Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A lesson on Relativity

Many of you have read posts from me regarding my job. For those who don't know, I am a nurse in a Nursing Home. I really enjoy my job although there are some tough days. I love getting to know our residents and their families. I don't think a day goes by that one of them doesn't say something funny, sweet or inspiring. Today I want to share a story about one of our men. He is a real gentleman. I don't think I've ever seen him angry. When I think of him, he always has a smile on his face. We have often remarked on his positive attitude. His health has been declining in the last few months, but when I ask how he is, I usually hear "I'm doing good" and see that smile. His nickname is "Coop" and his daughter is a realtor. She sent me her newsletter with a story about her Dad. She has given me permission to share it here.
My Dad, The Price of Gas, and a Lesson on Relativity
Just like me, many of you who are receiving this newsletter are at an age where you have or are currently helping and caring for elderly parents or grandparents. My 93 year old Dad (a/k/a "Coop") has been one of my best mentors throughout life, and although he's physically frail and his short term memory isn't what it used to be, he is still one of the smartest people I know. His humor and wit are still sharp as a tack, and I'm still learning from his wisdom everyday.
During one of my recent visits with "Coop," I mentioned that the price of gas had just reached an all time high of over $3.00 a gallon. One would think that to someone who is 93 years old, in a nursing home, and hasn't filled his car up with gas in at least 10 years, this would come as a huge shock. Rather, "Coop" shrugged indifferently and replied, "Ya, but then everything is relative...I remember the days when you could get 10 gallons for a buck, but then I didn't have a buck!"
As I was tuning into NBC's national news coverage that same night and once again heard the "gloom and doom," about the US housing market, I couldn't help but compare this situation to my Dad's rationalization about the price of gas. Is the fair market value of your home less than it was a year or even two years ago? Unfortunately, yes. That's the downside of the real estate market these days. But, there is a logical upside to this! If you choose to buy a home today, the fair market value of that home will also be less than it was one or two years ago. And the "Up-Up" side is interest rates are at historic lows. Not only is it a great time for first time home buyers, now is a great time for anyone to buy up or buy down!
I have to admit, I'm a news junkie, and I love watching and reading the news. However, I believe that many times when there's a positive side to a story, we only hear and read the negative spin, and that negativity only becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe good ol' "Coop" could give the news media on relativity!
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When I read that newsletter, I thought this was something that could be applied frequently in our lives. How many times don't we get frustrated by something, that in hindsight, is not worth it? How many times do we complain about something, like the the cost of gas and not take into account the fact that we have jobs and money to pay for it? We truly are blessed and I think we could all learn a lesson from "Coop!"
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*Thanks to Sharon Sikkema for allowing me to share this.




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18 comments:

Nancy said...

Your right Mari, I think we all love "Coop" he is the sweetest man.

Deb said...

Right! We need to stop complaining and start counting our Blessings:)

Cherdecor said...

"Coop" had a lot of wisdom. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

SharonB said...

excellent post Mari - a good reminder!

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Makes me think of my Grandaddy who lives with my Grandmother in an assisted living situation. I hope and pray the people who care for both of them take time to listen and learn from him, even though he repeats himself because he can't remember what he just said a minute ago.

His big regret in life is that he didn't ever get to the be President.

Man, I hope when I'm 91, my biggest regret is something like that, don't you?

Pat said...

Just proves that there's a lot of "good listening" out there and precious seniors like Coop have so much wisdom to share.
I really enjoyed this - it put a calm perspective on my day, and a reminder to count those daily blessings.

Laura said...

That is a good point and a nice story.

There will always be something to complain about - or always something to praise about - I guess we have to remember to make the right choice!

Joanne said...

Amen!

Terri said...

He sounds like a man with great wisdom. We could all learn that lesson.

Renee's Reading Corner said...

I needed to read this today! Thanks!

Bonnie said...

What a great newsletter ! Thanks for posting it ... we all need to be reminded to look on the bright side !

Jennifer Partin said...

What a blessing that the Lord will spill grace and mercy to you through people like Coop. The world would be a better place if we all took the time to listen to those who went before us like him. But then again, it's all relative. :) Great post with a practical application.

Pennies In My Pocket said...

Oh I just LOVE this post! I think we all should try to be like this more often. Thank you for posting this! :)

~melody~

Pennies In My Pocket said...

oh and I forgot....

Everyone who is staying in that nursing home is blessed to have you there! ;)

Jennifer said...

That was a very uplifting post!
Thanks!
Jen

Rebekah said...

Very good story. Tell her thanks for letting you post it

Mel's World said...

How sweet is that! "Coop" sounds like a really great guy!

The Birds Nest said...

What a great post!! I love the wisdom that comes from older people, especially when they're not bitter. I so wish my grandmothers were alive to teach me how to sew, knit, crochet, quilt, etc. They were both so talented. They died before I ever had a chance to really appreciate their gifts. Can you please e-mail me how to put a detailed counter on my blog like you have? If you don't have my e-mail address, send me a note on my blog that I need to give it to you. Thanks so much!!