How to Make Love Every Day ... Guaranteed










The Sandpiper by Robert Peterson

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I
live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever
the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sandcastle or
something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.

"Hello," she said.

I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small

"I'm building," she said.

"I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really caring.

"Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand."

That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper
glided by..

"That's a joy," the child said.

"It's a what?"

"It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy."

The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye joy, I muttered to
myself, hello pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed, my life
seemed completely out of balance.

"What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.

"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson."

"Mine's Wendy... I'm six." "Hi, Wendy." She giggled. "You're funny".

In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on. Her musical
giggle followed me.

"Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day."

After a few days of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and
an ailing mother I was again out of sorts. The sun was shining that
morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I said to
myself, gathering up my coat.

The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was
chilly but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed.

"Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?"

"What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.

"I don't know, you say."

"How about charades?" I asked sarcastically.

The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is."

"Then let's just walk."

Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. "Where
do you live?" I asked.

"Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.

Strange, I thought, in winter.

"Where do you go to school?" "I don't go to school. Mommy says we're
on vacation."

She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind
was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy
Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.

Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I
was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the
porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.

"Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with
me "I'd rather be alone today." She seemed unusually pale and out of

"Why?" she asked.

I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought,
My God, why was I saying this to a little child?

"Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day."

"Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and--oh, go away!"

"Did it hurt?" she inquired.

"Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself.

"When she died?"

"Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding, and wrapped up in
myself. I strode off.

A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't
there. Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her,
I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn
looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.

"Hello," I said, "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl
today and wondered where she was."

"Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much.
I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please,
accept my apologies."

"Not at all -- she's a delightful child." I said, suddenly realizing
that I meant what I had just said.

"Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn't
tell you."

Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath

"She loved this beach so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no.
She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy
days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly..." Her voice
faltered, "She left something for you .. if only I can find it. Could you wait a
moment while I look?"

I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something to say to this lovely
young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with "MR. P" printed in bold childish
letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a yellow beach, a blue
sea, and a brown bird.
Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.

Tears welled up in my eyes and a heart that had almost forgotten to love
opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so
sorry," I muttered over and over, and we wept together.
The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six
words -- one for each year of her life -- that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding love.
A gift from a child with sea blue eyes and hair the color of sand -- who taught me the gift
of love.

NOTE: This is a true story sent out by Robert Peterson. It happened over
20 years ago and the incident changed his life forever.
It serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy
living and life and each other. Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday
traumas can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is only a momentary
setback or crisis.

This week, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all
means, take a moment...even if it is only ten seconds, to stop and smell the

May God Bless everyone that receives this!
There are NO coincidences!
Everything that happens to us happens for a reason.
Never brush aside anyone as insignificant.
Who knows what they can teach us.
I hope you will share this story with others.