Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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Signs From the Other Side

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye

Since my dad passed away, I’ve seen signs of his light.

The morning after I got the call, this is what I saw in the Tennessee sky

from the passenger side of the car where I rode.

indiana-2017

Dad saying, “Hello. It’s me. I’m okay.”

The morning of Dad’s funeral, I saw this rainbow reflected from an old bottle in my kitchen window. I had never seen this rainbow before.

sign-rainbow-sharper

As we drove home from the funeral/celebration dinner, I saw this sign in the sky. Dad always liked red.

sky-sign-from-dad

Sunday morning morning, a sweet lady, Dad’s contemporary, gave me this card with the poem above about signs.

card

I imagine these signs were easy feats for the man who taught me, “Nothing is Impossible.”

The timing is interesting, though not surprising – my dad died just a few weeks after I retired from my 30 year career, so now I have more time and energy to grieve, to sort through his stuff, and to see the signs.

I’m curious. Have you ever noticed signs?

PS: Jo’s comment below and repost: https://hellsbellsandcreativetails.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/the-odd-egg-a-repost/ reminded me of the water mark heart that appeared on my mom’s bedroom ceiling some time after she died. They slept in separate rooms, but only because Dad snored so loud. I used to think one was a heart and one was an apple, but maybe they are two hearts. Mom was short and Dad was tall, so these hearts could represent the two of them. Now they’re together again. And I bet he doesn’t snore in heaven, or if he does, it’s like music to her ears.

heart-and-apple-on-moms-ceiling

 


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An Extraordinary Man

joanne-and-dadIt’s been an extraordinary week.

The trip to see my grandchildren started out as an adventure since I don’t travel much by myself these days. The first night I stayed with my friend in Chapel Hill, North Carolina at her cozy house in the woods. Her sweet cat, Feather, slept with me. The next day was Saturday. I drove to the mountains to stay with my son in Boone. While my son was at work, I got the phone call from the pastor at my father’s church. He told me my father had passed away. They found him in bed, so I’m hoping he died peacefully.

My father served in the US Marine Corps for 20 years, and I knew he would want me to complete this mission to visit his great grandchildren. (He didn’t believe in calling children kids, because kids are baby goats.) So, I’ve been in Indiana making funeral arrangements by phone with help from my wonderful husband who’s back home holding down the fort. I’m so thankful to not have to go through this alone, though I could have.  As my father taught me: “Nothing is Impossible.”

It was good to have some time alone in my son’s apartment Saturday when I got the news. I went from cleaning his kitchen window, to crying, to cleaning something else, to crying some more. I thought of calling my dad’s older sister, Ruth who is 94 and in assisted living. But first, I called her friend Judy, who takes care of her fiances. Judy told me that Aunt Ruth had been more confused than usual that morning when Judy visited her. She said Ruth asked her, “Is my mother gone?” Judy told her, yes, her mother was gone.

“Is my sister, Margaret gone?”

“Yes, Margaret’s gone,” Judy said.

“Then I’m the only one left.”

“No, You still have your brother Jimmy.” she told her.

Maybe Aunt Ruth already knew, on some level, that her brother was gone. I wonder if he visited her.  Judy said she would go tell her in person the next morning.

Driving to Indiana with my son on Sunday, the clouds hung low in the Tennessee sky. The opening you see in the photo below made me think my dad was peeking through to tell me hello and that everything’s good.

indiana-2017

On Sunday afternoon, I called Aunt Ruth. I told her who I was (she forgets things) and asked how she was. Then I told her my father had died. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” she said. A bit later she asked how Jimmy was. I told her Jimmy had passed away. I had to repeat myself and explain that her brother had died. She said how sorry she was like she was was trying to console me. His death wasn’t a big surprise to her; my father was not in good health. He had a lot of pain from his old war wounds and arthritis and being 85. Aunt Ruth asked me a few more times, “Jimmy’s gone?”  “Yes, Jimmy’s gone,” I told her. “He’s with his wife, Betty. He’s with the Lord. That’s where he wanted to be.” I told her she still had me and her other niece who lives in Wisconsin closer to her, and her friend Judy. Aunt Ruth wants to go be with the Lord, too and can’t understand why she’s still here. Physically, she’s in great shape for 94. Mentally, she gets pretty confused.

My father was an extraordinary man. After serving in Korea and Vietnam and while living with with the horrible memories that haunted him from those wars, he and mom volunteered at their local soup kitchen and drove disabled veterans to the VA hospital two hours away. They led the church youth group on camp outs. Dad sang in the church choir until his voice started squeaking on the high notes. He taught an adult Sunday school class until just a couple weeks ago. And he taught me, “Nothing is Impossible.”

Dad missed mom terribly after she died. I’m glad they’re finally together again.

mom-and-dad-in-54-in-washington

Mom and Dad in Washington DC 1954

My visit with my grand kids, er… grand children, was a good one. I enjoyed the sweetness of holding little ones on my lap as we read picture books.  My dad is glad I’m was with them.

just-jot-january

Just Jot It January is brought to you by Linda Hill. I’ve been waiting for today’s prompt, “Extraordinary,” from Jetgirlcos to get back to blogging by telling you about my father. This post is longer than most of mine, but he’s worth it.


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In Transit

 Deborah Drucker has perfect timing with today’s prompt: “Transcendent.”

Today, I will transcend the news of the world, but not in an abstract way. Using the  definition, “surpassing the ordinary; exceptional,” I will be doing something out of the ordinary for me. This weekend, I’ll be in transit to visit my grandchildren who live 760 miles away. I wish I could use a transporter like they have on Star Trek, but I’d probably get queasy having my molecules scattered like that. Driving will be a challenge, but spending time with family who I don’t get to see often will be a welcome alternative to  worldly things.

I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be able to fit in over the next few days, but my goal is not to worry about that. I’ll be in touch with you, my dear blogging family, when I can.

just-jot-january

Just Jot it January is hosted by Linda Hill at :

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/20/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-20th17/

In addition to visiting Linda’s blog, I hope you’ll read Deborah’s post today which sings to my heart. https://notestiedonthesagebrush.com/2017/01/19/transcendent/

Here’s more about Just Jot It January:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.


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Anything is Possible Cooking with the Stream of Consciousness

socsbadge2016-17

I enjoy cooking when it’s an experiment. That means not following a recipe. With the exception of baking – cookies, pies, cakes which require specific measurements or else you could have a bunch of dog treats on your hands, or Frisbees – I think of a recipe as a general guideline or an idea generator.

My husband, on the other hand, likes to follow a recipe with precision. When I’ve made an experiment that turned out good, he says, “How will you be able to replicate it?” But following a recipe, or writing down what I did, just seems to take the fun out of it.

One exception that we can both have fun with is soup. We’ll throw all our leftovers or last chance veggies in a soup.

I’m making my traditional vegetarian lasagna for Christmas Eve, even though it will probably be just me and my husband, and even though I’m experimenting so it won’t be a traditional recipe, just the tradition of Christmas Eve lasagna. This year, I’m experimenting with vegan cheese. Yeah, it might not melt on top, but, well, we’ll see. I’m also baking ginger cookies, but I’m taking the easy way out with a mix. I’m just adding the vegan butter and one Humane Certified egg. So the cookies will be soft and chewy, a step above the store bought in a bag ginger snaps, but easier than starting from scratch.

Speaking of easy, Christmas day, we’ll go take my dad out for Chinese after church. It’s a new tradition for us since my mom died a few years ago and it works okay for me to not cook.

Here’s a cooking song my dad used to sing to my mom. It’s not my kind of music, but it’s my stream of consciousness, and the words are cute.

“Hey, good lookin’ whatcha got cookin’?”

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE, EVERYONE!

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “cook.” Find a word that means “cook,” (or use “cook” itself) and use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

The Saturday Stream of Consciousness is brought to you by Linda Hill at:

 https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/23/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-2316/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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A Gift You Can’t Buy in the Store, Part 2

buttons-and-needles

My 85 year old dad is a stubborn X retired Marine. He won’t move closer to me because he doesn’t want to leave the house he shared with the love of his life. He lives with pain every day – the pain of missing his soulmate and the pain in his legs from being wounded in Korea. The plastic artery they put in his leg all those years ago now prevents him from getting a knee replacement. His knee can give out on him without warning, so he has to keep his cane handy. (He won’t use a walker.)

Each deliberate step is such a challenge it sometimes pains me to watch him walk. But he’s fiercely independent. His back had been bothering him a lot over the past couple weeks to the point that he could not go to church and stopped going to his cardio rehab. (The “rehab was completed years ago, but he pays to go three times a week for the challenge and the camaraderie.)

“Don’t you think he deserves a break?” I ask God.”  I don’t hear a lot back from that. Just some stuff about how Paul had chronic pain and not to worry about it because God’s Grace has it covered. Stuff I don’t want to hear but should probably listen to.

Last weekend, I was praying extra for my dad and lit a candle for him at church. When I called him Sunday evening, he whispered he couldn’t talk because he was at his church’s Christmas. I was happy to hear that he’d made it.

The next day, I called Dad, and he was so excited! He told me that Sunday morning he woke up with “no pain anywhere!” It was the the first time in years he’d started the day with no pain. It generally takes him a long time to get ready for church with the leg pain and arthritis in his hands. He said it takes him several tries to button his top button so he can put on a tie. Well, last Sunday, he said he talked to God about it:

“God, I’m going to try this one time, and if it doesn’t work, I’m not going to button it,” he said. “I just wont wear a tie.” Dad said he buttoned that button on the first try. He was so excited telling me about that button, like a kid at Christmas. He said everything went great on Sunday. People at church told him they’d missed him, and the Christmas Cantata that night was “absolutely beautiful.” He went on to describe the music and how good it was.

He said that Monday morning he had some twinges of pain, but not as much as usual.

I guess God decided to give my dad a break.No matter what happens, even if the pain comes back, I’m thankful Dad had the gift of a joy filled day without pain. You never know when God is going to give you a miracle day.

dad-and-aunt-ruth

My dad and his “big sister” Ruth a couple years ago on her 92nd birthday.

(The buttons and needles picture is from Pixabay.)


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Joyful Reunion

The video contained in the following article moved me to tears of joy. It’s about a family of Sudanese refugees separated for four years. You can watch their reunion by clicking the link below. I hope your day is filled with gratitude and joyful moments.

http://www.faithwire.com/2016/11/21/sudanese-man-falls-to-his-knees-in-middle-of-texas-airport-to-praise-god-after-emotional-reunion-with-family/


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Opening Doors

doorway-to-the-ocean-from-pixabay

It had been a year or more since my last acupuncture session. It gives me good energy and made a headache go away once, but nothing especially dramatic. In October, I ran into the healer at a potluck. I’ve known her for years as a casual friend but had never had an acupuncture session with her until last week – after my body told me to make an appointment. But this was not a typical session. I must have been ready. The time was right. This was my experience:

November 10, 2016,

two days after the sky fell,

Interrupted cries still lingered in my solar plexus

like mucus bogging down muffled screams

waiting to be flushed free.

Then the drunk guy threw a key at me

when I was only trying to help.

Who needs this?

But that cop wasn’t following  me after all

as I pulled into the space

to visit the healer with magic hands

and the skill to find the stuck places.

She began with my old friend,

Lavender,

to settle my nerves.

The first needle only hurt for a moment

as the door opened and sparks flew.

The others didn’t hurt at all.

When qi started to flow,

I almost giggled

then followed her humming

with my own breath –

Inhale, sooooew. Exhale, Haaaaaah,

like the song of the ocean.

Cardamom opened the doors wider.

Right after I turned over onto my back

is when it happened.

My cold hands finally got warm.

Then, I started to cry. And laugh. And cry.

Mama. Mama? Mama!

Is it really you?

Hold me, Mama.

My fingers can’t reach you!

Daddy is hurting. He misses you so much.

You want me to tell him you’re okay?

Mama’s okay, Daddy.

She’s okay.

Tears.

But wait.

Am I supposed to be

learning how to talk to other ghosts?

Or just my own?

Sandalwood brought me back.

Shaking, I drank from the cup of water

and called my father to give him the message

he already knew.

_________________________________________

My mother died November 14, 2008. She collected angels. Dozens of them still decorate my father’s house. He hasn’t moved any of them. And he won’t move out of that house because he feels her presence there.

angels-among-us

Angels Among Us, a mural by JoAnne Silvia