FLYNN: Simple things are what matter

Features column

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

I’ve seen him there several times, right there on the corner of Dawson and Whispering Pines roads. He always has a sign — the same one, it seems. It’s been late in the afternoon the times I’ve seen him, standing there as folks drive by. Maybe he’s been there other times of day. I’m not sure. I always honk, and he always waves.

God Loves You. That’s what his sign says.

Why do I always feel a little better after I see that sign, I wondered Monday afternoon, seconds after I’d passed by. I honked. He waved. I decided it’s quite simple, really.

Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded.

Like what it sounds like to be completely, absolutely quiet in a house. No television. Nothing. Just quiet.

I walked into a quiet house the other day and didn’t turn on a single light. Not a television. Nothing. I put my bags by the door and sat down to enjoy the silence. And then, there it was. Outside somewhere not too terribly far away a cicada started to sing and it reminded me of a long, long time ago when we used to sit on the porch and rock in the otherwise quiet night and listen to the cicadas and all sorts of other sounds off in the dark distance. Like bobwhites. And whipporwhills. And it made me miss that porch just a little bit. Maybe even a lot.

But it was nice to be reminded.

“Why do you say that so much?” our daughter asked me once when she was younger and I had told her that I loved her. I wanted to be sure she knew, I told her.

“But I know that already,” she said. “You don’t have to say it all the time.”

Maybe I did say it too much, I thought and then decided that you can never say it too much. Never. And even when you know beyond any doubt that someone loves you without them ever saying a word, it’s always nice to hear them say it. Or do something extra special. Like when your husband brings you flowers for no reason at all. Or calls you just because.

Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded.

A teacher once told us that there are some things you should always remind yourself of every now and then. I remember some, but not all of what she said. I think about them often.

Don’t lose sight of what truly matters.

Don’t worry about what other people think. You’re never going to please everyone. Not everyone is going to like you.

It’s OK to be alone.

If you are fighting for something that means everything to you, don’t give up. Stand for something.

You do not always have to be in control. The world does not revolve around you. You don’t have to know all the answers all of the time.

Give yourself a chance. You are human.

Your problems may seem huge, but there is always someone else with ones that are far worse than yours. You will be wrong some of the time.

It’s OK to fail. It’s also OK to succeed.

Everything is better with bacon.

We all laughed when she said everything is better with bacon. Then we all shook our heads and agreed. All except one girl, who raised her hand and said loudly, “I don’t eat meat.”

The teacher apologized. “See … what did I tell you?” she said to the class. “I can be wrong. Thanks for reminding me.”

I always feel a little better when I think of that day so very long ago, and I often wonder why. It’s quite simple, really.

Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded.

And everything really is better with bacon.

Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at flyn1862@bellsouth.net.