Category Archives: Family

My father. The call made to me. The call that will be made for me. Somethoughts.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

It was the call one dreads to hear, the call that one has pondered, tried to dodge, done everything to avoid but which at the end will occur, “Your dearly beloved is on the door step of eternity, soon to go into the sweet by and by. This is your notice.”

And no matter how ready you thought you were, in the event you were not ready at all. For out of this lack of readiness emerges every great question of the human condition …

Who was I? Why did I come to this place? What did I do here? Did it matter at all? And the greatest question of all: where am I going, I who am now poised on the brink of what we call “forever”, the place beyond, the place we have so often imagined but which we are now finally to know in all its immeasurable, unutterable, awe-inspiring immensity, dread — and hope?

This time my sister made the call, and it was ominous, “Dad has had a heart attack. It’s serious”. At that moment every task, no matter how important just a moment ago, diminishes at once into insignificance, thrust aside, forgotten. We have expected it, even in moments of choler and rage wished it, but we are not ready for it…

Now this moment is here. We want to do something. We will do anything. But there is nothing to be done… except wait and hope, reach out and touch the living, as we stand together in frail solidarity on behalf of our afflicted beloved, the one of us soon to go where all must go… and too soon.

Thus at this moment where we demand the power to alter pending reality, pray for it, parlay for it, we discover instead the necessity of submission. Whatever we believed up to this moment, we now know the necessity of resignation. Thus we prepare for the great voyage of our beloved… and help prepare ourselves for our own. Hallelujah!

Acquiescence, jarring meekness, his preparation.

I no longer know, if I even caught it then, when the first manifestation of unwonted gentleness occurred. But in due course I came to know and dread each instance. Who is this strange father? Who had taken away the father I knew and left behind this undesired deceit, this facsimile, this ersatz version of the original? This man is gone now….

Yes, the man who as a child was brought low by rheumatic fever, too often fatal, then laboriously inched back to life. This man is gone.

And what of the man who went to war, the “good war”, to save the rights of people everywhere? Where is this man now? This man is gone.

And what about the man who, with his own hands and determination, built in the wind- swept prairies of the Great Republic a house for his growing family, brick by brick, drop of sweat on drop of sweat under the burning sun that only gave way to the howling snows. No weather, no matter how severe, blunted his progress. This man is gone.

This man turned each day into a better future. He thought no work beneath him and his work was tenacious, determined, done well. This man had grand objectives and, one step at a time, achieved them. This man, too, is gone.

So is the darker, sterner man, the man of hot words, of rigid severities, adamant certainties and an obstinacy all his own. I knew this man, respected this man, fought this man, irritated and ignored this man… but always, in the end, returned to this man, for he was the father and always a force to be reckoned with. This man, so well known, worthy opponent, is gone.

Now a different man has come, a man I do not know.

The chilling declaration, more chilling each time he says it because closer to realization: “I’m ready whenever the good Lord comes for me.”

For a lifetime, my father and I have disagreed on many things, but on none as much as religion. Brought up in the Protestant tradition, he was able to find a comfort, a Saviour, a purpose, a serenity which I could not share, although I sought the belief that sustained him and finally allowed him his beliefs without affronting him with the opposition of mine.

In due course, after argument, anger, confrontation and pain, we arrived at an uneasy truce… and each was careful, so hard won was this truce, to do nothing to threaten it. If we could not agree, at least we could agree to disagree. This state of affairs suited us both once upon a time… but it suits me no longer.

I want to know, but will never ask and therefore never know, how he can find comfort, peace of mind, serenity in a fable, a legend, a belief fraught with riddles, conflicting things, inconsistencies and outrageous matters that defy logic. But though I think these things, cannot get beyond these things, I shall not say these things… for he is ready, he says, and I believe him, and I do not have the right, or the heart, to disagree.

But I do disagree. My father is soon to leave me. This is bad enough, but as things now stand we separate for eternity without the perfect understanding and harmony which would ease my future life. And this is more than sad; this is a tragedy. We will part forever without fully knowing each other… and so we talk of indifferent matters, as two grown men might do, while the thing we call eternity inches closer, inexorable, cannot be stopped, certain in its arrival, frightening in every aspect.

And what is most frightening is that I, his eldest son, am now part of his yesterdays… not of his tomorrows; of his past experiences, not of his last, his final, his greatest and most important journey. And as the commencement of this journey draws nigh, my importance to him, the importance of every element which constitutes his past, his history, drops and drops again.

Quite simply they no longer matter in any way except to think about, reminisce about and pass the time while he awaits the only important thing left in a life which once held a pulsating plethora of important things: he awaits the call he has known for a lifetime was coming for him. And his total being is focused thereon.

Thus he awaits The Future… whilst I and every once important thing and person recedes from significance, from consciousness, from care, cause, or concern. For all of us are of The Past. And we do not matter anymore.

I want this man to fight against the dying of the light, but some inner voice has counseled a very different path… and so the man I knew, the father, drops away to reveal a very different being, his focus solely and rightly on what he is sure is coming and that journey which each of us makes alone and in awe.

And if at this moment, there is pain, suffering and profound grief, these are for the living. For the man I called father has made his resolution, his commitment, and so rests content at the moment I am sore tried, beset by the questions and uncertainties which are the part of every human… but which he has transcended, important no longer.

I want to believe! I try to believe! But in my own honesty I cannot believe and will not demean myself, this moment, or especially him by claiming to believe when I do not!

“Jesus, Lover of my Soul”

Thus he slips away a little more, another minute gone forever, another step taken, more of the past, less of the human future… always closer to his new reality, expectant, curious, anxious but sustained by the Peace of God and the Saviour who takes him to it, his guide, his hope, his sure arm, redeemer and eternal support. I watch, I grieve, but I must be glad for him for he is glad and that now is everything.

And so I give him this, one of the greatest of Protestant hymns, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” published in 1740 by the Reverend Charles Wesley, one of the celebrated family of divines who brought needed reform and passion to the stultified 18th century Church of England. They were called Methodists and my father often adhered to their church and doctrines. This hymn by Wesley, one of over 6000 he wrote was a favorite, and you can find it in any search engine. Go play it now…

“Jesus lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly, While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high. Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past; Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.”

This is a booming, resonant, Protestant hymn in the grand tradition he so values.

But I want to add a variation, “Jesus, Lover of My :Soul’ by the Hillsong Singers.They were inspired by Charles Wesley’s opus to write one of their own, his title, his sentiments, but with new words and contemporary music. It is profoundly moving…

“I love you, I need you/ Though my world may fall, I’ll never let you go My Saviour, my closest friend/ I will worship you until the very end.”

Now that end is nigh, a matter of any moment. A thing certain, ever closer, sure. He is ready and waits with resignation, hope and certainty… whilst I wonder who will make the call for me in my time. Hallelujah!

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Consumer Wealth System ->

‘Am I getting old?’ ‘Oh, no, not you.’ The wonders of the Internet… the stubborn obstinacy of far too many Senior Citizens. Generations colliding in cyber space. Some thoughts.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s program note. Did you ever see “Gigi” the 1958 musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe? You should. It burned through a fortune to recreate lush, opulent Third Republic Paris and besides the music is lovely. One song in particular touches my heart — “I Remember It Well”.

It’s a duet between Honore (Maurice Chevalier) and Mamita (Hermione Gingold), long ago lovers who meet up in the twilight of their lives and reminisce about what happened way back when… and what they remember; definitely not the same thing.

Honore gets his every reminiscence slightly wrong; Mamita is spot on with hers. Honore is embarrassed, chagrined at his errors… but the lady doesn’t mind. She retains an abiding affection for him… and even in his errors she sees he retains an abiding affection for her. Yes, it’s a lovely, beautiful, bittersweet tune… go now to any search engine. Listen well. Tenacious memories are just one touch away and waiting now for you to release them. Bring an extra handkerchief.

Another missed phone call… another missed opportunity. Another irritating moment for each.

It just happened again. The Missed Call Syndrome. This time he called me…. and missed connecting. So I called him back… and missed connecting. So now both of us, my 88 year old father and I (aged 65), remain disconnected, and irritated with each other. “Why can’t the boy be there at just the moment I want to talk to him?”, he mutters. In return I say with pronounced pique, “Why won’t he use a webcam? It would make life so much easier for both of us.”

Welcome to the clash of the titans, where one old goat continues to cause unnecessary communications problems…. and his know-it-all IT son fails (yet again) to show Dad the error of his ways. Thus the Mexican stand-off continues… with both parties irked, irritated, and more than a little exasperated with each other. What’s going on here? Just this. Two obstinate generations, each used to getting its way, are battling to make their communications with the other easier… for we do, I think, truly want to communicate with each other, so long as the other party is dictated to, not dictating.

“Get an email address that works.”

Technology to be effective must be simple and easy to use and must not create more problems than it solves. By this test the email program used by my technically clueless dad is useless, for it causes nothing but problems, not least the fundamental problem that it actually blocks all my email to him. As you may imagine this causes a ton of problems of the “Did you get my email the other day?” variety.

Why does he keep this completely ineffectual program? Not because it’s “easy”, because it most assuredly is not; not because it delivers his mail promptly without hassle because it fails that test too. I’ll tell you why he does it… because he feels (though he has never given me the satisfaction of putting his unconvincing case in my unscrupulous hands) that he, having worked a long lifetime for others, is entitled, the end approaching, to have those others (chief amongst them me) work for him… never mind that a completely fast, thorough and easy email system is at hand.

Rigor Mortis before death.

We all know that rigor mortis comes with death; is in fact an undeniable symptom of that death. Sadly, for many, especially in regard to tech skills and proficiency, rigor mortis comes well before the end. Common sense dictates that if you want the substantial and undeniable benefits of technology, you must keep up-to-date. But obstinate seniors, like dear old dad, won’t keep up-to-date. They have done much for others; they have little time remaining. They don’t want continuing education and the “joys of learning”. They insist upon being catered to, waited on, kow-tow desired but not required.

Thus if they fail to listen, fail to learn the necessary steps to put technology to work for them and so create a heap of unnecessary problems, this is unfortunate, but so what? And so they approach the ultimate arrogance and deep-seated selfishness of the “Let them eat cake” lady herself, the late, unlamented, backward looking Marie Antoinette, sovereign queen of unthinking, unrepentant, adamant ossification. (If he ever discovers I’ve written this, Dad will kill me, especially as the comparison is true and apt! One can, after all, forgive anything but the unanswerable truth. Fortunately he doesn’t know how to access my articles at He’s tried; no can do; and that’s that.)

“Get a webcam! Get a webcam at once!”

Writing emails, particularly if you are of the “bread-and-butter”, copperplate hand generation like dad, takes time and careful attention. Words matter; finding just the right word is a courtesy they never neglect. And they all honor Mark Twain’s trenchant line, “If I had more time, I’d write you a shorter letter.” As a result their emails are not just written but edited, corrected, refined, no text messaging allowed; a real letter sent but never responded to in kind by anyone less than 70 or so.

And so another failure-to-communicate incident is born, to smolder and explode without warning. How different things would be if he’d use a webcam — a webcam I’m wiling to GIVE him!

Consider the following: I have a webcam; my brother has a webcam; my sister has a webcam; her son and daughter each have webcams. Only my father does not have a webcam, considers the vexatious unsettling matter settled and considers all attempts to get him hooked up and active a grave imposition; unjust; an affront; the very idea lese majeste’.

He has for just such moments of offense and insolence and outrage his certain response: “I’m old, I’m tired, I can’t do it, I’m falling apart; it’s hard; it’s difficult; it’s…”, but you get the picture. How can anyone transgress against such a paladin, now ancient, frail, venerable… and absolutely determined not to change anything, not by a jot, much less a tittle?

And so the matter unsatisfactorily continues day after day. We are both of us getting older, which is just another way of saying we are getting more and more obstinate by the minute. He frets because his time is dwindling with anxious celerity and so each day the little he still wants becomes more urgent. Why can’t I see that?

… But I do see that. That is why I want him to be on a webcam, easily accessible to me and his other wired progeny, not least the only two grandchildren he will never know as well as he ought because he is ludicrously behind in what it takes to touch them, share, learn as they hobnob everywhere on Earth and never care to think or understand what he wants, much less help him get it.

His failure to master even the rudiments of the communication techniques and services that exist reinforces the very thing he fears most; disconnection from family and friends, alienation, a feeling that worsens daily that he is not merely aged but irrelevant, obsolete, passed it, already not merely moribund but actually dead by inches.

He sees a webcam as a threat, exposing all that he does not know. I see it as my only and best chance to connect with him easily and always before that chance is gone forever and I am forced to lament what might have been… a state of affairs that chills me now and will haunt me until I, too, am dust and an inadequate memory to those I have loved.

“This too shall pass.”

This is one of my father’s favorite expressions. He has used it with me over and over again as a means of lessoning life’s plethora of pains and even some moments of exuberance and euphoria, as too much of a good thing. Now I shall render these words in quite a different way, as an admonition, a warning, an already far too late wake- up call, a clarion to action before even the little I can do now becomes far more than the days ahead will leave me.

And so, I shall again do what I have tried to do so often… I shall say, out of a love which must never be forgotten, what needs to be said and which was never said better than this: “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light”. Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) insisted on this to his father. I cannot do less to mine and so I shall tell him this…

Aristides de Sousa Mendes

Do you know this man? You should. Born in 1885 in the Centro region of Portugal, he became a diplomat in the days when Dictator Antonio Salazar ruled. He was stationed in Bordeaux in 1940 when the Nazis invaded France. Bordeaux was a prime exit port, a city engulfed in war and chaos; a place to which refugees, many of them Jews, fled, looking for any way to escape. Mendes was ordered by his government to provide no aid, no escape. That was a decree of death. But Mendes was a man of life.

Thus, between June 17-July 8, 1940 he issued over 30,000 exit visas to refugees and displaced persons, some 12,000 to Jews. One man, just a few days, thousands saved. Needless to say, his government disowned him, stripping him of diplomatic status, his legal profession, of everything in fact except the certain knowledge that he had done the right thing, the righteous thing, the life affirming thing.

And you must do the life affirming thing, too. Thus understand that it is out of our love that we insist upon your advancing, focused on whatever span is left; still opening windows, however daunting, not closing them. If you will not do this for yourself; then do it for us, as yet another gift of the father. For in such a way, you choose life and hope, something we will surely address and celebrate when we have our first joyous meeting online by webcam. May it come soon.

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Millionaire Society ->

‘… before the darkness falls.’ Thoughts on my father’s last home, changing places and the pains that make us human.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. It is 3:07 a.m. here in the East. It is not so much that I cannot sleep. Rather, it’s that I don’t want to. I am thinking about my father as I often do. He is undoubtedly asleep now, has gotten safely through another day and will awake in due course to the promise of another. In other words, he is being well taken care of, and I don’t need to worry, the Number One Son in Massachusetts; he in California. But I do worry…

“Jeffrey, let me ask you…”

He called me the other day, with that note of concern I’ve come to know and which bites me so. “Jeffrey let me ask you…” and so it started. Another chip to the father-son relationship which defined and guided us for so many years, now as ancient as the hills. Things between us, once well defined and wary, are changing now; changing, changing… we neither of us like it, but the realities of living always pulverize our mere wishes… and because we are living, we must still live, no matter how painful that may be. And it often is…

He asks.

“Jeffrey, you’ve never had a house have you?” “No, Dad, I never did.”

“You’ve always lived in an apartment, haven’t you?” “Yes, Dad, I have.”

“You like it, don’t you?” “Yes, Dad, I do.”

“Why’s that?” “Well, for openers I don’t have to take out the garbage… or plant the flowers… or paint the fence… ” And the list goes on.

“You used to hate doing those things, didn’t you?” “Yes, Dad, every minute, every single one. I wanted to read. You wanted me to wash the windows.” There is more than a little bit of asperity, accusation and unresolved irritation in my voice. I am 65, it all happened a half century ago and more; it shouldn’t matter, but it does. Memory makes the long ago the active and unresolved, still on my agenda of things compelling attention. I might wish it doesn’t matter, but it does.

“I do not plant or reap.”

Now the benefits of apartment living pour forth. I discover I am defending my choices, as children of any age feel compelled to do from time to time. To live the life I want takes teams of people taking care of me. I am used to this and rely on them to do the necessary. This is how the privileged classes of history have lived; it is how I always wanted to live; it is how I live; it is how I want him to live; it is how he should live in this his too fast dwindling of days.

But he is of a different time and place, a time of self-reliance, where if you wanted warmth in winter, you chopped fire wood and so warmed yourself twice. I hated this work… and I hated all such things… things that obstructed the life I wanted; the life waiting for me, beckoning me, insinuating itself into every thought. “I am what you want, what you must have,” and I couldn’t wait to seize it. The myriad versions of chopping wood were important, but they were never imperative, like the dream that enthralled me. And thus there were problems and a battle that waxed and waned, but never stopped.

However he is not criticizing, judging, he is seeking something perhaps only I can give: confirmation that he has done the right thing, for with assisted living, without responsibilities, comes an avalanche of doubts, uncertainties, and the kinds of anxieties which force one to sit bolt upright in dead of night… and wonder…

“Jeffrey, I don’t like not having a home anymore.”

But he does have a home. It’s in a wonderful facility that looks like a college campus or place on a golf course. He and Miss Ellie, his wife, did not rush their choice. They looked at the full range of possibilities, moved with due deliberation, not haste. Visited, revisited, discussed, revisited. There was no rush about it, though it was apparent to both a decision must be made and made while they were both entirely able to make it.

He recalls each house he has ever owned.

He is remembering now and my role is clear. I must hear what he says, completely… and I must pledge (though he doesn’t say so) to remember. And so a chant begins; of houses built or bought; houses turned into homes and profits; a lifetime of patient acquisition and certain return. “I have always made money on every house we ever lived in.” And he recites them now, not to brag, but so that he is sure I know and will remember. My memory is tenacious; he knows that, and so the litany begins… from 4906 Woodward Avenue, which he built with his own hands (and partly mine)…

His eyes are closed now and as he recalls, he recites; my eyes are closed, too, and I am remembering with him… and these, his memories of being a good father, chary of his resources, patiently awaiting the results he foresaw and planned for, are clear, poignant, bittersweet. And triumphant.

For he wants me to know, and to sear into my mind that he made money enough for his family, enough for himself and Miss Ellie so they would burden no one, and something for the next generation, too. He was proud, as he had the right to be; not arrogant. He knew what he was due… and knew that I would give it, full measure. We who had often engaged in combat and dispute fully understood each word now, each recollection, each and every nuance, delivered with sureness and finality… for on this subject there was nothing more to say… and we were both glad he had done so, so well, every word apt, every description complete and accurate.

He was tired now. So was I.

It is often said that as parents and children age they reverse roles. But this is not entirely true. Instead a situation infinitely more complex and difficult emerges; a situation where the parent may remain the parent as well as the child and where the child may be in an instant not just one but both, thereby dramatically increasing the possibilities for confusion; things clear to one, misunderstood by the other. It would be easier, far easier, if a simple role reversal took place, clear to each, but this is not the way it is for either party. And so, before the darkness falls, we need to learn, again who we are, who they are, what they need and must have, what we have that we may give and give still more. In short, we must at their end begin again, new roles to learn and urgent, too, for the darkness is nigh and there is much to learn and do before the end.

Thus one of the most important, revealing and timely conversations of my life ended; we were weary and needed rest. The meeting, by phone, ended as easily as a sigh. We had done what needed to be done.

But I had one more thing to do, one more thing to listen to, to ponder. Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 evocation “My Father’s House.” And I went to a search engine to play it. I urge you to find it now… and ready yourself for a melody and lyrics which cut deep and place an unrelenting memory in you.

“”Last night I dreamed that I was a child… I was trying to make it home… before the darkness falls I ran with my heart pounding down that broken path… I broke through the trees and there in the night My father’s house stood shining hard and bright the branches and brambles tore my clothes and scratched my arms But I ran till I fell shaking in his arms.”

Now I can do as much for him… and must.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Info Cash ->

Committed Relationship-There Comes A Time When You Need More

Dating can be a wonderful experience, but there comes a point where you need something more. What you need is a committed relationship. But how do you know if you are with the right person now (assuming you are already dating), or if you should try looking for somebody else?

The first thing you need to do is look at things objectively. You have to do your best to take the emotion out of it and use a logical approach to your desire for a committed relationship. That means you have to ask yourself if you are actually looking for commitment, or if you are looking for something else. As long as you are being honest with yourself there are no wrong answers.

Okay, so you have decided you really want to be in a committed relationship, but there are still a few more things to do.

Decide what you want from the relationship – Knowing what you want will help you to find the right person to be committed to. Again, the key is to be honest with yourself. If you are looking for someone to give you financial security, then say so; if you want someone to make you feel special, then say so. At the same time, you should also think about what you can offer to your partner. It wouldn’t be fair for only one of you to give their all while the other one takes, so be sure to think about what you are adding to the relationship.

Assess your current relationship – If you are currently in a relationship, then you need to take a close look at your partner to see if they can provide the things you want (and if you can provide the things they want). Nobody is perfect, so you have to be willing to accept your partner for who they are, not who you want them to be. The only thing that you are trying to change is the level of commitment in your relationship.

Talk to your partner about being in a committed relationship – Let’s face it, commitment scares some people, but you still need to have a discussion with your partner. This is an important topic, and one where assumptions usually do more harm than good. You know your partner best, so you’ll have to decide what the best method is for bringing it up. Be sure to discuss the subject in a way that is calm, respectful and sincere.

Make changes, if needed – If your partner isn’t quite ready to be in a committed relationship, then you have three basic choices. 1) Ignore it and be trapped in a non-committed relationship, 2) give them a bit more time, 3) break up and move on with your life. Which option is best will depend on you and your situation. However, you do need to make a decision and then proceed from there.

Daniel Fischer is the Owner of Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter. Check out Above The Matrix ->

The joy and lifelong comfort in a parent’s voice. Some thoughts.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s program note. It happened when I was deep in a brown study on some suitably recondite conundrum of cosmic significance. There, walking along the uneven sidewalk that lines the Common, there right in front of me I saw two lucky people who only had eyes for each other. Their presence was arresting; taking me immediately out of myself, focusing full attention on them, two people learning just how exciting and fulfilling togetherness can be.

You’re skipping ahead of me now I daresay. You’re expecting one young thing entwined with another, in love perhaps, or making good progress thereto. But if you think this, you’d be wrong, quite utterly mistaken. For the two people I saw, and could not take my eyes off, were a young father and his young daughter. He looked to be on the sunny side of thirty; she was three or four. And a more enraptured couple I did not see that day… nor had I seen for long before. They only had eyes for each other.

The young father was in the process of enchanting his daughter; he was very much in the middle of not merely telling her a story… but acting it out. His animals were not just words from his mouth. They lived! They moved! They entranced! He didn’t merely talk of their movements… he moved as they would in life, going where they meant to go…. and to show her deep and sincere appreciation for his constant efforts and exertions… she laughed, completely, merrily, with a glee she had already mastered… and which she spent liberally, recompense for her adored father.

No wonder I couldn’t take my eyes off this scene of radiance and sunshine. I could only wish them both one thing to make what they had perfect… and that was the gift of clear memory.

Unbidden tears.

After a minute or two my way diverged from theirs; they went on without thought or recognition or acknowledgement that such a one as me even lived. And whether it was because of this thought or one like it, I felt tears. It’s the kind of thing that happens to too many silly old buffers if they’ve dined unwisely but too well or dwelt too long on things that might have been… and why they squandered so many opportunities, because they were certain they’d come again, but didn’t.

6 or 7 or so, the softest hands, the most caressing voice.

Then my own memory yanked me as it so often does these days. And I was not pining about might-have-beens and loves I tossed away without thought, doubt or pangs. Instead I heard a voice I knew as well as my own, a voice that represented all I valued and had every reason to be grateful for. Her voice. And this voice didn’t just rise from memory. I heard it because she was there with me again… and everything was there, just as it should be. And just as it all sounded sixty years ago and more.

“My little love, do you feel a little better? I have something you’ll like.” And she always did. A book. A tale carefully considered before being read to me; sometimes one she knew I loved; sometimes one she was certain I would come to love, because she already did. Thus in her own soothing hands she would bring me, between covers, pages sometimes not yet cut, the unimaginable riches of the world, sometimes when I was ill; sometimes to sooth the way to dreamless slumber. And no matter how much she gave me, there was always more summoned by her practised magic. But the real magic did not come between covers with uncut pages; nor even with tales of mesmerizing effect. The supremest spell was the one wrought by her voice and a few deft movements which denoted care, craft, artistry and above all else, love.

“By the shores of Gitche Gumee.”

Given a moment or two, a hint and a clue, I could probably name everything she read to me… not just because of the lyric power of the authors’ words but because of her voice. Its cadence. Its resonance. Its sonority. Its shear beauty and allure. Each word counted and so she neglected no word. Each line counted and so she delivered each line. Each paragraph counted… and so not a single paragraph was overlooked or forgotten. Thus, she rendered one of our favorites; “The Song of Hiawatha” by my near neighbor on Brattle Street, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, published to universal acclaim in 1855. I can hear her now… see her… she lives on as I hear her reading the words she loved:

“By the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis, Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.”

But her magic was by no means exhausted, hardly even begun. For now she told me to close my eyes, to see the shores of Gitche Gumee, the shining Big-Sea-Water, the wigwam, and most of all Nokomis, Daughter of the Moon Nokomis. And as she bade, so I did until these were no longer mere words, but grand vistas, places of consequence and truth. Such was the magic of her voice.

“But there is no joy in Mudville.”

One of her favorites, which became one of mine, was “Casey at the Bat”, “A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888.” It was written by Ernest Thayer and first published in “The San Francisco Examiner” on June 3, 1888. No voice ever delivered it with greater gusto and the American idiom than she, perhaps because she was a zealous supporter of her hapless Cubbies, the Chicago Cubs. Thus, as she spoke she made every captivating gesture:

“Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright; The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light, And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.”

“And the highwayman came riding.”

Over the years, in sickness and in health, her voice unlocked one treasure chest after another… Thomas Gray, Tennyson, Frost, Sandburg, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Robert Browning, Dylan Thomas… but this was always one of her favorites, for her dramatic sense worked well with Alfred Noyes, the great poet of the empire on which the sun never set, ruled by the Great White Queen after whom my grandmother was named. He published it in 1906, and it made him a world figure.

“The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees, The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, And the highwayman came riding — Riding — riding — The highwayman came riding up to the old inn-door.”

And, as was now usual, she closed my eyes and opened my mind’s eye to see the ghostly galleon, the ribbon of moonlight, and the highwayman, “a bunch of lace at his chin”, the highwayman who kept riding, riding, riding. With every word, with every image, she helped make me the man I am today. Your children deserve as much from you, and as you love them, do so; for this is one certain way to ensure not just their constant improvement but that you and your voice descend to them and keep you a forever living presence in their lives.


For the musical accompaniment to this article, I’ve selected the brilliant suite composed by Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888. It is called “Scheherazade”. It’s the story of a shrewd woman whose ability to keep the Sultan amused by telling stories kept her alive. Based on “One Thousand and One Nights,” my mother loved it from its opening bass motif to every evocative note that follows. She was always happy to acknowledge the talents of other wizards and soothsayers. You’ll find it in any search engine. Go now and play it. Its richness enriches this article… and your life.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today.

Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Traffic Blog Empire ->

‘Have I told you lately that I love you?’ Father’s Day 2012.

Author’s program note. All families have lore, that is things which its members believe to be true but may only be a figment of their collective imagination. “Remember the time when….” And everyone does, whether that recollection is real or not, whether the matter took place as recalled or not. Because on such memories the very idea of family, the most important institution of all, is built. This is such a story. I will swear on a stack of Bibles every word is true… although that may not actually be so. That doesn’t matter… it’s family gospel… and therefore precious.

Here is a piece of Lant family lore… I believe it will resonate with you and make you smile.

“Allemande Left”.

My parents loved to square dance, and just because I was born (February 16, 1947) saw absolutely no reason why they should stop doing so… even if they just couldn’t find a baby sitter. “Shirl,” he probably said, “We’ll just take him along. It’ll be just fine. He is 3 after all.”

And when you’re healthy, happy, still on the sunny side of 25, in love, hankering to promenade… why then you do the thing most calculated to cause sensible elders to exclaim, “Donald Marshall Lant, have you got a lick of sense?” And he’d look sheepish, of course, but it was worth it. Because he’d got to swing his purty li’l partner, and no one — absolutely no one — could take that away! And the memory was sweet…

Lulu Belle and Scotty.

Myrtle Eleanor Cooper (1913-1999) and Scott Greene Wiseman (1908-1981) were known professionally as Lulu Belle and Scotty. Cute, perky, wholesome to an almost nauseating degree, they were one of America’s major country music acts of the1930s and 1940s. An astonishing 20 million rabid fans used to tune into the “National Barn Dance” on WLS-AM in Chicagoland to listen and forget the cares of the day.

Thus, when the chance came not just to hear their favorites on the radio but to see them and dance live to the music they loved, why then the mere fact no baby sitter could be found was not going to be an obstacle. And so the three of us piled into a car that worked at all only because of my father’s alchemy and nimble fingers… we were going to square dance… and with Lulu Belle and Scotty no less.

“Roll away with a half sashay.”

My parents were sociable people. They liked people and people liked them. And so when the three of us arrived, there would have been the kind of high energy greetings, quips and cracks which distinguished the boys (and girls) who had won the war. “Don, you dawg. Still driving that hunk of junk?” “Shirley Mae, you look soooo good.” “And who’s that cute little guy you brought? No baby sitter, huh?”

The caller.

Then the most important person of the evening appeared and moved with just a hint of swagger to the mike. It was the caller, and there could have been no square dance without him. And didn’t he know it? Thus, as he took control of the mike, he took control of everyone present… and so everyone paid rapt attention to every word he uttered. He was a grand figure… very often with deep roots in Appalachia where so many of the square dancing traditions had begun.

If so, he was spare of figure, lean, even gaunt. He believed in Great Jehovah, stern God of the Old Testament, the Great Republic, his right to moonshine, what was suitable for a man… and a woman. He could be courtly; he could be forbidding and even cruel… but at a square dance he was all suave condescension. And he knew, with Louis XVIII, that punctuality was the politeness of kings… and so this monarch of the evening started on time, every time. “Evenin’ folks. Are you ready to swing your partner?” The yells were raucous, resounding, ear-splitting, all shouting at the top of young voices that they were indeed ready to obey his every command.

And so the music began, a shot to your expectant brain and toe-tappin’ feet. We can easily imagine it to be one of Lulu Belle and Scotty’s greatest hits, “This Train Is Bound For Glory.”

“This train is bound for glory, this train. This train is bound for glory, this train. This train is bound for glory, Don’t carry nothing but the righteous and the holy, This train is bound for glory, this train.”

(Find it now in any search engine. Its insistent sound is waiting for you now.)

In the hands of such practiced masters as Lulu Belle and Scotty this traditional American gospel song (first recorded in 1925 by Wood’s Blind Jubilee Singers) became a rollicking rendition perfect for square dancing. But first, there was the little matter of what to do with… me! And here is where we see so clearly the difference between 1950 and today…

Sitting at the side of the dance floor would have been elderly ladies (reluctantly) past their capers… (still) hopeful gals (wall flowers)… and boys too fastidious about their possible partners… or folks just plain shy. In short, all my ready-to-soar parents had to do was see who was sitting out this figure, and the baby sitting problem was solved.

I helped them out, so family lore has it, because I had (God’s honest truth) a smile to die for and party manners which have not deserted me to this day; no whimpering like certain friends and relations I could name. I was glad to go, glad to enjoy, glad to see them so happy… and if I could brighten the lives of others not quite as happy, why so much the better. It was what one did at a party, and I aim to please.

Blithe, unworried, pleased to follow the strict and intricate commands of the caller, my parents danced on whilst I, having partied enough for one evening, slept the sleep of the just, contented.

And so a handful of happy hours passed until Lulu Belle and Scotty played their signature song. It was a ballad, not a square dance and the caller, with whatever degree of reluctance, gave way to the waltz that demanded two people locked in an embrace, eyes only for each other. “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You”, composed by Scott Wiseman, “Scotty”, and released in 1945. (Find it now in any search engine.)

“Have I told you lately that I Iove you Could I tell you once again somehow Have I told you, with all my heart and soul…?”

Well, Dad, I’m tellin’ you now.

Thanks for always taking me with you.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today.

Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Cash Siphon ->

Borrowing Money From Your 401K-Only In Emergency’s

Sometimes you really just find yourself needing some money. Unexpected events such as a car breakdown can put a damper in your budget no matter how well you plan. In situations where you need money and need it quick, you can look into Borrowing money from your 401 K. Typically, when someone makes a 401k plan they do not expect to take any money out of it until it has grown and matured.

But life does not always go the way we hope and sometimes we need to delve into whatever source of money we can find, and sometimes that means taking money from our 401k. This has been thought of and that is why most 401k plans will actually have that type of loan available.

While taking a loan from your 401k can often make the difference between paying off a bill and falling further into debt, there are risks involved. If you do not handle the loan carefully you can not only run the risk of having to pay much more down the road, but you also run the risk of ruining your 401k.

Not all 401k plans are the same and so there is no universal method for getting money out of them. You need to check into the specific plan you have and find out what restrictions apply when Borrowing money from your 401 K. For most plans they will require that you borrow a minimum amount of money, usually anywhere from five hundred to a thousand dollars. They often will also have a maximum amount that you can borrow, usually around fifty thousand dollars. However, again, every plan is different so you will need to look and see whether this applies to you or not.

While taking money from your 401k plan may be a life saver, you may not be able to. While most plans are different, there are usually similarities in the form of requirements. Most plans will not let you borrow money from them unless you can meet the requirements they put in place. If you do not meet these requirements they will not lend you the money. So this is another reason for why you should look over your plan carefully and read the fine print so that you are properly educated.

Like most loans, a loan from your 401k will have a set repayment plan that you will have to adhere to. This can be anywhere from 5 to 15 years depending on what type of loan you took out and what type of plan you are on. The nice thing about Borrowing money from your 401 K is that, while you of course have to pay it back, the interest rates are fairly low and are actually put back into your 401k.

While taking a loan from your 401k is a good option, there are some additional fees that you may have to pay. Such as yearly fees or fees if you miss a payment. If your company has someone who manages 401k plans you should talk to them in case you have any questions.

Daniel Fischer is the Owner of Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter. Check out Info Cash ->

Christian Debt Reduction May Well Bring You Relief

Christian debt reduction is fast becoming a concern within many Christian families. Monthly repayments on consumer debts account for a larger percentage of disposable income than ever before. This can lead to some families suffering through financial difficulties as they try to keep up.

The stress of keeping up with payments on credit card bills, personal loans, medical bills and other unsecured debts can often cause some Christian families to worry about their ability to save for the children?s education or pay off the family home.

There are some excellent Christian debt reduction options available, offering great choices to help you reduce your levels of unsecured debt. Reducing your balances on consumer debts can give you the financial freedom you?ve been seeking to work on those bigger financial goals.

There are Christian financial ministries and non-profit agencies willing to offer you solid financial advice to help you work through your financial difficulties and find ways to help free up your monthly income. After all, if you didn?t have to find the cash every month to make repayments on those credit card bills or personal loans, you?d have more of your own income left to put towards the family?s benefit.

Christian debt reduction options can include financial education, showing you how to realign your priorities and teach you how to get your current spending patterns back under your own control again. If your credit situation is a little more severe than counseling can correct, then you may want to consider consolidating some of your debts, which will reduce your monthly payments and help free up some of your monthly cash flow.

A debt consolidation is where you roll the balances of some outstanding unsecured debts into one convenient consolidation loan. In most cases, your new loan will have a much lower interest rate than the high interest charges you?re paying on credit cards or store cards, so you should notice an instant reduction in the amount you?re required to pay each month. This alone could help you get your finances back under control.

Many Christians are initially embarrassed to ask for financial help. Never feel ashamed that you have the courage to work through a problem to find a better solution for you and your family. Everyone has moments in their lives where accidents happen, illnesses occur and jobs aren?t as stable as you believed.

No matter how bad you might think your situation is, Christian debt reduction companies are able to help you find real solutions even if you have bad credit. The object of these companies is to work with solutions that suit your individual circumstances and needs.

If your financial situation is dire enough then you may qualify for a debt settlement program. This is where a Christian debt reduction company may be able to negotiate with your creditors on your behalf to accept a reduced settlement figure as payment in full for your outstanding balances.

Christians should take a little time to research the options available to them regarding Christian debt reduction programs to be sure you?re receiving the right services to suit your individual situation.

Daniel Fischer is the Owner of Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter. Check out Truth About Abs ->

Cashless Society-Never See One Red Cent

There are probably plenty of people today that think the moves that are being made to a cashless society are good ones. They get their paycheck directly deposited into their bank account and then use their debit card to make purchases.

If they have truly set up their own little cashless society they probably pay their bills online as well. They never see one red cent, they never hold a dollar bill in their hands anymore and they do not even have a checkbook either.

Everything they do and buy is with that little plastic card they get from the bank.

I for one still like the idea of having some bills and coins in my pocket, it makes me feel more secure. That may sound silly but I work hard for my money and like to see some of it on occasion.

There is even a more advanced form of being able to make purchases on the rise today as well. Cell phones.

You have most likely seen the commercial of the guy sitting in his chair, then realizing he has to go to the bank he gets up and gets into his hat and coat only to realize once more that all he has to do is take a photo of both sides of his check and send the photo to the bank to make his deposit. Then he removes his hat and coat and sits back down.

I agree that this sounds like a neat idea but then I think, why has he not just set up direct deposit with the company he works for? Maybe this works for third party checks as well but they make the commercial seem like it is his weekly paycheck.

I guess that in this ever growing, ever changing digital world this is called progress.

Then there are all of those restaurant and retail store gift cards and reloadable cash cards, too. Some of the cash cards are not reloadable but the idea is still there. You can usually purchase one of these cards for one of three set denominations from $25 to $100.

They are put out by the two major credit card companies Visa and Mastercard and can be used just about anywhere and for anything. All that is required of the user is to register the card online or by phone to activate it. Much like activating a credit card.

If everyone has the ability to pay for things they want electronically, almost no one would need a credit card. Buying small things on credit could possibly become a thing of the past.

Major purchases like buying a house or a car would still require a person to have a good credit rating but maybe consumers would stop getting themselves in way over their heads if they found it easier to live within their means.

Having instant access to their bank balances and the ability to pay using their cell phone could make the idea of a cashless society a reality sooner than anyone thinks.

Daniel Fischer is the Owner of Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter. Check out Truth About Abs ->

Compatibility- Will Make Or Break You

Relationships are a great thing for anyone to have. Humans are typically social creatures and while some may be more social than others, we all enjoy at least some company. You do not have to be a social butterfly with over nine thousand friends, even just having one or two really good friends is enough.

There are all types of relationships out there and people may have compatibility issues depending on what kind of relationship they are in. Whether it is as lovers, friends, co-workers, family, all these relationships have certain aspects about them that you should be aware of.

The fact that every relationship is a little different can make maintaining them difficult. While there are certainly different approaches depending on what kind of relationship you are in, there are some basic tenants that apply to every kind of relationship. Utilizing these basic tips you should have a much easier time keeping any relationship in working order.

1. Having clear definitions for your relationships is important. You need to know just what kind of relationship you have with someone. A co-worker should not get the same amount of quality time as say a lover would.

2. You should always keep your act together to make sure you do not let your relationship crash and burn. If you find yourself as being unreliable, then fix that. If you are frequently missing meetings then it may be a compatibility, or you may simply be too busy. Whatever the case, make sure to be clear if you wont be able to make it.

3. Honesty is the best policy, but how you word it can be hurtful to others. You do not have to lie to them, or even white lie, but you do not have to be as blunt as possible either. Using some tact when you tell them something is never a bad thing.

4. Do not be a people pleaser, either. There are types of people out there that run around doing anything and everything they can to make others happy. This is a waste of energy. Just be yourself and your friends will be happy with that.

5. Gossiping is a bad habit that a lot of people have. They may not even mean to be hurtful, but betraying someones trust and talking behind their back is always hurtful. If someone confides in you, keep it to yourself unless they say otherwise.

6. We all know the golden rule, treat others as you would like to be treated. This rule still applies. If you want to be treated with kindness and respect, then treat them with kindness and respect as well.

7. One of the major compatibility issues people face is that they simply do not listen. Listening is imperative for any relationship, you need to accept their feelings so that you can act accordingly.

8. A relationship is a back and forth. You need to give as much to it as you take from it. If you and your friends or lovers are always doing what you want, going where you want to go, then they will get tired of it and leave.

Daniel Fischer is the Owner of Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter. Check out Easy Video Suite ->