Good Grief People. (Death. The uninvited intruder).

Good Grief People, a deeply moving collection of stories and poems written by Glynis M. Belec; Barbara Heagy; Alan Anderson; Donna Mann; Ruth Smith Meyer and Carolyn Wilker.

DEATH!  The uninvited intruder that robs us of joy in life.

It interrupts your life and slows your plans and goals.  (Donna Mann, page 92 in the book)

This is a book that could claim to be a comforter to all who lose a loved one.  It is that and more.  It is like a comforting hug; an understanding friend.  Within the many experiences I feel there will be at least one with which you can relate, if you have experienced a death in your family, or social circle.

They are stories that could help you deal with the deep trauma of grief, and not be trapped by it.

When we come to accept that death is a part of life.  We can’t escape it, but we can overcome the pain of grief.

Ruth M Belec says it well on page 72. Grief!  We don’t get over it.  Rather, it becomes part of us.  We slowly develop a new normal.

This a profoundly true.  One day at a time, you do what needs to be done.  The hardest part is just getting out of bed, when you would prefer to curl up in a ball and die too.

Death not only robs you of a loved one; it steals your identity.  Suddenly, you are no longer a parent, son, daughter, friend.  Life becomes empty: an empty chair at the table.  Birthdays, anniversaries and special holidays are tinged with sadness.  There are a multitude of new ‘firsts’ as you attempt to regain a normalcy in life.

Barbara Heagy writes, ‘I have learned that grief doesn’t come in nice tidy stages.  It has a twisting path that goes ina and out of healing and new growth, and back into emotional outbursts, anger, and panic.  I may think I am doing just fine and then something will happen that makes me realize I really am not as fine as I thought. (Page 139)

Altogether, a down-to-earth look at, and sharing of death, and the ensuing grief.

Easy to read when you feel you can begin to look at the outside world of life again.

May be purchased on Amazon.ca

https://www.amazon.ca/review/RX9BZWZ729K9V

 

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March 4 – 10, 2018

For your reading pleasure!

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Enjoy!

Patricia

 

Surviving ‘Uncle Hitler’ – Book Review

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Surviving ‘Uncle Hitler’  Journey of a German Girl written by Dorothea Wollin Null is a thoroughly engrossing account of the life of six year old Dorothea, caught up in the atrocities of  war in Europe.

Under the brutal Hitler regime the German people were hoodwinked into thinking the bombing of German has been unprovoked.  They believed their country was innocent of evil activities and was being led by a leader of esteem.  This was before television reporters could investigate to reveal the truth.

When her family lost their home they began a long, dangerous journey seeking shelter wherever they could.  This journey took them through the Hitler reign, the Russian occupation and so much more.

The strength they needed was beyond their ability.  Their Christian faith sustained them through extreme conditions lasting for decades.

Dorothea’s account is beautifully compelling and sad.  War is especially cruel to children who have no real concept of why people are suddenly so cruel and lacking compassion toward neighbours who are in trouble.

Emotions are turned upside down and surviving to hold their family together became the mainstay of her parents and siblings.

Finally landing in America, her story will hold your attention from beginning to end.

I can relate to much of what she recalls having survived bomb attacks through the German blitz on England and being relocated out of London during second world war in England.  None of what I experienced compares with the trials Dorothea and her family endured.  This honest critique from the memories of a little girl is definitely a must-read.

Highly recommended for all.

I was provided with a complimentary copy of this publication in exchange for an honest review.

https://www.amazon.ca/review/RJ6BAD1KSB755

Death Defied, Life Defined – Review

Death Defied, Life Defined, A Miracle Man’s Memoir by Paul E. Perkins, is a compelling story of Paul’s constant battle against heart failure.

While waiting for a transplant, he shares the trials and tribulations of the accompanying health, and emotional issues involved.

What becomes paramount, when the waiting becomes too much, is the sheer determination to not give up.

Through surgery after surgery, relapse after relapse, he outlines the struggles he valiantly chose to not succumb to. His weary body came close to giving up the fight until the moments when he died.  These out-of-body experiences are described in detail, to the point of making the reader envious of the ‘journeys’ he travelled.  They give credence to other reports of heavenly visits, and of messages of hope that the recipients are charged with sharing on their return to the earthly realm.

He gives dramatic detail of medical teams, family and friends support, all so vital in providing him with the will to continue the painful, harrowing months of waiting for much-needed organ transplants that become his only option to death.

There is much in-depth detail in this story.  Paul gives greater power to his death experiences with the infinitely elaborate accounts of events leading up to each occurrence.  His obvious respect for the medical teams on whose care his very life depended is obvious. 

A book that cannot be ignored.  A story to make you think beyond your own limitations.  A tale of hope, and love, and the deep will to live.

I found it fascinating, captivating, exhausting, as I took on the weariness of his fight to survive.  His overwhelming determination to overcome provided me with much food for thought, and the out-of-body episodes enthralling – I could understand his yearning to just go.

His tremendous fighting spirit left me battle-weary, but hopeful of better things to come, proven as being credible, once again.

Well worth reading.

Patricia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply Christmas

          I read the most beautiful poem this morning.
          It describes the simplicity of the first Christmas.
          No retail bombardments.
          No mountains of toys and trinkets.
          My thanks to Joel Jongkind for sharing.

 

        There were no trumpets and no feasts
        There were no richly laden beasts
        The night our Lord was born
        There were no warm rooms and no heat
        There were no blankets clean and neat
        The night our Lord was born
        There was a stable and some straw
        There was a manger, crude and raw
        The night our Lord was born
        There were some shepherds and some sheep
        Who heard the angels; could not sleep
        The night our Lord was born
        Make sure you’re present, sure you’re there
        And tell Him clearly that you care
        The night our Lord was born
           – Debora T. Jongkind-Dehart

Christmas DecorationsPatricia

Four Letter Words

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Four letter word.  The mere mention can conjure up one word that is complete profanity.  It is a word that I have always abhorred.  One of my uncles once described it as a word that is only used prolifically by uneducated people, because they cannot express themselves without its use.

Mm…..  well then, society, as a whole, must be lacking greatly, as it offends the ears, no matter where you are these days.

There’s another four letter word that can strike dismay into my heart.  A weather forecaster recently referred to it as winter precipitation: not wanting to mention it on camera.  Oh – you know – SNOW!  Ghastly, cold, winter ‘rain.’

I loved being outdoors in it, when my sons were young.  We would have immense fun finding hills to toboggan down.  We’d prepare a flask filled with hot drinks for all and off we would go, into the wild, white yonder. Our family had come from England and snow was a winter wonderland made to explore.

I’m not so enamored by it now.  It’s incredibly beautiful, yet treacherous.  Driving can be very difficult, walking well nigh impossible for some. I had the distinct misfortune of slipping on ice last winter; resulting in broken bones.  Now, I consider going out into white weather very carefully.  NOT that I’ve decided to become a recluse.  I’m quiet – not anti-social.  I do, however, choose to stay close to home if I can.  I find white winter weather is not harmonious to my psyche.

There’s another four letter word that can promote warmth and confidence within each of our hearts, if we choose to share it.  LOVE.  It’s God’s declaration and solution for establishing harmony among mankind.  So, while I look out my window and shake my head at the blanket of snow everywhere, I am more inclined to do the same at the state of humanity and the lack of love being shown around the world.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts our fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.  (NKJV)

Patricia

Pickled

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Our summer has been pretty sad this year.  We have had so many rain days that you would think we were in England, Scotland or other temperature climate.

The difference, this year, is that while we in Ontario brandish umbrellas to stay dry, Brits are using theirs to shade themselves from the sun.  I envy them.  Canadians winters are brutally long and cold, so warmer months are treasured and used wisely.  I spend as much time outdoors as I can.  Housework accumulates until I absolutely have to tackle it.

The recent wet days meant the cancellation of certain open air activities; one of which was Creative Connection – a church group of talented and creative ladies that I am a part of.  This week was to have been a lakeside meeting where we would have learned skill saw creations, plus swimming, canoeing and conversation with awesome ladies, whose company I take pleasure in.   Yes, I did say this was a ladies group, and yes, I did say learning to use a skill saw.  As well as knitting, sewing, crochet and all types of other artistic handiwork, we all willingly learn (or watch) something new or different when the opportunity arises.

As this event was cancelled, I decided to be creative in the kitchen.  I enjoy making homemade chutney and pickles.  I also delight in eating them, and so gathering ingredients, preparing same and then cooking as directed, I accomplished a taste sensation despite the inclement weather outdoors.  This would not have been achieved if temperatures were soaring, because I much prefer to be in the great outdoors.

So – having shared this morsel of a blog, I can attest to being responsible for eight freshly bottled jars of Sweet Mustard Pickle standing on my kitchen counter.

These will be given away, as well as eaten at home.  The recipe has been in my family for decades, and is always much appreciated.  I can only hope this batch is as good as is anticipated by my palate.

How do you spend your days when the rain spoils your plans?

Patricia

BE BOLDER GROWIN’ OLDER, by BRUCE LEITER – Book Review

How do you spend your time as you have grown older? I took a good look at myself through this book, as I own up to being a senior.

Do we give of our time and money, to assist others, or do we sit back, grumpily complaining about our situation saying, “let someone else do that.  I’ve done my bit?”  Or, do we embrace every moment with thanksgiving?

We need to realize that if we are guilty of the former comment we are effectively stepping out of life; waiting for the grave.

Old does not mean dead. Aging doesn’t give us permission to be mean or bitter.

Let Bruce Leiter’s treasure chest of suggestions allow you to become bolder, while remaining gracious. Change your mental direction and enjoy life, as you too, follow his humorous quips, question periods, and Bible studies. All of which are presented in easy-to-understand format and meant to improve our minds and hearts, as well as emotionally strengthen us, if we choose to open the pages and read it.

I found this book, not only, entertaining but also educational, once I accepted the suggestions for leading a more contented life. We sometimes, fail to recognize that we are dropping out of life, bit by bit, as tiredness, or ill-health takes over. But, we can change that by reading how to overcome the temptations of old age.

I received a copy of this book free of charge, in exchange for an honest review from http://www.bookcrash.com

 Patricia

Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive

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It’s time to wish everyone a happy New Year again.  

Christmas passed so quickly, but in that short span of time, we spent many precious moments with family, enjoying every busy, noisy one.

Sadly, not all folk were blessed with the opportunity and so, must dread another same old, same old, year.

A new year gives us time to ponder our lives and how productive we were in the months of the old year.

Myself?  I know I should be able to claim that I did the best I could have done – but, I know that is not the whole truth.  I could / should have done better.  What I can do is try harder and do better in this coming year, than I did in 2013.

My hope and prayer is that we keep that beautiful Christmas spirit alive and well, and spread it generously through 2014 and subsequent years;not keeping it for emergencies only.

Let each of us use our God-given gifts to care about and to reach others.

Patricia