I once remember as a teenager, all the young women in my church were asked to sing during an evening program. In fact, we were going to be singing the entire program. I wasn't sure the time except that it was on a Sunday evening but I figured that my parents would go because we never seemed to do much except eat dinner together and we lived less than a three minute drive away from the church.
I remember going to the practices and trying to do my best to learn the words. A few of the girls were asked to sing solos. Of course, the women in charge of the program had chosen all of their daughters to sing the solos so I thought I was out and wished my mom could have been in charge of something like that.
But then, out of the blue they added an extra song and I felt a tap on my shoulder, they were asking me to sing the solo for this new song. I was thrilled.
I ended up finding out the time last minute and called my mom begging her to come. My dad either away on business or was busy with something else. I remember saying, "Please, please, please come." Her answer on the phone was "I'll hear you again another time."
I was crushed. It was to be the only performance. They would miss what I thought was a huge opportunity and what I had worked so hard to learn.
I choked back my frustration and tears, sang in front of my peers, neighbors and complete strangers.
I never forgot that feeling.
Later in life, I was sitting with a dear friend who had a relative who had recently passed away. She told me how the sweetest family walked in to show their support even though they hadn't had a deep relationship with the person who passed away. They knew that the family just needed someone there.
After those two experiences, where humanly possible, I have made it a point to always show up. It doesn't matter if it's a wedding, baby blessing, concert, I do my best to be there.
No one should ever be alone and have to hold back the tears.
We won't always know whose lives we touched and made better for our having cared, because actions can sometimes have unforeseen ramifications. What's important is that you do care and you act. -Charlotte Lunsford
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