“What we have learned from others becomes our own reflection.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher and poet
My mother had eleven brothers and sisters. Some of them I never met. But there were three who made a healthy contribution to my adolescence. And now, I would like to say thank you.
CALL ME JOEY
“Keep the circus going inside you, keep it going, don’t take anything too seriously, it’ll all work out in the end.”
David Niven, actor and novelist
My name is Jerry. And no matter how many times I told Aunt Tillie, she still called me Joey. If another family member corrected her, it made no difference. Whether she saw me two minutes or two weeks later, I heard, “Hello, Joey.” In speaking to others about me, “Joey did this, Joey did that or Joey did whatever.”
Years later, I made a discovery that made me feel a whole lot better about my Aunt Tillie. In circus lingo, the word Joey means clown. It honors Joseph Grimaldi, a clown who became famous in England many years ago.
Clowns make people happy. So If what I do or say makes someone laugh, I don’t mind being called Joey.
Thank you, Aunt Tillie.
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.
The process never ends until we die.
And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, politician and diplomat
Many years ago my Aunt Margret worked at a school for the blind. As she entered the class room, before she had a chance to speak, the class would greet her, “Good morning Margret.”
They had been listening to the sound of her footsteps coming down the hallway.
Ever think about what impression you would make if the only way to evaluate you was by the sound of your footsteps?
The way you walk, just like the words you say to yourself, set the tone for your day.
So why not walk tall, walk proud, and walk confident.
Make people glad to know you’re on the way.
Thank you, Aunt Margret.
NAME THAT TUNE
“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”
Ella Fitzgerald, American jazz singer
My Aunt Lucy was the last of my mother’s family to leave this world for the next. I don’t remember a particular tune, only that she was singing something upbeat and cheerful every time I saw her. Not complaining, just singing her way through life. A life that was not always easy. But for her, part of the solution to every problem was a song.
Apparently her strategy worked – she lived 103 years.
And If it worked for Aunt Lucy, It just might work for the rest of us.
So let’s start the day tomorrow with a song in the shower. Then sing every chance we get during the day.
Don’t forget to give yourself a standing ovation before saying good night.
Thank you, Aunt Lucy.
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