What Would Lincoln Do? A Celebration of a Life Cut Off Too Soon….

Life is precious…and sometimes it's gone 'way too soon.

On 8/13/11, I had written the following memorial post:

In Memory of Lincoln High (8/24/93 – 8/13/11)

Briefly, Lincoln High was a 17 year old fellow sword student who died in a freak accident in the Poconos.  You can read more about it this tragedy at:

But now…I want to write about how we all celebrated his life, how he touched thousands of people, and what you simply *need* to take away from this.

A few days ago, there was a candelight vigil for Lincoln at his NJ High School.  And the main theme for what everyone said about the young man was:

"Lincoln….loved life.  He loved people.  He loved God.  He especially loved making people happy, and going out of his way to bring a smile to those who needed it."

If people were down, he'd send messages like:

His Youth Ministry leader commented that everything you could say about love, you could say about Lincoln.

  • Lincoln is kind.
  • Lincoln does not envy.
  • Lincoln is patient.
  • Lincoln keeps no records of wrongs.
  • Lincoln always protects, Lincoln always trusts.
  • Lincoln never fails.

And I can honestly say, Lincoln walked the walk he talked above and beyond what 99.99989% of other mortals would do.

Here was the settings before the service started.  I love how the sun shines at the left….

Lincoln High

and here's a picture of the rainbow that bathed the church after his funeral.

Rainbow

Here's the sunset at the vigil:

Sunset

Here's some of the candlelight vigil:

Candlelight vigil

In short…

Lincoln was a young man who was truly beloved by thousands.

Yesterday would have been Lincoln's 18th birthday, and in celebration of that fact, all who knew of him went to TGI Fridays to remember him.

You can read about the event here….

Here's some of recaps:

Unable to get to a TGIF, but honoring Lincoln with brownies and snickerdoodles at Karate class in Kansas.

Lincoln karate

Lincoln's Birthday Party

Lincoln BD party

Lincoln's birthday celebration in Freehold, NJ

Lincoln Freehold

And our own sword group celebration of Lincoln's birthday in Hazlet, NJ.

Lincoln Hazlet

"Special"….it just doesn't describe how Lincoln touched so many people in his short, short life.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

Life…you never know when it will be snatched away from you.

So the very best thing you can do is live your life such that you're an inspiration to others…and make the world a better place by the simple fact…you're in it.

It's something truly worthy to pass on to your children….today.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – Enjoy this video tribute to Lincoln below.

Unexpected things like THIS make parenting glorious

I hope you're sitting down for this…

MamaBear, for once in her venerable life…was knocked speechless.

As in, MamaBear just sat and stared dumbly at the text that was beaming into her soul from her Verizon phone.

It's all good mind you!  Let me first give you some background…

I'm part of a family with several siblings, you see.  And while growing up, things could have been a weeee bit better between my siblings and me (which is one reason why I am so insane about my kids loving and supporting one another; I refuse to tolerate any nastiness from one child to another and tend to make any instigator wish she or he had chosen to scrub toilet bowls with their fingernails instead.  But I digress.  :)  ).

That was then, this now, and things generally are quite well with my siblings these days.

Anywhos, said siblings came by to visit me parents and I dropped on by as well.  'Twas most excellent to see them again, so I snapped a picture of them with my camera phone and sent it to HD1 and HD2.

HD1 immediately responded:

"They still can't match up to the best of your parents' kids, even together."

Talk about being struck speechless.

Magnificent godlike person that I am today, I will admit…I still do have various and sundry ghosts that are lurking within my psyche. 

They generally remain hidden like good little ghosties, but every now and then they'll emerge with a vengeance and wreak havoc on my life.

But this time….wow.

What HD1 wrote – it arrowed straight and true to my heart….and really made my day.

When kids internalize appreciating one another, and then proactively apply that to their parents – my gosh, that's gold.

Plain and simple.

HD1 rocks!

Parent well,

Mama Bear

Empathy Requires Compassion

Compassion

Here's something that's on MamaBear's mind this morning.

You got kids?

Great!

You got kids who have to interact with the world?

Mmmmhmmm.

Well, consider this.

One of the biggest skills that MamaBear teaches her cubs is to walk in others' shoes before slamming on the "OMG you're an utter idjut!" hat to their friends.

Y'know?

So often, she'll MamaBear hears about how this kids' friend was selfish or that kids' friend was clueless or the other kids' friend is just plain stupid.

And the first thing she does is say,

"Woah!  Have you considered all of the ghosts, baggage and other issues that might be assailing that person?"

For some strange reason, children were *not* born with empathy.

Hell, many adults fail dismally in that department too!

It's so easy for a parent to empathize with the child like so:

"You're completely right!  You're the injured party!  That kid is worthless beyond belief, you're 100% correct."

And y'know, that just plain frosts MamaBear's petunias….*big time*.

We're talking bigger than a breadbox, bigger than The Donald's ego, bigger than MamaBear's heart.

Pretty huge-like indeed.

See, the sad fact is, the world does *not* revolve around your child.

It doesn't even revolve around MamaBear, alas.

Instead, your kid needs to embrace that perhaps there are underlying issues that cause the strife in the first place.

  • Maybe the kids' parents are going through a divorce.
  • Maybe the kid just received a 79 on his Math test that he was sure he aced.
  • Maybe the kid is learning-disabled, and doesn't know how to handle friendship.
  • Maybe the kid experienced something that caused ghosts from November and February to rear up their heads again.

See what MamaBear means?

When your child comes to you and complains about someone, sure, their points are entirely valid.  Be sure your child recognizes you feel that way.

But next….take the time to offer up just *why* the problem might have occurred.  In other words…

Encourage your child to think on the "what if's?".

  • "What if…the kid took got hurt from your actions because said actions reminded them of a painful time in the past?
  • What if…the kid's family life is lousy, and it all just got to her?
  • What if…the kid has no idea that you're feeling this way, and it's all a big misunderstanding?

It's very easy for children to focus on how they themselves are hurting.  Actually, it's human nature…most people will look out for number one before anyone else.

But…you need to teach your children compassion as well.

They do *not* have to agree with the kids' actions….but perhaps viewing their situation with compassion might help them *understand* it better as well.

And that, in turn, will help them develop stronger and longer-lasting bonds of friendship to boot.

Parent well,

MamaBear