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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Jenny Lind Lesson

In a slight departure from my usual topics I am doing one that is somewhat different.  Probably not many know or have heard of Jenny Lind.  Born Johanna Maria Lind, 6 Oct. 1820, and died 2 Nov, 1887, she was a Swedish opera singer that was also known as the Swedish Nightingale.  She was  the protégée of  Felix Mendelesshon whom she cared for deeply.  Classic music enthusiasts’ should recognize his name.  She may have been the best opera singer of all time.  She toured the U.S.A. - being brought to this country by PT Barnum.  It was said by a famous virtuoso  of the time that she could be the greatest singer ever but she lacked one thing - having her heart broken so she could sing from the depth of her soul with the enormous talent she possessed.  That happened when Mendelesshon died and she  then went on to be the greatest singer of her time if not all time.

Nice story but what lesson does it have for normal people today?  I have a personal example and that was when I had a new son who was only a few months old, was in the U.S. Air Force, living on about $124.00, a month.  We had extra expenses come up and one week to go to my next payday and exactly 5 cents.  Back then there were not agencies and such to go to for a loan or hand up.  We didn’t know what we would do as we were also out of food.  Then unexpectedly a letter from my mom came in the mail and it had $20.00 in it.  We had not told anyone of our dilemma but that was such a close call it had a lasting impact on us.  We (I) vowed never to allow that to happen again.  It left a very lasting impression that changed my life.

Many years later we had a woman in our bible study that told all those present that she was in a similar situation that I had been in so many years before.  Of all those present some just said they would pray for her and her 10 y/o daughter but that situation struck home to me and my then wife.  We decided we would send her $100.00, anonymously  to  help her out.  The others had never been in that situation so didn’t realize the hopeless feeling that went with that dilemma.  It helped her get back on her feet and now here is the rest of the story.

A few years later my previous wife told me she no longer loved me and was going to get a divorce.  She said no hard feelings but I needed a wife that could love me and she actually gave me three names of possible women.  One of which was the one we had helped out years before.  To shorten this story I have now been happily married to the woman we had helped out with the donation for 29 years next month.  It was not until after we were married for several years  that she found out it was us who gave her that $100.00 years before.

The moral of this story. Sometimes bad things happen to people for reasons that are not readily apparent.  In Jenny Lind's case she lost her good friend and mentor and went on to become a truly great singer. Her talents could only carry her so far.  When she felt it to her very soul she was changed and became perhaps the greatest singer in history. In my case I was relieved of trying to make a failing marriage work and ended up with the very person whom I was more suited for and meant to be with.  Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is not always an on coming train.  Sometimes it is the light of happiness.


Mary W. said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and personal story with all of us, and congratulations on soon being married for 29 happy years together! Some good lessons for all of us to learn from and remember.
Mary W.

Mike said...

Very nice story Bruce......

Raylene said...

Well, that brought tears to my eyes--not only a beautiful story but because the gal that shared so much of my life and so much of my love had to face such a challenge. We are all only a heart beat away from disaster at any given time. My church family has been the wind beneath my wings in the past and gives me a place to be the wind beneath other's wings. What feels any better than helping others? As a nurse, much of my life has been dedicated to that and continues to be.
When I went through my terrible time, there were so many to help me and then again when I had the house fire---I had a place to stay while my house was rebuilt before the firemen left.....I concentrate on playing it forward. Hugs, RR
PS Interesting that one nightingale (singer) lead to another Nightingale!

Mary W. said...

Did you add or change the last paragraph of this piece, or did I just miss it the first time that I read it? I absolutely love the last two lines of the last paragraph! Would love to print them out and put it in a frame to hang on my wall. May I have your permission to do that?
Mary W.

DogMom said...

Thank you for sharing. Sometimes our blessings are in disguise.

Bruce said...

Mary: I did change that last paragraph. When I wrote the topic at night I was exhausted and made errors. The very next morning I read it through and saw the mistakes and changed the last paragraph only. It now says what I intended it to say initially. You are very astute to notice that.

You may copy anything in my blogs anytime you like. I consider it a real honor that you or anyone would want to copy it.

Anonymous said...


Paul Harvey could not have done a better "the rest of the story"


Ric Zoeter