Back in February I posted this blog. This would be before the virus hit and we all wondered if we would indeed get any older. Now, I have come to believe that there is sunshine at the end of the storm. Hospitals are announcing fewer cases and except for the political agendas, people seem to be on the move. An agent whom we know said that they just can’t keep up with the number of houses being bought…so someone is expecting to live in them or sell them again in some future time. ALL THIS LOOKS LIKE A GOOD “GROWING OLDER” possibility.
So let’s talk about this new optimistic view by looking back at what I wrote in February. The only real difference that I can see is the really close contact and the tragedy of the elderly dying alone in a nursing facility. That breaks my heart!
“Everything in advertisement these days is how to stay young and beautiful. Who wouldn’t want to do that?! Well, not so fast, perhaps those that have lived a good, long life have a few things to say about aging. We will explore the subject that no one wants to write about, talk about, or experience…aging. We all grow a little older each day…each hour…each minute. Some tell it better with the graying of the hair, a larger mid-waist, or a few wrinkles…or alot as the case may be.
I live in Florida and all the billboards for senior living look like this:
Yet, many older people are finding a life filled with wonderful memories and FEW, if any regrets about their lives.
It is not all downhill as some would like to think.
The funny thing, however, is that we rarely think of ourselves as getting older.
You notice that I never say OLD, but OLDER because it is the natural part of life for everyone…from crib to the knee replacement!
I’d like to share a portion of one chapter which relates to this topic of growing older:
“What exactly is the meaning of “grace” or doing something with “grace”?” We would all like to think that we can be that kind of person when it comes to seeing our lives slide away and we can begin a possible countdown on two hands. There are those who might make it to the 100 mark, but the quality of life in these people is usually limited. There are exceptions, however. Some Centenarians have some real words of wisdom for all of us.
One man said, “I enjoy robbing the government by continuing to get my pension!” Another Centenarian said about getting older and reaching 100, “It is only a number. You live for the day and a little shot of whiskey occasionally helps,” he said with a smile.
Fond memories seem to play a great part of enjoying the end of life. We all have the heartaches, but it is the happy times that we can and should reflect upon. Building another good memory at any age is the key. It is a great thing to be able to say, “I really did so many things, knew so many people and I believe I mostly did everything that I wanted to do.”
If you are growing older, it is not only the physical body that begins to become more frail, but the mind and emotions can also take a toll. Some of this is genetic or poor health or a disease that is not avoidable. Nevertheless, for those of us who are fortunate enough not to have some of these disabilities, it is up to us to feed the brain with optimism and good thoughts. It is too easy to complain or become “an old fogy” that no one wants to be around or that is old-fashioned or intellectually dull.
Doing the things that make us happy is most important as we age…whether that is writing, as I do, or watering a beautiful flower that has been grown and nurtured by your own hands.
An English lady maintains her wonderful memories of her family as if they are all still around her. With a laugh, she says that sometimes people will hear her talking to herself…but it isn’t really to herself…but to the children that she remembers and cared for through their lives. “They think I am crackers when I talk to myself, but I’m not…just remember the ones I love.”
If you have been in a nursing home for the aged, it is quite depressing, at times, to see so many elderly sitting and doing nothing. Often they are sleeping from medication given to them that can take away quality of life. This is when an advocate is so important to keep watch over a parent or grandparent who may not be able to fend for themselves when it comes to care. Years ago, the elderly stayed in the home of the children until their death. Because of this, they had someone with them who truly cared about them and their welfare. How important it is to speak to those sitting in the Assisted Living facilities and let them know that they are recognized as a special person who has lived a very long life. Each of them have stories to tell if we will take time to listen.
Taking time to listen is exactly why my husband and I interviewed veterans of past wars to write their stories in the book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge. Most had never had an interview and were most appreciative to know that the service they gave to their country would live on in a book. This was especially true of an elderly man who fought in Korea with frozen feet. His miracle was that just before surgery to remove his legs, the blood flow came back. Our veterans are quickly passing away, as are the Holocaust survivors of World War II. With grace, many have shared their lives and stories of courage with us. In our present day, those who now sit in wheelchairs, will soon be gone from us. Some have made the trip back to the places where so much happened in their lives to preserve freedom for future generations. Never forget to thank them “for their service.”
Asked if the Centenarians “have any regrets,” most had only a few. Some wished that they had told someone they loved them more or worked harder at a vocation. Time moves swiftly as we grow older. We look back at a full-time career, a number of children in the home, pets to care for and after retirement it is hard to imagine how we fit all that into one 24 hour day! We should want to live those hours as gracefully as possible at any age.
The word ‘grace’ literally means ‘favour.’ In Hebrew, it is CHEN from a root word CHANAN – to bend or stoop in kindness to another.
In Greek it is CHARIS and has the idea of graciousness in manner or action. It comes from a root word CHAIRO to be cheerful, happy. 31
Perhaps this is the key to those who have lived life longer than most…to accept each day with gratefulness and cheerfulness. It is a lesson for all of us to learn to live in GRACE.
On a spiritual level, it is to LIVE and MOVE and have our being (or EXISTENCE). Acts 17:28 It is the GRACE of God that saves us.” N.W. BOYER
It spite of illness, in spite even of the arch-enemy sorrow,one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change,insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in a small way. Quote by Edith Wharton (An American novelist and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1921.)
Recently I received an email from a reader of this particular blog on Growing Older. What she wrote to me was so impressive that I asked permission to reprint it here for my readers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
“Hi, Nancy! This was great. It reminded me of my job in Portland, Oregon where I was an Activities Director for an assisted living facility. I had to get my certification from Portland State and I learned a lot about geriatrics! The state required that I provide activities for spiritual needs, physical, creative, educational, and social activities. It was quite a challenge I had 97 residents and I was the only activities person. The nurses were nice enough to help those who were not ambulatory to take them to the activity. I had a “Fit & Fun” class where we exercised to the 1940’s music (they especially liked the Andrews Sisters); I had a Chorus, and a band, we gave concerts to the families. I did educational things like picking a country and showing a 30 minute video about it and before that, I would make some food for them from that country and talk about it for a while—plus I had “happy hour” and music playing on Fridays, and I had a tea party for the ladies (Steve came and played the recorder for them) with lace tablecloths and china tea cups—I had slide shows…and ministers/priests/ and Jewish people come in and offer services. I loved that job so much! It was great fun. Steve called me a “paid party-girl”. 😊
Working with elders was wonderful. Funny…too. “Good morning, Claire, how are you this morning?” Claire replied, “Well, let’s see…I woke up…I was able to eat breakfast…and I could go to the bathroom…It’s goin’ to be a great day!” You never know… I have so many stories.
My favorite was Vera. She had Alzheimer’s, couldn’t walk on her own, and had trouble communicating. I found out that she used to play the piano. So one day, I wheeled Vera in front of this grand piano and then I sat down at a nearby table. She looked at me…and looked around…and looked at me again…and looked at the piano…then played a beautiful rendition of “Moonlight Sonata”. I nearly fell over. I ran to get the nurse to show her! Wow. After she finished—I took her back to her room and she fell asleep. She didn’t say a word.
Another favorite was Violet. Again Alzheimer’s –about 3rd stage. She was walking on her own. Wore everything in her closet (we were careful not to have much in there)…needed assistance to be seated because she didn’t know where to sit. She had trouble talking but she babbled anyway. I heard that she used to be a secretary for 45 years. One evening, while she was eating dinner in the dining room, I took a chance and wrote on a piece of paper in Gregg shorthand “How are you today, Violet? ”. Then I left the paper there with the pencil and watched her from the other part of the room. It took a while…she looked at it, then ate some more and looked at it again, picked up the pencil and scratched something. After she left, I went and got the paper… it said, in Gregg shorthand… “I am fine today, thank you.”
When I think of being older…I think of miracles. Those that have happened, and those that have not happened just yet. I’m training my mind to be positive, and grateful. It’s working. 😊 Your wonderful story just added to that!”
ENJOY YOUR LIFE…IT IS THE ONLY ONE YOU HAVE…and the sun is still shining!
VIDEO Turn up sound Interesting thoughts from some who made it to 100 years old…and still enjoying life.
Everywhere we look, there is difficulty in the world. People hardly agree on anything. If we say what we truly think about someone or any particular subject, we are in jeopardy of being called some name we know we are not.
Many people I know have decided to stop watching the news or talk shows. One person told me, “I just listen to music or read a book instead.” If they feel that way for themselves, they certainly feel that their children don’t need a daily dose of what our world is becoming. How can one explain to a child why people are fist fighting at Disney…or why people are rioting in the streets around the world?
Where is love in all this? Maybe one person that so many generations grew up with had the answer to a truly difficult world. His name is Mr. Rogers.
He was a Christian and a Presbyterian minister who knew God’s love was the way and the only way to reach beyond prejudice, politics or wars among ourselves.
He certainly understood Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. It was his way in trying to help children understand that we need to be kind to one another no matter whether we like a person or don’t like their actions. Kindness was at the top of all his program messages. The only way to get that back in our world is to find it within our own hearts and to teach it to our children by our examples.
Mr. Rogers wrote all his songs. One of his special songs that he sang was It’s You I Like. The words were special because he thought they were important for a child to understand about his or herself.
Written by Fred Rogers | © 1971, Fred M. Rogers
It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys
They’re just beside you.
But it’s you I like
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself
It’s you I like.
A movie has been made where Tom Hanks plays the part of Mr. Rogers. It will be a re-introduction to children and the world to a man and his message. Mr. Rogers probably never gave too much thought that his words could last long after his life. What a sermon to the world!
Whether you agree with everything said in this video below or not, it is definitely worth a watch. Enjoy….especially the children. They are beautiful in every way….and the future of our world.
President George HW Bush called for a “kinder nation” and from time to time we will see evidence that there are many kind people in the world. The shame is that most stories we see on TV or on the internet are of the violent and outrageous.
I began looking for some actual videos of kindness…or pictures to prove that it does not matter to what nationality or race one belongs…KINDNESS is kindness…and it crosses all boundaries.
I read about a woman on an airline who had a crying 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. A woman offered to help and hold a child throughout the flight. The mother was so grateful.
I understand this well in that I had three children on an airline from California to Florida. My daughter, who was a baby, cried off and on the entire trip. My sons tried to ignore it and curled up on the floor to sleep. That, in itself, was a no-no. I’m certain the other passengers were beside themselves with hostile thoughts, but no one wanted to reach out to help and make things better. We all lived through it…but barely. One does not realize that it is sometimes impossible to silence a tired, upset child who is used to his/her routine, safely back at home in the bed.
Another act of kindness was a young 13-year-old who went outside in the rain with an umbrella to help an elderly gentleman get home. There is definitely hope for the next generation. This young man made his mother proud…and he should be also.
I happen to be an animal lover. It is easy to love all animals. It is not so easy to love the down and out who may or may not have made their own bed and are now lying in it. Nevertheless, these are exactly the kind of people to whom Jesus Christ reached out …the beggar, the harlot, the unclean and pathetic. He calls us to do the same…not just during Christmas when we have a warm, cheerful heart… but always. We may be the only face of “Christ” that they will see…or the only hands and heart that shows God’s love.
Below is a video that calls for people of all walks of life to reach out to a fellow human being…or an animal that is in distress. Saving a life or making one just a little better is what we need today…this Christmas…and always. Bring your kindness to someone today.
Mathew 25:40 “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.”
Everyone who watched the royal wedding today in the beautiful St. George Chapel will have their own opinion of its significance, other than it was a very expensive wedding that may have brought excitement to people around the world…especially in England. I write this blog not to throw cold water on any of the festivities, but to point out that there may have been a missed opportunity.
Being an Episcopalian (Anglican to you Brits), I first have to say that the Episcopalians love their reverence, quiet solitude for reflection and prayer in their church services. We love beautiful choir music…soft and dignified…not boisterous. The church is a sacred place which is often called “God’s house.” It is not a theatre or a stadium. I am certain that the Anglicans throughout the world feel the same way.
Having said that, I have also been a part of “get down and happy” southern church services that put no stock at all in formality. Both places of worship have the pluses and minuses for different people. Some feel that music should be “praise music” and if the preacher preaches loud and long, then he is a “real preacher.” The ability to speak out and say “Amen” is part of the overall service. In most cases, in the Anglican (Episcopal) churches saying anything aloud is rare unless one is part of the service readings.
Episcopalians or Anglicans have Holy Communion each service. They might enjoy a shorter and to the point sermon. I have been to southern, African American churches where I was welcomed and actually escorted from the back seat to the front to share my love for Jesus with the congregation. I could not have been more warmly welcomed as a person not of color.
I want to comment on the American Episcopal Bishop, Michael Curry, who was asked to give the message at the royal wedding. He may have missed a golden opportunity. I don’t mean that he could have shortened his message or that his subject on God’s love was not a good one. He was certainly enthusiastic about what he was saying.
It was a message on love which was appropriate for a wedding. However, he only briefly mentioned Jesus with some words on “redemption” without explaining it clearly., Jesus gave his life and rose from the dead to bring redemption to mankind. He is the essence of God’s love.
Bishop Curry had an audience of a life-time with millions if not billions of people watching. Many of those people know nothing about the love of God or His redemptive power. Jesus is the “GREATEST LOVE of all, but we have to receive His Love just as one would receive a beautiful gift. This Perfect Love seemed to be minimized and somewhat lost as the sermon went on with other unrelated thoughts on “industrialization” and changin the world. This was unfortunate and disappointing.
God’s love and mercy also includes reconciliation, not division. When Bishop Curry began to talk about slavery…much of which could be contributed to the fore-fathers of the elite British audience in attendance…the message brought up a painful subject to many. As much as they might like to do so, the wedding congregation cannot go back and change their history. Neither can the Americans who came from England and bought the slaves to work their plantations. History is to be learned from, not lived over and over.
The bride and groom planned their wedding to be inclusive with choirs singing spirituals, which may have not been heard in St. George Chapel. This may have been a good, inclusive and memorable part of the wedding service. Some are saying, “Bishop Curry stole the show.” Perhaps…but his style of preaching was a genuine style of preaching for him and his background. The Anglicans have their style and he was in their territory for the day. If they were made to feel “uneasy,” perhaps the bridal party should have thought of that earlier.
We may want to be one, big world-family with everyone singing the same song and loving one another throughout the entire world. It is a lofty message. How likely is that to happen? Never…until Christ comes back and every eye shall see Him and every knee bows before Him. That will be real PEACE AND LOVE.
A brief history of St. George Chapel: St. George’s castle chapel was established in the 14th century by King Edward III and began extensive enlargement in the late 15th century. It has been the location of many royal ceremonies, weddings and burials… Windsor Castle is a principal residence for Queen Elizabeth II and its chapel is the planned burial site for the Queen. Other kings are buried here as well as some familiar names:
- Jane Seymore Queen of England, in 1537
- Henry VIII King of England and Ireland, in 1547
- Charles I King of England, Scotland and Ireland, in 1649 (credit Wikipedia)
VIDEO: St. George Chapel Choir rehearses for the wedding day.
Congratulations to the new couple.
Occasionally, I will be going toward the altar at church and will see an elderly person waiting quietly in the pew for the minister to bring to them the Holy Communion. They are usually frail and do not feel that they can walk on their own very well. I am reminded of what my husband, who is also a priest in the Episcopal Church, often says about the elderly…“If they have lost the love of their life or have no family close by, they rarely have the human touch…the hug…the warmth of another human.” Knowing this, I might reach down and pat her (or him) on the shoulder and take their hand, without saying a word just so they know there is a touch in their life.
On researching this need for human touch, I found out the following:
“Upon birth, some babies require a little more attention at hospitals before they can leave with their parents to begin their life. Babies who receive stimulation in the form of touch have shown to grow and gain weight at rates faster than those who lack touch. They also experience fewer health issues in their first year. The simple act of a touch can lower stress levels (specifically the stress hormone cortisol) and regulate a proper body temperature in a baby’s body through the release of hormones.
The connection was realized upon finding out that children who grew up in environments such as orphanages, with less contact and engagement, had higher hormone levels compared to children raised with parents. In turn, this difference in environment can lead to many issues later in life – from a struggle to bond and behavioral issues.
However, some of the damage caused by touch deprivation can be reversed due to a change in environment – a study done in Romania in the 1980’s supports this, showing that in children aged six to twelve, those who lived in an orphanage for eight months or more possessed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to those who lived in an orphanage for four months or less.” (taken from Youngzine..Renee)
When my youngest son was born, he had to stay in the hospital for several days because he was under-weight. As I went to visit him daily, I would often walk in and find him being rocked by a nurse or nurse’s helper. They called him their “Little Cowboy” because his hair had little sideburns. Seeing that he was being loved meant so much.
I also learned the truth about the need for touch and human development when I was teaching at a University in Ukraine. I visited two orphanages. One was State run and the other was a Christian run home for children. The children in the State-run orphanage did not smile. When we put them on our laps to try to talk with them and hug them, they did not seem to know how to respond. Nothing brought a smile to their faces. On arriving at the Christian orphanage, the atmosphere was completely different. The children were laughing, hanging onto their adult workers and seemed well adjusted in so many ways.
Recently my husband posted a video about a man who has made it his mission to give the tiny, often sick or premature babies the human touch they need. I’m going to share this video with my readers today because it is the life story of a senior person giving of himself to a new life on earth. He is making a difference.
Let this video touch your heart and think of reaching out yourself to someone who may need a “touch” of love.
Turn up sound
Having had five Golden Retrievers in our home over the years, we know the love that these dogs can give is amazing. They are gentle, loving and caring…with a temperament that can reach out to the most broken of humans.
The pictures below were made by Jim Dalrymple II at a hospital in Las Vegas. A Christian group from the Lutheran Church Charities trains dogs in a number of states to be comfort dogs. (LLC K-9 Comfort Dogs)
A thank you to them and the dog’s owners who care enough to go to places where people have gone through a crisis, as in the terrible shootings in Las Vegas, in order to bring about quicker healing.
Celebrating 34 years of marriage, I dedicate this song to the man I love. Bill, thank you for your love, your caring and all that we are together. One of your favorite songs is Be Thou My Vision. May we always keep our faith strong and look to Him for His wisdom and vision in our life together. Nancy
It was an early morning and I was waiting for my husband to have his therapy since having surgery for a knee replacement. A car pulled up next to me and a gentleman moved from the driver’s side to that of the passenger.
“Lift your leg, Honey” I heard him say.
She tried to respond, but it was obvious that she was having a great difficulty getting anything to move.
Finally, he was able to pull her out of the car, but did so as gently as he could. As they proceeded into the medical building, he talked quietly to her as she shuffled her way inside.
With my laptop computer in front of me, I continued writing Chapter 20 of my new historical fiction book. Looking up from where I was parked, the door in front of me was opening. It was easy to see the same couple come out the door to return to the car. It took him a few minutes to get her seated once again.
Something inside me responded, as it usually does, when I am supposed to reach out to someone, even if they are complete strangers. I have learned over the years that this little something that I feel inside…almost a nervous feeling, is …I believe…the Holy Spirit of God. “You are the voice of compassion that I want to use today…so say something.” I know that either I respond to this urging, or the moment will pass me by. That has happened in the past and I’ve always regretted it.
Rolling the window down on my passenger side, I said loudly, so he could hear me, “Sir!” He stopped and looked in the window at me.
“You are a good husband.” I said.
He smiled and said, “I have been doing this for 8 years.”
“What disability does she have?” I asked.
“Dementia” he replied.
(The word “dementia” means “a chronic or persistent disorder of the brain that makes for memory disorders, personality changes and impaired reasoning.”) This was of course is why she was having trouble moving. Her mind had forgotten how to do things that are automatic and normal to most of us.
The gentleman had such a pleasant look on his face…a tired look, but a calm look.
He said, ” I do this because I love her.” He had faced a difficult truth about his love..his companion for life. Things would not get better and he knew it.
He went on to say that she would do the same for him and they had been married over 50 years.
“But if the roles were reversed, she would have a very hard time because she (or you) would not be able to lift a man’s weight. I have to lift her a great deal.”
He went on to say, “I take her out to eat and to our church on Sunday. People say to me that I should put her in a nursing home, but I don’t want to do this because I know they cannot take care of her… like feed her…as I would.”
I told him that my prayers would be with him and they will be. This man has a woman he loves and a very hard decision to make as her health deteriorates.
I have one thing to say as I end this blog.
If you are young, you may think that nothing like this will happen at the end of your life. You work out; eat right and have lots of friends…maybe even family members who love you. You may even be saying, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.”
What one does not realize is that when youth is gone and muscles and bones begin to deteriorate, as well as the processes of the mind, we can only depend on those closest to us.
My advice would be this.
Don’t take family…mother…father…sister or brother for granted. Most of the time they will be the only ones to make the calls to the assisted living or rehab center to make sure that you are ending your life with caring people..and not being abused just because you are now old and cannot fend for yourself. You must have an advocate in your behalf. If you ignore those who love you now…or only see them once in a while, it may be that you will not have them to depend upon when you most need someone to care.
The gentleman of whom I have been writing smiled and thanked me for my words. He opened his car door to drive home and start the same pattern all over again.
“Lift your leg, Sweetheart. We’re home.”
War is hell…anyway one looks at it. For every soldier that has fought, there has been the thought in the back of the mind…”Will I ever get out of this situation? Will I die here…and will my life have counted for something?” They listen to their commanders; do their duty; feel fear and sadness…and hope and pray for the best.
Yes in all the wars, some have turned their backs on country and comrades.. running away from a situation…with only their tortured thoughts to live with for the rest of their lives. Others can be proud that they faced each obstacle whenever and from wherever it came. They marched into the unknown to rescue their own. They faced the enemy not knowing if it would be their last day. Many gave their all and we must not forget them.
As the 4th of July is approaching, we think of liberty and what it means.
Every now and then I find an old movie that is worth watching. This was the case when I turned to Born on the 4th of July starring a young Tom Cruise. It is a violent movie with nudity and the worst of language, but a gripping reality of the Vietnam War and all that the young men went through, especially after they came home. Cruise stretches his acting ability to the limit in this dramatization of a patriotic young man who loses it all in the horrors of battle. It is a realistic look at what the families go through in coping with the aftermath of the veteran’s home-coming.
A line in the film that stood out to me was when this young Marine cried to his father about his condition, asking ” Who will love me?”
Not unlike the young men coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, he felt he was half a man because he was now paralyzed from the waist down with no hope of walking or having a family. War is raw…crude…and real.
It is hopeful that our military, who stayed the course and did their duty, will have the proper home-coming. Vividly portrayed, the Vietnam vet continued to deteriorate emotionally with flash backs. To add to the insults, the crowds spit on them and jeered at them, even during the 4th of July parades. Politics had changed in the U.S. about the war even while the men were away fighting.
Many of these men signed up to fight communism before it took over the world. They bled for what they thought was the enemy to our country’s future. Torn apart, physically and emotionally, there seemed to be no future. The Vietnam vet often turned to drugs and alcohol for relief. Broken in spirit, the question remains, “Who is going to love me?”
For anyone facing a devastating situation, there is only One who gives that unconditional love.
” For God so loved the World that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This film reminds me that if I see an older man with long hair, somewhat shabby … in a wheelchair…or walking the streets with the homeless, it may be a Marine who once served proudly. They came back to an embittered country and never got over it. Other Vietnam vets returned to live productive lives, but never received the thanks due to them until more recently.
Living with a tortured mind is a difficult thing. One evening, when my children were young, my front door flew open and a man yelled in the door, ” Is Charlie here?!” He slammed the door and disappeared into the night. He did not seem to see that we were sitting there. I am sure that this man, who was living out a previous war… thousands of miles away at another time. (“Charlie” originates from the abbreviation VC for “Vietcong.” In the NATO phonetic alphabet, used in radio transmissions, the words for V and C are “Victor” and “Charlie”. Victor Charlie for the Vietcong was soon shortened to Charlie.)
Our sons and daughters have given much in all the wars that America has fought. Who will love them and care for them in their time of healing and need for excellent care? It is a simple question that needs answering. Another question is “Who in military command and the U.S. government will be honest and as well as loving and comforting to the families of those who were flown home for their funerals?” Often the family simply wants to know how their son or daughter died and was everything done possible to save them? It is the least that can be given to them in their grief.
Sometimes people and animals just need someone to love them. This is the case with a boy in England and his three legged dog. Enough said.
THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR THIS BLOG. NOTHING…JUST NOTHING…WILL ADD TO THE PICTURES YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE ON LOVE AND SACRIFICE.
(credit to Tim Dodd for some photographs)
It’s Christmas Eve here in the West. Little children go to bed thinking of the gift they may receive in their excitement in the morning. People stop by their church before tucking them in…to remember the perfect Gift that God sent this night. Gifts were brought by the Wisemen so long ago. It made me stop to think of another gift that I recently heard about.
This is the story about a gift to an unknown person. Parents decided to give their daughter’s heart… after she had been killed in an accident. In making this decision, neither parent had any idea what a perfect gift this would be. Someone needed this heart so desperately. Receiving a gift of such magnitude…and with such gratitude…a life was restored. A part of their 13-year-old daughter would live on. The receiver of this gift would once again be able to care and love a family who may have lost her…except that she would receive a wonderful gift from unselfish people.
Tender…loving…caring…outside of the gift that God gave of His Only Son…this one represents the best in giving. Merry Christmas.
Do not miss this touching story…and make your prayers for both families this Christmas Eve.
Yesterday, I talked to a friend who had just gone to a spiritual retreat. Because he is a Hindu, what he was about to tell me made sense to him. He had gone to the “Hugging Woman ” from India, who makes tours around the world and simply hugs. It must have a definite effect on people or why would so many flock to see her?
ABC News carried an article on her with one interviewed person expressing it this way. “I’m not religious,” a 28-year-old banker tells me. “I saw her four years ago in Houston. Now, I just go to her every chance I get. She may be just an old woman who hugs. But there is some beauty in this. Maybe we have to appreciate our need to hug and be hugged — to care for each other.”
An article by Vivian H Ortiz and Sarah Hodd continues… “She is not selling salvation or offering physical healing or a chance at prosperity. Instead, Amma seems to have tapped into a deep and essential human need — the need for affection and the human touch. Some people, it is true, don’t get enough human contact.”
They may not have been held or hugged when they were babies or small children…and don’t know what to do with hugs as adults. My husband saw orphaned babies in Russia that did not get warm, close attention stand for hours in their cribs…rocking back and forth….as to make themselves feel something...anything. When I was in Ukraine, I visited a State orphanage and no amount of hugging would make those children smile. They simply were not used to it and did not relate to close human contact.
Too many hugs or over-eager huggers are not often accepted in the “American way” of life. We ,in general , like our distance. (unlike the Italians and others). At one of our favorite restaurants, the owner’s wife (who speaks very little English) comes around the tables and gives hugs…sometimes very big hugs…with her large bosom in close proximity to the faces of the customers. This is not to say that some don’t enjoy it! Nevertheless, it becomes a little far-reaching for the “not in my space” Americans.
There are definitely different types of hugs. I like what A.K. had to say on this subject.
“A hug kind of depends on how long it lasts : Just a quick and polite hug is just that, polite. Oh, and the patting on the back, that is definitely non-romantic. If he pats you on the back you might as well be his Aunt Liz.
A romantic hug will last just a little longer than it should and it will end when he leans back and puts both hands on your upper arms, just below your shoulders. That is the “oh baby” hug. If he does that, you’ve got him. He’s yours!
Very few first hugs will be a romantic hug though. If he is really interested, the first hug will be somewhere between “Aunt Liz” and “oh baby”. This one may end with him stepping back but leaving one arm around your waist or slightly rubbing your back vertically. This is the classic “whew, you are awesome, I can’t believe you let me hug you” hug. That’s when you look at him, smile slightly, and then look away. Powerful stuff!”
Even animals like to curl up and cuddle. We had a cat in our neighborhood climb between the paws of our Golden Retriever; curl up and just enjoy the closeness.
Nothing can take the place of the peaceful, relaxing, mothering hug that warms our heart. Hope someone has given you a special hug today…or you have given one. It will probably come back to you in some form.
It takes a long time to develop a relationship….sometimes years. We live the ups and downs of the person we care about. There is a special union that only we know…or the other person knows. Sometimes we don’t even know why there is that special connection. We only know that there is. It may be like “Peas and Carrots” as the line says in the movie, Forrest Gump.
Just as in this film, the person we love sometimes leaves and has a rough go of it. The decisions made may even cost a life; ruin a life or shorten a life. Sickness and sadness may follow. We can do nothing about it, but to always care and to love.
Life is strange this way. That special bond, whether that of a father to a son or daughter; a mother to a child, a lover to a lover may seem to be broken, but life has a way of changing what we know today. It may not be the same tomorrow.
Releasing the bird that we want to hold so close is the only way to ever have it come back. That decision is not always easy. We want to feel the feathers in the hand…to touch the heat of its body and yet there is the tug to get away and to be free. We have to release it.
The peas may be separated from the carrots, but they will always have a way of naturally going together. Maybe they will go in the same dish…or maybe they won’t. Regardless, while they were together, they were good.
In Forrest Gump, Jenny, as a child, never wanted to go home. Forrest did not understand why this was…but she knew. Years later, she picked up the rocks to throw at the house representing the person who had caused her so much misery and pain. That abuse had sent her into a life of searching and into drugs and bad relationships. As she hurled the rocks at her house of memories, the famous line is spoken: “Sometimes there is just not enough rocks!” When life hurts, we want to lash back and in despair and in hope…see what it has done to us. Life will go on. We have to give it a chance to correct itself.
Whatever the ending, there will always be some things and some people who brought beauty into our lives. We have to remember those times. They are the “peas and carrots” that have been a part of who we are. Don’t try to separate them or understand them…just take them for what they are.
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 The Holy Bible
To all of you lovers who read Boyer Writes, we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Enjoy our love video below! Thank you to Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp