Mr. Rogers and my Grandmother… saved me, and daily

I like you for just being you.

I like you for just being you.

This morning I read yet another story of how Mr. Rogers and his kind gentle spirit with his calm voice saved yet another person on this planet, and how they went on to use those same wise words, “I like you for just being you” to save other lives.

I had no idea the impact of those words beyond the moment when I used to listen to them on a daily basis after school. My wise Grandmother took one look at my teary eyes and plopped me down in front of the TV and Mr. Rogers while she busily prepared our tea and brown bread with cream cheese. She also taught me food is love, which has its beauty. I am a wonderful cook because of her. But loving food can have its challenges. I love food too much and my waistline shows it! But that is another story.

As I watched Mr. Rogers be who he was, do what he did with all the characters of the neighborhood, a calm would come over me. And then he would say those magic words, the healing balm for my soul, “I like you for just being you.” I had no idea at the time how they would save me, how they would shape my life, especially after my Father died, and I decided to become a person who said those words to other children.

I didn’t consciously set out to be the kind of person who saved other people’s lives. I just did what my Grandmother advised, be kind, and what Mr. Rogers role modeled for me, “seeing” people. Yes, I have immense gratitude for those two souls, Mr. Rogers and my Grandmother. Thank you for saving me, and daily.