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Dont Forget Your Mother....

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. “What’s wrong, are you well?” she asked.

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. “I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,” I responded. “Just the two of us.” She thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. “I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed, “she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.”

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. “It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said. “Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,” I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation – nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” I agreed.

“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home. “Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.”

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: “I LOVE YOU” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till “some other time.

Dont be proud of Your Looks...

Bimbisar, the king of Koshal, was a devotee of Buddha and would pay him a visit quite often. His wife, Kheema, was extremely beautiful and was very proud of her beautiful looks. Her motto in life was to ‘eat, drink and be merry.’ She would often say to the King, ‘Life is too short. Why don’t you spend it enjoying to the maximum? Why do you go to Buddha? What does the poor mendicant have and what can he give us?’

But the King had an earnest desire that Kheema too should realize the greatness of saints like Buddha. Once he tricked her and asked his ministers to bring Kheema to Venuvana, the forest where Buddha lived in those days. When Kheema got off her palanquin, she did not see the king and instead found a mendicant sitting under the tree.

Perturbed, she said, ‘Where is his majesty?’

Buddha said, ‘This forest doesn’t belong to the king of Koshal. It is I who live here.’

Hearing this, Kheema started rebuking her attendants, ‘Why have you brought me to a place where my lord, the King, is not present?’

Buddha said, ‘To enlighten you about the reality of life. You just enjoy royal comforts and ephemeral pleasures, but you are far away from true happiness and contentment. You consider this body as you, while remaining ignorant of your true Self.’

Kheema said, ‘Well, you can keep these philosophies of true happiness etc. to yourself. I respect you only because his majesty pays obeisance to you. But Holy One! As far as life is concerned, I believe in what I see with my eyes. I love my husband. I am enjoying the present and I am least interested in any promise of happiness that might come in future.’

‘Kheema! Are you satisfied by enjoying your life in this manner?’

‘Why not, Holy One! Of course I am.’

‘Kheema! God forbid the King should lose his kingdom or his strength; will he remain as lovable to you as he is now? What if you grow old, have grey hair or a bent back; will the king continue to love you with the same zeal? Will you still be happy?’

“Kheema was stunned. Buddha continued; ‘What you consider as happiness and contentment is transitory in nature. A bout of diarrhea can tarnish your beauty. A slight fever can weaken this good-looking body. And old age, which is certain to come, will surely be devoid of such pleasures. Aren’t you tired of royal luxuries and momentary pleasures? Haven’t you become a slave to them by becoming dependent on them? Aren’t you perennially anxious to keep these pleasures intact forever?’

On hearing this, Kheema’s discrimination was slightly awakened and she sat on the ground feeling dizzy. After some time, she regained her composure and said, ‘Holy One! You are right. What I consider to be an enjoyable and satisfying life is in fact a delusion. Those who fall for the worldly pleasures are like the fish caught by the bait put on the hook or like the moth that is attracted by the flame and gets burnt by the fire. Holy One! You have bestowed infinite grace upon me by opening my eyes with your words of wisdom…’

Buddha was listening with calm composure.

‘Childhood is spent in childish activities; in old age one is but weak and dependent. Youth alone is suitable for seeking true inner joy. Holy One! Please pardon me and accept me as your disciple.’

When the king of Koshal came to know about this, he was extremely pleased to see that Kheema’s lust was transformed into devotion by the grace of the Holy One.

Valentine Roses

Red roses were her favourites, her name was also Rose.
And every year her husband sent them,tied with pretty bows
The year he died, the roses were delivered to her door.
The card said,"Be my Valentine,"like all the years before.

Each year he sent her roses, and the note would always say,"I love you even more this year,than last year on this day."
"My love for you will always grow, with every passing year."
She knew this was the last time that the roses would appear.

She thought, he ordered roses in advance before this day. Her loving husband did not know, that he would pass away.He always liked to do things early, way before the time. Then, if he got too busy, everything would work out fine.

She trimmed the stems, and placed them in a very special vase.Then, sat the vase beside the portrait of his smiling face.She would sit for hours, in her husband's favourite chair.
While staring at his picture, and the roses sitting there.
A year went by, and it was hard to live without her mate.With loneliness and solitude, that had become her fate.Then, the very hour, as on Valentines before,The doorbell rang, and there were roses, sitting by her door.

She brought the roses in, and then just looked at them in shock.Then, went to get the telephone, to call the florist shop.The owner answered, and she asked him, if he would explain,Why would someone do this to her, causing her such pain?

"I know your husband passed away, more than a year ago," The owner said, "I knew you'd call, and you would want to know." "The flowers you received today, were paid for in advance." "Your husband always planned ahead, he left nothing to chance."

"There is a standing order, that I have on file down here,And he has paid, well in advance, you'll get them every year.There also is another thing, that I think you should know, He wrote a special little card...he did this years ago."

"Then, should ever, I find out that he's no longer here, That's the card...that should be sent, to you the following year."

She thanked him and hung up the phone, her tears now flowing hard.Her fingers shaking, as she slowly reached to get the card.

Inside the card, she saw that he had written her a note.Then, as she stared in total silence, this is what he wrote...
"Hello my love, I know it's been a year since I've been gone,I hope it hasn't been too hard for you to overcome."

"I know it must be lonely, and the pain is very real.For if it was the other way, I know how I would feel.The love we shared made everything so beautiful in life.I loved you more than words can say, you were the perfect wife."

"You were my friend and lover, you fulfilled my every need.I know it's only been a year, but please try not to grieve.I want you to be happy, even when you shed your tears.That is why the roses will be sent to you for years."

"When you get these roses, think of all the happiness,That we had together, and how both of us were blessed.I have always loved you and I know I always will.But, my love, you must go on, you have some living still."

"Please...try to find happiness, while living out your days.I know it is not easy, but I hope you find some ways.The roses will come every year, and they will only stop,When your door's not answered, when the florist stops to knock."

"He will come five times that day, in case you have gone out.But after his last visit, he will know without a doubt,To take the roses to the place, where I've instructed him,And place the roses where we are, together once again"
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