Posts Tagged ‘daughter’

The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

December 24, 2010

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?” Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he’d rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined to make one – a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn’t end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.

Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.  “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

‘3900 Saturdays’ – an inspirational story

April 9, 2010

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other.  What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.  Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business.  He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about ‘a thousand marbles…’ I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say…..

‘Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much.  Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet.  It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s ‘dance recital’ he continued. ‘Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.’ And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a ‘thousand marbles.’

‘You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.  The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

‘Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail’, he went on, ‘and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.’ ‘I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.  So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had.  I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.’

‘Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.

There’s nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.’

‘Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time… And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.’

‘It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band.  This is a 75-year-old man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!’

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off… I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. ‘C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.’ ‘What brought this on?’ she asked with a smile. ‘Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.

A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend.

And so, as one smart bear once said…..’If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.’ – Winnie the Pooh

Pass this on to all of your FRIENDS, even if it means sending it to the person that sent it to you.

And if you receive this e-mail many times from many different people, it only means that you have many FRIENDS.

And if you get it but once, do not be discouraged for you will know that you have at least one good friend…

And that would be ME.


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