Tag Archives: love

Love Knows No Bounds – from Upworthy

This morning, I share some wonderful moments of love, just love, love that is not bounded by race, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability.  This is a beautiful video.  Please enjoy it and know that this is the world I want to live in.

http://www.upworthy.com/a-bunch-of-skeletons-kiss-hug-and-dance-in-a-super-heartwarming-video-about-love

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Filed under Inspiring People, Life & Death, Love and Marriage

Preparing for Your Inner Journey | The Chopra Center

Sometimes things happen that we think are random.

But most of the time, it’s the universe, speaking clearly to us.

As you may know, I have been taking Deepak Chopra’s and Orpah’s 21 day meditation. Once I finished, I started receiving emails with gifts – 7 days of them. One was for a new meditation series – Awaken to Happiness, which I started today.

This series is free, too. Each lesson takes a week of learning…growing and starting to see – beginning with exploring happiness and identifying your true source of happiness.

Today, the first day, the universe sent me to an article by Caroline Myss – an article about taking a journey inward to learn more about my self, my ego, my reactions and my life.

Since it is the first day of a new year and since I consider this article to be a gift from the universe, I wanted to share it with anyone who wants to begin a new year with a new journey – one that can quiet the noise of always needing
“…just a bit more” whether it’s stuff, money or ego boosting.

I wish everyone the best in 2014 and hope that you might want to join me as I begin to journey into what really makes me happy – who really makes me happy, as I begin to discover the wonderful spirit that lives inside my skin — my soul.

Namaste

Preparing for Your Inner Journey | The Chopra Center.

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Filed under arm wresting, Death & Dying, Education, Gifts, Mysteries, World Changing Ideas

The Death of a Friend-Rosella Clemmons Washington

I lost a friend on Monday.

Her name is Rosella Clemmons Washington.  A jazz singer, mother, wife, sister and friend and one of the most joyful people I have ever known.

The truth is, though, that I let her go 18 months ago.  I let my new job, my life, her life, our schedules, get in the way of seeing each other.  And now, I will not see her again until I die.  And I am so very sad that I was not a good friend.  I was a lapsed friend.

Sure, I called.  I left voice-mails.  I sent email and posted on her Facebook page. So, I can try to convince myself that I reached out, I tried.  But I didn’t persist.  I didn’t insist.  I did the polite thing — I didn’t want to intrude.  But somewhere, deep in my bones, I knew Rosella was dying.  And I should have just driven to her house, knocked on the door and fallen together with her into each others’ arms.

If I had, it wouldn’t have changed her outcome.  Rosella had breast cancer.  She beat it once but lost to it in the second round.  She fought.  Chemo and radiation every week.  Every day was long and longer.  She stopped singing, silencing a voice that was so rich, so full, so beautiful that I really believe she is in the heavenly choir, tuning up for her first performance right now.

We met at work 30 years ago.  For 15 of those years, we talked, laughed, celebrated our birthdays, cried, ate out, dined in at each other’s houses.  She was at my daughter’s wedding;  she sang Ave Maria from the balcony with no mike.  There wasn’t a dry  eye in the house.  I was at her wedding and the birth and death of her first child, her daughter, Debra Rose.  She was pregnant with her son the same year my daughter was pregnant with hers.

Cyndy and I were there when Mark Isaiah was born 2 months early  – touched his long, long fingers, nicknamed him ET and hugged the wonderful woman who was his Mom.  Rosella used to hand me Mark Isaiah as soon as I came into the house saying, “he will only stay still for you.”  When he was old enough to walk, little Mark would fling himself into my arms, running his still long, thin fingers through my hair, leaning in for hugs and laughing.

But once we moved to another county and Mark Isaiah started playing sports, Rosella and I had to work hard to find days that worked for both of us.  My schedule was more flexible so I wrapped around hers, going to her house, having lunch with Mama Rose, listening to Rosella brag about her now rapidly growing son, and watching her eyes glow when she looked at him.

But time and tide continued to pull us further apart.  I would go to a concert of hers and drop by to see her at her new home.  Sometimes she would drive out to our house and sit on the deck and give me her wisdom and counsel.  I was struggling at work, doing too much, being trivialized, feeling sorry for myself and not doing much more than complaining.

Rosella frequently opened these counseling sessions with her favorite line for her  stubborn Irish friend, “Does God have to hit you with a 2 x 4 to get you to see what’s right?”  Apparently, the answer was yes.  My sister, and we knew somewhere back in time we had been sisters, was always right, always there to offer advice or consolation and always, always laughing.

So, when I called to sing her Happy Birthday in October of 2012, I got voice mail.  I thought, okay, she’s busy.   But she didn’t call back.  When I called around the holidays to see if we could get together, I got voice mail again but I said I understood.  Holidays, family…but somewhere in the back of my head, a mall voice whispered, “What if…?”  I didn’t answer.  I emailed her instead.

When I called in February and said I wanted to come and see her, there was no reply.  When she finally did call back, she sounded so tired.  She told me she was battling cancer again.  I offered to take her to Philly for treatment but she had to go on weekdays and I was working.  I offered to come up on a Saturday, sit with her, hold her…but she said she was not fit for any company after chemo and radiation.  I told her I understood.  I told her I would do what she wanted me to do but wanted to help.

But she said her friends were helping with the transportation and her church was helping her at home.

I told her I loved her.  She said she loved me too.  And I never heard her voice again.

This morning, I sit here knowing that I should have shoved aside all my reservations, been impolite, driven up to her house and intruded.  Because I might, just once more, have seen, held and hugged this woman who I loved and still love with all my heart.

Rosella’s death has taught me not to wait, not to be concerned about societal restrictions, not to lose another friend without having the chance to say, just one more time, how precious they are to me and how very much I love having them in my life.

Good by Rosella.  I know God was glad to get you back home but I miss you, my sister.

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Filed under Death & Dying, Life & Death, Religion

Shaping Our Children’s Lives & Futures

The theory that children are shaped, for life, in the first 5 years of their small lives has been proven to be true.

The effect of how they are loved, taught, held, or hurt can be found in the hallways of our schools, every day.

This essay is one of the best I have seen on the power for good or evil that all adults but especially parents hold when it comes to their children.All adults have the power to kill a small child’s life before it ever begins.  Killing doesn’t mean murdering the body; it means murdering the soul, the spirit and the mind of the child before the child ever has a chance to live and love in our world.

This post clearly states the case for all of us to make the effort to make our children’s lives safe and happy places for them to live, learn and love.  Please read it.  Please share it.  Please try to think about it before you choose (and it is a choice, folks) to snap at your child, to slap your child with words or your hand, to do damage to your child that lives inside of them, forever.

My Dad used to tell me this when I started dating.  “Don’t listen to what they (boys) say; watch what they do.”  This same perspective is what your kids, our kids do every day.  They do NOT do what we say…they do what we do.

Please try to consider the fragility of these wonderful, bright shiny children who arrive so eager, so willing to learn and think about what you teach them.

Think What You Want.

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Filed under Death & Dying, Education, Life & Death, Love and Marriage

Life As We Know It Is Over

What makes me strong?  What keeps me from breaking under the load we all call life?

I have been asking that question for a dozen years.  My husband has been hospitalized more than 30 times since 2001.  He had bladder cancer.  He just kept growing tumors and finally they had to take his bladder out and put in a conduit to the ostomy that we now call Fred.

Then he had infections – and more infections and yet again, infections.  Over the last 10 years we have spent our vacations in the most expensive resort in the country – the hospital.  A jail cell really but it’s mostly white with nice subdued drapes and wardens dressed as nurses in navy  blue.

Recently, my husband did hand to hand combat with  melanoma which made a difference in how we spend our time, our money, our personal currency.

Now, he is being laid off.  He will be 60 when the axe finally falls.  He will be too old to employ – too young for social security or medicare.  And he will still be sick, still be in the hospital 2 or 3 times a year and still be the man I love with all my heart.

I am a master’s prepared, professional who is applying for jobs as a receptionist, an administrative assistant., a dog walker, anything to get a job that will help bridge the gap between his layoff and his 65th birthday.

But I can’t get a job.  We can’t sell our house.  And we cannot stop the layoff that is rolling toward us at the speed of light.

How did this happen?  When did we become part of the fringe that cannot sustain itself in this country  – the land of the brave, the land of the free?

Welcome to America – 2012.  Welcome to our country where people work and do a good job and pay their taxes and still get screwed.  This is the land where the rich once again get richer and the rest of us pay for their privilege.

We”ll keep fighting.  We will stay together.  We will find a way, smaller, narrower but still together.  But is this what is supposed to happen to people who have lived a good life?  Worked hard?  Helped out our families?

Who knows? All I know is that this is our lot.  And this we will face together — until death do us part.

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Filed under Budgeting, Life & Death, Love and Marriage, Politics, Saving Money

Thoughts on Winter & Darkness & Politics

I am starting to fear silence again, filling it with sound, running from whatever my head or heart is trying to tell me.  Does this happen to you?

These are the moments when I cannot sit still.  My eyes move from place to place.  My skin itches.  I must jump up and fill the time before….before what?  What could my inner self have to say that so frightens my outer self?

In the past, these moments have led to insight.  In the past, these moments meant personal growth. But what am I supposed to learn this time?

I feel too old to learn, too sure of the knowledge that my time has passed.  I am walking slowly toward death, my own, my loved ones but death nonetheless.

Maybe it’s the coming of winter, the rare October snow we just had.  Maybe it’s the approach of daylight savings — long, dark afternoons into longer, darker nights.   Maybe it’s my feeling that I am no longer the all  powerful wizard of my early days, the one with all the answers.

Maybe it’s because I fear this lesson has much broader implications.

The future keeps crowding into the present – the outside world into my small, sweet corner of it.  Our world, the world I grew up in, the world we hippies and peaceniks changed, the world we loved, was proud of, is disappearing.

Spinning faster and faster away from me, it has moved on its axis to a place of, “I’ve got mine; the rest of you, go away.”  This world is a foreign place for me and I hold no answers on how to fix it.

How I wish I was still that wizard of my younger years and able to make the coming years as rich and warm for my daughter and grandchildren as they were for me.  How I wish the future would not loom on the ever darkening horizon of financial woes, economic downturns.  How I wish our “elected officials” would actually do more to earn their pay and less to get re-elected.

Politicians have lost their way.  Honor no longer goes with the job; passion for what’s right, not what’s personally enriching has disappeared, replaced by greed and guile.

Perhaps this is the lesson I am being forced to learn — there is no easy way out of this huge and frightening mess our country is in, no easy way to close the gap between the ridiculously rich and the grindingly poor.  Perhaps politicians should have to face only one test to run for office.

Do they have a terminal illness?

If only the dying were allowed to run for office, maybe, just maybe it might help them focus on what’s truly important instead of what’s expedient.

 

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Filed under Life & Death, Love and Marriage

A Good Marriage Is Easy To Spot

How do you know your marriage is good?

Passionately and deeply in love?  Want to spend all your waking and sleeping hours with that one person?  Enjoying today, together  but planning for tomorrow?  Moving in, setting up a joint bank account and sharing the day-to-day tasks of living?

Every one of these could indicate a strong relationship, a good marriage.  Anyone of them could also be just a symptom of what looks like a good marriage.

The first time one of you makes a bad decision, you’ll get a look at what underpins your marriage.  Lose the savings account on a bad investment and watch the argument rip from money to control and back again.  Or make a bad choice morally – just once and it didn’t really mean anything.  But your partner may not be able to bridge the gap between the before and the after.

The truth is anyone can have a “good” marriage when things are going well.  The acid test only happens when things go badly.

Sometimes, bad choices can make or break your marriage depending on how you and your beloved handle it.  But what happens when no one makes a choice but both of you have to live with the consequences?

What happens when one of you gets sick?  I don’t mean a head cold or the flu.  I mean sick unto death.  In our case, it was cancer.  Will you run or will you stay?

It has been 10 years since our journey began, 10 years of chemo therapy, surgery, hospitalization after hospitalization.  Sitting here, reading my journal from the days when I thought, we both thought, that treatment would be fast, surgery would finish it, tears are streaming down my face.  What happened to my husband, to us, still cuts to the bone.  Our loss runs deep and wide.  Our sorrow is endless.

But our marriage not only survived, it got stronger with every treatment, every surgery, every hospitalization.

Since he was diagnosed with cancer, my husband and I have spent every vacation, every year, in that very expensive resort with very small rooms, a single bed and terrible food.  Hitting 34 hospitalizations in this, the 10th anniversary of our relationship with cancer, we are closer together than ever, enjoy each others company over that of almost anyone we know and wish only for one thing, at least another 10 year of whatever life has to throw at us.

It seems ours is a good marriage.

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Filed under Healthcare, Life & Death, Love and Marriage