From the Author

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Our Future in the New Year

"We usher in the New Year with good intentions and heartfelt desires.  We drop a giant ball and hope for the best."  B.C. by Mastroianni and Hart

"Life is a river and it carries you to your future whether you want to go or not."  Hallmark

We are on the journey of life and it continues on relentlessly.  Every year goes by faster than the last.  Yet we are still alive.  We have choices and opportunities that await us in the new year.  The only thing that may stop us is ourselves and our fear.

"You are not defined by your past.  You are prepared by your past.You are stronger than your challenges.  Believe in yourself and stay strong. Let go of the thoughts that don't make you strong."  Heather Lynch, Marketing Consultant

"Fear is a thief, it steals all your todays by making you dread tomorrow.  But today is all you have, it's all anyone has. There is no reason to worry about tomorrow--God is already there."                 
Do you know why God put faces on the front of people's bodies?  Faces are on the front so that people can see where we are going, not where we have been."
Touched by an Angel show

I pray that you make the choice to move forward, place your future in God's hands, and remember how to love others, and to make a positive difference in the world.  You can do that one moment at a time, one person at time and one opportunity at a time. This moment is the first moment for the rest of your life. Make the best of it as we don't know how many new years we have left!  You are in charge of your own life! Make the best of it!  Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 23, 2017


"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."   Joseph Addison

My Christmas wish for all of you would be that you will find the gift of happiness.  Find something to do that is meaningful and enriches the lives of others.  Find someone to love including yourself, your family, your friends or someone in need.  Find hope in your life as you seek the good and beautiful things sometimes hidden in this world of chaos, narcissism, electronics and and impersonal communications.  Hope is contagious--we can share it with everyone we come in contact with.  A genuine smile can be infectious!

I wish that we can look and really see ourselves and others in all of the imperfections, and find a kindred soul. Actively listen non-judgmentally and find another struggling individual.  Walk in their shoes and find acceptance and tolerance unselfishly within ourselves.

I wish for you to find the joys of Christmas as you see it through the eyes of a child.

"Keep true to the dreams of thy youth."  Frederick von Schuiller

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

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Friday, December 22, 2017

What Time Does Jesus Get Here?

"A couple took their 3-year-old to church for the first time at Christmas.  Getting impatient while waiting for Mass to start, he turned to his mother and asked, "What time does Jesus get here?"
                      Taken from a church bulletin

Children are so wonderful and open to the experience of celebrating the holidays with various faiths, in various countries and in the entire world.  The expectations, the excitement and the gathering of family and friends in a spirit of love create lifelong memories.

"Advent's intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child.  This is a healing memory; it brings hope."
                                      Pope Benedict XVI

The Christmas and other celebratory gatherings bring out the best in most of us because the emphasis is on loving, giving, sharing, and caring.  It is time to take a look at the most important aspects of our lives including family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, church members and people who are struggling with their lives and need a dose of hope. It is a time to look outside of our own needs and think of others.

Remember, it is not the gift itself, it is the love and thought behind it!  There are many types of gifts including smiles, hugs, kind gestures, thoughtfulness, or connection with ourselves and others, and making a difference in a person's life.

It is not about how many things we can accumulate, how much money we receive or how perfectly we create the best meal, the most beautifully decorated house, the perfectly orchestrated plans.  It is about faith, hope, love and kindness.

"As a little girl climbed onto Santa's lap, Santa asked the usual, "And what would you like for Christmas?  The child stared at him open mouthed and horrified for a minute, then gasped: "Didn't you get my E mail?"

My wish for you is for Christmas blessings that have nothing to do with computers, preoccupation with purchases and look for the gifts from the heart!

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Monday, December 11, 2017


The holidays are a wonderful time of hustle, bustle, family, friends, parties, celebrations, church activities, shopping, gifts and finding our place in the chaos. It can also be lonely, sad and challenging.  It is difficult to find a sense of peace and quiet to be able to slow down enough to enjoy the moment.

"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.  Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."   St. Francis de Sales

Sometimes, while taking a moment to relax, we become aware of the passage of this instant opportunity to stand still and enjoy life.  When we are in this brief, fleeting, transient minute, life stops and we are no longer a part of the past or the future. We are living now, totally and fully without stress.  We can even beome aware of our slower breathing, heart rate and cessation of anxiety.

Give yourself the gift of solitude in the midst of pandemonium!  Discover what is truly important for the holidays and remember those who are less fortunate.

"The gift is to the giver--it comes back most to him (or her)--it cannot fail."   Walt Whitman

Gifts for the spirit are more significant than gifts from the store. Remember to give gifts of time, ability, listening, checking in on family and neighbors, shoveling snow, helping with transportation, kindness, and hugs.  These are the gifts that are memorable and timeless.

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Saturday, December 9, 2017


There are many news stories about leaders in many different fields who have been held in high esteem until recent exposure for corruption, sexual exploits, contributions to pornography in adults and children, embezzlement, and cruelty.  For family and friends, the shock is overwhelming between the belief in the person and the reality of the person.

How can we be so easily deceived by someone who professes to love and respect us?  How can individuals use their influence and trust to deceive those who believe in them?  How can someone so honored and esteemed become so despicable?

The answer lies in our tendency to overlook or disregard hints of the negative behaviors of the person we admire or love because it is easier than confronting the truth.  Truth can be hidden but will eventually be discovered because of the many lies needed to cover it up.  Truth prevails in the long run but at great cost to loved ones, friends and society. 

We all have choices to support evil or to expose it and begin doing the right thing.  Too many of us keep silent when we need to stand up for the all of the people: ourselves, the poor, under-educated, immigrants fleeing from persecution, people who are simply different in faith, color, sexuality, or economic status. 

We can still love the person but expose the behaviors with the truth.  Evil can't hide behind the truth.  We must find our voices to bring peace, hope and trust back to our world and our daily lives. Holidays shared by many faiths can remind us of hope and peace.  We can still ask God to help us find goodness in each other.  We are responsible for our actions and for avoiding the truth we know in our hearts.  Doing nothing is not acceptable! Forgive but don't "cover up" what we know!  Have wonderful holidays! 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"My Friend Just Died. I Don't Know What to Do."

I am copying a story found on the web for you that may help if you are experiencing grief during the holidays or any time. Grief is especially hard to handle during holidays.  I hope you find that the love you experienced has been worth the pain you now feel so deeply.

"Alright, here goes.  I'm old.  What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not.  I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks.  I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child.  But here's my two cents."

"I wish that I could say that you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances.  But I don't want it to "not matter." I don't want it to be something that just passes.  My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love.  So be it.  Scars are a testament to life.  Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gauged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was.  Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see."

"As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves.  When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you.  Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more.  And all you can do is float.  You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for awhile.  Maybe it's some physical thing.  Maybe its a happy memory or a photograph.  Maybe its a person who is also floating.  For a while, all you can do is float.  Stay alive."

"In the beginning, the waves are 100  feet tall and crash over you without mercy.  The come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath,  All you can do is hang on and float.  After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart.  When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out.  But in between, you can breathe, you can function.  You never know what's going to trigger the grief.  It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee.  It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing.  But in between waves, there is life."

"Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart.  You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare.You can see it coming for the most part, and prepare yourself.  And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will. again, come out on the other side.  Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.

"Take it from an old guy.  The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to.  But you learn that you'll survive them.  And other waves will come.  And you'll survive them too.  If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves, And lots of shipwrecks."

If the grieving person is lucky, he or she will find someone like you to listen, hold and hug, be present and share the grief.  You don't have to say anything. Your undivided attention, hugs and presence is more than enough!  You are in my prayers!

Facing Life and Reality

I was at the grocery the other day.  I was buying eggs and had to wait briefly for the man who was stocking the shelves.  He was shaking his head and with a slight grin he stated, "There are never any small eggs."  I looked at the shelves.  There were medium eggs, large eggs, extra large eggs but no "small eggs."  We looked at each other and discussed the marketing strategies that are prevalent and are attacking our sense of reality.  Of course there are small eggs.  The eggs are marketed as medium eggs so that they appeal to our sense of getting a better deal.  Who would want to buy small eggs when they can get medium or large eggs? 

It is important to be able to choose wisely in our lives.  We can face reality or we can pretend or repackage our concept of the truth so that it becomes a new, distorted reality.  The truth is the truth.  If someone is a womanizer, a groper, a rapist, a corrupt politician, a con artist or someone who is simply immoral, no matter how they are presented, need to be held accountable for their actions. If we support them politically, personally, or by remaining silent, we are condoning immoral behaviors.  We are deceiving ourselves and others by repackaging information to convince ourselves that it is acceptable when it is, in fact, deplorably inadequate and repugnant. 

We have to live with ourselves.  At some point, reality and the consequences of our actions have to be faced. Our example, our legacy, has to be positive and aboveboard for the future world that our children and grandchildren inherit.  Let us be leaders of honesty, integrity and peace. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


"If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are;  whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary--the world really would be a better place.  And if you do this...someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every one of you, the face of God."   R.J. Palacio, writer, from her children's book Wonder

It is important for all of us to take time to "count our blessings" as we enter the holiday season.  We all have something to be thankful for.  Family, health, employment, sufficient food, clothes, shelter, friends, opportunities to share our lives with others, and a grateful heart!

Giving to others is a wonderful way to spend a holiday because we have something to contribute! This Thanksgiving, find time to give to family or someone who is lonely, sad, ill, or needy.  Be an angel who answers a prayer for someone else.  It is guaranteed to bring joy to your heart as well as theirs! 

"Sharing your blessings helps you make room for more."  Actress Gina rodriguez

I'm wishing you a joyful, peaceful and thankful Thanksgiving! 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thank You to Military Family and Friends

I would like to take an opportunity to thank the family and friends who support our service members.  While enlisted men and women are working to keep us safe, family and friends are "holding down the fort." That includes spouses, grandparents, neighbors, friends and church members.  Thank you for being there so that our service men and women are able to do their jobs without worrying about things at home.  You are all very special, brave, patient and loving individuals who make a difference everyday. 

"There is no force in the world better able to alter anything from its course than love...Meeting the world with a loving heart will determine what we find there."  Gregory Boyle, Jesuit priest and founder of a gang-intervention program. 

All of you find ways to manage all of the endless errands, duties, responsibilities, and day-to-day necessities to keep everything going.  You are heroes also. 

"I wish I could tell you it gets better, but it doesn't get better. You get better."  Joan Rivers, comedian

You are the ones who have to adapt with carrying on a life without the loved one who is deployed.  You are the ones who have to worry about whether this man or woman will return physically, mentally and spiritually the same.  You have to wonder if they will return alive or disabled.  You become stronger and "better" as you shoulder the obligations of life.  You are the anchors and the wings for our service men and women! 

Thank you very much!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day

"Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men (and women!) and so it must be daily earned and refreshed else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die."
 Dwight D Eisenhower

Today we have the opportunity to thank our many veterans for their continuing service to his or her country.  It is because of their hard work and sacrifice, we continue to enjoy our freedoms that are often taken for granted.

"Let us remember that love lives through sacrifice and is nourished by giving.  Without sacrifice there  is no love."
St. Maximillian Kolbe

Thank you to our service men and women who make a difference in the world everyday. 

"I see life as like being attacked by a bear.  You can run, you can pretend to be dead, or you can make yourselves bigger." 
Amy Poehler

Our service men and women make themselves bigger and better.  Thank you again for your service to your country!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Thank You!

I heard a story from an acquaintance recently.  His daughter is away at college and has been recently attending some concerts.  She was especially moved by a particular performer and decided to send him an E Mail about how much she enjoyed his show and told him she would be attending his next scheduled concert. 

This gentleman told his audience at his next conference to be quiet for a moment.  He called a cell phone number and it could be heard ringing in the the sudden quiet. The cell phone belonged to his daughter.  She was invited on stage, was able to introduce his next song and met with him after the show.  She was so honored and so excited. 

Why was she singled out?  It was because she took the time to send an honest evaluation to someone she admired.  She appreciated the talent of another human being and took time to tell him something positive and supportive.

How often do we tell our family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances how much we love, regard and respect them?  Do we remember to tell others how much of a difference they have made in our lives?  Do we thank them for the many times they have "been there" for us?  Or do we wait until they have died when they can't personally hear your praise? 

I had a granddaughter who told me she was writing a paper on her hero.  She told me I was her hero.  I laughed and asked, "Who are you really writing your hero paper on?"  "You," she said.  When she gave me a copy, I had to believe it.  I had no idea she had such wonderful thoughts and love for me.  It was special gift. 

Please give the gift of love, sincere praise and appreciation to the special people in your life and realize that the greatest gifts can't be bought! 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Positive Thinking

"Positive thinking is not about expecting the best to happen every time, but accepting that whatever happens is the best for the moment."  Lori Schneider, first woman with multiple sclerosis to summit Mount Everest

In my life, I have found that I used to pray for what I thought would solve my problems but found that the answer was no.  I would often get a different outcome that I never could have imagined.  It was better than what I had requested. Trials in life help us stretch our minds, hearts and souls to become a better, stronger and more innovative person.  It is in the hard times that our true character emerges.  Are we a person who sees the glass as half-empty or half-full? It is our decision and our attitude that can help us appreciate what we have and truly rejoice when others have achievements. I learned to trust in God and make the most of the opportunities I have been given. 

"Faith is a firm trust and conviction that sometimes if God doesn't give you what you think you want, it's not because you don't deserve it, but because you deserve better."  David A. R. White, movie producer, from his book, Between Heaven and Hollywood:  Chasing Your God-Given Dream

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


"It takes a lot more strength to be honest with yourself than it does to lie."
Former NFL player, Ryan O'Callaghan

Many of us find opportunities to lie to get out of a tight spot.  "Nobody will know or be hurt," we think. It seems to be the normal thing to do in society.  The problem is--we know!  As we follow up our first lie with others, it requires more lies to keep anyone from finding out the first lie.  Then our lies not only hurt us; they inevitably hurt someone else. The lies continue building until we can no longer keep them straight.  We have lost ourselves, our integrity, our future, and our peace of mind.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." 
Ralph Waldo Emerson 

We all have greatness within us.  It takes courage to become true to ourselves and present who we are honestly to our family, friends and the world.  Honesty creates self-worth, self-esteem and the path to self-fulfillment.  We are what we think.

"Be great in act, as you have been in thought."   William Shakespeare

I pray that all of the leaders of the world truly lead in truth, compassion and integrity to protect and ensure the well-being of all of us. We all know our own untruths but God knows also!  We are all responsible for the choices we make. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Truth

We hear in the news about news and fake news, truth and fake truth, and real versus fake politicians.  Statistics and media are often manipulated to the point that nothing is clear or respected. 

"I called an old school friend and asked what he was doing.  He replied that he was working on "Aqua-thermal treatment of ceramics, aluminum and steel in a constrained environment."
I was impressed. However, on further enquiring I learned that he was washing dishes with hot water under his wife's supervision."  Reported in a church bulletin

Everything and anything can be manipulated to make it fit our own goals and belief systems.  Many of us are susceptible when our emotions become entrenched in misinformation, calculated inflamed rhetoric, and in an imperfect and callous legal and law enforcement system. 

It is sad that our leaders, especially politicians, are generally concerned about their own political, financial and personal gain. It is never too late for our world to embrace a change to a moral and caring forgiveness as we learn to govern ourselves fairly and justly. 

"Solomon prayed for prudence and wisdom so that he might govern God's people rightly.  Because his request was unselfish, God granted what he sought.  When we pray, we should make sure that our desires are not motivated by selfishness. We should only want those gifts that help us most to serve others."  Reverend Jude Winkler

"Be sure that you first preach by the way you live.  If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head."   Saint Charles Borromeo

I pray for all of the leaders of the world to have mercy on the people they govern and for them to respect all other countries and cultures.  We only have one world.  If we destroy it, we all lose.  If we collaborate, we all win. 

Monday, October 2, 2017


The news report everyday about a new area in the world that suffers death and destruction due to terrorists.  Terrorists thrive on creating fear and chaos instead of love and hope. 

"Meology vs. Theology"is a term I heard on a religious program. Collectively we have lost our connection to the origin of life.  God is our creator, our source for all that is good and just. Without God, we focus in on ourselves as our own center of the universe with our own ideas of what is important in our world.  We become victims of Meology, where our goals and rights have precedence over others.  How do we fabricate the right to kill, main, destroy and cause devastation to other human beings? How can we dismiss the pain of others who are not as fortunate as we are?

This is not from God.  

My prayers and empathy are with those who are suffering not just because of natural disasters, but especially for those who experience a man-made hardships that had no cause except for the selfishness and enraged behavior of madmen. I can't imagine the horror of experiencing either man-made or natural catastrophes. My wish for all those affected by these horrible situations is to find God in the midst of your suffering and allow Him to take on your burdens.

"Place your heart gently in the the Lord's wounds.  Have great confidence in His mercy for He will never abandon you."   Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Treasures On Earth

Many of us are shoppers and collectors; valuing antiques, fashion, art and beautiful remembrances of our life's journey.  We protect these items and place them in storage, wear them, or display them in prominent places to be admired.  There is something exciting to know that these special items have a monitory and public appeal and they belong to us!

The world and our own countries have been experiencing severe weather with widespread destruction.  The survivors do not have to worry about irreplaceable items; they are concerned about whether their family, friends, neighbors, community and county have survived the fear and chaos of the loss of everything they own. Who has died, who has been injured, who is homeless, who has no clean water or food, who has an unknown future?  

Jesus, in the sermon on the mount, stated: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth! For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also!"  Our hearts sometimes get stuck with our treasures on earth and forget that if we get our reward on earth we may lose our reward in heaven.

"What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?" Many of our politicians, leaders, family, neighbors, co-works, friends, and fellow human beings forget that this world and it's things are only temporary.  I remember the auctions, garage sales, estate sales that occurred after someone died.  All of those antique, coin, gun, and other collections were separated, sold inexpensively, given or thrown away. On the final journey, we go as we are born, with nothing but our soul to judgement.  God is merciful.  Have we been merciful in our lives to all of those we have come in contact with?  Have we used our resources to help others who are in need?  Have we loved God and others as we love ourselves?  How can we ask God to show mercy to us when we have not shown mercy to others?  Let us remember what is truly important in our lives!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Love and Kindness

Yesterday my sister was able to return to her condo in Florida.  She lives along the coast and went inland to stay with her daughter during the hurricane.  There were several other families who chose to remain in the building, including the couple who often assisted with repairs and remodeling.  With permission, he was able to check on my sister's condo.  There was water that had leaked onto the floor, under the walls and traveled into the other rooms.

My sister was anxious to return home but was unable to travel until the roads were opened and cleared for safety.  She felt helpless, thinking of the damage that was occurring and she couldn't be there. She worried about walls, flooring and personal items that would be damaged with water and mold because she couldn't clean it up.  When the all-clear was obtained, she drove about four hours to arrive at her home.

She was so surprised when she learned that her condo neighbors had all gathered to help to clean, mop and do minor repairs on my sister's home and other damaged condos.  She cried when she felt the love and kindness of many of the people she only knew by name or a casual hello in the elevator. They had all gotten together to physically lift a heavy bed, remove drawers underneath and mopped the water underneath.  Her wet towels she had placed under her windows and doors were in the washing machine already.  They had rescued two old postcards that had been floating in the water. They were set up to dry on the counter and were easily seen.  One was from her deceased husband and one from her deceased father.  They were upbeat messages, meant to be seen by her, to remind her that they were still watching over her.

There are many volunteers in Florida and other areas damaged by the hurricane that was milder than expected but very destructive.  My son is one of them. People reaching out in love to their less fortunate earth family members. I continue to pray for all of the hurricane victims and for the emergency caregivers who risked their lives for the needs of others and for current volunteers in the work of reconstuction. My prayers include all of those from other countries affected by the weather and earthquakes. I thank God for the opportunity for healing of the spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical needs of the survivors everywhere in the storms of life.

Monday, September 11, 2017


Today is the anniversary of the loss of a huge number of people who were in the Twin Towers or were safety personnel such as fire fighters, police, emergency medical technicians, medically-trained helpers, or ordinary citizens called to do extraordinary things.  The loss of so many individuals is very traumatic especially since it was not a natural disaster from weather.  It was, instead, planned and executed with the sole intent to kill other human beings.

Pope John Paul II had some very compelling quotes:

"You don't have to like your history, but never forget it. Because if you forget it, you are doomed to repeat it."

"Social justice can not be created by violence because violence kills what it intends to create."

Don't be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace authentically, and to live peace authentically. Peace will be the last word of history.

Respect, tolerance, and negotiation will not prevent conflict but it will level the playing field so that a window can open to solve problems with communication instead of violence.  It is important that we recognize that all of us are human beings and we all grieve the loss of family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and the loss of life.  We all generally want many of the same things; food, clothing, shelter, education, safety for ourselves and others close to us, jobs,health/medical care and hope.

Prayer and faith are powerful tools to combat evil.  We must remember that what we do in the name of faith must be moral, ethical and able to pass the scrutiny of God.  Otherwise the actions performed are not, in fact, motivated by God.  We are all accountable for our lives, our actions, our verbal and physical responses to others. We are all going to die; however some of us will be ashamed, some proud and some condemned!  We all have a choice everyday with every decision and every action! Choose to love!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

IRMA Hurricane

As I watch the weather and see the devastating results of the wind and water from this powerful hurricane, I am aware of the fear of all of those who are impacted.  I hear from relatives who are leaving their homes and are not sure what they will find when they get home. Courage is moving forward in spite of fear and it is obvious that there is a huge exodus from many areas in the world as they try to avoid dangerous weather. While I will welcome relatives to my home, I can't imagine the fear and uncertainty they and many others are experiencing.  "Love keeps us going, and hope moves our feet." Maria Goff, from the book, Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World in a World Telling You What You Want.

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends."  Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

"TEAM =Together Everyone Accomplishes Miracles."  from the Miracles in You:  Recognizing God's Amazing Work in You and Through Your, by Mark Victor Hansen.  It is incredible to see the number of volunteers, donations, accommodations and heroism that appear as this storm unfolds.
Many people are already out of earth power.  Remember that "Prayer is not 'whistling in the dark'--it is 'walking toward the light." from Prayer:  The Voice of Faith, by Charles B. Hodge, Jr.

"Faith is not believing that God can, it's knowing that God will."  Donna Coker, of Brentwood, California.  "To know God is to need God."  Esther Fleece, from the book No More Faking Fine

"Help is a prayer.  And by help, I mean Hello Eternal Loving Presence."  Michael Bernard, life coach

Prayer is very powerful.  All of you are in my prayers!

True Friendship

"If you can't dance in the rain with me, you will never be with me in the storm and if you aren't in the storm with me, I don't need you in the sunshine either."  Tracee Blair (Hayslip) facebook post

All of us have "friends" who are always ready to have fun, share the limelight, and enjoy partying.  It is the ones who are with us when times are tough, who listen when we ramble on about our troubles, who go the extra mile when we need them, who are our true friends.

During my life I was often disappointed with individuals who I thought were friends who were not available when I needed them. On the other hand, I was often surprised by people who I did not recognize as friends, who became a wonderful support system and cemented themselves into my life.

It is easy in life to accept the superficial relationship as a friendship.  We take for granted those in the background who quietly sustain and encourage us because they are always there.  They are the ones who validate our core values and push us to do more than we imagine we can accomplish.  I have been blessed to have many life-long friends who have made my life rich and fulfilled.

Take a look at the steadfast workers who may not be "fun" but who have our best interest at heart. Our best friends may include biological family members or life family who are with us through thick and thin. Look around and find those special people who assist us to be the best person we can be, who help with life goals and who are the mainstay of our life.  Appreciate and cherish them as they are gifts from God.

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Best I Can Do

"My mother says, "The reward for hard work is hard work," and that's the truth.  It's satisfying to finish something and feel like it's the best you can do."  Alison Krauss, musician, in Garden and Gun

I have struggled to write and illustrate a book, "The Dying Teach Us How to Live" and have completed this book/e book and am starting to write a second.  I have a majority of my original book paintings on display and plan a book signing and a reading of some of the stories.  I am including the handout on my website in case anyone can attend.


The only way to achieve a milestone in our lives is to take one step at a time and keep plodding on until the goal is reached.  It takes a certain amount of stubbornness, determination and courage to continue working on a long-term project.  I remember when I attended classes for my master's degree after working all day at my full time job for four years including summers. I was a single parent of five teenagers and had the responsibility to maintain a home. I didn't think I would ever have the degree in my hand and was too tired to care at the end of my journey.

Don't dive up on your dreams and always remember to do the best that you can!

Enjoy Xenia’s best kept secret:  it’s beautiful, spacious X*Act art gallery and theater!

For Patricia M. Acker
Author/ Illustrator
The Dying Teach Us How to Live

Tender Stories of Faith, Hope, Love, Angels, Forgiveness and Near-Death Experiences with over 70 Illustrations
Come to see original book paintings and drawings and additional artwork
Enjoy snacks and door prizes!

Saturday, September 23, 2017  
3:00-6:00 PM
X*Act Art Gallery and Theater
45 E. 2nd Street

Xenia, OH  45385

Sunday, August 20, 2017


"I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that is my duty.  This is my highest and best use as a human being."  Ben Stein

We are all in this life together.  We all have the same needs for safety, a home, adequate food and medical care, opportunity for education, freedom to practice our faith and peace to live among our neighbors without prejudice. We become better people when we can reach out to others in their need and know that others will be there for us when we need it. No one can exist alone.  

"It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."  Charles Dudley

I hope that all of us will experience the wonderful feeling associated with both giving and receiving.  

Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier.   Mother Teresa

Love Is Stronger Than Hate

"Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger.  Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little, than to break."  H.G. Wells

When we love, we can begin to see ourselves as human beings who have many differences but yet are the same.  It is the core of our sameness that can allow us to see the other side of an argument.  We can begin to make adjustments to create a win-win situation that meets the needs of both.

"There never was any heart truly great and generous that was not also tender and compassionate."  Robert South

I think that we can decide to have a truly great heart and and make the world a better place by using our resources to help each other.  Compassion arises with active listening, willingness to find a middle ground and with love, begin healing our anxiety, fear and selfishness. We can rediscover our humanity, kindness and tenderness as we meet our adversaries half way!  

"The first duty of love is to listen."  Paul Tillich

Let's give love and listening a chance!  It is obvious that the opposite is not working!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Have A Good Day!

"Good morning, this is God...I will be handling all your problems today.  I will not need your help.  So have a good day." Quote from a greeting card

No matter what life hands you, God is here to help us on our journey.  We waste many hours worrying about everything that "might" happen, things we need to get done, or what we "should" do.  It is time to get our priorities in line and figure out what important tasks need to be done by us. Just do those and let God do the rest!  

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."  
               Henry Stanley Haskins, author and stockbroker

Have a Go(o)d day!

Monday, July 31, 2017


I was recently privileged to work with many children in a structured environment.  There was one young man about 9 years old who had limitless energy.  He was constantly wanting attention, climbed anything available and talked incessantly. I was irritated that all of the adults had to constantly keep him in view and try to keep his attention focused.  It took all of my patience to remember he was a child and obviously needed more attention than the other children.  I decided to give him as much time as possible and listened to his constant chatter.  He informed me that his biological father used to lock him in a closet.  His biological mother would not teach him to speak and refused to give him food when he was hungry.  He stated he was adopted when he was 3 years old and had multiple adopted brother and sisters.  I was immediately chastened to realize I had judged him without knowing his dark and sad history.  I was so happy that he was in a wonderful family now and was functioning well with speech, ability to draw and was learning to socialize with other children.  I was so sad that he had to begin life with such pain and horror and was able to love him for who he had become.  

I learned an important lesson about judgement of others.  I will remember to look for the rose among the thorns.  I pray that others will be open to observing the best in me as I take time to celebrate the excellence in others.  

"Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances."  St. Vincent de Paul

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Weak But Strong

It is amazing about how many stumbling blocks happen as we go through life.  Many of them are caused by our own selfishness and stupidity. Our poor choices, inability to follow through, or laziness in taking on new challenges can hold us back. Others are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

Many of us rise from the ashes and take one step at a time as we crawl over our stumbling blocks and emerge triumphant from the pitfalls of life.  It is survival of the journey itself, not only the successes, that defines us. When we put the needs of others ahead of ourselves, we may be considered a worldly failure, but to others we are an earthly angel.  When we have self-respect and the respect of others, we are becoming the best we can be in this life.

Quote:  "The people I'm most impressed by are not the ones who appear to float through life, but those whose weaknesses and failures are exposed in all sorts of undignified ways and yet they emerge stronger as a result."   Sam Weinman, author of Win at Losing:  How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains."

It is the ability to learn from our mistakes, seek the advice of others, pray for courage and wisdom, and the tenacity to begin again that defines our success.

In my book, I express my love for the very ill, or dying individuals whose bodies are failing but whose spirits are soaring. There are those who willingly choose death to save others. They are all the true heroes of life.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


"When you pray, you only have to ask for two things.  You should ask for the light to see the will of God, and you have to ask for the courage to be able to do the will of God."
     Venerable Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz

Unfortunately the world is sometimes a difficult place to survive.  In some countries war rages and atrocities are committed on a daily basis.  In other places, there is simply a failure in society where it becomes fashionable to bully others for no reason other than being different in some way.  Regardless of the severity of the personal attack, pain and suffering are generated at great cost emotionally for both the attacker and the attacked. It is so sad that the world continues to condone these cowardly acts of anger, vengeance, discrimination, torture (mental and physical), humiliation, and devastation.

It takes acts of courage to do the right thing and stand up for the victims.  It is at great personal cost that individuals attempt to protect those who are unable to protect themselves. Some have even lost their lives, have become a victim themselves or become mentally, emotionally, or physically hurt because they have the bravery to stand up against peer pressure, society, lawlessness, and cruelty. Fear is a strong motivator to walk away and not "get involved."  We are already involved because we know about it and are silently permissive because we do not act, we hide.  It is a decision that we all have to make when the time comes and we have to take a stand or run away.  Every time we observe but do not act, we become an accessory to the horror of the situation.

Courage is defined as "Being scared to death--and saddling up anyway."  John Wayne, actor

I hope that if we ask God for help, we will all have "Grace under pressure."  Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, July 2, 2017

We Need One Another

As we approach the 4th of July, our celebration of independence as a country, I want to express my thanks to the men and women of action who have served and continue to serve in the military.  They create and maintain a safety net for us everyday.  Thank you to all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives, health, and future, sometimes leaving family/friends as they travel all over the world, with a goal of peace.

"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for each other and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."   Pope Francis

"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risk and costs of comfortable inaction."    John F. Kennedy

"The ultimate measure of a man (woman) is not where he (she) stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he (she) stands at times of challenge and controversy."     Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our service men and women stand tall in times of challenge and controversy.  Thank all of you and your families for your life and the gifts you share with the rest of us!  You truly are our heroes!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Gift of Forgiveness

I asked a friend of mine to read my book to see if it was worth publishing.  As she read it, she was inspired to make amends with her father.  They had been estranged for many years.  After re-establishing her relationship with him, her father became very ill and died.  My friend was so grateful that she had been able to have final, conciliatory and meaningful conversations with her father before he died.

Many people when facing death, illness or adversity, will realize suddenly that life is very precious, short-termed and fragile. Often people who have been angry with family, friends or co-workers find that they can't remember specifically what they were initially mad about but continue to remain distant and upset. We have choices in our lives.  None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes.  If we want others to forgive our mistakes, we must also forgive others.  If our loved ones are dying and we don't have a chance to make amends, the chance might not be available again.  It takes a tremendous toll on us to maintain the state of anger.  Anger is the absence of love.  It is not possible to love and hate at the same moment.  I hope that we choose love because our friends, family and co-workers are having their own troubles and issues.  We need each other, especially our family. if it is at all possible to make amends and forgive each other.  Life is precious and fragile and it will be a shame to waste our available time being angry and vindictive.  Choose love and remember with God all things are possible!

God's Timing

I was recently with my grandchildren at the beach.  The waves were higher than normal and we were body-surfing.  When body-surfing, it is important to catch the wave at just the right time.  It has to be a large wave, starting to crest and moving quickly toward shore.  Smaller waves won't work as they dissipate too quickly and won't carry the surfer.  If the surfer waits too long, the wave comes over them, pushes them to the bottom and it is difficult to be able to get up to a standing position.

The main focus is timing.  It has to be right, the wave has to be high, strong and powerful.  The surfer has to wait for the best wave, be ready when it crests and be strong enough to ride the wave until it gets to the beach.

Many times in our lives, we want things to happen our way with our own timing.  The problem is, we are not aware of the issues we will encounter when the timing is not optimal.  We are not waiting for the highest wave, we choose the short ride over the long ride and we are buffeted to the bottom of the ocean.  When we are able to let God be in control of the timing, we will be able to grab the highest wave, travel the entire distance to shore on the top of a cresting, powerful wave.  When we use God's timing, everything comes together and falls into place.

Have you ever found yourself hitting obstacle after obstacle attempting to reach a goal and never making it happen?  For example, trying to purchase a house and having problems with the financing, with demands from the seller, issues with the house and subsequent loan, and difficulty with scheduling final paperwork.  God is letting us know that the timing of this purchase is not right.  The house may not be the house we will be happy in. Instead of being disappointed, we can choose to thank God for keeping us from making a bad decision that we will have to live with for a long time. Trust your gut and realize that if the decision becomes so difficult, it isn't the right time.  Working hard for a goal is wonderful and God helps us along our way.  Many small miracles can occur to take obstacles out of our path even though the path is difficult.  If the timing is right with God, all things are possible!

Friday, June 23, 2017


Poem by Mother Teresa:

Between You and God

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.  
Forgive them anyway!

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.  
Be kind anyway!

If you are successful you will win some false friends and some true enemies.  
Succeed anyway!

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.
Be honest and frank anyway!

What you spend years building, someone may destroy it overnight.
Build anyway!

If you find serenity and happiness, others may be jealous.
Be happy anyway!

If what you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway!

Give the world the best you have even though it may not be enough. 
Give the world the best you can anyway!

Because in the final analysis, this is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway!

Remember we only have one life to live and in every moment we have an opportunity to become the best person we can be.  We can make a positive difference in our lives and those around us beginning today. We are only responsible for our own decisions, actions and reactions!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Fathers and Faith

Tomorrow is Father's Day!  We are encouraged to love God, the father of all of us. Children often base their conception of God on the father in their lives.  Many fathers are the "behind the scenes" supporter of their wives, children, parents and all kids they come in contact with.  A mother is a better mother when she has the support and love of her husband.  Male and female children need a male role model. Boys need to have an example of how a husband/father functions to provide for the family physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional needs.  Girls need to have a male who values and appreciates her, One day she will know how to recognize her future husband as one who will love her in the best possible way.

Fathers are often physically stronger than other family members and have to be careful to use that strength wisely and with compassion. Good fathers can do no wrong in a child's eyes because this child literally and figuratively, looks up to the loving face of a person they trust.

Happy Father's day to all fathers including mothers who are also serving as a fathers; to adoptive, foster, step-fathers, father figures, and anyone who takes the time to mentor a child.  You have a very powerful role in the lives of all children. You are an integral asset to any child who needs guidance and unconditional love.  Thank you for all that you do!  You are awesome! You are making a difference!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Living with Dying, a Terminal Prognosis

"Do not be anxious: go straight on, forgetful of self, letting the spirit of God act instead of your own."
                                                                    Saint Julie Billiart

At some point in our lives, we may be informed that we have a limited time to live.  This is all relative, as we can die at any time, at any moment and without warning.  This is very significant and also a source of fear.  We may be facing the loss of our own life, or that of someone we love.  The fact that life is fragile and unpredictable makes it more precious than all of the money, power, and possessions of this world.

We have choices everyday to make a difference in this world no matter how much time we have been given.  This quote sums it up--"do not be anxious: go straight on, forgetful of self."  That is much more difficult than it appears.  We are directed to "letting the spirit of God act instead of your own."

I have found in my life that every time I try to control my life, everything spins out of control until I realize I have no control, especially about life and death.  When I let go of the anxiety and worry about trying to control my life and the lives of others, I find that peace is possible and I am content to let God take "take the wheel."

It is important to make the most of each moment.  People who have a terminal diagnosis will confirm that every moment is priceless and a reason for celebration. Without death, we would not appreciate life. Let the spirit of God enter your life and take away your worries!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!"
                                                            Maya Angelou

It is a world-wide mandate to remember our warriors who often fought bravely for their country, left their families, homes, loved ones, security, safety, health, safety and lost their lives to confront evil and try to make the world better.

"I don't have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is.  Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world."                                                                                                 President Ronald Reagan

The world is especially horrified at the loss of innocent life as a result of terrorism, no matter what country suffers this onslaught of evil carnage and destruction. All of us are disturbed as we witness individuals and groups who have lost their humanity; hatred, discrimination, anger, violence, and terrorism replace love and respect for each other.  I hope that the whole world prays that we can not only identify and stop the terrorists but also try to understand what attracts human beings to this lifestyle. Why would any person choose to live a life of carnage? Is it a loss of hope? Is it a lack of faith? Is it a life that seemingly has no future?  Is it because we are creating this environment and allowing it to flourish because we are not meeting the basic needs of all persons?  

"Patriotism is supporting your country all of the time, and your government when it deserves it,"                                                                    Mark Twain

Let us hope that all governments deserve the sacrifices of our magnificent men and women who choose to serve in the defense of their country and the world.

"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed, it must be achieved."
                                                          President Franklin D Roosevelt  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


"Human love is loving because of something; divine love is loving in spite of everything."  As told to Marsha Tibbo

Human love is confusing, exhilarating, disappointing, exciting, and often muddled as we travel our life's journey.  Many times, love is hard to understand because our communication is imperfect, we often don't say what we actually feel and feelings are overwhelming. Human love can become exceptional love when we are able to forget ourselves and sacrifice for the good of another.  When we can love God and love others as we love ourselves.

Love is not just physical attraction,  It transcends to loving the spirit of the person. Many of us, especially as we age, are not physically beautiful. However, our loving spirit can shine through as we experience the beauty of true love.  Many couples are blessed with a special love that enables them to see their loved one's shining spirit as they learn and accept each other's perfections and imperfections over time.  I met many beautiful people as their bodies and earthly beauty declined.  Their inner beauty was magnificent and compelling.  I remembered these people in my book because they are etched in my mind forever.  It has been a privilege to experience the love of the spirit and realize that it will go on forever.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

"God couldn't be everywhere so He created Mothers," copied from a church sign.

It is easy to take a mother for granted.  She is always there when you are upset, need guidance, need help or need a hug. She may or may not be a blood relative.  She is God's arms on earth to bring comfort and love. It is so hard to think of life without our mother if she has to leave us.  She is always in our heart, mind and memory.

A mother can make mistakes but she is willing to overlook our mistakes if we overlook hers!  She is not always a mover and a shaker, but she is a constant presence in our lives. Often we don't see all of the accomplishments of our mothers because they are primarily our mother. Some mothers are not "motherly" but we know that we are always special to them because we are her children.

If a biological mother is not present physically, emotionally or psychologically it is wonderful when we can find a "stand in" to provide the connections we need.

Mothers can be biological, adoptive, step, or a beautiful woman who steps in to be present for a child. God loves all mothers and takes care of our mothers when we can't.

Mothers have a wonderful example in the mother of Jesus.  She suffered and celebrated with him as he went on his daily journey. Our mothers truly are very special people who deserve to be recognized and celebrated.  Have fun on Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Terminal Illness


A well-known proverb states that an optimistic would say a glass is half full, while a pessimist would say it is half empty.  What would people of different professions and walks of life say?

The BANKER would say that the glass has just under 50% of its net worth in liquid assets.

The GOVERNMENT would say that the glass is fuller than if the opposition party were in power.

The OPPOSITION would say that it is irrelevant because the present administration has changed the way such volume statistics are collected.

The PHILOSOPHER would say that, if the glass was in the forest and no one was there to see it, would it be half anything?

The PSYCHIATRIST would ask, "What did your mother say about the glass?"

The PHYSICIST would say that the volume of this cylinder is divided into two equal parts; one a colorless, odorless liquid, the other a colorless, odorless gas.  Thus the cylinder is neither full nor empty. Rather, each half of the cylinder is full, one with a gas, one with a liquid.

The SEASONED DRINKER would say that the glass doesn't have enough ice in it.  
                                                                  Taken from a church bulletin. 

The TERMINALLY ILL person would say that the glass half full or half empty doesn't matter. Life is what we make of it.                                Quote from Pat Acker

Make your life count everyday as you make a positive, lasting difference in the world!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dying and Living

"Hurry up, you're dying."  Quote:  Megyn Kelly, news anchor

I suppose you have heard the statement, "We are all dying from the day we are born."  I guess the focus is on the fragility of life.  We have no expiration date on the length of our lives.  We can die within seconds, hours, days or years.  However, most of us can expect a relatively long life with many choices, with positive and negative experiences. Attitude can help us to survive by living with hope or surviving with depression and sadness. It is not the cards we are dealt in life but how we play them that matters!

I think Megyn wants us to live our lives fully and creatively with courage and focus.  We can take whatever time we have to make a difference with others and the world.  What we do now can affect the world we leave for our children and grandchildren. We have the choice about our vision for ourselves and the future.  Every life is important and meaningful when it is lived fully, purposefully and with integrity!

Life is our adventure!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Be Someone's Angel

I had the opportunity to observe an earth angel.  She has been through many difficult times including being a caregiver to a disabled son.  She doesn't let that stop her from making the time and effort to help a friend.

Her co-worker had become ill and she had to enter a nursing home.  Her family have moved into her home and are using her vehicles and assets but somehow are unable to find time to visit her.  This woman was receiving inadequate care, but her family made no effort to speak on her behalf.  Her friend visits regularly, brings special food and beverages, assisted in selling her car, arranged for a notary to get necessary paperwork completed, and regularly stands up to facility staff to make sure her friend has adequate care.

She drives 25 minutes each way to visit her friend at least once a week.  Despite an age difference, this woman has become an earth angel to her former co-worker.  She is the example of someone who makes the ordinary, extraordinary.

"Life's greatest gift is its ability to make everything it touches sacred."   Barbara DeAngelis

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Easter is a time of celebration of life over death.  It is about emergence from depression and sadness into hope.

"The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome.  The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse."      Helen Keller

Helen Keller had to deal with a life without vision, hearing and ability to communicate.  She lived in a dark world until she had a teacher who could reach her with signing and touch.  Helen was an example of someone who had to "traverse dark valleys" to overcome many "limitations". She was still able to find joy and experienced "the marvelous richness of human experience".

We all experience highs and lows in our lives.  The important thing to remember is that after a low point in our lives, we know the high point will follow.  If we didn't have the difficult times of our lives, we would not appreciate the joy we experience.  We would take it for granted!  Remember to enjoy the holiday with family and friends!  Have a very happy Easter!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Life Decisions

I was speaking with a friend who told me about years of sexual abuse from three family members for many years.  She stated, "I had several options,"  When we face unbearable suffering and pain we do always have options.  She realized she could allow herself to sink into mental illness, choose to become an addict or alcoholic, commit suicide, sink into despair or to face her demons.  She had the courage to embrace counseling.  God sent her an angel who saw her pain through her anger at the world, and intervened to send her to a special program for children and teens who have been traumatized through sexual abuse.  This abuse is often from family members who seek to satisfy their their own twisted, sadistic sexual needs at the expense of innocent children.

I applaud her courage and am amazed at her transformation from an angry teenager, to an extremely compassionate and loving adult who struggled through unspeakable horror to immerse herself in God and offer forgiveness to her attackers. Her difficult life led her to become an educated instrument of loving counseling to lead others out of their darkness and into the spiritual light.  She chose to embrace the goodness of life and make a sympathetic, merciful, tender minister who listens with her heart.

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy: They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."  Marcel Proust

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Funerals and Life

I attended a funeral today for a wonderful, joyful woman who dedicated her life to God and to anyone who was privileged to meet her.  Sister Rose was known for her love for the poor, the uneducated, incarcerated, homeless, and grieving people. She loved to tell stories and there were many humorous and poignant stories told about her.  There were three different funerals for her because of the many lives she touched.

Sister Rose's funeral was a celebration of her life. Living life to the fullest makes facing death just another facet of life.  Sister Rose planned her funeral when she realized her health was declining. She faced death as she did life; with dignity, courage and peace.

We all are facing death and we never know when it will occur. We must take time to remember that we don't have a guarantee that we will have a tomorrow.  We only have each day to make our mark on the world. What kind of things will be said at our funerals?  Are we making a positive difference in the lives of those around us?

Remember:  People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!  You have an opportunity to spend your time on this earth making people feel good about themselves because you took the time to open your heart to them!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Melting Pot

As I watched many people celebrating St. Patrick's day, I was enjoying the fact that the Irish, who immigrated to our country, have had such an impact on our lives.  There are so many countries represented by significant numbers in the United States who also have had such an impact.  We truly are a melting pot. 

 We also have citizens who were victims of slavery, brutality and involuntary relocation. Human beings were sold, separated from their families, whipped, incarcerated, hung from trees, and otherwise mistreated. These slaves, who were able to overcome many obstacles, have enriched our culture and provided inspiration for all oppressed people.  Our native Americans have a rich tradition of protection of the environment, preserving their culture and integrating their lifestyle into society.  

We need to look to our origins to understand the world today.  We need to remember that we are descendants of immigrants or enslaved or dominated individuals and families.  I hope that we can begin to empathize with current immigrants who are trying to find a safe haven for their families.  We need to think outside the box to find ways to keep out the those who commit crimes while reaching out to our fellow human beings who are fleeing war, persecution, poverty, famine, and those without hope,  A true sign of the greatness of a nation is its priority and responsibility of helping others who are suffering, helpless, disabled, homeless, starving, or living in fear.  

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged,  
sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong--because someday you will have been all of these."  Quote:  George Washington Carver

"But for the grace of God, go I."

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Life of the Party

I was in an elevator with three young women.  They all were out partying and had obviously been drinking.  Two of the girls were holding up a "friend", each holding an arm as she dragged her body and lowered her head.  The girls, about 18 years old, were laughing.  They pointed to the young lady who was so drunk she was not responding and stated, "She has never had a drink before!"

I questioned a friendship that would encourage another friend to become drunk and lethargic.  It was not at all funny to see this attractive, young girl in a stupor. I read recently in the newspaper about another beautiful, intelligent, young college freshman who was being initiated into a sorority and was encouraged to drink a huge amount of alcohol.  She became unresponsive after being left to "sleep it off" in her dorm room.  She was dead before anyone called for help.

She now has no future, her family has no daughter, sister and her friends will no longer have a relationship with her.  All because we condone alcohol consumption as a way to be accepted and feel a part of the college or party scene.

Why does alcohol have to be a central part of fun and enjoyment?  Why cant't we have fun without endangering someone or our own lives?  Why do college initiations have to be cruel and sometimes violent?

We must teach our children and vulnerable adults how to say no with pride and walk away. Nothing is so important socially that we have to risk our lives to prove we are worthwhile to a fraternity, sorority or social function?  Life should be about love, joy and peace with God, family and friends there to help us with crisis, pain, sadness and difficulties.  Let us help each other to truly live!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day

Today I will share with you an Irish blessing!

May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you. 
a moonbeam to charm you, 
a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you.  
Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray,
Heaven to hear you.

...An Irish Blessing

I hope that your lives will be comforted and safe as you enjoy St Patrick's Day!  I wish you lots of laughter and friends!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Road Rage

I was driving at night and was waiting to turn right into traffic in a single lane.  I could see the lights of a car coming from a distance and decided to make the right turn.  I was quickly travelling at slightly over the speed limit.  Suddenly I noticed a car that was obviously speeding come up behind me.  He was apparently angry that I was in his way.  He came up on my bumper, turned on his bright lights and stayed there. I was blinded by the lights and had difficulty seeing the road ahead.  I was finally able to distinguish a left turn and exited as fast as I could to the left.  He raced by and honked loudly and repeatedly.  I was not able to see well enough so I probably missed the visual hand signals as he vented his anger.

I am a senior citizen. I am able to see well enough at night to be safe but the bright lights in my rear-view mirror blinded me to a point that I was afraid I would crash into something.  I could have experienced an accident and could have lost my life. I wondered if the man's road rage was important enough to endanger a life.

A just anger can be used to facilitate change, right a wrong and make the world a better place.  An unjust anger has no outlet except to cause pain, suffering and create fear.  Hatred, bigotry, prejudice, hostility, and malice are like "Burning down your own house to get rid of a rat." Quote from Harry Emerson Fosdick.  We to decide if we send out ripples of love or hate into the world.  We can be the light of love shining into the darkness of hate.  I decided to pray for the man and send him some pease and love.

Thinking Outside the Box

I was recently distracted as I left my doctor's office. I was exiting the parking garage and I had a ticket from the office to use to open the gate with no fee.  I was very frustrated after several attempts to use the ticket failed and the machine kept spitting out the ticket.  I must have tried it about 5-6 times and the machine refused to accept the ticket for payment.  Suddenly, I hear the person behind me yell out that the gate was already open!

I had to laugh at myself because I hadn't observed my surroundings.  I kept doing the same behavior and was expecting a different outcome.  The machine obviously did not accept the ticket because the gate was already open.  I was slightly embarrassed and sad that I had inconvenienced the person waiting behind me to exit the garage. It made me realize that I was not living in the moment.

As we go through our lives, we are often creatures of habit.  We do the same behaviors and expect everything to go smoothly.  Sometimes our repetitious behaviors are not productive because we are facing new information, new outlooks, new facts, but we are not looking outside the box to find better, more comprehensive solutions to issues in our personal, political or professional lives.  Just because we have "always done it this way" doesn't mean that it is the best way.

We can strive to think outside the box and find creative answers to problems and issues that are win-win instead of win-lose.  If we can respect each other's viewpoints and actively listen, we can then find a compromise that enables us to each walk away with a high self-esteem and a resolution of hope.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Nation of Hope

"It shall not be at it was in the past...Not with dreams but with strength and with courage shall a nation be molded to last."  Taken from a Hallmark movie.

We will never be the same.  Life is continuously changing and maturing.  We have choices.  We can remain in our own safe cocoon and try to avoid what is happening in the world.  That has not worked well historically.  We can become a proud citizen who is not afraid to stand up for what is right, just and fair.  We can have influence with our elected officials by voicing our concerns and by exercising our rights, especially our right to vote. If we don't take care of each other, no one else will. Sometimes we are the voice in the darkness.  It only takes a small light to reach out cheerfully in the darkness to bring hope.  Many small lights can combine to become a beacon of optimism and anticipation.  Many prayers can light up the darkness and bring peace and reassurance of God's love and guidance.  Become a light in faith!  Make our nation a land of peace and comfort.

Remember a just man or woman is a light in the darkness!


"Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely."  This is a quote I have heard but I can't tell you its origin.  It, however, makes sense.

Many human beings have political, financial, physical and other types of power over others, some over nations.  God has given many gifts to those who have the charisma to achieve power.  However, God also has great expectations and accountability for these individuals who can cause hardship or justice for a large population.  We have historically seen the rise and fall of those who choose to abuse this trust.  The triumph of the rise to power without humility and charity may bring great riches in this life.  It is the accountability to God that may be the pitfall for those who create chaos in the world.

"Whatsoever you do onto others, you do unto me."  God expects great things of leaders who may not realize the gravity of the burden of justice that is placed in their hands. These powerful individuals are not so powerful when they are facing death and are answerable for their decisions and for the suffering that may result.  There is not enough money or possessions to buy eternity. A true leader has the opportunity to make life better for their constituents who have many needs but no political power. A true leader weighs the ultimate human cost versus the accumulation of personal gain.  A true leader has compassion, humility, and courage. A true leader impartially promotes ethical laws and looks carefully to a fair and just outcome.

We need to stand up for the rights of all citizens and let our leaders know that we expect honesty and fairness to be a priority.  We can't remain silent as many continue to suffer.  Our prayers can be powerful also!  Be kind, for everyone carries a heavy burden!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Live Simply

Gandi said, "Live simply so others can simply live."

Many people live to earn more money but find as they earn more money, it is never enough.  It seems to be a goal to always have more money than their peers.  It is a never-ending goal. If someone would become the richest person in the world, I would be surprised if that person would be able to say they have achieved happiness.  In the pursuit of acquiring large caches of money, many other people will have to lose their money.  It is not a win-win situation.

How many mansions, summer homes, vehicles, acres of land, investments, etc. are needed to feel content?  I would find it interesting to see how many dollars, amounts of personal property and summer homes will accompany a rich person when they die.  When we enter life we  have nothing, when we die we take nothing with us.  God is our judge and he doesn't take bribes.

The only thing I ever heard at a funeral that had any worth, were the stories of kindness, generosity, faith, and love.  People who were able to have a chance in life because of the investment of time, expertise, money, resources, and mentoring of this individual are grateful and celebrate the life of someone very special.

The treasure of family, friends, faith, hope, love, and happiness trump a bank account and power anytime.  The choice is ours!


"Dreams don't work unless you do."

I am always encouraged when individuals are excited about a special dream that is a focus for their life.  It is important for all of us to know in our hearts about a goal that we feel will make our lives happy and energized.

The problem involves a lack of preparation to open the door for the dream when an opportunity presents itself.  It is very rare to have a dream just appear magically without acquiring the skills necessary to to achieve success.

If someone wants to be an actor or actress, it would be advantageous to take dancing, voice lessons, become comfortable in front of an audience, perhaps speech classes, acting coaches, taking college theater classes, acting in available plays, moving to a location where movies are made, getting an agent, etc.

Many of us languish in our dreams and feel cheated when they don't happen.  It is always the fault of fate, anger at the establishment, feeling that life is unfair, and frustration when others don't take your dream seriously.

Work to make your dreams happen.  Take steps, one at a time, to make your dream a reality.  Be ready when the opportunity presents itself.  Invest in your own future. Don't waste the time you have to prepare.  You can achieve your dreams or find a new dream as you move forward with with your life.  You are in charge of your own destiny!

Monday, January 16, 2017


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. risked his life everyday to educate the world about justice.  He loved God, his family and his "neighbors" who were from many walks of life, nationalities, faiths, educational backgrounds, and belief systems.  The constant fear, threats to his life, political and racial harassment, watching the suffering of others and the deep calling of his faith exacted a huge price from his family and his life.

The saying "Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you strong" is exemplified in Martin Luther King Jr. He, however, became a very strong leader even after he died.

Martin Luther King Jr. stated, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."  Man-made laws need to reflect morality and justice.  Just because a law exists, does not make it morally right.  Many times laws need to be created to protect moral rights.  Martin Luther King Jr. quoted St. Augustine.  "An unjust law is no law at all."  

Laws need to protect rather than persecute.  Just laws bring peace.  Unjust laws bring war, hatred, anger, violence and discord.

Pope John Paul II states, "Evil will not have the final word."  There is more good in the world than we know because evil is more newsworthy, unfortunately. God loves us and is with us in the worst and best of times.  Prayer is a powerful weapon for peace and hope.

Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and your family for your huge sacrifices and deep, loving wisdom you have shared.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Love in the Workplace

Many times we feel "trapped" in a job that we feel has low pay, frustrating rules, difficult bosses, and long hours. Look around you at your co-workers who usually feel the same way.  Sometimes we have lost our higher-paying positions, we have been fired for an unjust or just cause, we are under- employed and not able to utilize our education or skills, or we have a boss who is not open to promoting ideas of his or her staff.  We may have sufficient pay and benefits but work obsessive hours that do not leave us time for ourselves or our families/friends.  

It is easy in these situations to become mired in despondency and hopelessness.  Sometimes we take our frustration out on those around us and contribute to the misery of all, including ourselves.  When we begin to actually see each person we encounter daily in our work, we can think outside ourselves and imagine ways to make the day easier for our co-workers, clients and bosses.

In a job setting, we are told that we must make our clients happy in order to keep the company open and functioning. A company is also made up of workers, who also need to be content, appreciated and fairly compensated.  A company is made up of many individuals.  When we begin to see each other as people with lives outside the job; with families, illness, loneliness, deaths, debt, responsibilities, suffering, obligations, abuse, fear, unsafe and uninhabitable home settings, divorce, pain, lack of sleep, working several jobs, worry about job security, and overwhelming sadness.  Then we can begin to reach out to each other with love, listening, respect, compassion, and acts of kindness.  As we relieve the burdens of others, our own sorrows will lift and become lighter.  

A person who is cheerful and smiles encouragement will be noticed and promoted!  A person who makes the way easier for others will not need to go far to have wonderful recommendations to share with a potential new boss or company.  

Remember to take God with you to the workplace.  He is the most important asset anyone has for true and lasting success regardless of any job or station in life.  Do any job you have to the best of your ability, share love with your clients and co-workers including your boss, practice acceptance and forgiveness, keep God as your ultimate "boss" and you will find contentment and peace!  

New Beginnings

I'm borrowing the prayer of St. Francis from the Dear Abby column.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

And where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Many times we find that we are not progressing forward in our lives because we are not able to forgive, we are blinded by anger, we lack hope because we have lost our faith.  We see only darkness instead of the light of God.  We can't see the happiness in front of us because we are buried in sadness. We are in charge of our joy in life.  We can choose to blame others for our misfortune or accept responsibility for our our faith, our attitude and our love for others!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Years Resolutions

Live in the moment!  

Take time to enjoy each moment because we never know how many moments we have left.  

Trust in God for the future!  

Otherwise our future may cause us to be fearful and anxious. 

Forgive ourselves and others for the past!

Today is the first day of our life because the past is over.

I hope you have a wonderful new year!