Finding the Good in the Bad = Living

A story on my heart today…  After writing it, my sister made me laugh out loud when she told me she was teaching a 45-year-old friend how to drive today. She gave me another laugh when she texted, “You wanted to learn to drive stick shift. Unfortunately, you never learned to drive stick that I’m aware of, lol.” But I did and her lessons really did help, even if she couldn’t see my progress back then.

I thank God for my siblings and all the time they spent with me. I also thank them for all the hand-me-down clothes they allowed me to wear. Those clothes from my brother made me look like a real tomboy, which I guess I really was and probably still am. Looking back, I can appreciate all the fights we had and how they taught me to be tough.

Even if memories bring me tears on my brother’s birthday, I want to remember and never forget his life that completely changed mine… Happy 51 in heaven, Doug!

doug sailing

Finding the Good in the Bad = Living


As a sixth grader, I remember Daddy and Grandmother visiting on several occasions during the lunch hour when I was playing on the school playground. I saw them through the fence, but they never saw me. Daddy would walk around the car to get Grandmother out, then they’d walk over and look down for a few minutes and talk, then get back in the car and leave.

As I grew older, I did the same thing almost every Sunday before I drove back to college. I’d get out, look down, tears would start streaming and I would pray. After having children, I’d stop by after visiting Mom and Dad. My boys didn’t understand the tears I’d so often try to hold back, but I wanted them to know you and visiting was the closest they could ever get. After Mom and Dad moved from our hometown, I felt like you moved too, and I didn’t visit as often.

I know you’re not there, really. It just comforted me a lot to go to the last place I saw you. People cried enough tears that day you were buried, enough to sail a ship around the world. Thinking of you and writing this makes me feel like I’m 11-years-old all over again, receiving the kindest notes from every one of my friends who loved our family.

I made a wish for your 51st birthday this morning, but know it can’t come true, so instead I’m wishing that every person who reads this post does one nice deed a day for someone, just like our sister is doing for her friend today. Every little kindness adds up; we never know how badly a person is hurting, just like we never knew how badly you hurt too.

I wish you could have focused more on the good than the bad in life. I can honestly say, if you had, you would have learned that a lot of good comes from the bad things that happen to us. That’s what I’ve learned through your passing. Focusing on the positive is a choice, especially when storms seem to never end. Eventually they do. Remember how many storms we rode out in Daddy’s sailboat and how delighted we were when the sun started to shine? Those are good memories in my mind now, not bad, even though those experiences were terrifying to live through.

I’m hoping to share my birthday cake this weekend with your second favorite sister and your niece. If you were here, there would be four of us celebrating birthdays together. Oh, how awesome that would be! Instead, rest in peace, my brother. You’re forever young in my heart and with me everywhere I go. Give everyone a hug for me, especially the big guy who’s given me enough strength to move mountains down here on earth. I am thankful.

I love you forever.

Your little sis




4 thoughts on “Finding the Good in the Bad = Living

  1. Beautiful, Lisa. I remember exactly where I was when word came that Doug was gone. Yes, all the way up in Indianapolis there were tears for him, you and all your family. Bigmama loved him so much. Happy Birthday, Doug.

  2. Thank you Lisa for sharing your story and keeping Dougs influence alive. Loss changes us and our lives are never the same. Our “new normal” connects us with others in a way previously impossible. Doug life has opened up so many doors of empathy and understanding with a Miriad of hurting people along your journey. God is using you are you lead through authentic tears and transparent living.
    You are loved;)

    1. These past 35 years have given me great understanding and perspective. Thank you for inspiring me more than you’ll ever know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s