Recently a story was told about a woman who was expecting "Uncle Bill" to come for a visit. Now Uncle Bill smoked a pipe and although the woman didn't approve of his smoking, she did allow people to smoke in her home. Well, sure enough, the woman and Bill sat at the table visiting and Uncle Bill laid his pipe down on the table and burned a hole in the cloth. The woman said, "Bill, you have burned a hole in my tablecloth." Bill replied, "I see that I have, but look at all you have left."

This story was told as a joke, and we all laughed. I do think it is a funny story, but I have been thinking about it and how it applies to our very lives.

My parents passed away many years ago, and I still miss them very much, but look at all I have left - I have precious memories of growing up in a Christian home with all of the love and wonderful teaching that any parents could give. I have truly been blessed, and these are things that cannot be taken away.

My husband passed away a long time ago, too, and of course for some time I felt very much alone and lonely - but look at all I have left! I have two dear children, six beautiful grandchildren and now four great-grandchildren that are the joy of my life.

Many of my friends are gone or have moved away, and I really hated to see them go- but again - think of all that I have left. I have the memories of all the times that we shared, and each one has left a mark of some kind on my life.

So even though there are many sad things in our lives, and there will be many, many holes burned in our tablecloths, think of all that we have left and be thankful.

Ruthe Jones © 1994

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