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Tomorrow----My Nemesis!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Meha, Sudhir and me

Lotta and Sudhir

Sayali and Sudhir


Various Moods of Sudhir
In India our Nine Night Festival called "Navratri" has begun in full swing---today is the 4th. day.This ends with great Ceremony on the 10th day of "Dasera/Dasraa/Dussehra" when the entire length and breadth of India celebrates the triumph of Good over Evil.Right outside my Windows the Streets are brightly lit each night with strings of multi coloured Fairy lights and the mood has turned festive--each night there is also plenty of Dancing to live Music--with everybody dressed in traditional clothes---something that always lifted my mood.Not this year though---my mood like my heart is heavy and no amount of superficial light hearted bon homie can put me in a better frame of mind.
I tire myself out to the maximum--concentrating on just getting through one day at a time---thankfully my tired body falls into a sound dreamless Sleep each night---replenishing my Energy reserves for the next day.Tomorrow besides being Sudhir's first Death anniversary is also the "Lalita Panchami" dedicated to the Goddess Shantadurga ,our family Diety---and once more she has proved to me how blessed he was!!Lalita Panchami was a day I used to celebrate with great fervour and festivity because there are 5 such " Maha Panchamis" dedicated to The Goddess each year besides being the usual two each Lunar month--in the waxing and waning cycles of the Moon in the Hindu months.Tomorrow too the Food would would be cooked as an Offering to the Goddess--everything cooked according to an extensive ancient Menu--all without Onion and Garlic!!!Sudhir relished everything I cooked--the highlight being the" Kheer" cooked with plenty of slivered Almonds,Pistachioes and strands of Saffron.For him I'd instruct Vanita to make "Puries" for Dinner--a deep fried puffy Indian Bread--unhealthy but oh so tasty---one of India's ultimate favourites!!!Tomorrow I'll still be cooking the Vermicelli Kheer but it is just an empty gesture now--may The Almighty forgive me for it--for somehow the urge to go all out is no longer there anymore!!
What I will be doing tomorrow is just going through the motions and I'm praying hard that I get through the day somehow----for this is one of the major hurdles I have to live through!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RIDMYCOCOON 10/20/2012 9:29PM

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IMEMINE1 10/20/2012 9:27AM

    emoticon Prayers go out to you.

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XXMILAXX 10/19/2012 3:15AM

    Praying your day goes by fast..

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MIRFA71 10/18/2012 2:01PM

    beautiful memories. my prayers are with you. hold strong and you will pass through. I know you are a very strong woman and you can do it. emoticon

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DRASADAF 10/18/2012 11:02AM

    wish u the best ....Komalji....nice pics....

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EACHDAYAGIFT 10/18/2012 9:24AM

    Where was the photo of Lotta and Sudhir taken? I think you are doing what everyone must do after such a loss. Keep getting up, keep breathing, keep going through the motions each day. Finding things to keep you busy. The pain never leaves you, but it softens around the edges with time. I am happy to see that you allow yourself to grieve even while you work hard on your new business. Some people aren't able to do that and shut down emotionally, at a cost. Keep on writing, and I will be praying for both you, and all Sudhir's loved ones as you cross this big hurdle.

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PRACHI17 10/18/2012 9:14AM

    i feel the same way , on my dads death anniversary .... we have to stay strong emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/18/2012 3:09AM

    What lovely photos Komal. I feel helpless I so want to be able to make things better for you but sadly there is no way to alleviate the difficult time you are going through .Perhaps you can cook the vermicelli Kheer and enjoy it for Sudhir , he would want you to enjoy the things he loved .I have no doubt that with the great love he holds for you he is watching over you.Hopefully it helps just a little to know you have friends the world over thinking of you and wishing you peace. emoticon hugs,Cheri

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The Ocean in my Heart

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Sudhir at the Computer

Laughing at something Sayali said!!!
A Human heart is like a "Maha Sagar" or an Ocean as the renowned Marathi writer/playwright Jaywant Dalvi termed it in one of his Plays.One can never really fully plumb it's depths or understand it's Secrets!!!My heart too is like the Ocean--what thought will rise to the surface like Flotsam I myself do not know!!The 19th. of October is fast approaching--and with it Sudhir's first Death Anniversary--a day I'm dreading!!It is one fact in my life that I still have not come to terms with completely.
There are times when I feel he is in the Kids' Bedroom--for it served as his Study--dictating his stuff into the Computer Microphone---and the Computer typing away!!He had a very soft,melodious speaking voice and rarely raised it or shouted.Whenever he was annoyed or angry his voice turned softer but cutting and steely--it could literally rip one to shreds!!!That was one aspect of his that I took care never to bring on--for once started these phases could last for days!!! I also miss the Mess he created---there would be several Print Outs lying around on the Wicker Chaise Lounge under the window littering it.One of our arguments centered around the disposal of the unwanted Papers---since I was a Legal dumbo there was no way I could tell which ones were the correct ones to keep---so both Vanita and I left these where they were--only to be asked sarcastically later as to why we couldn't keep the Room clean???Prudence dictated that we keep quiet---which for me would be difficult--for I'd try to argue my part--only to be caught inescapably in an irrefutable Web of Logic!!!
He was very good with his hands and would have made a very good Mechanical Engineer had there been no Family Taboos against allowing him to study Science!!!His ability to master Technical aspects of many things was always something to be proud of for me.In India we very rarely do things ourselves--for all kinds of Services in helping maintain our life styles are just a 'Phone call away!!For instance--the usual Electrician/Motor Mechanic and Wheel Services guys are available at every street corner---so are Pathology firms who send their Representatives to collect Blood etc. Samples from home---not to mention Doctors who will make House Visits as and when needed!!!Not just this, we also have fallen into the habit of calling up our local Chemists,Grocers and Vegetable/Fruit Vendors on the 'Phone,placing our Orders with them and getting everything delivered home--one need not even step out of the house unless imperative!!!Therefore Sudhir being able to do small repairs around the house actually made me proud---but I showed as if it had amused me!!!For the first time after he died I had to send my Printer out to get it repaired-----otherwise coaxing it to work when it turned recalcitrant was Sudhir's forte!!He loved tinkering with Stuff--and 75% of the time could repair Stuff successfully.
Most of all I miss his actual presence around me--pretending he has gone out and will be returning later is just a sop--for my heart knows it is just a pretense!!How empty a house feels when it goes from being a home into a house--an empty shell where one survives day to day is indescribable--there are truly no words to gauge the depth of that Emptiness!!I am literally drawing on the very dregs of Courage to pass through these next few days--but how exactly will I face it and how I will actually react--only Time can tell!!!

  
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RIDMYCOCOON 10/20/2012 9:28PM

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RAIN454 10/17/2012 5:51PM

    Beautiful blog...as always. The line about home into a house was really touching. My uncle just passed away and my aunt is having a hard time getting herself to go back home. At the funeral, someone spoke about how we all mourn for the loss but only the immediate family members who live with that person feel the void...the missing voice.... Its really true. We can all feel sad but only the nearest and dearest truly feel the loss. I know I can't do much from over here but I am praying hard for you this week to help you get through this. Surround yourself with people if you can...The love of your friends and family can work miracles :)



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PRACHI17 10/16/2012 11:50PM

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BOVEY63 10/16/2012 6:04PM

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LOTUS737 10/16/2012 10:07AM

    What a beautiful post- your love for each other really shines through in everything you write, and even though I am just starting out in my married life, my heart aches thinking about the (hopefully) distant future. You have been so brave and courageous- I think you should do whatever makes you feel best... if it's spending time with family and friends or just staying home looking through pictures or anything else. He still loves you, and based on what you've written about your relationship, he would certainly want you to be happy. *hug* if there's anything i can do please let me know.

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MIRFA71 10/16/2012 6:02AM

    emoticon Today,I am very touched by your blog. May God give you strength.

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*MADHU* 10/16/2012 4:48AM

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EACHDAYAGIFT 10/16/2012 1:23AM

    I will keep you in my prayers this week, Komal. I think pretending Sudhir is in the next room is a very good idea, especially on Friday. Maybe you could keep a running conversation going, calling out things to him, singing songs that had special meaning for you. I guess if you have household help around, they might think you'd gone off the deep end, though. Which Sudhir would probably laugh at. The first everything is the hardest once you've lost someone, , so this will be the final first, and you will have gotten through the whole year somehow. I know Sudhir would be so proud of you and all the things you have figured out for yourself. I hope you will spend the day with someone rather than staying alone at home. I wish I could ease the hurt for you...
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XXMILAXX 10/16/2012 1:03AM

    Awe..it will be rough days but all I can say is: STAY BUSY or if you absolutely have to sit down and cry it out or pray for him and for strength. emoticon emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/16/2012 12:47AM

    Oh Komal I am so sorry for you,it is so obvious the depth of your love for Sudhir. I hope you will keep writing these blogs about Sudhir and in doing so you will feel some small closeness to him.It is fair to say that I read every blog with delight your description of your adventures and your thoughtful loving way of describing Sudhir makes me feel like while it is my loss not to have known him personally I know some small measure of him because I know you.For Sudhir will always be an important part of who you are. You cannot love someone so deeply without a part of them always remaining in your heart.It is a measure of how well you have described Sudhir that I can close my eyes and bring his picture to my mind and I can equate his smile with the characteristics you have told me about him but most of all I can see the look of love he bestows on you in the pictures of the two of you. There is an English poem very famous and a touch sad that I think is appropriate here."It is better to have loved and lost ,than never to have loved at all. " While you have lost Sudhir's physical presence you will carry his love forever in your heart.

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The Nitty Gritties of Economics!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Well I'm getting orders--like the Spider I invite these poor Folks into my "Kitchen" instead of "Parlour"!!!The Ingredients are fresh and the Food is good,light and tasty----making those that eat my Tiffins love it.The biggest problem however is balancing the Books!!!Not that I lack advice---like my new employee Ramesh tells me "Mummy you are giving it away free!!!"He also works for another person in the vicinty who runs a Catering Service---Ramesh tells me that his stuff is not like mine.The raw Vegetables are not so fresh,the Dal and Pulses of an inferior quality and that fellow uses Hydrogenated Oil with plenty of Trans Fat instead of pure Ghee--something I'd never be comfortable doing---not even in my worst Nightmare!!!
So I've made up my mind to make a Budget for buying Stuff---the Vegetables are bought fresh daily and prepared and put in Tupperware Containers to keep fresh---I use Multi Grain Chappati Flour instead of Whole Wheat since it provides greater Fiber and a good quality Ambey Mohar Rice that is easy to digest in our humid Weather as per Ayurvedic Principles.I also use Rice Bran Oil for cooking Food and Sea Salt for seasoning it.My Pulses are Organic and my Vegetables as far as possible Farm Fresh and Organic wherever possible!!!All this definitely pushes my cost up---but what it nets me in return is according to me far more valuable.Since I cook myself the Oil and Ghee are used sparingly---and my Stainless Steel Utensils help in keeping the Food healthy as it cooks.All in all my Food is healthy,filling but light---as it is non Oily it provides incentive to work rather than making one sleepy!!!
I do realise that I need to break even--if not with a marginal Profit initially---till I send down my roots in this Business.Add to this my lack of Math. experience---turning my enterprise into a formidable hurdle for me---but I'm loving the experience too much to give it up!!So wish me Luck my Dear Friends---to sustain myself and grow fruitfully---and not throw in the Towel because I didn't break even!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 10/16/2012 11:02PM

    You will overcome all the hurdles because you do this with great love.I am afraid my math skills are less than stellar too but I am sure you will figure it all out .hugs,Cheri

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JUDYAMK 10/15/2012 9:04PM

    Wishing you all the best as you continue this business. I am sure all the one's that feast on your delicious food so much appreciate what you have took on.
Take care
Judy

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MILLISMA 10/15/2012 3:03PM

    I agree with you choices and what you are doing. They say that you have to give a new business venture at least a year to really see a profit. I bet you will see it before them.
Wishing you the best in your adventure.

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PRACHI17 10/15/2012 2:19PM

    I didnt realize you started this business , I need to catch up on your blogs!

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BOVEY63 10/15/2012 12:53PM

    I wish you all the best in this new endeavor.
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EACHDAYAGIFT 10/15/2012 10:30AM

    You know well that I can relate to this struggle of pricing your work to reflect it's worth in the market place when we have been so used to doing it for free. Just yesterday I wrote up an invoice for a friend and it was already priced under the usual cost for what I did on her quilt, but when I totaled it up, I threw in another discount so she could afford it because she is such a nice friend.
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IMEMINE1 10/15/2012 5:33AM

    Wishing you the best. It sounds like you are doing the best and going the extra mile to make it work. emoticon

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*MADHU* 10/15/2012 4:45AM

    All the best emoticon

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MIRFA71 10/15/2012 4:27AM

    Wish you all the Best Komal!! May you overcome all the hurdles and flourish in your business. emoticon

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BIGDOG18 10/15/2012 4:08AM

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Embarking on The Tiffin Trail

Friday, October 12, 2012

That I like to cook is an understatement--that I find Cooking a great way to release pent -up Emotions is another---but I had never thought of turning it around as a method to keep myself busy!!The local Branch of the Bank where I do my Transactions is mostly populated by young Trainees--all studying for their MBAs and undergoing Training at these Banks.Most of these are from out of Town--living in PG Digs and just generally making do for Food with whatever is locally available.What however appealed to me was the way these Kids would interact with me each time I visited the Branch.They had known both of us and were very empathetic as they walked me through the various Banking procedures.This led to a closer aquaintance and slowly a bond
of Friendship began materialising.Each time I visited someone or the other made it their business to come sit and chat with me---if they happened to catch me sitting alone!!As a mark of my appreciation for their support I decided to cook them something---and after finding out what they'd like--i did just that!!
This Branch has 45 people working there---and a regular Staff of 40 people is present daily.One girl told me she missed "Pohey" her mother made at home--and so I told them that I'd send them some!!"Pohey" is boiled,pounded,parched Rice--these used to be made for people to carry while travelling during the old days for these are filling,healthy and easy to reconstitute.Boiled New Rice is pounded flat and then dried in the Sun to form thin, flat Rice flakes---and as this is light to both carry as well as digest this is one item you will always find in most self respecting Indian Travellers' Luggages!!One just has to wash and drain it under a running Tap to reconstitute it into a soft and fluffy Rice and then it can be eaten in a variety of ways--but cooking it with chopped sauteed Onions (Shallots),diced Potatoes ,Green Peas and Green Chillies is perhaps the most popular method to cook these.In our home we also add a variety of Fresh Vegetables as well as diced Tomatoes to liven up the taste.I cooked my Vegetable Pohey for everyone--45 people in all--and filled this into two huge Stainless Steel Containers and dispatched these to the Bank.This broke the Ice further---and when they called to thank me for my gesture,my sister Ritu picked up the 'phone.It was she who told them that I was going into the Catering? Business and if they needed anything for special occasions I'd do the honours!!That I had not been told was a separate thing--and on my next visit to the Bank some of these started talking to me about the horrible Food they were eating on a daily basis---how the Food was oily and extremely spicy and expensive--causing them to suffer various types of Stomach problems!!!Finally I took the hint--and agreed to send them Tiffins for Lunch at a reasonable rate---as well as Breakfast too for a price!!
So now my day begins at 6.30 a.m. when I begin preparations for Breakfast--by 8.30 a.m. the Breakfast Containers are ready---I supply 12 Breakfasts daily.Then there are about 12 Lunch Tiffins---these leave the house by 12.15 p.m.----and then I'm done for the day!!!The benefits of this Excercise????My mind is constantly at work---conjuring up various permutations and combinations of the daily Menus---for the Tiffins include Vegetable Curries and Salads as well as different Dals and Pulses along with Rice and Indian Breads.I have no time to brood over my personal tragedy---and i fall asleep dog tired every night--for even though I have a good Staff I still need to supervise each and every tiny detail myself---for being a perfectionist don't like to leave anything half done till the l;ast minute!!So at 59 years of age this fat,rotund Body is learning a new way to live---and excercise!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MILLISMA 10/15/2012 3:01PM

    Komal,

What a great adventure and such a challenge! I'm sure you are making some lucky folks very happy.

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BOVEY63 10/15/2012 12:51PM

    How wonderful for you and them!
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MIRFA71 10/13/2012 1:09PM

    you are emoticon Komal. Hats off to your courage and determination. emoticon emoticon

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JUDYAMK 10/12/2012 8:21PM

    Oh my gosh you are so precious to these young people. See the blessings God has given you. Now you are someone special that has the talent to cook good food. to feed these young men & women.The young girl that misses her Mom's Pohey, that must have brought warm memories to her when you made this for her. The young people have someone that cares for them while they are away from home.They are truly blessed to have you ,
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Judy

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EACHDAYAGIFT 10/12/2012 10:01AM

    Wow! Being allergic to cooking myself, the thought of your business is enough to bring on a panic attack! I am so impressed. What a great way to use your talents.
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OVERWORKEDJANET 10/12/2012 5:59AM

    I KNEW you would find something to do!
Yes, yes, yes.
Something dear to your heart and making young people happy.
I hope it fills your days with purpose but don't work too hard emoticon

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XXMILAXX 10/12/2012 5:08AM

    emoticon You're so awesome! Looks like you've found your calling to keep you occupied for now. Those trainees are very lucky to have you cooking for them, you're so going to spoil all of them. emoticon Now I'm hungry after reading your blog. emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/12/2012 4:11AM

    Oh Komal that is wonderful ! There should have been a warning at the top of this blog though "This blog may make you drool" Your curries and Dals and Pulses sound fabulous I can almost smell them ! hugs,Cheri

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My Glass of Life

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Writing about my life with Sudhir has been therapeutic----it has acted like a release for some of my feelings and innermost thoughts--which surprisingly I can never vocally express!!!It's not that I don't talk--I've been amply endowed with the "Gift of the Gab' as the Nuns used to tell me--but I've never been able to confide my innermost feelings to even my own daughters--I find it very embarrassing and awkward to vocalise these!!Sudhir was the only exception with whom I just didn't care whether I looked silly or stupid--in our relationship there was no Ego and definitely no secrets!!!For him my life was an open book---and because of this I used to talk to him non-stop---about everything under the Sun.
Today when I look back on the life I've lived--even with Sudhir gone--I can never say that Life has treated me unfairly.In fact Life bestowed me birth in a family like mine--including the extended one----surrounded by the warm cocoon of Love and Caring.It also introduced me to so many of my old Friends with whom I've remained in touch and with whom I pick up the Threads exactly where we left off--the period of Time in between just melts away!!I have a large circle of my caring neighbours who had began keeping an eye out for me after my Dengue after seeing poor Sudhir's state---and have continued to do after he passed away.I am really surrounded by people who really love me and care for me--what more could I need?
Our first cousin Meera----his maternal and my paternal Aunt's daughter dropped in to spend the day with me last Tuesday en route to USA.She could so easily have taken a direct Flight from Hyderabad where she lives---but she chose to stopover just to meet me.It was during the course of the conversation that she mentioned her older brother-in-law too died in exactly the same way as Sudhir.His diagnosis too was "Arteriosclerosis" in the postmortem report.Another brother-in-law is a very well known Cardiologist--and he revealed that had that brother been able to survive that attack--he'd have needed a pace maker to live!!My heart stopped--a Pace Maker!!Sudhir would never have survived that--his nervous disposition constantly conjured up pictures in his mind of him suffering from various things like a Stroke etc.---and a Pace Maker would have killed him---for he'd have died a little each day!!
So today when I look back here is what I see---a Life well lived and though I'm sitting on a Time Bomb with two fuses--Cancer and Ischemia---it's only a question of which Fuse blows first!!!Also had I not had those problems I would still have had to die sometime---for nobody lives forever!!Also I see that fact that I've survived so far with my faculties intact in good physical shape--I can at least say that I still can use my limbs and can also still live by myself if need be.
With the exception of a few health Issues like a Kidney Stone--which broke into small pieces and passed out on it's own in 1975,a broken arm that required a Steel rod and Plate through Surgery in 1985 and then a bad bout of Pneumonia in 2009,the intervening years peppered with a few bouts of Cold and 'Flu-----Sudhir lived a very healthy and active life.He was a teetotaller--never drank,chewed Tobacco or smoked and ate to live while I lived to eat.Not just that he loved Walking and his job in the Courts required him to constantly walk up and down various Floors---which he did many times each day because he hated waiting for the Lift (Elevator).As he grew older he still preferred climbing up because he was actually scared of Lifts--in case these broke down in between floors!!!He looked way younger in person than he waas--for after he passed away I received a call from the Hospital to inquire as to whether I was willing to gift his organs away.It seemed that each organ was in great shape---including his Bones, Skin and Tissues--and would I allow these to be used?I replied in the affirmative and then the person asked me Sudhir's age.When I replied 67 years complete, the man was taken aback---he had placed Sudhir at 55 years!!!So I guess whatever actually happened to him is something I'll never know---but I know this--God gave him a very good Death---and for that I'm extremely grateful to Him!!!
Now as I look at the Glass Life handed me it still appears half full to me---for I've much to be grateful and thankful to The Almighty for.I definitely do count my numerous Blessings and pray for His continued support in helping me to lead a healthy life till He wills I go.There is only one thing that I pray for now---and that is that whenever it happens let it be quick like Sudhir's.I am not scared of the pain or the discomfort--it is just that I don't want to be a burden on anyone--so therefore Dear God--let it be quick!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 10/11/2012 1:18PM

    It is so wonderful that writing was therapeutic for you. It was also so nice to read your stories, and I really do hope you are keeping them for your daughters so they can read about the love you shared with their father and what a remarkable mother they have.

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JUDYAMK 10/10/2012 6:26PM

    I love reading your writings. You & your beloved Sudhir is what marriage is all about. God blessed you with a wonderful husband & father to the children. He blessed you you with friends & a loving family.. I know we are not to ask why God takes those so dear to us at a young age, He only knows those answers,but I cannot help but to ask. You always count your many blessings God has given you, even during your sorrow. I look so forward to reading your words.Take Care
Judy

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EACHDAYAGIFT 10/8/2012 6:52PM

    As the saying goes, "Happy wife, happy life". I think part of Sudhir looking so young was his good fortune in the wife he spent his days with. I know I'm biased, but to live with someone who adores you for all those years has to be really good for the constitution! It may be part of the reason you pulled through all your health challenges, as well.
You two were so good for each other! emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/8/2012 2:17PM

    What a delightful blog.I too look at life the same way the glass is half full. I am so glad that writing about your life with Sudhir has been cathartic ,I have so enjoyed hearing about your adventures and it has actually made me feel I know Sudhir too though of course I will never get a chance to actually meet Sudhir. With a little luck one day the triplets may actually get a chance to meet. The world might never be the same again the three of us in one place will certainly be shall we say an earth shattering experience !hugs,Cheri

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PUDLECRAZY 10/7/2012 8:10AM

    Such a beautiful and touching blog, Komal. Yes, Sudhir led a full, rich, and rewarding life, and he got to spend it with YOU. What more can we ask for than to live a good life, enrich the lives of others, and still give after we die?

As you know, I have been thinking along the same lines. We are mortals. We will die. So... the big question is how will we live while we are here? We will have sorrows, yes. But our lives are more than that. It is important to embrace life with all of its twists, turns, sorrows, and joys, and to share that fullness with others.

Here's to your glass of life. May it always be at least half full.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 10/7/2012 8:02AM

    How about you plan to stick around a bit longer so we can meet one day?

I have always looked at life as it is what it is. I am not one to call "destiny" my lifeline and I know I can affect change which will change what happens to me over time. I do take in stride what happens to those I love and never go to "what ifs". Life cannot be undone, it can only be lived.
I plan on living a long time perhaps just to see what happens with everyone else. I am content to go when the time is decided for I have made my imprint, shared my "wisdom" and generally made others happy. What more could I want except more time to do this?

You will too!

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