Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sacrifice...by Jim Terry

What does the word sacrifice mean to you?  In my life, I could name several things or circumstances that could be attributed to the word sacrifice…

My Dad was and is a homebuilder and there were those times that were tough when the housing market wasn't doing so well. I remember experiences when Mom and Dad would go without in order for their kids to have “stuff” they wanted or the medical services they needed. One of those experiences I am going to tell you about relates to my dental health.

I was about ten or eleven at the time and I remember my Mom taking me to my dental appointment with Dr. Johnson.  Before we left home that day, and months prior to this occasion, my Mom would remind me time and time again to “brush” at least two times a day.  As kids do—and I now know this from working in dentistry—kids never brush their teeth correctly. As kids we satisfy Mom’s wishes of brushing our teeth by simply wetting down the brush, put a little toothpaste on the brush, quickly do a couple of strokes ONLY on the front teeth and then suck the rest of the bubblegum flavored toothpaste off of the brush to enjoy the flavor. Does this sound familiar to those of you with kids out there?

So as I went into Dr. Johnson’s office that day, I was confident that I was going to “show my Mom” by having no cavities because as I kept telling her...“nothing hurt.”  Well to my dismay, I was awarded not with one but six cavities that were diagnosed that day.  I will never forget the smile on my Mom’s face when the Doctor told her “the news.” She then proceeded to tell me “I would have to work hard to pay for all of that dental work.”

She never told me until later in my life, because I pressured her to tell me the truth, that she sacrificed going to the dentist that summer herself because of the costly  mistake of her DUMB—my adjective for myself not my Mom's—little blue-eyed boy. 

Moms seem to sacrifice all the time for their kids but sacrifice can also be recognized in several different areas of life and in everyday life situations in the world…

  -   Have you ever seen someone give up a seat for someone else on a train, in   
       a bus or on a flight? To the person receiving that seat, that can be viewed as a sacrifice.

-       Did you know that over 600,000 people died in the civil war alone, either from combat or disease, to provide our freedom? 

-       Fifty to eighty million people died in World War II from combat, famine or war-related
    disease. Truly an incomprehensible sacrifice.

-       Have you ever seen a child share a toy?  To the child doing the sharing, that may be a BIG

-       The cost of the Statue of Liberty was funded by contributions from both
                 the French and the Americans. In 1885, a New York newspaper entitled
                 “World” announced that $102,000 had been raised from donors, and that
                 80 per cent of this total had been received in sums of less than one

-       In November 1930 a bond passed where people put up their own properties as collateral to
    construct the Golden Gate Bridge.  During the construction of the bridge, eleven men died.

I could go on and on about sacrifice but it made me recognize, as another week starts and another fourth of July ends,  that there are all types of sacrifices that are all around us everyday. They don't have to or need to be as large as some of the examples listed above either. Try to remember to look a little deeper into every structure, situation or setting you might be in and be grateful and recognize the sacrifice that may be happening right in front of your eyes. 

The most recent "sacrifice" in my life, which happened only a little over a week ago, was when a sister came to California.  She was here for a seminar but sacrificed part of her time at the seminar to see her brother. We were able to spend some time together and experience one of the sacrifices mentioned above while we took a stroll over the Golden Gate Bridge..."Thanks Lor and come back soon." 

Oh and one more sacrifice and getting back to my before mentioned dental “issues”…I ended up having to sacrifice most of my summer that year by working hard to help pay off the bill to Dr. Johnson’s dental office...So for those of you who claim to be a math whizz out there, how many hours of shoveling horse poop, weeding gardens and cleaning up construction sites does one have to put in to pay off a $600 bill at $2.50 an hour?  J

Happy Tuesday and what sacrifices have you noticed in your life?

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