When I was growing up, my dad used to tell a story that made quite an impression on me. I have never forgotten his words.

He was at the club, playing racquetball with his friend, and in the course of their big match, he twisted his ankle. Later, while he was in the locker room, whining and complaining of the pain shooting through his sore ankle, he got an “in-your-face” wake-up call. In the midst of his whining (as he put it) walked a fellow sweaty club member who proceeded to prepare for a shower by taking off his shoes, his socks, and then his leg … yeah, his whole leg. My dad said that instantly ceased his complaints! He was suddenly given a new way of looking at what God showed him was a minor pain compared to what others had to carry — or wear in this case.

This little story of my dad’s came to my mind during a family dinner conversation last week when the kids were asked who they most admire. Nearly all of my kids said they most admired my dad. When I asked them why, they said,” Because no matter what kind of pain he may suffer with his bad knees and rounds of cancer treatment, he never complains.”

You know, that is a fact; he always sees the best side of things. He is always positive — well, maybe with the exception of politics and paying taxes. Instead of complaining, he simply says, “Oh boy, that smarts!” I can’t help but think about his locker room lesson and the impression that incident made on him, as well as me since I so readily remember him sharing the story with me.

My parents live 1,000 miles away, and they are here as often as they can be; I know their desire is to be around more. However few the number of days of their visit, though, their presence makes a big impact on my children’s lives.

Something we moms need to think about: our actions and words greatly affect those around us, either for good or for evil. We choose how we react to the good and bad in our lives, but we all need to keep in mind little people are noticing.