It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

The morning the news announced that Mr. Rogers had passed away, I was in the process of delivering my children to school.  I don't think I even realized he was sick.  Sitting in the traffic in front of the school, I called my husband on my cell phone and started crying.  He had already heard the news.

"I was waiting for you to call."

My husband did the best he could to console me from a hundred miles away.

"He was sick Kristina.  He is in a better place now, I'm sorry, I have to go."

It helped, but only a little.

I had spent quite a bit of time with Mr. Rogers at that point.  I watched him every afternoon in the big squishy chair with my youngest son.  It was something we did every day after lunch.  Sometimes we would fall asleep listening to the soft soothing sounds of his voice.  What troubles could there be in the world if Mr. Rogers was around?

I will never forget those days... they were so fleeting.

Mr. Rogers had a special way of looking at life that any child or grown up could understand.  I loved being his "neighbor" and quote him frequently.

"There is no one you couldn't love if you knew their story."

He should have been a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador. 

Fred's wife Joanne published two or three books of Fred's quotes, songs, and thoughts on life to honor his memory, and comfort his many followers.  My daughter gave the books to me at different times for birthdays and other holidays.  They have an honored space in the bookcase of my living room. 

The following is one of my favorite pieces... it is on forgiveness.

"Forgiving and forgetting are often paired together, but the one certainly doesn't necessarily follow the other.  Some injuries, real or imagined, we may never be able to forget, even though we say we've forgiven them.  Other injuries we may never even be able to say that we forgive.  Those are the ones, it seems to me, most likely to involve people we've loved, and so I'm inclined to look at what our experiences of forgiveness may have been like from the first people who loved us."

"The first time we required forgiveness we probably did something we shouldn't have when our closest grown-ups thought we should have known better.  We made someone angry.  We were to blame.  What did the first brush with blame begin to teach us?"

"If we were fortunate, we began to learn that 'to err is human.'  Even good people sometimes do bad things.  Errors might mean corrections, apologies, repairs, but they didn't mean that we, as a person, were a bad person in the sight of those we loved.  The second thing we learned (if we were fortunate) was that having someone we loved get mad at us did not mean that person had stopped loving us; we had their unconditional love, and that meant we would have their forgiveness, too."

I have read those paragraphs often over the last five or six years, in many different situations, and with different hurts that needed mending.  Whether the pain resided in my heart or the heart of someone I may have offended is not an issue.  The words help me to understand the feelings of forgiveness, when I need to offer it, and when I need to receive it, and sometimes it helps me accept the fact that it can be difficult for anyone to give without reluctance.

I was just hoping to write an article that would give all my on-line neighbors something to think about before I get up and make my way through another busy day.  I think it will be a beautiful day, and I hope yours is beautiful, too.

Peace to you from

Kristina-with a-K


danicpa68   danicpa68 wrote
on 5/14/2008 6:43:21 PM
What a wonderful tribute to an exceptional man. He just wanted to be a good neighbor and share the love.

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Skating away on the thin ice of a new day....
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Won't you be my neighbor?