Today, this is what I need to remember.
Today, this is what I need to remember.
I have spent the last several days thinking about Nelson Mandela and what he meant to the world. He was a beacon of peace, love, and light as he stepped away from his life in prison into a life of forgiveness and transformation. I’ve seen quotes and posted them. I’ve read stories and been touched. Today, I saw this tribute from a flashmob at a store in South Africa and I knew that this song tribute said all that I could not find the words for. And so I share this tribute and wish peace, love and forgiveness to this world he leaves behind.
Yesterday my Aunt Jean passed away. I didn’t see it coming, frankly. She’s been sick many times and with prayers from so many, she always had the grace of God behind her healing and pulled through. But yesterday was her “Going Home” day and our prayers were answered differently.
It was a tough day yesterday. I heard of 5 deaths, ranging from an infant, to a young man in his 20’s, to a girl battling cancer, to an expert in his field, and finally, sadly, to my Aunt. My heart was so heavy with that news.
Aunt Jean was actually my aunt in my birth family. At the age of 19 she recognized me out at the mall. I was shocked but as I grew to know her, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. She always had her eye out for me and my siblings who were placed in an orphanage years ago. She had the memory of an elephant – she could remember details and tell stories like no other. Although she hadn’t seen me since I was 3, she said she knew my eyes and that was it. I must admit, I wasn’t always emotionally ready for the heaping and mixing of birth family and adopted (what I call my “real” family). And through the years I bobbed and weaved in and out of Aunt Jean’s hugs. It didn’t really matter. She was steadfast. She was patient. She was faithful. And when, in my 40’s I was finally ready to be whole, she was waiting for me without hesitation. She shared pictures, and stories … and love. I will never forget her generous heart and her happy laugh. She was an angel to me in many ways. We used to fantasize about what it would have been like if she had been my birth mother instead of my Aunt. Those were fun little fantasies and I knew, there was something special in her that allowed her reach out through the turmoil and the years to recognize me.
My heart is heavy from this loss. There were still words and stories unspoken. But I count myself blessed for having been given the chance to get to know her. I got to cry with her, laugh with her, break bread with her, and pray with her. What could be better. And now, I know she is singing and dancing with the love of her life, Uncle Norbert, as they praise at Heaven’s throne. I love you Aunt Jean. As a fellow writer I wrote this simple little poem for you.
See you on the other side! Be BLESSED!
“The tears I shed are bittersweet,
And with hand to heart I pray.
That your joy in heaven be complete,
As we say good bye today.
The hole we feel as our lives go on,
Will only hurt a while.
I’ll keep my eyes on eternity’s gate,
Where I’ll once again see your smile.”
~ Barbara Bernard Miller
Today, like everyone else who has watched the videos and read the accounts of what happened in Boston, I am feeling so many things. First, I’m grateful that my friend Marie who was running the marathon is safe and on her way back home. Second, my heart is wrenched thinking of the pain the families of the dead are feeling, and the agony the injured are enduring. And then there’s what I feel for the soul of the person(s) who did this.
I wonder what black evil touched their lives and taught them to hate. What cloud of hatred is lingering over their lives to such a degree that they sought to hurt, maim, and destroy the lives of strangers. I cannot fathom the blackness that surrounds their hearts and heads.
So I will do what I know – I will focus on the love that came from those who ran to help those who were injured. There is never enough praise for the heroes who go where most of us would flee. I appreciate the love that strangers have offered to each other – be it a restaurant owner and their staff who provided free wifi, food and a safe place to wait for friends and family. Or generous residents who opened their doors so runners and their groups could find a safe place to sleep when they couldn’t get to their hotels. And I am praying in gratefulness to the man who carried a man who lost both legs. I will pray for those who feel pain, fear, and for those involved.
And I bring it home – I will hug those who I love more tightly. I will tell those I care for that they are precious to me a bit more overtly.
Yes, the stories that are coming out of Boston are painting the picture that I already know. Americans are generous, brave, trusting, and strong in the face of adversity. It is the backbone of why we are a great nation.
As I re-read this post I know that I don’t have poignant words that will change the pain that is caused. But in expressing them I know I am adding one more drop of positive love into the universe. It is all I have.
Join me in sharing more positive words. Let us change the world with our focus on what is good and all that is love. Be blessed!
I believe that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. Because I believe that, I am often able to step back and look for the spiritual lessons that life is presenting me. Not always in the moment, but usually sooner rather than later.
And that is where I stand today – wondering what lesson is showing up right now. I am infinitely aware that I am hearing of so very many people around me and connected to me in some way, even if only by a once-removed relationship, who are gravely ill or dying. The pace and quantity seem to be picking up at a severe rate. So does the pace of evil in the world. I’m sure this isn’t just happening to me, but I am ever so aware.
I vow that I will not let my mind wander and conjure up scary or silly scenarios. I will not allow superstition to cloud my view. I have faith in an all loving Creator and I will look to him to calm my trepidation. And I will pray. I pray for my friends who are battling cancer, and strange afflictions. I pray for those I know who have fallen to accidents. I pray for those I know who are facing the horrors of battle and war.
And I will pray for peace – the peace that surpasses all understanding. I invite you to pray with me and be blessed!
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
~ Matthew 18:20
“What you grow in the good times becomes your strength in the hard times.
Therefore, let us grow and let us share love, peace, charity, forgiveness, generosity, and hope.”
~ Barbara Bernard Miller
I posted this quote on my bulletin board at work today. There are so many people who are seeing the hard times coming or already swirling around their lives right now. I wanted to remind us all that we have some control over our situation. Perhaps not in what happens but certainly in what we put in our lives to prepare us to react to and cope with those situations.
And when I stand in good times and others do not, I hope I am conscious enough, aware enough, and courageous enough to step out of my joy to lend them a hand, a shoulder, a word of encouragement, or even a dollar or two – whatever I have that can ease the trouble. It’s so easy to forget sometimes that we aren’t alone, especially in the tough times. But the worst thing we can do is forget that we aren’t alone in the good times. That is when we can really make a difference.
Be a light in the world, and be blessed!
Sometimes it’s hard to make the world stop swirling and rushing at the speed of light in order to pause and to write. It’s been that way the last couple of days. It’s starting to look like the near future will be similar.
So, as you are rushing about your day, or leisurely enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation, I challenge you to find at least 3 things to be super thankful for. Just a momentary breath of gratitude can make all the difference in the stress our bodies release and the joy we get to keep.
Do it for yourself and for those who love you … and be blessed!