The Power of Thank You
Summer of 2020 is behind us, loneliness still abounds, and I continue to miss our friends and family in spite of technology that is meant to keep us connected. Today I was reading a story of volunteers who write letters to people living in nursing homes isolated from their loved ones and to doctors and nurses on the front lines. Their simple acts of kindness made me feel encouraged and hopeful.
That story took me back to the home of my friend and mentor Laura Carmichael. Her desk was always filled with note cards, rolls of stamps and a sharp set of sheers, a City Directory (this is an old-timey book of names and addresses of everyone who lived in the city), a telephone book (another old-timey artifact that had phone numbers and addresses), and her coveted address book. For more than 60 years Mrs. Carmichael would clip pictures of the brides from the Sunday paper (remember those?!) and mail the copy with a congratulatory note to the bride and her...
Over the Rainbow
I have always been a fan of rainbows. My favorite song is Somewhere Over the Rainbow. In the “before times” (pre-pandemic) when Steve and I would go to out and live music was performed, he would always make a secret request and I would be in complete delight to hear the piano player strike up Over the Rainbow.
When I first saw Judy Garland as Dorothy singing it in the iconic movie Wizard of Oz, I wanted to go over the rainbow with her to where skies are blue and the lovely little bluebirds fly. There is such hope in that song and yet we know it originates out of sadness. Dorothy is searching for a better place where all is well, and wishes come true and troubles melt like lemon drops. Wouldn’t we all love for that to happen now?
My sweet mom died 8 years ago today. All of her life she always had a smile, and a laugh even after her stroke that left her completely disabled. Her eyes smiled and her entire face would light up with love when I saw her,...
THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE
Have you ever gone tent camping? Years ago, I took a solo camping trip to prove to myself I was an independent woman who could pitch my own tent and make my own way. The north Georgia state park where I spent my first night was virtually deserted. No other campers were enjoying the cool October evening and my resolve began to waver. What was I doing out here alone in my brothers’ pup tent protected only with the pocket knife my father had given me before I left?
Darkness encircled me like a blanket thrown over my head. Every sound was amplified, and fear began to creep in. Then that magical moment happened when I struck a single match to ignite my merger campfire, and the darkness was at bay. A single match had made the difference between my fear of being alone in the woods and the confidence of seeing beyond my immediate surroundings.
Each of us has the opportunity to be a single flame to keep the darkness at bay. Every great movement started...
Forgiveness in the time of Covid 19.
These days I’m constantly looking for relief from the worry and anxiety of the chaos in our world. Relief can come from taking a walk in the woods, reading an inspirational book, watching a sunset, calling a friend, and eating comfort food.
These past few months I have felt fear, uncertainty, confusion and angst. And I have been compelled to find relief with home remedies. Remedies like regular doses of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food (aka chocolate+ ice cream), or the ingestion of medicinal Tate’s chocolate chip cookies or my go-to soul food, pepperoni pizza paired with a tasty chardonnay.
None of this may seem unnatural to you, but for me, these self-treatments feel like a comforting embrace. You see, before Covid19 I had not eaten any sugar, grains, or dairy for nearly 5 years and felt terrific. Then enter the global pandemic and the uncertainties of the future led me to relief-eating. I reasoned if you are going to get...
How have you been feeling lately? Overwhelmed? Lonely? Depressed? Isolated? Grateful? Thankful? Happy? Joyful? If you answered “yes” to all of these emotions, join the club.
I have come to the realization that Covid19 will now be with us for a long time. Scientists are suggesting that for the next 18-24 months we will be grappling with this virus. I live in Florida, the sunshine state. Many thought Covid19 didn’t like sunshine and heat. Nope, it turns out Covid19 is spending the summer in Florida, and Texas and Arizona, and it is thriving here!
So, what do we need now?
Endurance is the ability to withstand hardship or adversity for a prolonged period of time, to have persistence. Endurance in Latin means “To Last”.
Many of us are good at starting projects, cleaning out the garage, or painting a room or filing that pile of papers on the floor. Then at some point, it gets boring, or I get tired or...
LIGHT AND LOVE
The longest day of the year is upon us. On June 20, our Sun says, “Here you go, I’m shining more of my light upon the earth today, enjoy!”. The summer solstice is the official beginning summer when ancient cultures danced in celebration of the Light.
Steve and I traveled to northern Norway last summer. It is not called the land of the Midnight Sun for nothing. This image was taken literally at midnight!
That trip reminded me of just how much in common we have with one another across the earth. We all benefit from the light of our sun; we all gaze in wonder at the same moon. We have more in common between us than that which divides us. We are human beings with the same bones and blood and body and heart.
Suzanne Giesmann's Daily Way message this week reminded me that each of us has a yearning to be loved, to feel love, and to give love. The heart knows no ranking, or hierarchy, or prejudice, it only knows love. When we listen to and act from our...
Do You Hear ME?
“I hear you, and I understand that is your point of view.”
Those words do not mean, “You are right,” nor do they mean, “You are wrong.” They mean, “I hear you and can appreciate that you feel that way.” Sounds simple – so why do so many of us find it impossible to say them?
How does it feel to be heard? When someone looks you in the eye, really listens to you, and hears what you have to say, it is a gift. When was the last time you received such a gift? When is the last time you fully gave the gift of your presence?
So often the opinions or beliefs we hold true in our lives spring from experiences we don’t even remember. Was it something that happened to me in childhood, or the way I saw my parents react to a crisis, or was it an idea or a philosophy I adopted just to fit in, that molded my opinions or beliefs?
I was a senior in high school when desegregation became law. In our...
Happy Nurses Week! Thank you from the deepest part of my heart for your service to others. My calling to be a nurse was something that came from the core of my being. To care for another, to lift someone’s spirits with a smile or a touch, to comfort an aching soul, to minister to an injured or frail body may be your job, but it is also who you are at your marrow, someone who genuinely cares about the welfare of others.
We go to nursing school to learn the principals of professional nursing, but as Florence Nightingale, our founder of modern nursing said in 1860 in her book Notes On Nursing: “Every woman…has at one time or another had personal charge of somebody, whether child or invalid—in other words, every woman is a nurse.” (In 2020 many men fit into that group too.)
No matter where you offer your gifts,
Discipline and teamwork.
As I talk with hospice colleagues across the country, checking in to see how they are doing, I am hearing a common theme:
Teamwork and discipline are essential to enduring this time of Covid19.
All types of professionals, competitors, vendors, and unlikely allies are all working together on behalf of the survival of our fellow human beings. Children sewing cloth masks, auto manufacturers retooling to produce ventilators, dentists and veterinarians ordering their PPE supplies for healthcare workers, nail salons giving UV sterilizer machines to healthcare organizations to sterilize masks, Google and Apple working together on a project to help track people who are exposed to the Coronavirus. Together.
Together. With urgency and discipline, people are coming together to collaborate, to save us all.
The true character of a person is revealed not in times of comfort and ease...the true character of a person is revealed in times of danger and...