|Photo by Kevin Tomasello c. 2013|
On this day, we remember those who were taken from us much too soon: my grandfather Walter; mother-in-law, Jean; brother-in-law, Jim; our nephew, Kyle; and my father-in-law, Vito, a Sea Bee in WWII. And then there are all the men and women and service animals who gave their lives while protecting our country. We should never forget them and what they gave up for the rest of us.
When I am missing people too much, I like to remember something I read by Ram Daas in his book Still Here. He reminds us that our souls continue on, even after our bodies are discarded. I like to think of my body as a temporary wrapper for my Soul, when I am in a more open conscious state than usual. Ram Daas relates a story in Still Here where he heard an interview with Pat Rodegast, a pyschic medium through whom a being from beyond named Emmanuel described death as "absolutely safe...It's like taking off a tight shoe." Well, that sounds just wonderful to me. I only hope I can greet death with this relief when my time comes.
Our time in these earth bodies is short. Perhaps those who were more evolved were allowed to leave their bodies a little sooner. Either way, how do you want to live your particular life? In struggle or in gratitude? My dear friend and extraordinarily talented writer, Gregory Norris http://gregorylnorris.blogspot.com/ has learned to live his life with gratitude. Not a stranger to struggle, he chooses to focus on the positive parts of his life and is such a genuine person that his light shines over everyone. Once forced to live in his car with his significant other and his fur family, he chooses not to hold on to bitterness. Instead, he teaches by example, easily giving his time and his encouragement to anyone who needs it. I am constantly inspired by the people I treat in my other job as a speech pathologist: those who have survived stroke and brain injury, and must learn how to interact with the world as a different person.
Here is what I've learned: live your life to its fullest. Spread joy. Live as though you will be back again to try again and again, each time better than before.
In the spirit of giving back, I am giving away 10 free copies of my novel Where the Heart Lands on Goodreads. I would love your feedback and your thoughts. Here is the link for the giveaway: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25127420-where-the-heart-lands and here is my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many happinesses to you all.