Love In Action

Posted on July 27, 2022 by Lisa Thomas under Uncategorized

My crew recently took a family vacation.  Well, actually if you read this before Friday, we’ll still be taking a family vacation.   One that, quite honestly, may be the death of me and will most certainly require a week of recovery.  Maybe two.

While on said vacation we decided to spend a day at an amusement park.  It was kind of a nod to the grandkids (and the abundance of roller coasters appealed to half the adults . . .) so off in the sweltering sun we went, slathered in sunscreen and prepared to come back as puddles.

Now before I proceed I would like to say that this particular post has absolutely nothing to do with for real death.  It doesn’t have any words of wisdom or cynical bits of what might pass for humor.  But while at this amusement park I saw something that absolutely warmed my heart.  And given the current state of our world, I thought a little heart-warming might benefit all of us.

We have a three year old Malcolm who is too little for massive roller coasters, and a seven year old Cora who doesn’t care for them one bit.  Meaning we spent several hours in the section of the park that catered to both their situations.  One particular ride involved cars shaped like frogs.  You could seat as many as four tiny people in one frog, but most of them only held one or two . . . perhaps a parent and a child or two children.  When it was Malcolm’s turn to ride, his mommy rode with him and he absolutely loved it.  The breeze blew his hair back as the frog moved up and down, just like any self-respecting hopping frog would do. And he would get so excited when he’d pass his daddy, Mona, and Poppa Joe (those last two would be his Thomas grandparents) and realize we were watching him ride.  Oh, to be three again . . . But in the carrier behind them, things were not so well.  An adorable young man, who might have been five but certainly no more than six, was seated in the front while his blonde-haired, younger sister sat behind him.  She looked to be three, and I’m sure her mother thought all would be well when she put them on the ride and then took her place behind the fence, prepared to watch and smile and wave and record.

It wasn’t.

The ride had barely started when the little girl let out an ear-piercing scream that morphed into a terrified wail that only stopped when she needed to gasp for air . . . and even I with my bifocals could see the tears streaming down her sweet face that was growing redder by the minute.  Her brother, who didn’t seem to have any issues when the ride first started, began frantically waving at his mother, and quietly yelling—if there is such a thing—“I don’t like it!  I don’t like it!”  All the while trying to comfort his sister that he couldn’t even reach because they were both so small and far apart.

After what I’m sure they thought was forever, the ride began to slow.  The frogs ceased their hopping and everything gradually came to a stop.  But while they were still moving, ever so slightly, that young man unbuckled his safety belt, jumped down from the carrier, and climbed in beside his sister.  Then he dropped to his knees in front of her, wrestling with her safety belt as he tried desperately to free her from what had become an implement of torture, all the while telling her it was all right.  Everything would be all right.

There was so much love in that moment. There may be times when they’re ready to kill each other at home, but at that moment, stopping her pain was the only thing he cared about.  And he did everything in his power to do just that.

Their mother rushed over when the ride came to a complete stop, unbuckled the harness and lifted her from the seat.  Then she looked at her son and smiled, took his hand, and they left.

I hope he always loves his little sister that way.  I hope he always wants to protect her and care for her and save her from the world . . . including any hopping frogs that may cross her path.  And I hope she always realizes how blessed she is to have that kind of big brother.


About the author:  Lisa Shackelford Thomas is a fourth generation member of a family that’s been in funeral service since 1926.  She has been employed at Shackelford Funeral Directors in Savannah, Tennessee for over 40 years and currently serves as the manager there.  Any opinions expressed here are hers and hers alone, and may or may not reflect the opinions of other Shackelford family members or staff.

2 thoughts on “Love In Action

  1. Linda Blankenship Robertson says:

    Loved this story!!!❤️

  2. Dorothy Frederick says:

    Beautiful story ❤️

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