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September 27, 2020: Seeds of Thought

This past week reminded us once again, of the powerful role one can play in the lives of others. We said a final goodbye to our dad, Alfred John Binder, surrounded at home, with love by his family. He would have turned 101 this coming week. In the days since his passing, we have heard from many who he had quietly helped though the years, not only as a parent, but as an advisor, champion, mentor and friend,

A poignant moment that stands out from the rollercoaster of the past two weeks, is when we were still at the hospital and were talking with a nurse from hospice. A “Can-Do” person, Al wanted to know how he was going to maneuver this next chapter of his life. He was a problem-solver, who always looked for answers and worked tirelessly till a resolution was reached. Upon entering hospice, he was accepting the fact that this time, he could not change the eventual outcome.

The nurse quietly replied that during all her years of working in hospice, the patients who made the best transitions had three things in place: They continued to seek joy in life, were grateful for what they had, and maintained a sense of positivity. My dad, responded in agreement, “That’s how I’ve lived my whole life”. And it was true.

With a world seemingly in constant turmoil, it can be a challenge at times to find the joy, be grateful, or to remain positive. Yet, these are the seeds of thought that help us in times of darkness. Despite having been tragically widowed twice, my dad talked about how blessed he was to have had two happy marriages resulting in 3 sons, 3 daughters, 11 grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. He was thankful for all of his gifts in life, and even near the end, with significant health troubles, he was grateful to be alive and embraced each day with gusto. When we worried about things, he would remind us not to “build bridges” we didn’t need, and to wait until we got there to see if we even needed to cross one. And he always emphasized “if I leave anything to you, it’s what I”ve learned in my long life, and it is the power of being positive”.

Upon reflection, I realize how our dad never told us exactly what to do. He shared thoughts and called it, “planting the seeds.” You might not always wanted to have heard those “thoughts” or agreed with them, but his guidance and seeds of sage advice were usually beneficial and right on target.

Our lives are filled with challenges, but we can choose how we face them. If despite the darkness, we celebrate and are grateful for the gift of joyful moments, we can find our way back to positivity. Each one of us in turn, can like my dad, become gardeners, sowing seeds of light back into this troubled world of ours. Can’t you just imagine what a difference it would make?

Rest in Love and Peace: Alfred John Binder-September 29, 1919-September 21, 2020.

As always, thank you for taking time to read our Weekly Wandering’s blog. We welcome your comments and ‘seeds of thought”. Please feel free to share this with someone who might find it meaningful.


  • Suzanne
    September 27, 2020

    Wendy, I truly needed these inspirational words today. Thank you putting into words a beautiful tribute to Papa Al❤️
    Love, Suzie

  • Marcia Tocci
    September 27, 2020

    Your dad’s perspective on life is truly inspiring! We would all be much happier if we shared his positive outlook.
    Rest in peace, Alfred John Binder. You have truly left your mark on this world.

  • Gail Brunt
    September 27, 2020

    Absolutely. Yes!

  • Liz Rosenfeld
    September 28, 2020

    Thanks again for putting your thoughts into inspiring words. The seed metaphor is perfect for your Dad – not only did he plant seeds of positivity, but he was the kind of man who would “tend his garden”. He would follow-up on his “seeds” with genuine caring interest. He stayed sincerely connected with his family and friends. We are the beneficiaries of his example and his legacy will be the positivity that we cultivate in our lives. May his memory be for a blessing.

  • Rita
    September 28, 2020

    The obituary you wrote and this blog really captured Al’s philosophy of how to live a good life. He touched a lot of lives.


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