Saturday, January 30, 2010


I am mindful of the heartbroken feeling when losing a loved one today. Amy is on her way home again to be with her family. The boys are so very sad. A day which should celebrate Eric's birth into this world is dimmed by the loss of his "Pop". Heartbroken for them and all who loved Bill Knopf. He was a man who lived life well, who knew who he was, and loved generously. I was lucky to know him and to be with him and Shirley yesterday.

I love this anonymous poem and it comes to me when someone I love dies.

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. - - Anonymous.

Sweet peace, my friend, I see you even now in the glint of the fallen snow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's All About the Love

I can remember when our current pastor came all of the video and info about him and his ministry contained a theme that I held as true. I would look at my two good friends and at the end of any meeting or conversation regarding his pastorship and we would say aloud to each other and smile-"It's all about the Love". And, it is really. Whenever I think of what I'll leave this world and those in it, it all comes down to that-Love. It is the part that stays.
I reminded my daughter of that as she cried over leaving her grandfather for what will most very likely be the last time. His love for her, which has partly made her who she is and who she will be to others, will still be floating around the earth long after he is gone through those he loved. And while she always thought he would know her children and they-him, in a way they will through her. He has been her father figure-dependable, strong, challenging, accepting, safe and wise. He has been the longest, older male relationship she has had in this family full of women. She has only aunts and only one uncle by marriage that she has been close to and he has always lived out of town.
And, too, my friend Sue's blog also brought this to mind today. So, I have decided to make regular post on this blog about loose change and what I am doing with it to spread love and hope on a regular basis. You can read about one woman's mission here-
Loose change the world
Mindful of love today.
Wanna spread some?

Monday, January 18, 2010


It is a discipline to go inside myself and find that holy place. I am trying to do that every morning before I get up. A place of prayer, silence, calm and peace. I am mindful that it is always there. Some days I can quiet the noise better than others. But, it is up to me to go and find it waiting.

photo by jjjohn on flickr

Friday, January 15, 2010


I am mindful in the midst of an incredibly stressful time personally, of how grateful I am that in my stress I do have a warm place to live, plenty of food, a car to drive and places to drive to, friends and family. My friend, Sue, has blogged about her trip to Haiti and how her heart is broken for that country. She is NOT a traveler but this was her one trip out of the country. I swiped the picture from her blog today. (Hope you don't mind, Sue).I know how touched I am personally to put names and faces to places in which disaster occurs. I have been to Jamaica and Honduras on short-term mission trips and whenever they are in the news, those places call to a special part of my being. The translation to Haiti, where I have not traveled, is an easy one.
In my busyness recently I have only caught snippets of the news and devastation there, but my donations are made and will continue. There are many things to do and places to support. At church this Sunday, we will put together more than 500 health and baby kits for immediate shipment to Haiti through Church World Service. The relief arm of our Disciples of Christ denomination is Week of Compassion. (DOC has two teams who were in Haiti at the time of the earthquake and thankfully they are all well and accounted for).
My donation is headed there through WOC but there are lots of place to send money which is always the immediate need over "people" help.
You can text a quick $10 through your phone easily to American Red Cross by texting the word Haiti to 90999.
Living in gratitude today and heartbroken for Haiti.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

List Making

I've always been a list maker. I have lots of lists and notes. Some I complete, some I don't, some I refer back to, some were just for the moment. This site was interesting to me. I looked at the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin to see if I wanted to buy it after watching an interview with her on the Today Show. She has a blog and I think for now, I'll look through it first. I also went back to last year's blog on Slate. I think I may like the blog format as well or better than the book. Did find this site of hers interesting and if you are a computer person and a list person, you may like it, too. I'm going to see how I like using it, though with lists, I tend to be a paper and pencil girl for the most part.
My friend, Dave, said last night that his dad advised him early not to write things down. Sometimes not in your best interest to have something "on the record" and I've found that to be true at times especially if I had something negative to say, but I do find writing helps me organize my thoughts and edit myself. Guess a good rule of thumb is if you don't want anyone and everyone to read it, don't write it down (or be sure to destroy it). With cyberspace, some things get cast out into space and can never return. Good to be mindful of that.

Always mindful that I learn about myself through learning what others have learned about themselves.

Learning to appreciate a slow-down day

I'm recovering from what must have been a food that disagreed with me or a very short stomach virus. We had a wonderful time at Macaroni Grill with Dave and Karen for our anniversary, played Pears (you know I love word games and my grandson will be happy to know I "beat the pants off of them"-he thinks that phrase is hilarious), and drove home in the snow. By the way, there has been snow in the air for 2 1/2 days! I was sick immediately after getting home. Felt fine before that. So, at 3:40 PM I am still sitting on the couch in pjs and have done nothing but check email, answer a call from my grandson, watched "I've Loved You So Long", and looked at the instructions for my new sewing machine. By now I'd have thought I'd have gotten so many things accomplished. Mindful of the appreciation I have for days of good health and the realization that I don't have to "DO" something everyday. Today I am just -being.
PS-the movie is very good. Things aren't always what you think, in so much of life.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In the wee small hours

As I sat in the hospital, keeping company with my former father-in-law tonight, I was reminded of the many nights I spent in the hospital with my son over the years, for a variety of reasons. When he was 3, three weeks with orbital cellulitis and from age 18-23 off and on for spontaneous pneumothorax, a disorder that affects young, tall, thin white males primarily.
Hospitals have changed a lot over the years, and also, not so much.
They are places where you see the best and the worst, a place of diametric living. The worst-the illnesses, sadness, death, loneliness. The best-births, extended family and friend gatherings, dismissals.
But, tonight, I was most mindful of the personal touches and generosity that abound. The filled cupboards in an open-to-all kitchen/gathering area due to support from a church group, books and magazines on a wide variety of subjects from comfort and medical information to current novels, a little card made from colored index cards with recycled greeting card picture on the front and a bible verse copied and pasted inside sitting on the counter in his room, muffins, magazines, candy brought by visitors- all wonderful reminders of the basic goodness of folks.
The rooms are roomier and more like home, the availability of drinks and food (microwavable macaroni and cheese, ravioli, oatmeal, bread for toast, cheese and crackers) so different from 25 years ago when I had to ask a nurse for a cup of coffee and had to go down to the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat. These are wonderful things for people dealing with difficult situations.
It makes me happy that as a culture we are treating the whole family so much more successfully than before.
I'm also mindful of the long way we have to go making this kind of care accessible to everyone.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

You gotta start somewhere

I was inspired by my friend, Sue, to choose a word for the year. I'd been thinking a lot about what I wanted my life to be right now while I consider myself in my prime. Reflecting on who I've been, I realized that what I longed for was a keener awareness of my life, for it to have more clear memories of tiny details-the ones that I find more meaningful in the long run. While I think I have led a meaningful life, perhaps through genetics alone, some of the details are lost to me. I tend to be an enthusiastic life participant and in my enthusiasm miss some of the best parts moving forward at such a fast pace. The reality is-I don't want to miss a thing. But, I am hoping that being mindful of what goes on around me, what I choose to do, just being in the moment will create those tiny memorable moments.
So my word of the year is mindful. I'm sure I'll define it many ways, but, I figured a good way to start is with the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary's definition:

Main Entry: mind·ful
Pronunciation: \ˈmīn(d)-fəl\
Function: adjective
Date: 14th century
1 : bearing in mind : aware
2 : inclined to be aware
— mind·ful·ly \-fə-lē\ adverb
— mind·ful·ness noun
May it be so.....