?  I couldn’t stop crying.

Why? …………   Why did this have to happen?  I just talked to dad on the phone yesterday and we were making plans to go up north on our annual fishing trip to Minnesota. He was getting his camper all ready and I had just gone down to Hanks to pick out a few new fishing poles.

I’m sitting here all alone in this house.  I’m sitting here all alone in this world!  I never got married.  I have no kids or family to speak of outside of Sarah and her husband and kids.  Mom died a few years ago and Dad was all I had left.  I have friends at work, but they’re not what I consider true friends. More like acquaintances that I have to deal with.

I sure am going to miss you Dad.  Tell me it isn’t true.  You can’t be gone.  You are my best buddy… I mean were my best buddy.  It just isn’t possible Dad and I refuse to believe it.

The tears start up again and the clock still isn’t moving and neither am I. I’m not sure if I ever will! I am not sure I can go on in this life without my daddy.

Four Weeks Ago

Blue Skies To Be

Some ask me how I feel right now.

To feel you must be present somehow.

I am nowhere near.

You might have been a lawyer, a doctor, or a nurse.  

Perhaps you were to be an actor, an actress, or maybe a fireman, or a teacher.

Maybe you were to be Governor or President. 

Maybe you were to be just who you wanted to be and do just what you wanted to do.

The doctor just told me about you.

You died four weeks ago.

Please tell me GOD it isn’t so.

Some say I never knew you.

But that just isn’t true.

I knew you more than anyone could ever know.

I said a prayer for you today and hope that you’re okay.

I know that GOD is holding you and I will one day too.

My hopes and dreams for you will not fade no less than if you would have stayed.