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In the last few months, there has been no break from seeing new pictures and videos from around the world with death and destruction. It is easy to capture the heartache felt by one who has lost everything. To see the deep anguish etched on their faces touches one deep to the soul, but still they are just a picture. It is easy to turn the page, click the screen or terminate the video and move on to something more pleasant.
Today I got the message. An elderly guy in his late 80's called into the call center. I don't even know why he called, but he was exceptionally articulate and we struck up a conversation. I asked him what he credited for his longevity. He left me with this advice and 4 letters. A M T D. Attitude Makes The Difference. It was a simple thought, but he believed it summed up his life. I suggested he could add one more letter, "G" at the end for God. He quickly replied, "You'd have to put "G" at the beginning."
Some time later, a guy about my age called and asked if I would make note on his account that his wife had died. I try hard to share in their experience when I get a call like this, because I don't want to sound flippant while "check marking a box" on the computer screen. I stepped over the line in call center etiquette and asked him if his loss was a surprise. He said, "Yes." with a deep emotion to his tone. His wife had a clogged carotid artery and they had surgically repaired the artery. She had healed nicely and gone home.
After some days with good reports, they were confident they had beat problem. Then one night, she passed before the ambulance could get there.
It seems so inadequate and sterile to say someone has passed. The pain is deep and emotion raw. The someone has passed. There is nothing to say that will bring the person back. They have passed. It seems as we live our lives, attitude does make a difference, as we enjoy the short time we have those we love.
I hurt for this guy. I teared up at work while chatting with him and i with incredible inadequacy promised to pray for him tonight. I'd be honored if you would to.