Shadow Work

Just as we now have a new address, so my brother-in-love, Jim, also has a new address. Jim was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer this past November. Although a very difficult time, he and his family found gifts tucked inside the days. He passed from this life today about 5:00 am.

I am choosing to hold on to what I know to be real: within every experience I have the opportunity to learn love. This is brought home by a very stressful interaction with our granddaughter who is here visiting. You could say she is 18 going on 40, if you know what I mean.
I remember the day her mom and grandpa and I were riding with her soon after she got her driving permit. As we came into the subdivision the back way she was not quite up on two wheels, but she was for sure going way too fast. “Slow down!” yelled her mom.

“I know what I am doing!” she shot back.

“You are going way too fast,” her grandpa added.

In a voice sounding more calm than my innards felt I said simply the truth, “Between your mom and your grandpa and me we have about 120 years of driving experience. You may not be mature enough to admit it but we are a better judge of your driving right now than you are.”

Last night she stepped way over our boundary when she came in at 3:00 am. I do not know where she really was all that time or what she was doing but I do know that her “attitude” is a pattern of behavior she has played out with her mom many times before.

We miss seeing what is obvious to others because that is the nature of shadow work.

My brother-in-love was changed dramatically during this journey with cancer. He learned to laugh easily and he helped others do the same. Just last Sunday when he asked his wife for nail scissors she cautioned him to be careful with them. He has been very shaky. He took the scissors and then feigned a dangerously shaky hand before their eyes met and they both giggled.

My granddaughter and her mom and I may not be ready to tease and laugh easily about our parts in all of this but we will all feel better as we can.

William Arthur Ward said to make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; and to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.

My granddaughter is only 18. My brother-in-law was past 70. We have time….

We Are Moved!

I have had some long days and short nights the past couple of weeks, but we are moved! Here is my poem about all of that I wrote for the last Pine Island Poetry group:

A Week’s Lifetime
I. I’ve slept in my bed in this house the last Sunday of my life. The scent of long-past passion still lingers in my nose. The waterbed gave way to a California mattress. The headboard frame with the drawers underneath replaced by a rich Cherry poster bed that stands tall enough I can store the massage table underneath.
II. This is the last Monday morning I will wake up in this house. Approximately 83,216 Monday mornings I’ve sat here looking east. Thousands of times I’ve watched the shadows grow long, had the sun in my eyes, and marveled at the rain pelting the window.
III. More than two decades of pulling out of the driveway on Tuesday mornings heading to Still Waters. Sitting in the grapevine rocking chair in front of the sliding glass door looking at the majestic oak tree. Remembering that day I realized one of the women in the library was someone I had carried a deep grudge against, Forgiveness was unnecessary as the truth of how perfectly her role orchestrated divine will in my life set my heart free.
IV. Working in Kalamazoo on Wednesdays, traveling enough to always keep my makeup bag packed, finding it easier to live out of my overnight bag than to realize some culturally-demanded essential was where I wasn’t. Years of driving into the sun on the way over Wednesday mornings and driving into the sun on the way back Thursday evenings.
V. So many trips to Tennessee, watching grandkids grow up, remembering moments and milestones and many miles. We always left on Thursdays. Brad is married now, almost a year. Adam is a firefighter. My thoughts were also of Adam as I watched the first responders last Friday morning trying desperately to give my new neighbor one more day or week or month or year. Quite forgetful, she would introduce herself to me every time I stopped in at the new house. “I’m Katey,’ she would say, “I’ve lived here 33 years. It’s the best place I’ve ever lived. You’re going to love it here….” Adam arrived the day we moved in. Granddaughter, Courtney, will be here on Friday.
VI. Friday night used to be date night. We would have the house all to ourselves. We’d make love in front of the fireplace, dozing off afterwards. I remember once having an ear print on the inside of my thigh. The nostalgia of leaving this house is not just about brick and mortar or years gone by. Moving makes us remember what really matters. We buried Spanky here. So many times I felt the weight of that cat on my chest long after his ashes were way out back.
VII. Saturday morning Jehovah’s Witness visits, regular until the day John said, “Oh, yes, we are believers. My wife is an interfaith minister….” It’s funny how ritualistic our lives can become. Weeks and years and decades look so much like their predecessors, yet nothing truly remains the same. Next Monday morning I will wake up in my same bed, between my favorite bamboo sheets, having listened to 2002 Land of Forever. While my bed won’t be at 4230 Lincoln, part of my history will be.
VIII. It’s a new beginning at 1153 West Glenlord Road, Lot 84…
Debra Basham 7/24/17 (WC 544)

This week I held baby Iris for the first time, stained and varnished a desktop, made my first risotto, and it absolutely amazes me that I can feel right at home somewhere other than where I felt right at home for the past 40 years. I trust that means this is the next right step….

Property Virgins

First times are memorable just because they are first. This has certainly been true for me this summer with the selling of our home.

Here is a handout left on our kitchen table next to the plate of cookies just-out-of-the-oven:

This was our first home, purchased 40 years ago this past April.

Our next home is in Glen-Aire, just around the corner.

Here are a few of the things to love about this home:

    Location, location, location!
    The beautiful hardwood floors.
    The family room.
    Looking out on the back yard.
    The laundry chute.
    The kitchen layout, including the pantry, the pull-out shelves, and the 36 inch drawers.
    The dimmer switches.
    The built-ins (master bedroom, master bathroom, garage).
    The lighted closets.
    Instant hot water in all locations.
    The gas fire place.
    The sunrises and sunsets.
    The basement shelves.
    Did I mention the location and the lot?

If you decide this is to be your next home, you will love it.

This is the first home we have ever sold, and it is also the first home the buyer has ever bought. We are both well past our teenage years but we are property virgins.

The selling and buying of this home will be memorable, as will this morning’s sunrise….

A Beautiful Meeting

I was awake st 3:00 am and purged the roll-top desk in the living room before heading over to meet Kathy Zerler at the new house to paint the master bedroom. We are so happy with how it turned out, and I now have a freshly-made up air mattress so we can rest as we are there working!

John and I went to a restaurant in Stevensville for All-You-Can-Eat fish fry. We spontaneously joined friends, Sue Tracey and her husband Al Lutz. We had not been together for a long while, but had earlier in the week had some email contact about our downsizing adventure. It was such a lovely surprise to dine with them and catch up a bit.

As we were getting ready to leave Sue was telling us about our server, telling us what an ambitious young woman she is at age 23 owning your own home, working two jobs! Sue said the young woman’s name, a very unusual name. My heart skipped a beat. Could it be?

When our server came back to bring our checks, I asked if she was the person by that name who had a grandpa that had passed a couple weeks before she was born, and what his name was, and what her birthday is.

I choked back tears of joy and amazement! It took my breath away to realize this lovely young woman was the little girl whose mother I coached to do spirit release work I wrote about in my book of Stories.

Her grandpa had been a professional boxer for the Navy and he had been so excited about the coming birth of his first grandchild. His sweet spirit had become attached to her and that was the source of the difficulties.

Physically tired from my full day, I left that restaurant with a full belly and an even more full heart. I have been profoundly affected by the serendipities of this meeting and the confirmation of what is possible with Spirit at the helm….

From Falling Together in Love: Stories From My Heart for and about YOU, , pg. 34-35:

The area of spirit release work (clinical depossession) is written about some, but many of the stories sound so odd that sometimes you have to be ready to step way beyond your own beliefs to notice. Once you step beyond your beliefs, then because you are willing to pay attention to the language a person uses, some very interesting situations show up. Often times a person’s life can be improved in very dramatic ways you don’t even necessarily believe in.

One day I received a call at the wellness clinic where I was working. A mother reported having had severe behavior problems with her five-year-old daughter. The girl would fly into such rages that it would take three or four adults to hold her down. The behavior was creating major problems for her family, and huge issues at school.

After asking some basic questions about general health, including allergy testing, I asked if the mom had ever considered whether this problem was spiritual in nature.

The mom said it was as if her daughter was possessed, and she had gone to a priest., “And I am not even Catholic!” she added. The priest told her that Catholics don’t do exorcisms any more.

I asked if there had been a death in their family soon after her daughter was born. No death after, but two weeks before the child’s birth, her paternal grandfather had died. This was the first grandchild, and the grandpa was thrilled about the expected baby.

I asked the mother if she thought his spirit might be attached to the little girl. The grandpa had been a professional boxer, and when the child would fly into the rages, family members would often say, “There is her grandpa coming out in her!”

Because all language is essentially metaphorical, it is usually easiest to work with the person’s metaphor, his or her model of the world. It is easier to work with what is there, because what is in the way is the way.

It helps to have an understanding of beliefs from lots of different cultures and religions. For some people, a belief in reincarnation is just as natural as a belief in gravity or the sun or the moon. Others may have different ways of understanding what is often called eternal life, or life after death. You can borrow beliefs that seem to make sense in a specific situation, and it is probably pretty easy to see how your ability to believe in spirit possession by a loved-one made good since in this situation.

I told the mom a clinical psychologist (Edith Fiore) had written a book on this sort of thing, and I gave her the simple steps taken right from the book. A few weeks later I gave a call back, just to check how things were going. The mother answered the phone, and I said, “This is Debra Basham. I am just checking to see how things are going with your daughter.” The mother seemed a bit confused, as though she did not remember me. She said that her daughter was doing just fine, and asked why I thought she might not be! I replied, “A few weeks ago we spoke on the phone and you told me how your daughter had been flying into rages and was about to be kicked out of school.”

“Oh, she doesn’t do that anymore.”

“That is wonderful. I am curious how the improvement came about.”

“That night after we talked I just did exactly what you told me, and she is fine now.”

This mother is just one more person whose problem disappeared so well she did not even remember it. I love it when your problems are so far gone you don’t even recall having had them. Nice. Very nice.

A New Home

This morning as I am so grateful for making time to get my fingers on the keyboard as my “to-do-list” grows longer and my time-table grows shorter. I notice how relevant that is to all those who are in their later years. I have lived 67 years, and in this body probably do not have 67 more. We have our home of 40 years scheduled to go onto the market today and have purchased an 1120 square foot home in a 55 and over park literally right around the corner. The simultaneity of the sacred and the mundane dancing across the moments we call time have my eyes leaking and my heart aching in its perfection….

As we paint, clean, pack, (See Garage Floor!) we witness miracle upon miracle in the journey of John’s brother, Jim, who is journeying through metastatic cancer. From the ease and timing of finding of our new home to a vivid pray without ceasing demonstration the lines blur between now and then, here and there, alive and dead, mortal and immortal.

We are living Harry Chapin’s Circle song. I hope you will take time to listen.

As I have said before, we are living a charmed life. Last evening we said goodbye to an antique china cabinet that had sat in our kitchen for 25 years. It belongs to a friend, Doris. We kept it for her when she went through a divorce and had no place for it. That cabinet had belonged to her grandmother. There is now floor space in my kitchen, and I can feel my mother smiling to see her carnival glass gleaming in the light of our new home.

Yesterday afternoon my yoga teacher and another friend met me at the new house for yoga. We offered gratitude for Ursel, the woman who had made that house her home for 31 years. We reminded ourselves we were on holy ground. After I packed each piece of glassware carefully in washcloths (no need to wash the dishes like you have to if you pack them in newspaper) John brought his guitar and played and sang as they were moved into the built-in china cabinet at the new house. Every action is intimate with thoughts and prayers regarding Jim and the unfolding of our shared destiny. The best way to share this holy thought is to let you read a journal entry by Krista Meyer, Jim’s daughter, posted about 7:00 pm Saturday, the 4th of July, 2017.

Blessings

Sometimes God just surprises you with an unexpected miracle.

After nearly 48 hours of not being able to speak or communicate with anyone, Dad suddenly started talking this afternoon! Kurt and Heather and Sam and Ben were here, along with Uncle Jerry and Aunt Jeanne, Uncle John, and some of our kids. We had an amazing time of talking and laughing and visiting! I’ve attached one of the videos I took of Dad talking to our nephew, Craig, and Hannah and Jonny.

I sent this message to my cousin:

Everyone else left and I was sitting in the room with mom and dad. Mom went over to Dad’s bed and said, “I’m so proud of you! Are you proud of me too?” Dad replied, “Yeah!” Mom asked why he was proud of her and he said, “Because you’re the best wife in the world!”

I can’t get over what a huge miracle this is. Over the past couple of days, my heart was hurting for him because I wondered if he had things he wanted to say to mom, especially, but hadn’t said them before he lost the chance. And mom said this morning when she went home for a bit, she had a meltdown and was telling God she missed hearing Dad’s voice and wished she could hear him talk again. She came back an hour later and he was talking!

However long it lasts, whatever lies ahead, we are thanking God for this amazingly wonderful gift. Trying to remember to carve our blessings in marble and write our trials in sand. ❤️

Once in a while, we witness what has been there all along. The blessings we carve in stone today are of a new home and moments of life spent with those we love. Rabbits hop in my backyard now. May rabbits hop in the yard at the new house, too.

Here are the lyrics to Harry Chapin’s Circle:
All my life’s a circle;
Sunrise and sundown;
Moon rolls through the nighttime;
‘Til the daybreak comes around.
All my life’s a circle;
But I can’t tell you why;
Season’s spinning round again;
The years keep rollin’ by.
It seems like I’ve been here before;
I can’t remember when;
But I have this funny feeling;
That we’ll all be together again.
No straight lines make up my life;
And all my roads have bends;
There’s no clear-cut beginnings;
And so far no dead-ends.
I found you a thousand times;
I guess you done the same;
But then we lose each other;
It’s like a children’s game;
As I find you here again;
A thought runs through my mind;
Our love is like a circle;
Let’s go ’round one more time.
I found you a thousand times;
I guess you done the same;
But then we lose each other;
It’s like a children’s game;
Songwriters: Harry Chapin
Circle lyrics © Harry Chapin Foundation

COIK

I have been doing a lot of contemplation regarding the healing capability of your mind, body, and spirit. This model of medicine is overlooked by most of us in the U.S. Conversations this week have been with clients, friends, colleagues, and family. Perhaps the real challenge is the military idea of Clear Only If Known (COIK).

Learning about the human energy field changed my life. Not only did I experience relief from chronic pain, I also stepped into my life’s work. If you are new to this blog or want to share the details of my story with someone else who is ready for relief, check out the digital copy of my Freedom from Pain

Two techniques from Healing Touch became mainstays in my health and well-being. These are Track 3 and Track 4 on the Freedom from Pain MP3 audio. (Sample listen: Freedom from Pain.)

You can download Freedom from Pain for $8.99.

I’ve been reading the transcript from a talk given in May 2017 by Barbara Brodsky and Dr. Tavis Taylor. Both Barbara and Tavis are familiar with John of God’s Casa de Dom Inacio in Brazil where many people from all over the world have experienced healing outside of the current medical model. Barbara says the doctors in Ann Arbor wanted to do surgery on her back. She was in pain and was unable to walk. Her words about what she learned in Brazil are telling, “For them to be able to help me, instead of relating to the spine as damaged and something that had to be fixed, I needed to meditate and know the strong perfect spine, to visualize it; to feel places of blocked energy and invite the simultaneity of the flow of energy; to love my spine.”

Richard Bandler says if they can’t see it, they can’t see it. I am so very grateful I was able to see the importance of knowing we are energetic beings. Painful sensations are communications from our bodies. It is possible to love our bodies and see ourselves whole and healthy….

Garage Floor!

Everything and everyone will teach you something.

What did you learn yesterday?

What will you learn today?

Anything that angers you is teaching you FORGIVENESS and COMPASSION.

Anything that causes you frustration or discouragement is teaching you PATIENCE and ENDURANCE.

~Based on the Law of Attraction

As is so truly the case, as you go about the business/busyness of life, life is presenting you options of learning. That was certainly the case with our garage floor. I have hated our garage floor since we moved into this house in 1977. That is 40 years ago now in April. I have information saved from internet research I did on April 1, 2015: “Fix Your Garage Floor Like the Pros.” Nothing in that article came close to addressing the multiple issues with our floor, and I am very sorry I did not take a photo before DAY 1, which was installing backer core, filling cracks, and patching concrete. This first photo came 30 days later, after the concrete had been allowed to cure, and after powerwashing.

Let me say here how much I appreciate the information people provided along the way. I had never heard of foam backer core to fill the cracks and it is so much more controllable than spray foam which has a tendency to start out like a lamb and end up like a lion. I even made a home visit to see a garage floor which had been done the way we ended up doing ours. It is encouraging to know a real human being has been successful at something you want to do. (Note, “Insert Smiley Face Here”)


The first step (unless you count filling the cracks as number one and waiting a month before power washing number two) is to etch the floor. I am not talking about the classic Etch A Sketch where you could turn the knobs and have everything disappear, I am speaking of using citric acid and a ton of elbow-grease to remove any oil or dirt from the floor.


The next step was to apply KILZ primer to imperfections. Our entire floor could have been considered an imperfection, but I used all I had and said, “This is good enough.” It makes sense to let yourself be content with the way things are. Best not to overthink.


The next step was to paint the concrete block foundation. I spent a lot of time down on my knees. Each step has had its own challenges and learning but is part of the total transformation.

Working in four-foot sections, we rolled on the epoxy coating and applied the paint flecks. Even the directions says not to try to do it alone. In addition to the two of us, I invited a host of angels.


We have to wait a couple of days before putting stuff on the floor, but all through the process I just kept saying, “I love it!”

How like life. Maybe my next book should be “I Learned Everything I Needed to Know in Life from my Garage Floor.”

Namasté

Namasté can be spoken both when greeting another and when taking leave. The spoken word is most often expressed with a slight bow while holding your hands in prayer pose — hands together, fingers pointed up, and pressing your thumbs slightly into the xiphoid process. I love the word, but the meaning behind the word is even more special. In Hinduism it means, “I bow to the divine in you.”

Even if you don’t yet have a regular yoga practice, you will likely appreciate a recap of our first Yoga/Meditation retreat with Kathy Zerler. We opened the retreat with the foreword from her new book, Creating Love, Joy and Peace, soon to be available!

Creating Love, Joy and Peace combines the culmination of Kathy’s wonderful life’s journey—skillful teacher, gifted writer, and committed human being. She shares brilliantly the philosophy of the yoga of life. Healing, inspiration, information, and hope are woven on to the pages in such clarity they are palpable.

Please join me and let Kathy’s words speak to your sweet spirit. Find yourselves lulled—body, mind, and spirit—back into beauty and balance:

This is your yoga. You are invited—more than that—you are expected to take good care of yourself. Every move is from the inside out.

We’re working every muscle group. Every body part. Gaining flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and peace of mind. Remember, you are encouraged to stop whenever you feel like you’ve had enough. There’s nothing in this class that is mandatory. There are no grades. There are no pop quizzes. This is for you, right now, and so honor how you are feeling, and do what’s right for you.

You have it all. We have everything we need to take great care of ourselves. Breathe. Let all thoughts pass through as you take a few moments for quiet reflection, allowing your lips to lift up into a smile that is only for you. And let that smile reflex flow through your entire body. You have done well. (long pause…) ~ Debra Basham

A formal hour of practice was followed by a walking meditation, ending up out-of-doors enjoying the Memorial Garden at Caring Circle. The volunteers do an amazing job with the planting and weeding, and the garden contains a peace pole and this incredible wind feature:

Lunch was beyond delicious because of the mindfulness that went into co-creating our vegetarian potluck, including a beautiful and yummy birthday cake for Kathy provided by her sister, Karen:

After our reclining meditation, Kathy led us in a mindful eating exercise using mini “Her-She” chocolate bars. We mindfully selected the variety, holding it and smelling it, unwrapping it slowly, and allowing tiny morsels of chocolate to melt in our mouths. One participant said she had never been so intentional with chocolate!

Kathy provided each of us with a special stone, to keep as a reminder of the benefits of the day of yoga and meditation and mindfulness.

Our day was honored and ended by group sharing and although not everyone was still there when we thought to take our group photo, you can easily see we each lifted our lips up into a smile and let that smile reflex flow through our entire body. Thank you to our wonderful yoga teacher, Kathy Zerler, to Diana Collins from Caring Circle, and to each of these amazing women who took time to take good care of ourselves in body, mind, and spirit.

(Note* Kathy teaches Gentle/Restorative/Hatha Yoga at the YMCA and at 815 Main Street in St. Joseph. Let me know if you would like more information about her classes, the next retreat, and/or her new book!)

Tuesday’s Tumble and a Happy Healing

(If you are signed up to receive blog updates by email, remember to follow the link at the bottom so you can see the photos. These are ones you will not want to miss!)

I was riding my bike to yoga at the Y on Tuesday when a driver failed to grant me the right-of-way. I ride a lot and am usually sufficiently aware, but this time I took a nasty spill.

WARNING: graphic photos!

I am so grateful to the two drivers who saw what happened and stopped, and to “Doctor” Kathy Zerler and fellow students for patching me up and helping me get through class. I was able to ride my bike home and see a client before I knew I needed emergency trauma treatment.

I had major road rash on my right elbow and wrist, and although I had little visible damage there it was my left elbow that was in excruciating pain. Words cannot express how much I appreciate Leah Ke at Lakeshore Acupuncture for staying at the end of her day and treating me. One needle going in to my right knee to treat my left elbow resulted in a scream that she said could have brought down the roof. “That is the point,” she calmly said, as I sobbed. I was shaking inside from a full adrenaline rush. Leah sent me home with herbs and I fell into bed exhausted from the day. During the night it was difficult to turn over, to get down or up, and I hurt all over. I could not get myself up from the toilet seat, so I just straddled the bowl.

Wednesday morning I struggled getting dressed with only one arm, could only use my right hand to brush my teeth and hair. I could not get my left hand to my face, and just carrying my arm was a challenge when I went for a walk. Through all of this, waves of compassion for those who have lost an arm or lost the use of an arm would wash over me. My heart felt raw with a sense of the blessing that I had no broken bones and the knowing my bruises and scrapes would heal.

As I walked along with my left arm in the makeshift sling of my fanny pack, a past-life surged forth in full-blown cellular memory: My father was a senator in ancient Rome. We were in a balcony overlooking a courtyard where below a Christian was being persecuted. I raised my arm and yelled out in protest. My behavior brought shame to my father, so to save face he was unable to prevent my being punished. The punishment? Having my arm crushed!

Last week I was reminded of a past life where my brother and I physically fought over the inheritance of our father’s kingdom: I cut off his arm and he cut off my head, we both died.

Instantly, I felt the connection of these events to this current injury. “All time is in all time,” I could hear Angel Gail Konz saying. No past, no present, no future, just this eternal moment. You may have heard the saying everything that ever was is, and everything that will ever be also is. I knew the truth in my core. Karma was being released through this experience.

Now, this is the most amazing part.

I slept comfortably Wednesday night and Thursday morning I was able to use my left arm!

The acupuncture and herbs administered by Leah were a key component to my rapid recovery but I also recognize the trauma that was released when I screamed out during the acupuncture was not just the current trauma. It was ancient….

Three days after the bike accident, the bruises on my hands are totally dissipated and I have absolutely no residual injury in my left arm.

The scrapes and the bruises on my knees and legs are still healing. I imagine we are all healing on all levels for all time. I was so blessed we can see that clearly this week.

Aphorisms: You Already Know

“In the deep end, every stroke counts.”

“Best not flirt with disaster, lest it decide to commit.”

“Take two opposites, connect the dots, and you have a straight line.”

These are a few of the pithy wisdoms included in Where Epics Fail, an upcoming book of aphorisms from Egyptian-American poet Yahia Lababidi, who also said, “Poets, thinkers and artists do not really teach, but remind us of what we already know.”

This was certainly the case on Sunday, May 21, 2017, when I was honored as guest minister at St. John’s UCC church in New Buffalo, Michigan. The title of the sermon was, “The Light that is You.”

I opened with a story from way back in the days of full-service gas stations, about a minister who waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant, a member of the church, worked quickly, but there were many cars lined up ahead of the minister.

Finally, the attendant motioned the minister toward a vacant pump. “Reverend,” said the young man, “sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.”

The minister laughed and responded, “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.”

In the perfect style of aphorisms, the sermon was summed up by this wonderful image on the bulletin cover, selected by Sandy Orange:

I was blessed to share the work of some wonderful writers, including Zan Lombardo’s poem “EVERYTHING IS INDEED REACHING OUT TO EVERYTHING ELSE” that is done in calligraphy along the bottom of her amazing 30-foot watercolor (See: Three Sylables), and “Social Ethics,” a poignant opinion article by Kathy Zerler which had recently been published in our local newspaper.

Confessing that I have already created my own eulogy so I can feel honored while I am still here living this life, and to save my loved ones from having to work to do it when I transition, from that I shared “When I’m Gone,” a poem by Mrs. Lyman Hancock, and “Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep,” written in 1932 by Mary Frye.

Kathy, my sister-from-another-mister, was with me at church on Sunday, so she got to hear me read her piece. Following the service, Kathy blessed me with the most delicious lunch at Pierre Anne Crȇperie. An authentic French restaurant in a charming Victorian home has been there for 19 years waiting for me to discover it. I am still feeling the lingering effects…

From the sermon:

Our lives live on. Our lives are important. Children watch how we live. And children watch how we deal with death. We can live in ways that teach children death is not the absence of goodness, nor the absence of beauty. Perhaps life and death can each be seen as the place where true beauty can be known.

Death is the only inevitability we all face.

It seems only fitting to close this blog with another powerful aphorism that reminds us of what we already know—this one found on the St. John’s UCC web page:

Never place a period where God has placed a comma…

Can I get an AMEN to that?