Sunday, March 03, 2013
Looking back over the time since I had a 1200 baud modem, phone line and 5.25 discs, I cannot believe how much I have collected that really, I just collected. Sometimes I think what words and brush strokes have meant and why I have done it. But, hey, if it inspired me then maybe I need to share.
My Grandmother left me her book of collected poems (all handwritten). I have been lucky in that I have been able to keep so I can keep updating. I still have to wonder though, just how I will pass along since I can't leave a well used composition book written by my hand!
So what follows are my gift to you this day. May at least one of them be just what you need and bring you peace for the day!!!!!
The world is full of people who need someone who understands. (borrowed from my old emails)
A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the pups and set about Nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he Felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the Eyes of a little boy.
Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."
"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."
The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. "I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"
"Sure," said the farmer.
And with that he let out a whistle,"Here,Dolly!" he called.
Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight.
As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another little ball appeared; this One noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up....
"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt.
The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would."
With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need Someone who understands."
This is from an old story, back in the ’30s, in the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less. A 10 year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
“How much is an ice cream sundae?” the little boy asked.
“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins he had. “Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.
By now, more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing very impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.
The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry. As she wiped down the table, there placed neatly beside the empty dish were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn’t have the sundae because he had to have enough money to leave her a tip.
The practice of one's belief is more important than rigid adherence to a belief in one's practice.
Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed.
As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!"
"Brother," the second monk replied, "I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her."
Be good for and to everyone.
Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 pm, an older African-American woman was standing on the side of a Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her-generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab. She seemed to be in a big hurry! She wrote down his address, thanked him and drove away. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant combination console color TV and stereo record player were delivered to his home. A special note was attached. The note read:
Dear Mr. James: Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.
It pays to be honest
A king had a wonderful talent for growing flowers and was looking for someone to succeed him. He decided he would let the flowers decide so he gave everyone a little seed. The one who would produce the most beautiful flower from the seed would be the next king.
A girl called Serena was overwhelmed by the beauty and determined to grow the most beautiful flower. She planted it in a nice pot, took great care for it, but nothing would grow.
The next year she saw everyone gathering at the palace with pots full of beautiful flowers. She was disappointed but also went to the meeting with her empty pot. The king inspected all the flower pots and then stopped at hers. Why is your pot empty, he asked. Your highness, I did everything to make it grow, but I have failed, she answered.
No, you didn't, he replied. You see, the seeds I've given out were all roasted, so nothing could come out of them. I have no idea where all these flowers come from. But you have been honest and by being so, have deserved to be my heir. You will be our queen.
Real peace is in your heart
There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried and submitted their work. The king looked at all the pictures. There were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake, perfectly mirroring the peaceful, towering mountains all around it. Overhead was blue sky with fluffy, white clouds. It was the favorite of all who saw it. Truly, they thought, it was the perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too, but these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightening played. Down the side of one mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. A less peaceful picture would be difficult to imagine. But when the king looked closely, he saw beside the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest in perfect peace.
Which picture would you have selected? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?
“Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all these things and still be calm in your heart. This is the real meaning of peace.”
I WISH YOU ENOUGH.
Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, "I love you and I wish you enough."
The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left.
The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.
I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?"
"I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.
When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?" She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. "When we said 'I wish you enough' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them". Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,
"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye."
She then began to cry and walked away.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.
TAKE TIME TO LIVE!
To all my friends and fellow Sparklers,
I WISH YOU ENOUGH
Saturday, March 02, 2013
Here is a story that will bring full circle how to take stock of what is really important in life. The source is Anonymous – as I received by email in mid 90’s.
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the backyard patio with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.
I turned the dial up to listen to a Saturday morning talk show I heard an older sounding gentleman, with a golden voice. You know the kind, that sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whoever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles".
I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say...
"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital."
He continued, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities."
And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles.
" "You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years."
"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.
Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part."
"It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy."
"So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away."
"I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."
"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."
"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again.
You could have heard a pin drop on the radio when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work that morning. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."
"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a while since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."
Friday, March 01, 2013
Some folks like to give flowers.
I like to give smiles....
Life is too short to sit and wonder why...
so let's start an epidemic!
I am told that the muscles of the face are capable of over 250,000 different combinations of expressions. And one of the most useful is a smile.
Fulton J. Sheen used to say, “A smile across the aisle of a bus in the morning could save a suicide later in the day.” That statement is true. We all need the healing medicine “of the heart” that a smile, even from strangers, provides. And for some, that medicine can save lives.
English essayist Joseph Addison put it this way: “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.” Don’t say you can't make a difference! Don’t ever say you have nothing to give! Each of us can give a smile, spontaneously and sincerely. Its value may not be at once recognized, but be assured that it will be felt.
Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, I
started smiling too.
I passed around the corner and
someone saw my grin,
When he smiled I realized I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile, then I knew its worth,
A single smile, just like mine, could
travel ‘round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t
leave it undetected;
Let’s start an epidemic quick, and get
the world infected!
Today you will find plenty of occasions to pass along a heartfelt smile. Remember...it’s the second best thing you can do with your lips!
Thursday, February 28, 2013
This is a far different set of emotions for me today hence Blog than I normally do. That's because I feel so differently today than I felt even yesterday this time. Sometimes it amazes me how emotional I can get now but in all honesty there have been two events in the last 24 hours that have shook me to the core.
First, those of you who support me, realize that I have a harder time with the unknown more so than the known. I have known since Monday that chemo is very near. But yesterday when the hospital called to set up the surgery for the port, they made it abundantly clear that my oncologist said that I had to have it this week. OK, what does that mean. . . . that I don't know???
And second, I received an email while this was going on, that was really asking that I prep for some things if other things happened....I took it like somebody saying “The End”. In other times I would have fired right back and said “don't you dare bury me!”.
Thus this morning, I decided on an entirely different Blog as there may be no better time than now to share some of the things that I have wanted to say since I first found out last year!
I will remember also that I have learned that if you or someone close to you hasn't had cancer, people are often afraid to talk to you. For myself, the email yesterday taught me why! So I want to share some things that I have learned the hard way!
Fear is a part of life. It is part of the range of feelings that humans experience on a daily basis. In our American culture, fear has come to be experienced as negative. However, the truth is that fear is a perfectly normal feeling to experience and we would all feel a lot better if we simply allowed ourselves to feel it fully. If we do not, we will have physical symptoms of fear that are much more painful than simply allowing the feeling to be felt.
Cancer is hard
it is always unexpected
you are never prepared
it breaks your heart
and takes away who you love
it makes you suffer
and your family suffer
The very word “cancer” inspires a degree of fear that “heart attack,” “stroke” or even “kidney failure” do not. Any of these conditions can kill. Even worse, in rare cases, a stroke can leave a patient “locked in” — conscious and able to think, but unable to speak or move. Yet, somehow, to many of us, the idea of cancer seems more horrifying. Perhaps it is because the word calls up an image of something evil invading the body, and then spreading as a growing, living thing.
With this said, how do you say what you really feel at these “different” times as each of us has our own way of gaining positive energy to get through the day. So there are no rules. When faced with a diagnosis of cancer, the little things become even more important. It could be your favorite music, a comfortable chair, your best friend, a pet that keeps you company or the sunshine streaming in through the window. Poetry can seem like a simple collection of words, but it expresses deep emotions and complex thoughts. Some I am going to share would be “dog-eared” if they were in a book. Very few days go by that I don't look at least one of them!
This poem is written by a 17 year old and I don't know name, where I got it. Or when...
ONLY ? YEARS TO LIVE (still alive)
I am a teen and I'm seventeen
I wish I could speak and all of you would hear
I have a terrible disease referred to as cancer
by all means is painful and it makes me weak
I cry daily or better said I weep
I don't want your pity or any kind of sympathy
I'd just simply liked to express a peace of mind
I love my life and love my family it hurts me more to see how they suffer
than to be sick I pray to god for I have only but 2 years to live
How I wish I could be once again a healthy kid
to run and kick to play and fall and scrape my knees
But cruel reality is I can't do anything but dream
I know that all of us cancer patients are in a constant war
we all wish our red cells and white cells could live in peace
but since they don't all we can do is wish
so as I wait here on my bed to show up for treatment this very next day
I'm very thankful for each day,
every breath and every kiss received from all the people who care.
My doctor has become like my second dad
he said to me that life is only the start,
to meet paradise except that some people meet it faster than others
and he cried when he told me that soon morphine wouldn't be the only thing to calm my pain
and that soon when I'm with god cancer I will no longer fear.
Please if you know any one that is cancer sick please love them
and say it loud enough to make it clear,
there is no better treatment for any disease
but the love received while they are crying.
Maybe they wont all show it but believe me
I tell you from my heart their heart is weeping
I have made a great many friends on my cancer journey and some of them have been outstanding people. I would not have met them and they would not have become my friends if I had not got this disease.
We, The Chemotherapied by Natalie Miller
We, the chemotherapied
Although we look OK,
And people tell us
We look well,
We are but swans,
Paddling like mad
All the time,
Just to appear
Hold your head high!
Nobody can take you down
If you hold your head high above the ground
Nobody can despise your act
If you believe in yourself and hold your head
Nobody can make you feel depressed
If you hold your head high above
Nobody can make you suffer
If you hold your head high forever
So, in life don't ever forget
To hold your head high above!
I’m Going To Fight
I’m going to fight to smell the flowers in summer
I’m going to fight to see the autumn leaves fall
I’m going to fight to feel the cold winds of winter
But spring is the season I’ll fight for most of all
So come throw what you want at me
Do you think I’ll crumble and fall
I’m going to show that my life’s worth living
I’m going to fight and give it all of my all
Spring brings with it new life’s beginnings
Spring brings flowers that bloom from their seed
And I’m going to fight this demon inside me
Cause I have many more seasons in me
So come throw what you want at me
Do you think I’ll crumble and fall
I’m going to show that my life’s worth living
I’m going to fight and give it all of my all!
And finally most patients, families, and caregivers face some degree of depression, anxiety, and fear when cancer becomes part of their lives. These feelings are normal responses to such a life-changing experience.
In people with cancer, these feelings may be caused by many things, including changes in how they are able to fill family or work roles. A person with cancer might feel the loss of control over life events, and have to deal with changes in body image. They might fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead.
Family members may have these feelings because they are afraid of losing their loved one. They may also feel angry because someone they love has cancer, frustrated that they cannot do enough, or stressed because they have to do more at home.
It’s important to remember that people can feel distress about these things at any time after being diagnosed with cancer, even many years after the cancer is treated. As their health situations change, people with cancer must cope with new stressors along with the old, and their feelings often change, too. For instance, people with advanced cancer may have more emotional distress than those with early-stage cancers. People who have physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or extreme tiredness (fatigue) also seem more likely to have emotional distress.
After all is and done though we just need your love! We need to know that you are there! Maybe it is unfair that your support equates to my pain but in the end we will both be better for the effort.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
White Daffodil is the flower for lung cancer.
Just a short update....my sodium had dropped 11 points in less than 3 weeks...a really bad sign that the cancer has returned as that is the strongest indicator! On the plus side all other indicators are very strong....I am thankful for the watchful eyes of my Oncologist and nurses, my PA and all of the staff at the Marshfield Clinic who have made a commitment to me and all of my cancer and non-cancer family. I have to hand it to SP too! Here I have found friends who support, and tools that allow me to be all that I can be!! And I would be remiss if I didn't add my family who are the world to me!!!
I am pretty much of a realist as to what lies ahead but what having cancer has done for me is to help set priorities so I am part of all that happens. Feeling in control is a wonderfully strong and inspiring position!
I will keep updating you with these humble ramblings! I know just what they mean. . . maybe not to you but for me!!!
I will use the Weeping Willow tree not as an excuse to weep
But the Willow can be very helpful, as an extremely powerful essence for transforming bitterness, resentment, anger and hatred towards people or situations associated with the person’s disappointment and affliction. The essence will alleviate tensions associated with feelings of being a victim, of being unjustly treated (no matter if of an objective or subjective nature, the consequences on health being the same in both cases). It will also transform the negative outlook towards life in general, a natural consequence of resentment, disappointment and exhaustion.
I will use these symbols to recognize that
And it is up to me. So
And I will remember that
And I will achieve success because
In other words
Are my final words to you this day!
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