Tag Archives: reflections

2011 Reflections

Oh dear Lord,
This year is about to be over.
What next will come our way?

This past year
Was filled to overflowing with
Too many, way too many;

People hurt or killed by others
Jobs lost causing bankruptcies
Banks focusing on dollars in arrears
Homes lost displaced families
No job or home created homelessness
No food or water caused starvation
Earthquake caused Tsunami and nuclear disasters
Tornados sweeping clear land and lives
Fanaticism begat escalated responses
Occupy here and occupy there
Wars and armies trampling rights and lives
Wild fires taking homes and lives
Politicians use of sound bites
Media stampedes to get latest
Cancers taking too many beyond the veil
Memories and abilities lost to alzheimers
Commercialism of holidays
Some Corporations pure greed
The Great Recession continued

This past year
Saw some amazing stories of:

Soldiers coming home
Families being reunited
Last space shuttle an end of an era
People helping others unknown
British royal wedding – William and Kate
MIddle East Spring rebellion freeing citizens
Flyers bill of rights becoming law
Tourism begins to increase again
Santas paying for layaways

Oh dear Lord
May the list of amazing stories be greater
Than the list of sad and painful occurences.

May people the world over
Find a bit of optimism in the face of tragedies.

May each treat each other
As we want to be treated.

Originally written: December 29, 2011

Posted on Expats Post on December 29, 2011 http://expatspost.com/creative/2011-reflections/

I repost it on my blog to provide continuity with last year reflection on 2010. I will be doing the same for future years. The new year has lots to look forward to. May each of you be blessed and have a prosperous new year.

Death Where Are You?

Death where are you?
I walk my path
Enjoying each step
Not knowing,
Yet anticipating
A path of love,
A path of family.

I walk my path
Purposely not afraid,
Yet expectful.
A path of love
A path of family.

I have seen you
I know you!
You are the veil
Between loved ones.
It is a fine and thin
Veil of existence.
I walk my path patiently.
Death, where are you?

Originally written: November 30, 2002

My grandmother visited my mother immediately after her death to wave good-bye from outside of the kitchen window as my mother ironed cloths in the evening. I have friends and aunts who have felt the presence and believe they had communication after their spouse had died. Yet, I know it is improbable to expect direct communications with any deceased person. I wonder what is the mystery permitting some to be visible through the opaque veil between life and death.

A Long Goodbye to Charlie

Have you ever physically hurt for the suffering of others?
I have a dear friend who has had TIA’s, Transient Ischemic Attacks,
and several strokes. The TIA’s and strokes take little pieces of him
away from me, his neighbors, and his friends. In February 2011 a
particularly critical stroke occured. After the CT Scans, MRI’s and
extensive tests it was determined that he has hardening of the blood
vessels in his brain. Essentially, Charlie will be losing small pieces
of his brain over an extended period of time. He will gradually lose
memories and physical capabilities. These losses will seem to be
random and unpredictable.

Meanwhile his wife, 12 years his senior, a cougar in today’s lingo has
had TIA’s of her own and mild congestive heart failure. In January 2011
Margaret would march through grocery stores at a pace a 21 year
old would find very hard to keep pace with. In the past 10 months,
Margaret has had 2 surgeries to clear her blocked carotid arteries.
She now needs a walker and oxygen full time. Margaret is no longer
capable to take care of Charlie by herself.

Charlie’s deterioration continues. He has lost his sense of days.
He falls asleep in a nap and wakes up thinking it is a new day.
Time to take his morning batch of pills. Oh, then there were the
instances of waking up in the middle of the night thinking he needed
to go towork. Ahhh the sad part is that he had retired 10 years ago.
His emotions are greatly affected by the TIA’s. He cries and sobs
frequently. He recognizes he is losing memories and capabilities.
Recently, he came down to the kitchen to make coffee as he has
30 years and cried when he could not understand how to make
coffee in the electric coffee pot. Charlie was found standing in
front of the coffee pot sobbing that he no longer knew how to make
coffee for Margaret and himself.

It was extremely painful to have to take Charlie to an Assisted Living
Home to stay while Margaret had her last surgery in November. It was
a tearful process. Yet, it provided an opportunity for professionals to
observe and provide analysis of Charlie’s current capabilities and
needs. It was found he needed more than just a little assistance.

It hurts to see this very intelligent and gentle man slowly slipping away.
It is anguish to see his enjoyment of reading great writers of our day
gradually lost in the fog of forgetting. My wife and I physically hurt
when his emotions get the best of him and he breakdowns and cries
or sobs. I know there are many other caregivers witnessing this slow
departure from life. Some have called it the “Long Goodbye”. It is a
goodbye experienced many times over.

There are support groups to help familes and friend who are dealing
with these issues. It is really helpful to participate in the support groups
as they provide guidance on how to handle situations and where to go
to get additional help. They save time, energy and emotional stress.
Although Charlie’s disease is not alzheimers the results are similar.
To find a Alzheimers Organization near you please use the following
link: http://www.alz.org/apps/findus.asp

Another organization providing informaion is AlzOnline. It provides
information, education and support to caregivers of persons with
Alzheimer’s and other progressive dementias like Charlie’s. A link
to their website is: alzonline.phhp.ufl.edu

I have empathy and prayers for those care givers experiencing this
trauma. May your sacrifices become jewels in your crown in the next
life. I offer my prayers and hopes to those friends and relatives who
are living and fighting these diseases. May your journey be gentle
and without strife.

Originally written: December 4, 2011

Truths Dreams and Hopes

Our truths
Define our personal reality.

We must be on guard
Against our own fanaticisms,

It is an intolerance
For other’s reality.

It is the lack of respect
For other’s realities.

That we create
The destructive forces.

That can overwhelm us
And will rebound against us.

Our truths
Limit our realities, our lives.

Our truths may
Define our reality.

Our dreams may
Define our future.

Dreams provide us hopes
Even in the most dismal circumstances.

Our hopes
Define our needs.

Hopes provide us the ability
To overcome catastrophes.

Without our dreams and hopes
We are overwhelmed by life’s dramas.

We need our dreams and hopes
To be happy, to be sad.

We need our truths
To experience life to the fullest.

Originally written: June 20, 2002

Listen to the Rain

Listen to the Rain

  • Listen to the rain
    • Sit still and listen to the rain.
    • Can you distinguish each rain drop?
  • Sit still and let the sounds soak into your bones.
    • Can you feel the vibrations of the rains drop?
    • Can you see the ripples in the puddles?
  • Sit stiill and let the wetness wash over you.
    • Can you feel the raindrop hit your skin?
    • Can you relax with the massage?
  • The rain drops put me into a medative state.
    • The rain drops are like a drum that focuses thoughts.
    • The rain drops draw me deeper and deeper within myself.
  • I remember the joy of swimming in the rain!
    • Feeling the raindrops hitting me.
    • Becoming one with the rain.

Originally written: January 19, 1995

The Music Sinks into my Mind

The Music Sinks Into my Mind

  • The musical notes sink into my mind
    • Drawing my mind into a relaxed meditative garden.
  • The musical notes echo on and on
    • Like the wind rustling the leaves and 
    • Blades of grass on the mountain side.
  • In this garden my mind wanders
    • Among the glories God has provided.
    • The path twists and turns among
    • The joys  and sorrows of everyday life.
  • The path ever-changing
    • Places to dawdle and muse.
    • Places to wash and be clean again.
    • Place to experience and learn.
  • The path’s end  just out of sight
    • Drawing me further,  meandering,
    • Always refreshing both body and soul.
    • My mind  is home in this nirvana!

Originally written:  February 15, 1995

A Footstep Forward

A Footstep Forward

  • A footstep.
    • Forward, backward, to the left, or to the right.
    • Progress, movement, changing, learning, deciding.
  • A footstep.
    • Action – not inaction,
    • Risk – not safety of things as they are which is false.
    • Momentum- a force to reckon with and encouragement to take another footstep.
  • A footstep.
    • An imitator of life.

Originally written:   January 7, 1995