Notes & Quotes: Find the Good by Heather Lende

The following are my favorite quotes from Heather Lende's Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer.
  1. What both halves of my heart-mind can agree on is that I am the one who chooses how to respond to the people and situations I encounter everyday.
  2. Mimi knows that it's a mother's job to draw the lines but it's a grandmother's job to remind everyone in the family that sometimes you have to move them, and, more important, what the cost of holding those lines might be. 
  3. Gratitude is at the heart of finding the good in this world -- especially in our relationships with the ones we love.
  4. You never know when a card mailed today will be received, but someone will read it, sooner or later, and be thankful.
  5. The secret to aging more cheerfully is to play like a child.
  6. Isn't it always the ones who don't ask for your time and attention who receive it more willingly than those who clamor for it?
  7. Jean Webster was right when she wrote, "The world is full of happiness, and plenty to go round, if you are only willing to take the kind that comes your way."
  8. It seemed to me that everything she did, she did well. Not because she needed to be perfect but because it made her feel good to do a good job. If Hilma was cleaning the Laundromat floor, why not make it shine?
  9. The life you imagine doesn't just happen while you are daydreaming about it on the drive across the country. It requires effort once you reach your destination.
  10. Give yourself to love.
  11. People don't gather after a death to mourn, but rather to reaffirm why life matters and to remember to exult in the only one we'll ever have. We hold funerals, memorials, celebrations -- whatever you want to call them -- to seek and to find the heart of the matter of this trip we call Life.
  12. I want her to grow up to see beyond a person's appearance so that without prompting or proof, she'll assume the best, and discover that most people ahve a pretty good story behind their cover.
  13. Here's what writing a lot of obituaries of older women, with the help of the younger women who were their caregivers (by birth, marriage, or friendship), has taught me: True love is above all reliable.
  14. Find the good, praise the good, and do good, because you are still able to and because what moves your heart will remain long after you are gone and turn up in the most unexpected places, maybe even clutched tightly in the dirty little hand of a child running along an Alaskan beach. Everyone has heard of hearts turning to stone. But stones can turn into hearts, too. I know, because I've gratefully accepted those heart-shaped rocks, dusted them off, put them in my pocket, and carried them home.