Old Friend - New LIght

Dear friend of long ago,
Dear friend you entered my mind,
At the timing of what I thought was my death,
when I found myself quite short of breath.

Just like a rose that suddenly blooms,
Or a familiar beloved tune,
The image of you caused me to smile.

I sat in awe and silence -
Reflecting on the warmth I felt
When we were together
Our walls seemed to simply melt.

We had a safeness in each other,
Something youth doesn't often find
We had a shared faith in God,
That surpassed the moment, surpassed us.
It made our foundation something we could trust.

As the winds changed, we let it slip away.
Choices took us in different directions,
Far from our beautiful connection.

God is stronger than we,
He is watchful of His children,
He was watchful of you and me.

He let us have our space,
He let us contribute to the human race.

We moved on with our lives
With our own unique experiences,
Letting our diversity and uniqueness
Keep us both on a growing journey -

To self fulfillment of some sort.

But then,
Sure as the sun sets each day,
A message came our way,
From Him.

Remember, be connected.
Why? We individually asked
After all these years?
Why are we to reconnect?
What are we meant to reflect?
Oh, so many years and tears have gone by?

This seems hard to do Father,
Are you sure we should bother?

The answer is in the sunrise and the sunset.
Even with the passage of time
True bonding, real friendship and kindred spirits
Stay connected, stay reflective and still care.

Reconnect ....that special place still exists.


For the Love of a Dog?

Years ago, I use to hear about all the money families spent on their beloved family pet and never got it. I think inside my head I was thinking “All that and for a dog!” I mean you know the animal does not have a human life expectancy so it is not like the owners are getting another ten years out of their pet by spending money on medical care for them.

All that changed dramatically when I found my own lab injured after taking a quick spill up the staircase and had a leg that he could not walk on. I found it odd that he got injured going up as opposed to going down like most people or pets! But that is our Charley, there is just not that much normal about him. And when I saw him walking on three legs crying in pain and looking up at me with innocent eyes that said “Help me” the decision was made. Whatever the vet said he needed I was going to find a way to pay for it.

Fast forward to five weeks later, Charley is healing from ACL surgery. Can you believe the same surgery many athletes have done from sports injuries my Charley needed? My four legged; full of life yellow Labrador that spends a good majority of his day sleeping had a torn ACL from his spill up the steps. I wish I was convinced he learned his lesson and will never again run up the steps again, much less miss a step when he races up them. For now, a baby gate remains at the foot of the steps to prevent him from even having the option. Yeah, essentially we have, at least temporarily made the decision for him, no large staircases for you! At least until he officially is released from the veterinarian’s care. And the baby gate was another expense. Funny how we disagree on finances when it comes to things that seem essential to me as clothes but when it comes to Charley, without question, my husband and I are on the same side of the argument, Charley’s side.

Many times we took our dog back and forth to the vet’s office to be rechecked and for various complications and each time; I was much more noticeable of the other folks bringing their pets in for care. I saw camaraderie in the lobby area, everyone looked at their pet with the same look parents have when they are at the pediatrician with a sick child. There are no attempts to hide the concern and love from their faces; it is right out there, front and center for anyone with half way decent perception skills to see!

Having a pet animal touches something soft inside of us all, the child in us. And society has made it ok to be touched by it too. Technology may bring new toys to homes for young and old to partake but nothing replaces the heart and soul of having a beloved dog in the house. For that, some of us will pay almost anything to keep them around!


The Necklace

A few years back, I met a very special lady. It was at my husband’s family reunion. We spoke briefly but I could sense the warmth in her eyes. She was on of those women you just know were born with a golden heart that has no limits. She continually lives to do unto others in ways that only she can. Her uniqueness of giving and her thoughtfulness with her words show her spirit.

She started writing me as soon as I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2007. She wrote as if we were best friends. We have communicated religiously since that time. It did not matter what was going on in her life, including her dad’s health deteriorating, her house not selling, building a new house in a new state, health issues of her own, she was always there for me. Other friends have come and gone, finding my journey too long to stay the path with me.

It did not matter how well received her emails, notes and cards were, she kept writing them asking for nothing in return. She wrote words of inspiration, messages of sadness for my suffering, gifts of hope for my future and above all, she shared a deep abiding faith that good truly does come from evil, if we work thru it. Thus, her guidance was one of those lights that shined so brightly in my darkest days reminding me that I can and will be a survivor.

I am now approaching my last infusion and lo and behold, I get a package in the mail. Just like all the others, no fanfare, no notes telling me it is coming. I open it, like all the others, with wonder on what inspiration this one is and inside is a little box with an inscription on a necklace.

“Just when the caterpillar thought that the world was over, it became a butterfly.” (Author unknown)

Yes, indeed I am blessed because she is a living breathing butterfly to me.


Facing Facebook

"Snowballs were thrown at me last night", my new boss proclaimed at the start of my second day of intense training with the American Cancer Society. I looked in shock at her as there was no snow on the ground in the area, though we were meeting in the north but she seemed as serious as she was when she delivered the mission statement I am living and fighting for. It took a second and then it hit me....facebook. She must have a page!

Facebook has the most unusual oddities. I think it is developing a phenomena all of its own. It is like an easy way to make us all celebrities, allow us to post our pictures proudly on display as if we were this week's choice for the front of People Magazine. We can partake in voyeurism legally and without reservation as we quickly pop in and out, at will, onto others page to see what they are doing.

We are updated as if we are on CNN except these news releases we are subscribing to do not announce major cut backs in jobs, decrease pricing at the pumps or the newest politician in the news but rather announce, Pat is watching Seinfeld reruns, Beth is preparing an appetizer and my attorney is getting ready to play a game of Trouble with his daughter. His page is propagated by funny remarks from folks like me that wonder about the irony of an attorney that works at mediation playing a game with his daughter of chance, Trouble that involves none of his skill sets. I silently pray his daughter beats him soundly so he is reminded what it feels like to lose!

Just yesterday I was awarded Mardi Grai beads upon entering the site. I had associated this fine gift with the art of flashing one's chest at others but yet, here I sat, in the comfort of my home in comfy PJ's being given beads from a long time high school friend. What am I to think or make of these beads? I ask my boss the next day. Rather than answer my question, she proposes one of her own, telling me she was awarded, the previous evening with a former associate sending her flying sheep. (Yes, you read that right as I made her say it repeatedly to make certain I heard her right.) My response to her question as to what that might mean was "You must have been really BAAAA..D!" How could I resist not saying that?

Which leads me to this question. I would love to hear more about the oddities of life in this new year, 2009, in the world of Facebook. My intention was to connect with a few old friends long gone from my life. Also, I thought it would be neat to find a few folks willing to help be 'gate openers' for me to companie. This would allow me a chance to talk about choice campaigns, when they roll out their annual employee giving programs, this year. What I have found, instead, is a whole new world to experience!