From the Author

Monday, March 25, 2019


"The biggest communication problem is we don't listen to understand, we listen to reply."  Southern Recollection/Chris Bush

"The day finally arrived; Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven.  He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself.  However, the gates are closed and Forrest approaches the Gatekeeeper.

St. Peter says, "Well, Forrest, it's certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you.  I must tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast, and we've been administering an entrance examination for everyone.  The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into Heaven."  Forrest responds, "It shor is good to be here, St. Peter, sir.  But nobody ever tolt me about any entrance exam.  Shor hope the test ain't too hard; life was a beg enough test as it was."

St. Peter goes on, "Yes, I know, Forrest, but the test is only three questions.
First:  What two days of the week begin with the letter "T"?
Second: How many seconds are there in a year?
Third: What is God's first name?
Forrest leaves to think the questions over. He returns the next day and sees St. Peter who waves him up and says, "Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers."

Forrest says, "Well, the first one--which two days in the week begin with the letter "T"? Shucks, that one's easy.  That'd be Today and Tomorrow.

The Saint's eyes open wide and he exclaims, "Forrest, that's not what I was thinking, but you do have a point, and I guess I didn't specify, so I'll give you credit for that answer.  How about the next one?" asks St. Peter.
"How many seconds in a year?" "Now that ones's harder," says Forrest, "but I thunk and thunk about that a nod I guess the only answer can be twelve."  Astounded, St. Peter says, "Twelve? Twelve? Forrest, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?"

Forrest says "Shucks, there's gotta be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd...."
"Hold it," interrupts St. Peter. "I see where you're going with this, and I see your point, though that wasn't quite what I had in mind.....but I'll have to give you credit for that one, too.  Let's go on with the third and final question.  Can you tell me God's first name"?

"Sure" Forrest replied, "it's Andy." "Andy?!", exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St. Peter.  "Ok, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name Andy as the first name of God?"
St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates and said: "Run Forrest, run."  Anonymous Internet

Take time to give a word of praise
To one unsure-depressed, 
You may be busy with your life
But others are hard-pressed.
Take time to listen to a friend
Who needs to talk it out,
You may have things to hurry to
But take time to hear them out.
Take time to hear and be aware
Of each one in your home,
Your loved ones are your greatest joy
Take time to let them know.
Take time to love--take time to share
With all you meet each day
Your happy thoughts, your friendly smile,
Take time to love today 


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Time is Now

This article was listed by Jeanne Phillips, Dear Abby, as her favorite poem.  Its author is unknown.
                                                                        The Time is Now
                                                         If you are ever going to love me,
                                                         Love me now, while I can know
                                                         The sweet and tender feelings
                                                         Which from true affection flow.
                                                         Love me now
                                                         While I am living.
                                                         Do not wait until I am gone
                                                         And then have it chiseled in marble,
                                                         Sweet words on ice-cold stone.
                                                         If you have tender thoughts of me,
                                                         Please tell me now.
                                                         If you wait until I am sleeping,
                                                         Never to awaken,
                                                         There will be death between us
                                                         And I won't hear you then.
                                                         So, if you love me, even a little bit,
                                                         Let me know it while I am living
                                                         So I can treasure it. 

When I saw this article, it reminded me of my dad who was 54 years old when he died suddenly.
I think I thought he would always be there and I saw the large father's day card that I forgot to send to him.  I'm sure my dad knew that I loved him but I was busy with my family and didn't tell him often enough in person.  Remember that life is fragile and we don't always have another chance to tell our loved ones how we feel about them.  Love is a wonderful gift that multiplies when we share it!
Check out my book, e book and audio book, "The Dying Teach Us How to Live" and my art gallery

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Finding Joy In Just Being Alive

There was a recent article in the Dayton Daily News by Kaitlin Schroeder, "Suicide, depression rates among teenagers on rise".  A teen from the area recently died after a suicide attempt.  Dr. Greg Raimey, pediatric psychiatrist with Dayton Children's Hospital, said suicide and depression are sensitive topics that can be hard for parents to bring up,.....". 

Another article, "Make finding joy in just being alive a goal" by Barton Goldsmith states, "Stuff happens and you have to deal with it or it will deal you out. Life is not a fairy tale, and you cannot expect it to be completely drama-free. That being said, how you deal with the drama is totally up to you." 

I think that many modern parents focus on protecting their children from consequences of their own decisions, especially the negative repercussions. Another goal could be educating children about their options, allowing them to make decisions, encouraging them to follow through with goals (positive or negative), and then experiencing the results of their actions. They can give definite rules and concrete, fair and encompassing penalties and rewards. Parents then have the responsibility to step back as their children face and directly deal with outcomes of their decisions. Situations of bullying need to be supervised.  Remember, bullies need help also as they have probably been bullied themselves. Children have specialized needs with trauma, death, abuse, crisis at home, family financial distress. However, they also have the ability to be responsible for their own childhood challenges that occur on a daily basis. 

Children and teens need to learn by experience that life is not always fair, that bad things happen to good people, and that we have a choice about how we respond to trauma, grief, sadness or emotional, psychological or spiritual pain.  Life is never perfect but it can be inspirational, empowering, and exciting as it unfolds.

Actor Luke Perry died recently at age 52. My dad died at age 54.  My niece died at 3 months old.  Luke was quoted by AP in 2006, "When you are younger you can have only work, and I will for a long time.  But it doesn't command my attention anymore. A lot of mysteries and the questions I had about it I've figured out, but life offers up mysteries every day."

Give children tools to face life with courage, flexibility, empowerment, and understanding of consequences of decisions.  "Make finding joy in just being alive a goal".  Check out my book, e book, audio book, art gallery, vinyl prints "The Dying Teach Us How to Live