Deb VE foto 1

Deb Van Engelenhoven

If I didn’t know how wealthy I was before, I absolutely know it now. I am not talking about monetary wealth. I am talking about the wealth that can only be had through the love and support of good friends.

After my column was published last week about how disappointed I am in people, I started receiving text messages, words of encouragement while I shopped for groceries and voicemails that said they were concerned about me because I am usually so positive about people.

Each one of them made me feel more and more like I should not have written the column. Yes, I was very, very disappointed in someone but I had forgotten about everyone else. I did what I complain about others doing – I took to feeling sorry for myself and vented my frustrations.

But I especially want to tell you about the two letters I received this week (yes, people still do write handwritten notes and send them to others).

The first letter I received contained a card filled with encouraging words but it also contained some math fun and problem-solving (I bet you are guessing right away who sent it to me). My friend, Ruth Dykstra, was a teacher for many years. Each time she sends me something it contains things that can challenge my mind like only a teacher can.

It also asked me to read her enclosed words from Mother Teresa. I did re-read the words I had read many times before and it was a very good reminder to me about how I was raised to respond to others no matter how disappointing the circumstance.

DO IT ANYWAY – Written by Mother Teresa:

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.

Then in the middle of the week I received another letter that means the world to me. It was from another dear old friend, Vernon Gay and it was filled with words of encouragement.

His thoughts were typed out on paper using what he called his hunt and peck “class of 1949” method. He also shared a story with me about how he had to explain to his three granddaughters exactly what a typewriter is.

I really liked his reference to people making you feel like a dog with his tail between his legs, but within a few days someone else comes along and builds you back up and makes you feel good again.

I can for sure tell you, Vernon, you built me right back up and I do feel good again. Thanks to you and so many other wonderful friends.

I especially liked the way Vernon ended his letter to me so I will end my column with the same words. . . SMILE – IT COULD BE WORSE!

Are you smiling yet? I know I am.