Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011 - A Time for Remembering

Good morning, everyone. It's nice to see so many here, especially on this holiday weekend.

Today, I'll make it short. This has been a weekend for remembering for us.

(Ludmila Safonova and George Safonov in approximately 1940)

Mom's Grandmother's birthday was on July 1st. She passed away about 28 years ago on July 26, 1983 but we still remember her. In that way, she lives on through our memories. We have her photograph on the wall to the right of our computer desk as she looked when she was about 30 or 40 years old. She was born into nobility on July 1, 1897 in Russia before the Bolshevik Revolution, married and had her first son before she had to flee with whatever she could carry to escape the slaughter.

She gave birth to my mom's father (my Grandpa George) in Basra, Iraq as they were traveling to India in order to board a ship for China, and from there they entered the United States on a Mexican visa, obtained through some friends who already resided here. It was in China that she and her two sons, ages 2 and 4, watched her husband, an officer in the Russian Imperial Navy, crash a plane that he was test piloting for the Chinese into the sea.

Alone, practically penniless and in a strange land, she prevailed and provided for her children. She had been taught five languages, she could sing and play musical instruments, and so at times she would make her living by interpreting or by singing. We remember her strength and courage, and her humility and kindness to all. She valued her family above all and did whatever she could to insure their education and eventual success at whatever their goals were.

One of my favorite bank tellers, Marilyn Burd, had been sick with pneumonia. She was born on 5/3/1948. She'd been with the bank for years, and then they closed her branch and she transferred to another one in town. But she got sick and took a couple of weeks off to get better. Every time we'd go to the bank, Mom would ask how she was and when she would be coming back. And every time the tellers would say "Next week...she'll be back next week!". Except for yesterday....we asked and they finally told us she passed away on May 27th. Mom started to cry in the drive-through line, and I felt very sad. We always appreciated her and told her so. We loved her very much because she was so bright and friendly and made us smile.

And today, little Timmy passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. He was a rescue but he knew he was very much loved when he finally left his forever home.

It's so important to let people and pups and ducks and ...well, whomever and whatever means something to you feel about them. You never know when that will be your last words...your last hug and your last kiss. When we leave this world, love is all we have to take with us, and memories of our deeds and our kindnesses are really all that will remain behind.

Please take the time to tell your family, your pets, your friends and our service men and women that they are loved, they are appreciated and they matter to you. And now, please turn to your neighbors and wag your tails or fluff your feathers as a sign of peace and love.

Remember to be as you wish others to be.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July. Enjoy watching planned fireworks events from a distance or on television.


Mary-Margaret O'Brien
Lt. Chaplain - Yorkie Brigade Chapel
"Yorkie prayers are Angel's wishes!"
"Pups for PPL"
"A dog has lots of friends because he wags his tail and not his tongue." Anonymous

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