Thursday, June 1, 2017

The True Meaning of Success


What defines a successful life?  When we're young, we tend to believe success is based on our achievements, but as we grow older, living a successful life takes on new meaning.
Recently, I attended a memorial service for Miss Eva, a beloved family member.  Miss Eva never received a college degree, never earned a large salary, and her poems were never on the Best Seller list. She didn’t travel the world or own expensive possessions; yet she was one of the most successful people I’ve ever known. 
On the day of her memorial service, the chapel was filled with people who came to celebrate her life.  One after another, folks stood up to tell stories about the ways Eva had touched their lives.  The words “joy” and “love” were used again and again to describe her life and her gift to others.

Miss Eva was someone who lived by her faith. She had kind words for everyone. She spread hugs, laughter, and joy.  She gave her time freely to anyone who needed help. She saw beauty in nature and in all people. 

Everything she did from growing her garden, writing heartfelt poems, spending time with friends and family and sending greeting cards with personal messages— were all done out of love.  She never expected recognition for her kind acts, instead she gave God all the praise and glory.

As I sat at her memorial, I thought of the poem “Success” and how well it described Miss Eva’s life.


Miss Eva was an amazing woman who knew the true meaning of success was LOVE.  She inspired many lives, including mine, and continues to spread joy through her poetry.

Bonded in Love

At the end of each day, can we look back and say,...
that we cared for our family and showed it?
Or must we admit, we forget quite a bit
and take for granted they know it.

Time has slipped by and so much we have missed,
but all is not lost if we start.
To show what we feel and make it real
and let it come from the heart.

So with love in our hearts, let it show in our lives.
Let us always be happy together.
Look over the bad times and beyond to the good.
Let’s be bonded in love forever.

© Eva M. Yingling



THANKSGIVING 1991

For the special way you touch my life,...
your loving, caring way.
This is what I’m thankful for,
each and every day.
There’s many precious memories,
of days and years gone by.
and no one can erase them,
no matter how they try.
For they are etched within my heart,
they’re something I hold dear.
And I will always cherish them,
each day throughout the year.
Thanksgiving day is every day,
for I’m the mother of,
the greatest family on this earth
a family built on love.

© Eva M. Yingling


Have a great weekend!
For many poetry love, head on over to visit my friend at Buffy's Blog for today's roundup!

31 comments:

  1. Such beautiful words for such a beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing this. Personally, I'm trying to pursue this sort of success, this sort of life and in a world that focuses on your acquisitions and position its easy to get lost.

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  2. I can't think of greater success than to be so loved. Thank you for your comment, Iphigene. Have a great weekend!

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  3. Emerson does write it right, doesn't he? And to receive one of your Eva's poems must have been a delight for her family and friends. This is a loving tribute, Linda. I love seeing her picture, too.

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    1. Yes, he does. I love Emerson's writings, and this poem really reminded me of this special lady!

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  4. Great reminder. It's not the stuff or the job title...it's how we treat others, how much love we put into the world that can be called Success.

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    1. You are so right, Mary Lee. In the end, how we treat others is how we will be remembered.

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    2. Hi Mary Lee, there is a Maya Angelou quote I used to have handing in my classroom, "...people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." I always try to keep that in mind.

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  5. Oh yes, your friend Eva is a shining example of success. I hope that more and more of us can reclaim that vision of success and live our lives accordingly. Just think of how much better the world will be.

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    1. She was a true inspiration. Thanks for your comment, Kay!

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  6. Miss Eva sounds like a wonderful person who you were lucky to know--thanks for sharing your recollections and her poems. I love that Ralph Waldo Emerson poem--it was shared at a memorial for a close friend last year, and so fit her successful life.

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    1. Buffy, I love the poem too. It reminds us of what is truly important. xo

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  7. What a wonderful tribute. She sounds like a dear person who made everyone around her more trusting and loving. That is success indeed. A life well-lived. My sympathies for your loss.

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    1. Thank you Brenda, I'm so honored to have known her and wish I had spent more time with her.

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  8. I absolutely needed this post so much today. I have been struggling recently with feeling like I haven't accomplished enough - other people make more money, win more awards, have fancy job titles, own a big house, and I feel like I can never catch up. But in the end, what does any of it matter, if it doesn't fill your heart with joy, or spread that joy to others? Thank you for this reminder, which really came at exactly the right moment.

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by, Jane. I used to struggle with many of the same things, but the older I get, the more I know that a successful life is really all about relationships with others and trying to help them in any way we can.

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  9. Linda, if only we could give that message to our children and students the world would be a better place. Success is sometimes in how we touch others' lives as your Miss Eva did.

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    1. Carol, I absolutely agree with you!

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  10. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. Thank you for spreading the love, Linda.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. It was easy to write about this lovely lady.

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  11. What a lovely tribute to your Miss Eva, Linda. Sounds like she was a treasure. -- Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/blog/

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    1. Christie, "treasure" is the perfect word to describe her. Thanks for your comment!

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  12. Linda thank you for such a wonderful tribute to my mother. She loved writing and reading poetry most of her life and I'm sure she is sending a Heavenly smile right now. She gave us all a great example to follow. Beautifully done Linda!

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    1. Kathy, when I read her poetry, I knew it had to be shared with others. The world needs her inspiring words of love and faith. And, you are like her ins so many ways. You inspire me every day. We never really know just how much we touch another's life, do we? I regret not spending more time with you mom. I think we would have had much to talk about. xo

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    2. Mom loved you Linda and always looked forward to the picnics with friends and family. Whoever met mom quickly became both! Keep writing and doing what you love Linda. Every act, every word becomes a footprint in someone else's life and you share a beautiful footprint dear "sister"!

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    3. Your beautiful words brought tears to my eyes, Kathy. You are an amazing "sister." You and Joe mean the world to me. I hope you know that. xo

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  13. What a beautiful post. So enjoyed hearing about Eva and reading her poems. Such a lovely tribute!!

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  14. Such a beautiful blog post. God surely blessed your family, and many more, with Miss Eva.

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  15. Thanks for your kind words. I love that Miss Eva's works live on and continue to touch others.

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  16. Such beautiful remembrance. We all need more Miss Eva in our lives. You are most fortunate to have known her. I am grateful for sharing her with us here.

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  17. Your post brought a tear to my eye, Linda! Here's to Eva and the love she gave!

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