Thinking about Memorial Day

Do you remember the paper mache’ poppies? You know the ones we used to see everywhere when we growing up. I was one of the kids passing them out at the local grocery store in exchange for whatever donation was given. I am sure I was not happy to spend my Saturday there!

I was young and really did not appreciate–if I even knew–what that poppy symbolized. Because my dad was a veteran of WWII, he was an active member of the local VFW. My mom, my sisters, and I were part of the American Legion. One of the things we did for Memorial Day was make sure everyone had a commemorative poppy.

Late Saturday, an older man came up to me and asked if I knew what the poppy represented. This type of interaction happened to me all the time. There could have been ten other kids standing around but I was the one who was asked the questions. I debated saying I did know, but thought he may quiz me about it. I was honest and said I really did not know the whole story.

He told me it was important to know and shared this with me:

First of all, he said, you are not wearing the poppy correctly. It is to be worn over your heart. As he looked me straight in the eyes, he stressed that I would understand why this was important after he finished his story.

My memory is not complete so I am borrowing from an American Legion post:

The red petals stand for the vast outpouring of blood; the yellow and black center, the mud and desolation of all battlefields.

The green of the stem is symbolic of the forests, meadows and fields where generations of Americans have perished to make this land free.

The stem represents the courage and determination of our fallen warriors.

The assembled product, a flower, is a symbol of resurrection, which is sure to follow.

His words were much more simple, filled with the type of emphasis that only comes from being there, really experiencing the battles of war personally. He watched my face as he spoke, pausing now and then to make sure I was getting his point. When his story was complete, he stepped back in silence and somber reflection. He leaned toward me, asking me if I thought I understood why it is important to wear that poppy correctly? Now I was able to honestly answer that question. Which I did, with a soft and respectful, yes.

That was decades ago–probably over fifty years have passed since that grocery store lesson. I can picture myself standing beside this little round man, dressed in his bib overhauls, giving me the gift of a very powerful lesson about the real cost of the freedom.

Oh the challenges our nation has faced since that long past day in May. One thing has not changed. As Memorial Day approaches, it is vitally important for us all to remember those who have fought to defend our freedoms and those who protect us today.

We are in such turmoil and unease. As I asked last night, I ask for your prayers, remembering our great country and for those who defend and protect us. God bless them, God bless us all, and please, God, bless America.

I am…

B…simply being…

Peace. I love you.

 

 

 

A Time For Reflection

Mother’s Day.

A hard day for those of us who have lost our moms. It doesn’t matter how old we were when the loss happened–this is a life event we all carry with us from that day forward.

I send my love out to those of you who are facing your first “motherless” Mother’s Day. May your memories give you comfort. May you come to understand, as I have, that your mom will always be with you. Not just in the memories, but in little things you do, little things you say, little habits you may not have recognized until now. I was blessed with a mom who loved me. Unfortunately, my mom, my sisters, and I were not blessed with much time.

Time. It is such an illusive concept. We keep thinking we have more. Don’t be fooled. As we’ve all been told, life can change in just a matter of seconds. This Mother’s Day, put the electronics away. Open your mind and heart by spending some attentive quality time with your mom. As anyone who has lost their mom will tell you, we would give anything to spend one more day with them. We’d ask questions, really listen to what she told us, and share stories of our own. We would make sure she knew how important and special she was and is to us; how her life lessons are infused into our very being.

Use your time wisely, my dear friends, and cherish those you love. If your mom is here, please make sure she knows how important she is to you. Only you can do that.

Make your mom, and yourself, proud.

I am

B…simply being…

Peace and love to y’all.

 

Another Trip to the Library

I have a great library. Now that I am retired, not only do I have more time to read but I can choose HOW I read. I can read a new book or I can re-read a book that has become a traveling companion. These select few are special and I feel as though they are “old friends.” Some have traveled with me for many years. Not only do they share their printed words, but they magically pull up memories of what was happening in my life the first time I read them. I can see where I was, who I was with, see my notes and highlighting, and physically feel what was going on in my world at the time. Oh the power of books! I am blessed to have some very big hitters.

Simple Abundance, by Sarah Breathnach, is one of my favorites. My first copy was a gift, making it very special. This book has been around for a long time, very popular in the early 90’s. It was one of the books read by a group of women I met with once a week for years. I’ll always remember the night one of the leaders of the group talked about the book, explaining what she liked about it and shared different readings with us. She had passed her copy around and we all wanted to know where we could find our own copy. She said she had a surprise for us–and handed out a copy for each of us.

The book is set up to read an entry a day. I’ll share the beginning of what Sarah wrote for January 5:

Many women today feel a sadness we cannot name. Though we accomplish much of what we set out to do, we sense that something is missing in outlives and–fruitlessly–search “out there” for answers. What’s often wrong is that we are disconnected from an authentic sense of self.   Emily Hancock

I think many of us are searching for our authentic selves. As I give my thanks for my blessings today, one of the things I am grateful for is being able to share my search with you.

God bless you with love and peace.

I am…

B…simply being…

 

 

 

A Slow Day

Everybody needs a slow day–I took one today. I am learning to listen to my body and some days you just don’t push it.

In light of that I’m sharing simple things today.

First thing to share is that our friends brought home their new puppy today. She is adorable. I’ve attached a picture of her so you can fall in love with her, too. She is described as very affectionate and ALL puppy. Cannot wait to meet her and hold her squiggly little body and smell that puppy breath.

Secondly,  I’m sharing something I discovered about a month ago. I’ve wanted to go back to school but honestly, could not commit to the time. Not sure how I stumbled upon on-line courses called MOOCs. I had to Google the acronym to see what it was and found it stood for: Massive Open Online Course. The courses are offered through several different sources for pretty low prices or free. The source I am most pleased with at this time is Coursera–you can check them out at: Coursera.org. They offer a wide variety of courses for free or a fee if you want a certificate of completion.

Lastly, but most importantly, I am thankful my husband was home today to take care of me. Thanks, Mickey. Your attention alone made a world of difference. I had three other care givers–all three dogs were beside me while I rested. Of course, part of that fact is they are allowed on the bed during the day–that might have been a huge incentive. Regardless, it was a joyously lazy day.

I took advice from Anne Lamott today:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you. 

I am rested, renewed, mostly recharged. I am…

B…simply being…

Peace and love to all.

 

My Guidance

I was clearing some space on my desk when I saw my Guide for the Advanced Soul sitting beside my computer. I am always curious about what that little book will tell me. This is the guidance the Universe sent my way:

The people we are in relationship with are always a mirror, reflecting our own beliefs, and simultaneously we are mirrors reflecting their beliefs. So relationship is one of the most powerful tools for growth…if we look honestly at our relationships we can see so much about how we have created them.    Shakti Gawain

I wish you all love and peace.

I am

B…simply being…

 

Musings

I’ve had some extra time this week to think about things. What that usually means is I take long walks into my past. This week was no exception. There are some things back there that have always puzzled me. I found some unusual help this time though, from “The Royals.”

I have been running from myself for most of my life. When Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, began talking about their mother, Diana, a switch turned on for me. I found, and continue to find, great comfort in their words when they talk about the struggles they have had in their lives after her death. Whenever Prince Harry speaks,  his words give me chills. It appears we had and have some of the same challenges. By speaking out he gave me a very valuable gift–he opened the door for me to speak of my own challenges. I am grateful for that.

I grew up in a little town in northeast Iowa. My family was not from there originally, a fact that I think was hard for my mom. Looking back on life’s events as an older adult gives me such a different perspective of things. My mom had been a single working woman, living at home with her parents, until she was 27 years old. She thought she was an old maid. She often told me how she met my dad at a dance. She said she knew when she met him he was special but did not think he was ever going to ask her to marry him. Looking back, that is the only story she ever shared with me about her days as a single woman. Of course, I was so young I would not have understood much more than that. She never had a chance to share more–she was dead by the time I was ten, my younger sister eight, and my youngest sister, six. That, my friends, is the tip of the iceberg.

I only have a kid’s memory of so many things. Our small community had its share of tragedies during this time. The most significant one I remember is that a classmate of mine’s mother died after being in a car accident. I think we were in second grade so we were probably seven years old. I had to be at school early that morning–I was in trouble for having a messy desk and was supposed to come in and clean it out. When I got to my room, my teacher was not there so I went looking for her. I found everyone in the room next door all standing in the front of the class room. They were talking softly about a car accident. One teacher said that the doctors did not think that my friend’s mom was hurt very badly. They were wrong, she said.  My classmates mom had died earlier that morning from a head injury that had not been detected. Lots more whispers.

I stood there thinking, how can that be? Moms don’t die.

In my mind, I see exactly where I was standing that day–how the soft morning sunlight came through the windows, illuminating the desktops, reflecting off chalk dust that was always flying through the air. The huddle of teachers remained close together in the front of the room. I remained invisible. Yes, they said, she had been hit from behind. You know, they said, it’s that bad spot out on the highway where so many other accidents had happened. Well, it’s been icy, they said, so she had a cement block in the back of her car for traction. When she was hit, they said, it flew and hit her head…

No one noticed as I turned and quietly walked out of the room. Oh, so many questions I carried out with me that day.

I wonder if my friend, my classmate from so many years ago, has any of the same questions I do? Does Prince Harry comfort her as he speaks of his demons? Do my other friends who also lost their moms when they were young feel the way I do–like you’ve always been a little lost? Always searching for something…

The month of May has always has been a time when I question so many things. I’ve sidestepped them for many, many years. Now it is time calm my demons by writing about them. If Prince Harry helped me, maybe I can help someone else?

This part of my life made me, me.

I am

B…simply being…

Wishing you all love and peace.

 

 

 

Resources

I had forgotten how comforting it was to have a resource to turn to when I needed some type of encouragement. We all have to do our own soul-searching. What is good to know is we have other resources out there to help us along the way. Advisors we can keep close to us–just an arm’s length–like my little book, A Guide for the Advanced Soul.

I have several “advisors” sitting close by me. I’ll call them in for consultation often and share their words of wisdom. It’s all part of why I believe we are here–to help each other in our journey. Heaven knows, we need that type of help right now. We are all questioning so many basic things.

Venice Bloodworth was introduced to me by my husband, Michael. She was someone totally new to me until he shared her book. Now her book is another one in the front row of my go to authors/advisors whenever I need someone to make sense of things. Someone to renew my hope in–well–something.

Venice wrote her book, The Key to Yourself, in the 50’s. The copyright of the book we have on our shelf is 1952–a year before I was born. I’m not sure why I even noticed that but it made a really big impression on me. She wrote then what many of us read a few years ago thinking it was the first time someone had written it. Her wording is a little cumbersome today, but that makes it even more special to me. An example from a quote she credits to “Selected” which begins Chapter 3:

The Conscious Mind

If you think you are beaten, you are; If you think you dar not, you don’t; If you’d like to wind, but you think you can’t, It’s almost a cinch you won’t’ If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost, For out in the world you’ll find success begins with a fellow’s will; It’s all in the state of the mind. 

Later in that chapter she says: It is strange that we so long failed to understand the wonderful power of thought, for it is taught by every religion and philosophy in the history of the world. Paul, when in captivity and chained to a Roman solder, gave to the world this message:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are  just, whatsoever things ar pure, whatsoever things are lovely, and of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.. 

I, like many, am troubled by what is unfolding around us. I am unsure what to do other than try to find a way to help each other through it all until we can figure out what to do next. Our minds are powerful. As Venice says, if we think we’ll lose, we have lost. We–all of us–have to rediscover our own power. Look for our advisors–whether it is by talking with each other or rediscovering words like these shared by those who have passed this way before us.

I am.

B…simply being…

God bless you all with love and peace.

 

 

 

 

Insight

Years ago a friend of mine showed me a book she said she consulted daily. The name of the book was, A guide for the Advanced Soul, by Susan Hayward. She handed it to me and told me to open it to any page. What was written on that page, she said, was  my guidance for the day.

The book impressed me so much I bought it the next day.  I have not found the words I remember reading that night so long ago. The feeling I had while reading them has never left me. I knew that night, down to my very soul, that my life was about to change in a very big way.

What happened, you ask, that made me think something was happening in my life? Something very simple–I went out for lunch–a lunch that had been in the works for months. I finally met that friend of a friend–yes–a blind date. Love at first sight, you say? I have to say, yes. There really is a thing! I was the biggest skeptic in the world until that day. In less than an hour I had become a believer. Twenty five years later, I still believe.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the “stuff” that bombards us all day long we forget to look for the magic. You know, all those unexpected blessing that simply shower down on us at times when we least expect them and often when we need them the most. It’s some powerful stuff, love. Remember that. Do not take it for granted.

Tonight, I have consulted my guide for the advanced soul. Let me share the wisdom found:

Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you. 

                                                                                         Shakti Gawain

I wish you all peace, love, and a restful night.

I am.

B…simply being…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Human

Taking a step away from my own story tonight and sharing my thoughts about something that has been in the news for the last 24 hours or so.

The talk today revolved around Jimmy Kimmel’s son, Billy. For those who may not know, he was born with a congenital heart defect, resulting in a successful open heart surgery when he was only a few days of age.  He did well with this surgery but will have more in his future.

I can hear the first comments out of many people’s mouths today, “Well, didn’t they have an ultrasound? How could they have missed a hole in the heart?” The blaming begins…

I am a retired pediatric echocardiographer. Translated, that means I performed  ultrasound on baby’s hearts. My patient population ranged from the fetus to the adult with congenital heart disease.  I was very fortunate. Before I retired I was able to do fetal echoes on women I imaged when they were neonates. What a joy that was for me. Heavens–I miss my patients and their families.

One of the things I wished my patients understood, and I feel most sonographers would agree, is the fact that we carry their stories and images home with us every single day. As a sonographer, we sit right next to our patients–definitely in their personal spaces–often putting all our body weight into their bodies in an attempt to confine that fetus. We are  not there to get “pretty pictures.” We are there to get diagnostic ones. We are accessing that little fetus to make sure all parts are normal in position, size, shape and function. All of this goes on while we hear all about your life–people who are nervous share a lot of personal information. As we work and listen, we attempt to keep our body language normal, our faces neutral, often fighting back tears. We understand just how drastic this woman and her family’s lives are going to change in just a matter of moments.

There is an obstitrician along with his/her ultrasound staff in the LA area who are very unhappy with the results of their studies done for Jimmy’s wife and unborn son. Unfortunately, ultrasound is not an exact science. Many things contribute to a successful diagnostic study: the age of the fetus, how cooperative that little person is at the time of the study, the experience of the sonographer, the experience of the physician reading that study, the level of suspicion regarding possible defects, and the amount of time that practice allows for each exam. If it is a first pregnancy, a young mom, no family history, all other images and prenatal studies normal with an active fetus, imaging compromises may be accepted. Factor into that entire equation the fact that this was a study done on a celebrity’s wife–sigh…

We are all only human–but that is not comforting to those involved with this case. Not for any of us.

My prayers go out for Billy’s continued successful recovery along with prayers for those professionals who are beating themselves up over missing this prenatal diagnosis. God bless you all.

Wishing you all a restful night filled with love and peace.

I am

B…simply being…

 

Last Time For Everything

Using a fake ID at a college bar

Getting caught with a girl in the backseat of a car

Running out on the field for the senior game wearing number 17

There’s a last time for everything

Like a George Strait cassette in a Pontiac

I tell ’em Super Cuts, let’s leave it long in the back

Wearing the tux at a high school gym

And she’s wearing your class ring

There’s a last time for everything

Last call, last chance

Last song, last dance

Sometimes you just don’t know when that’s gonna be

Hold me baby, give me a kiss

Like tonight is all there is

Cause there’s a last time for everything

Throwing the ball with the first dog you ever had

Spending all day on the lake with your grandad

Watching Glenn Frey sing “Already Gone” at the Forum in LA

There’s a last time for everything

Last call, last chance

Last song, last dance

Sometimes you just don’t know when that’s gonna be

Hold me baby, give me a kiss

Like tonight is all there is

Cause there’s a last time for everything

Kissing goodbye on her porch and driving away

Introducing her as your fiancee

Getting woke up at 5 am to see if Santa came

There’s a last time for everything

Biscuits and gravy at momma’s house

(Last time for everything)

Spring break on a fold out couch

(Last time for everything)

Little Jimmy on the Opry stage

(Last time for everything)

Hearing Prince sing “Purple Rain”

(Last time for everything)

(Last time for everything)

I’d heard this Brad Paisley song many times before I really listened to the words.

I don’t think anyone would debate the fact music has this insanely sneaky ability to side step any and all self-protective barriers we’ve constructed over the years while erasing any concepts of time. Usually this happens when I hear an old song–one that was popular during a certain time in my past. This song took its time with me–waiting until I was comfortable with the melody–then certain phrases began to catch my attention.

I was not ready for the barrage of memories the lyrics pulled out of my unsuspecting mind. Each time I hear it, the words bring into sharp focus another new old memory.

Pretty powerful stuff.

What’s my latest trigger? “Biscuits and gravy and Mama’s house.”

It made me think of the last time my sisters and I planned on going to Omaha to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving. We were all so ready to go see everyone. The Tuesday before the holiday an early snowstorm moved in and made travel unsafe–at least I thought it’d be unsafe. Had I known it’d be the last time we’d all be together for Thanksgiving, I would have taken any risk to be there.

As we prepare for this Thanksgiving, take a moment to look around, treasuring those seated at your table. Our world seems to be spinning faster and faster. In a blink of an eye, things change. This really could be the last time for many things.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~  

 

Yesterdays

“My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.” 

William Golding

The thoughts that came into my head this past week surprised me.

Most of them spurred on by a collection of odd dreams that weaved in and out of my rather drugged state. Others came all by themselves, unbidden, following the breadcrumbs left by their predecessors.

Most of the faces I saw were from my very early career in radiology and their visits left me feeling all kinds of emotions.

I couldn’t help wondering what it’d be like if we could all work together again as the more adult, more mature versions of our younger selves? It makes me shake my head and slowly smile.

We were such an interesting collection of people–some very young, eyes wide open as they saw the unexpected and learned, others a little older, pushing to establish themselves in a small but demanding department, and the older, established few who saw the world of medicine changing all around them, unsure where they would fit in.

I was one fighting for my spot. As I bounced around in my search for new territory, I was not always very kind nor was I anywhere near as smart as I thought I was. I know–all surprising, right?

Many of the old familiar faces visited me this week–thank you. It was haunting and blearily lovely.

 “When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.” 

Friedrich Nietzsche

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

My Caregivers

The very best thing about dogs is how they just know when you need them most, and they’ll drop everything that they’re doing to sit with you awhile.” 

Steven Rowley

I’ve had a week of recovery surrounded by the most wonderful caregivers.

Love came in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

From healing massages and dashes to the store to appease whatever whim came to my mind to homemade chicken noodle soup to beautiful plants, brilliant flowers, colored pencils with an amazing picture book to the many gentle words sent via calls and texts. I was spoiled beyond measure.

This morning, Bud came to be beside me as I gathered things together in order to begin writing again.

I am grateful and I am ready.

Thank You, God, for the body You have given me. Most of the time I take my health for granted. I forget how fortunate I am to live without pain or disability, how blessed I am to be able to see and hear and walk and eat. I forget that this body of mine, with all its imperfections, is a gift from You. When I am critical of my appearance, remind me, God, that I am created in Your holy image. If I become jealous of someone else’s appearance, teach me to treasure my unique form. Help me, God, to care for my body. Teach me to refrain from any action that will bring harm to me. If I fall prey to a self-destructive habit, fill me with the strength to conquer my cravings. Lead me to use my body wisely, God. Guide my every limb, God, to perform acts of compassion and kindness. I thank You, God, for creating me as I am. Amen.

Levy, Naomi. Talking to God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle, and Celebration (p. 24). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

Healing Prayers

“The common man prays, ‘I want a cookie right now!’ And God responds, ‘If you’d listen to what I say, tomorrow it will bring you 100 cookies.” 

Criss Jami, Killosophy

Waiting.

It is not easy and I am not especially good at it.

I’ve been waiting to hear from a surgeon about scheduling a procedure I need to have done.

I have been waiting for several days.

Yesterday, I reached my limit and spoke up. I am learning in today’s health care environment, you HAVE to speak up.

The end result, thanks to my physician listening to me and taking action, I saw a surgeon this morning. My procedure will be Monday.

But–there’s more to the story.

As I drove to my appointment, I prayed I’d get on the schedule quickly.

After my consultation, I was told there is a spot open for Monday.  Thank you, God. An added plus, I’d just had my annual physical so I had all the pre-op studies done–yay, me.

Driving home, I remembered there was an estate sale I wanted to check out. What a grand diversion–at the next stop I put the address into my phone and made my way to the sale.

There was a little bit of everything at this sale. I wandered around until I came to a room filled with books. I knew I’d found my spot. Nothing caught my eye until I saw this little black prayer book–so appropriately titled, Healing Prayers.

The best example of a God wink I’ve seen in a long time.

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Breathe

“The road to happiness starts with a deep breath and an awareness of the many blessings tied to that single breath.” 

Richelle E. Goodrich, Making Wishes

Breathe in.

I took in many deep breaths today, fiddling here and there as I worried about this and that.

I eventually realized I had to stop the busyness in order to become aware of my thoughts. My gut told me I was not on a positive path. I needed to stand back and take a few deep breaths. As I held each breath, I gave myself the time to evaluate my concerns. As I exhaled, I acknowledged each worry, prayed for guidance, and released each and every nagging thought out to the Universe.

Worries are always going to sneak in. They come in all kinds of diguises. Today reminded me to breathe–follow this simple process instead of allowing my thoughts to grow into monsters.

As the sunlight fades outside my office, I appreciate re-learning this very valuable lesson. I understand and KNOW I have the power to make my life easy or difficult. It is up to me.

“You have peace,” the old woman said, “when you make it with yourself.” 

Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

I am…

B…simply being…

May God bless us all.

~Peace~

My thanks to my friend, Kathy Adams Brezinski, for allowing me to use her wonderful photo today. I am blessed and I am so thankful.

Humankind

“Wild animals are less wild and more human than many humans of this world” 

Munia Khan

A friend posted the word “humankind” today on Facebook followed by, “try being both.”

What has happened to our world?   

Yes, another mass shooting happened this last weekend. What scared me the most Saturday was the fact I was no longer shocked as I read the breaking news banner pasted on the front of my phone. A confirmed mass shooting at a Pittsburg synagogue. These tragedies have become as every day as the latest wild-fire or category 5 hurricane. We have become numb and almost anesthetized.

As I walked into my office, I looked out our front door and saw this beautiful buck relaxing in the shade.

Thank you, God, for sharing this magnificent animal with me at this moment. His calm gaze gave me great peace.  Thank you.

As I began reading quotes for today’s story, I kept reading passages attributed to L.R. Knost. I had no idea who this person was but I certainly agreed with what s/he had to say.

I discovered L.R. Knost is a young author and mom who lives in Florida with her husband and four of her six children. She is a well published author with several of her books cited in the short article: Two Thousand Kisses a Day, Whispers Through Time, The Gentle Parent, and Jesus, the Gentle Parent.

I could not decide on which quote to share so I decided to share several.

“Healing a hurting humanity starts with a sacred pause, to listen, to learn, to understand, to accept, to forgive, to respect. That sacred pause transcends the fear-driven brutality of the primitive human survival instinct and makes way for a thoughtful, intentional, peaceful, humane response. Peaceful coexistence on this lovely planet is not impossible. It is imperative. Our future, our humanity, our very survival depends on it.” 

L.R. Knost

“I know the concern over the events in our nation doesn’t end at our borders. Because there are no borders, really, if you think about it. Everything we do on this planet has repercussions that reverberate around the world. Because we’re connected. We belong to each other. And we need each other. We will get through this. Together. And we’ll learn and grow and overcome. Together. I believe the good things in this world outnumber the sad. And I believe the good people outnumber the bad. We are the lights sparkling in the darkness, and our hope and love are going to set the world on fire. I believe in us.” 

L.R. Knost

“Do not be hardened by the pain 

and cruelty of this world. 

Be strong enough to be gentle, 

to be soft and supple like running water, 

gracefully bending around sudden turns, 

lithely waving in strong winds, 

freely flowing over sharp rocks, 

all the while quietly sculpting 

this hard world into ever deeper beauty, 

gently eroding rigid rock into silken sand,

tenderly transforming human cruelty 

into human kindness. 

Remember, true strength is not found in the stone, 

but in the water that shapes the stone.” 

L.R. Knost

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace be with you.~

 

 

 

 

 

I Voted

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

We voted today. I was so surprised. The whole process was super easy and very fast.

This was the first time I sat down taking the time to read about the people running for office. I wanted to see where each candidate stood on the issues important to me. For the first time in my adult life, I needed to be a truly informed voter.

I must admit, I am a lazy voter. I think many of us are. I remember growing up listening to my parents talk about voting. Honestly, I did not know you could NOT vote a straight party ticket. I’ll never forget the first time I voted, closing the curtain and realizing I could actually choose individual candidates. No wonder there were so many people campaigning for these different offices. A classic example of not knowing what you don’t know.

I obviously missed something in my American Government class.

I’m thinking there may be other people out there who still vote a straight ticket because they are concentrating on one certain office.

Oh, my friends, I hope we have learned how destructive this practice can be and why it is important to vote wisely.

Like many, I keep wondering how I can make this all better.

I know–vote. My question to us all is can we turn this train around fast enough to save our country?

I certainly hope so and we have to start NOW.

Change starts with one very simple thing–the thing so many brave men and women have died defending.

VOTE.

Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” 

Abraham Lincoln

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Dear Friend

“My Dear Friend, 

Don’t ever allow yourself to forget how incredibly special you are, even for a single second. Without you, the world would not be as magnificent. Let yourself remember to love again, starting with you loving you.” 

Miya Yamanouchi, Embrace Your Sexual Self: A Practical Guide for Women

Oh, there are many people in my little circle of friends going through some difficult times.

I understand this is part of getting older. That does not mean I have to like it.

Take a minute, my friends, to reach out to those important to you–you will both feel better for it.

“I have noticed that most times, the least that you give out is the best that someone really needs. So, don’t always wait till you have something big to give before you do so! Someone’s “big” is your “little”!” 

Israelmore Ayivor, Daily Drive 365

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Acknowledgement

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.” 

Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

Today I watched short video today on Facebook Watch by Megan Devin. In this short animated video Megan talked about how to help a friend going through difficult times.

I’ve watched this video several times today because it helped me understand a lot about my own story. My stories have cleverly evaded me all my life. By sharing them I hope to understand myself better. Some experiences are difficult to share but I share to help others who may have had similar experiences. Unless I sort through all the baggage I’ve been carrying around with me all these years, I don’t think I’ll ever be at peace. As I unpack I pray others will find a way to lessen their own load.

Here are some of the things Megan mentioned that helped me understand my own feelings about loss and grief.

We’ve all been in situations where someone we love is hurting. It’s a hard thing to watch because we feel helpless. We’ve been taught we need to find a way to make things all better–we need to fix it.

Megan discovered it’s actually better to stop trying to cheer them up. Contrary to what we believe, it is better to allow that loved one to feel their pain.

Megan quotes Palmer Parker:

“The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. 

It simply wants to be witnessed exactly as it is.” 

We cannot make someone feel better by trying to lessen the pain they are experiencing. What does help is letting them know we understand, we know their pain is real, and the pain they feel is just as bad as we think it is.

For me, the grief I’ve suppressed over the years has become a monster. After my mom died no one ever talked about her again. She’d completely disappeared. Even as a kid I could tell people didn’t know what to say–so they said NOTHING.

I wonder if my childhood would have been any different if someone had been brave enough to ask me if I was really okay? How was I doing without my mom?  Did I want to talk about her?

If someone close to you has lost a loved one, reach out to them. Be patient and allow them to be in their pain with you. Listen to them with the knowledge you cannot fix anything but you are there and you can help them heal.

” I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later, when somebody says your name for the last time.”  ~Banksy

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Very Large Paw Print

“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.” 

Ashly Lorenzana

Every year when Halloween approaches, I think of my dog, Fanny.

I’ve written about Fanny before–I think it was Halloween last year when I shared the story about how she disappeared from our backyard.

Fanny was my first dog and the soul who comforted me after my Mom died. When my stepmother joined our family, Fanny was one of the first things to go.

Sadly, I never knew why she disappeared–I went in search of her for days and days–especially on Halloween when I knew people could be mean to animals. It was weeks later when the phone rang. I raced to answer the phone–being a teenager I was certain it had to be one of my friends. As I listened, I heard a very nice woman tell me she had just adopted our dog–my dog–from the Waterloo Humane Society. She needed to know if she was current with her shots?

My heart broke into so many pieces.

Part of me was happy because I knew Fanny would never leave me. But…I also learned, in a flash, people and things are not always as they seem.

On that Saturday afternoon, I lost my trust in most adults.

For some reason Fanny has been on my mind. Maybe it’s because our oldest dog, Bud has been following me closely the past few days. His intense gaze reminds me of Fanny–maybe she is visiting?

That thought, my friends, is very comforting.

Thanks, Fanny. I love you always.

“The very best thing about dogs is how they just know when you need them most, and they’ll drop everything that they’re doing to sit with you awhile.” 

Steven Rowley

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~