From the Author

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!