Let Sleep Come

Lord, unwrinkled my tired soul

unsnarl my garbled thoughts and words

unwind my gnarled nerves

and let me relax in Thee.  

~Marian Wright Edelman, Bedside Prayers

Lately, many people I talk with tell me they cannot sleep.

Thank heavens, I rarely have that problem.

When I was working, there’d be nights when my mind would not shift gears and slow down. I’d find myself re-hashing and replaying different scenarios from that day or the day before–some nights there’d be scenes from many years prior intertwining and mixing into the current featured attraction. When that started happening, I knew I was in for a very long night.

Luckily, I’ve made peace with most of that. I couldn’t help but wonder if I could find something to share that’d help those struggling now.

I’ve been reading my little book of bedside prayers. I enjoy this book a lot. It’s certainly a precious little find and quickly becoming one of my favorites.

Today I found two prayers I think my help ease some of the restless minds out there.

The first prayer introduced today’s story and the second follows.

Now is the time to light the vesper candles of the soul

for their flame shall illuminate this sacred place.

Now is the time to rest in the indigo blue arms of the earth

for the earth shall support and embrace you.

Now is the time to dry the tears of the day

for the Spirit shall comfort and console you.

Now is the time to offer thanks for the blessings of this day

for the Spirit shall receive and honor your graciousness.

Now is the time to hear the lullaby of wind over the land

for you shall be rocked in the soothing of  its rhythm.

Now is the time to close your eyes and let sleep come

for the Spirit shall keep tender vigil through the night.

~Susan J. Erickson, Bedside Prayers 

As someone shared with me earlier today–may angels rest upon your pillow.

I am…

B…simply being…

As someone shared with me earlier today–may angels rest on your pillow.



I am so fortunate to have an amazing photographer in my circle of Facebook friends. Thank you, Chuck Hackenmiller, for allowing me to use your wonderful photos as part of my blog.

You can see many of Mr. Hackenmiller beautiful photos on the Facebook page, I grew up in Iowa.

Please note, no re-use of this photo without permission from Chuck Hackenmiller, Boone, Iowa.

A Tiny Treasure

“Let me tell you something big: Give importance to little things!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

I found this little handmade gift tag in a box of old pictures. I’d been sorting through what felt like a hundred boxes Michael had pulled out of our basement storage space. We were downsizing after our Colorado home sold, preparing to start our retirement as full-time RVers–there was a LOT of stuff that had to go.

This tiny little scrap of paper took me completely off guard.

How can I describe the pure joy of finding something so precious and so unexpected? How had this fragile piece of wrapping paper survived the moves across town, across the country, followed by even more cross-city moves? Not only was it a mystery to me–it felt like a miracle.

This tag came from my old childhood neighbors, Tom and Karen Sink. When I first met them, Kevin was their only child. They were next door for quite a few years and  I  had been fortunate to be with them for the arrival of their other two precious babies.  It was a babysitter’s dream and they lived right next door.

Not only did they call me to babysit on a regular basis, they gave my sisters and I shelter from the maddening storm that had become our home life. They’d moved in shortly after my family had moved to Waterloo from Traer. This was a rough time for me–moving right after my eighth-grade year. I had to leave the kids I’d gone to school with since we were all in kindergarten just when we were all ready to begin our high school years.

I was miserable.

Answering a prayer I did not know I’d put out to the Universe, God sent Karen and Tom who filled my life with love, hope, and kindness.

Our houses were very close together–meaning all our family arguments were easily overheard by Tom and Karen. I’m pretty sure they had many unplanned nights out in order to give the Burton girls a place to hang out and a way to escape the chaos.

They were our angels.

It should not have surprised me, finding this powerful little piece of paper when I did. I now had my newest but oldest talisman to take with me into my future.

“Whenever you’re feeling lonely, remember that there are people in this world who bless every one of us before they go to sleep at night. They may have never met you, but their hearts go out to you. They are true angels.”
L.J. Kane

I am…

B…simply being…

Love and peace to all.


The Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

― Fred Rogers

I woke up in the middle of the night and made the mistake of picking up my phone. While I waited for the dogs, I checked what was new. One of my friends had a post where she talked about her first job as a radiologic technologist and the things she saw in her early career.

This put my mind into overtime. The good part of that was I now knew what I would write about today. I would write about the caregivers but add my twist about something I always questioned when I was working. Who takes care of the caregivers?

As I began to write, my story began to change. That’s not unusual. These past few months of writing my blogs, the stories often take on a voice of their own. Today was no exception. What I’d planned moved aside to let another voice speak.

The message? What about those unintentional caregivers? You know–those people who were there to see and hear and be part of this three-day music festival.

If we, those of us who were and are healthcare workers and providers, have our own worst memories thrusting themselves into our minds, how do these people who just happened to be at the wrong place at the right time deal with all they are feeling?

We’ve all read each other’s stories of when this happened and when that happened when we were working. BUT, we were trained on how to deal with what came down that hallway. Our stories of those long days or nights are like what these everyday people experienced in the first two minutes of this attack.

These courageous people did not run away. In fact, from what I have heard and read, many actually helped one person and returned to help more. What many saw and experienced that night had only been seen and endured before by trained soldiers on battlefields.

Compared to the stories they could tell us, mine are like first-grade show-and-tell.

My point?

There were many times in my career when I went home questioning who would listen to me and help me understand the pain and suffering I’d witnessed that day. These brave souls did unbelievable things. Who will listen to them and help them understand what they saw and felt? Who will help them find the words to get all the images out of their heads?

If you know someone who was there, treat them with extra care. Give them the time they need to talk. Help them find help so they can begin to heal. The images they saw will be with them forever. If there was ever a need for a very large special care therapy center, it is now. Unfortunately, even if it could happen, it will never happen.

Let’s do what we can as individuals. Be aware that there are even more people among us who need our kindness and prayers. Please be gentle with these novice caregivers who answered the cries they heard in the panic that night.

I believe in angels. I believe angels flew close to the earth that night, helping the helpers help.

Please, God, bless them all.

I am…

B…simply being…

I love you.