Wednesday, August 8, 2012

After the Storm


At midnight trees grow wild.  Lights flicker and you close our eyes to darkness. By morning your skin is beaded like dew on the lawn; by noon it’s slicker than butter.

Still you crave those magic beans that wake the dead and make the blood flow smoother. These addictions, how hard they die! Funny, but you don’t feel that blessed to be alive.


Imagine making do with cowboy brew all the days of your life. Things could come to that… firing up the grill daily just for a cup of coffee. 

You know you should be counting your blessings. But the flooding, the sweltering heat with no sign of relief, breeding ground for mosquitoes and disease…

Gratitude gives way to post-apocalyptic musings.

Chickadees, oblivious to power outages, flock gleefully around the feeder; these no more territorial than you keeping watch over the priceless stash of ice in the cooler.

A relentless knock at the door. It’s your brother with the heart condition and your failing mother staring back with hopeful eyes. They’ve come to you seeking air and ice…

In the living room – the coolest spot in the house at 85 degrees – the light of day cannot be seen. Folded blinds, opaque drapes see to that. You sit in semidarkness and commiserate.

Think of those less fortunate: your cousin swept away by the storm last night.  And others who didn’t survive.  You just thank the Lord you’re still alive to suffer and agonize together.
  
***

After Floyd, we were out of power for a week. Many lost their homes, their farms, their lives, their loved ones.  The everyday comforts they’d known before eastern NC’s Katrina.

A friend named Barbara, who had her lights restored days before us, was thoughtful enough to remember me when she made her morning coffee.

The carafe full she delivered to my front door seemed like a miracle.

Since that time Barbara has moved to New York. I lost my brother to a mysterious death (not a heart attack), my mother to a massive stroke.  Yes, how blessed I was after the storm.       


What does it mean to you to be blessed?


74 comments:

  1. That's a complicated question Debra, and there's probably no right or wrong answer.

    In the midst of our storms, the smallest blessing may be amplified and brought to rigid focus, while in times of abundance we often miss the forest for the trees. We're constantly in a state of God's grace, and yet we allow fear and doubt to cloud our sight of the miracles all around us.

    It's something I spend much time pondering, and praying about...

    But I do know this; Our Heavenly Father's love and care makes everything we are, everything we experience, and everything we do a blessing in some way...

    Whether we recognize it or not at the time.

    Our blessings are uncountable, our recognition and acceptance of those gifts is the lesson.

    Have a Blessed Day my friend!

    ~Phil

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  2. Hi Phil! It IS complicated. Blessings in disguise can’t easily be seen but they’re still there. On fear… is it the opposite of faith, as some say? This may be the biggest struggle for most of faith. Lately I’ve been singing in my head that Sting song,

    You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
    You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
    You could say I lost my sense of direction
    You could say all of this and worse but

    If I ever lose my faith in you
    There'd be nothing left for me to do

    ~ Blessings

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  3. From the perspective of delivering a eulogy this past weekend for a loved one, I stood at the podium, speaking words through a tight throat. Sadness was there, but I chose to look out at the many faces staring back at me and recognize the blessings of each of them. I've always been cognizant of the blessing of my family; I'm more blessed than most with this loving group.

    In addition, I am blessed with curiosity, with an endless desire and need to continue learning and growing. I am blessed with an agile mind that delights in expanding. I am blessed with a mindset that recognizes beauty in unexpected, often overlooked moments. I am blessed to be both content with who I am, and also determined to never stop growing and refining.

    I am blessed with friendship. With musical thoughts and sounds. With the ability to stand up and walk each day in a healthy body. To hear and see the world around me. And most of all, I am blessed with the ability to receive and give love.

    I count you in those blessings, darling girl. <3

    - Dawn

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    1. Dawn, today I read your recent post several times before leaving a comment. There was so much to ponder, so much to absorb. So many challenges you’ve had to deal with, and yet you were able to write down the bones, as Natalie Goldberg describes it. You were able to capture the trying moments and turn them into a beautiful song of life. During the past several weeks I’ve thought of you, and knew that you’d find the inner strength to stand at that podium and bless those to whom you delivered the eulogy – even through a tight throat and much sadness. And, no doubt, your sadness was a gift to them, for it conveys the love you hold in your heart for all of them.

      I haven’t thought of curiosity as a blessing but, now that you mention it, it is just that. Lovely description here… to be content with who we are, and also determined to never stop growing and refining! I count you as a blessing too, soul friend! xox

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    2. "You were able to write down the bones"...oh my, what an evocative thought! I find it indescribably beautiful, how we walk hand-in-hand so often, connected by the internet and the world of blogging. Sharing experiences, overlapping with one another in that serendipitous fashion. I have felt your love, friendship & support in the weeks past, Debra, and I so appreciate you filling that Debra-spot in my heart & life. Blessings abound! <3

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    3. Dawn, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead because I know that, with all you’ve been through, the grief won’t evaporate overnight. Still, you are a trooper, as they say, and will continue to find strength and grace to turn every trial and pain into blessing for yourself and others. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  4. Debra, I make a point each day of thanking God for the blessings He provides. I can be in the shower or pouring a glass of clean water, and thank Him. I sit in the coolness of an air-conditioned house - I thank Him. We can go to the store and provide food for the table - I thank Him.
    I could go on, but you get the picture. When we get into the place of having a "gratitude attitude", I think it becomes much easier to face the adversities that come our way. As I commented on Dawn's post today, adversity can become opportunity if we let it. And, for some, suffering inconvenience might just make them that much more thankful for what they have previously taken for granted.
    Lovely, thought-provoking post, as always, my dear friend!
    Blessings to you and may your power stay on! :)

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    1. Martha, yeah, that attitude of gratitude never hurts. You’ve mastered the art of practicing the presence of God when you pour water and give thanks for such a simple blessing. I learned to give thanks for the ice maker after it went on the blink recently ;-) And when you’ve suffered the loss of power, yes, you learn to give thanks for that too. Today I gave thanks for your recent blessing! If anyone deserves such a blessing, it’s you dear friend! Cheers!

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  5. Hello, Debra! The title of your post is very relevant to the things that happened to me these past days. For three days, there was non-stop rain causing floods that threatened and claimed many lives. After the storm, it was a blessing for me and my family to have survived.

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    1. Joyce, I’m so glad to hear that you’re okay. During and after these literal storms we always think, it could be worse, look at Haiti, Japan (after the tsunami)… all the loss, heartache. I trust that your family is safe too.
      Hug~

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  6. Debra... this IS a tough one. Swaying between the two 'blessed or not'. Do we feel blessed when we are in that happy space? Do we feel blessed when we are not in that happy space?
    Storms will come and go but to feel blessed through it all....I waiver.. I am human.. I know

    Equanimous I try to be. Blessed I am but are we not all despite the hand we have been given?

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    1. Savira, yes, this is a tough one, isn’t it?
      Do you feel blessed when we’re in a happy space – yes; that’s when I feel most blessed.
      Do we feel blessed when we’re NOT in that happy space – not so much ;-)
      I looked up your word, “equanimity” just to be sure I understood your meaning. And this must be the high road, to be in “a state of stability or composure arising from a deep awareness and acceptance of the present moment.” Yes, that’s what I want. To be content in whatever state I find myself, for that is the key to true blessing!

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  7. Debra, you are not only an awesome blogger and an excellent writer, but you are also a person that God gives to all of us as human beings, to be aware that every single day of our life is God blessing.
    Yes, as human it is normal, if we only think of God when we are in difficulties, He knows it and He forgive us, we never worried about it. The question is, did we ever thanks Him for His blessings? I always forget; and thanks to you for this topic is reminding me to be always grateful to our God the Almighty. Stay blessed my friend!

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    1. Neneng, I see your face and remember what a blessing you were to me almost two years ago when I felt so lost in cyberspace, when I had no clue what I was doing, when I felt like a 2-year-old who couldn’t even tie her shoe, when I didn’t know the blogger lingo, you were there for me. Do you remember? You friended me on FB and answered my questions like a pro, and I worried at times that I was driving you crazy. But allow me, nearly two years later to say “thank you” for being my friend, for you are indeed a godsend. A blogger angel! <3<3<3

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  8. Debra,

    Your post brings up so many thoughts. This piece was so atmospheric and its specificity, powerful. At first, until I read "Floyd," I thought maybe it was metaphor ... and maybe some still is. So much loss for you after that storm. I hope, in some small way, your writing helped. What makes me feel blessed? I'm sort of a cross between an agnostic/Christian/Buddhist (if that's possible) ... so I often wonder what is and isn't a blessing. Sometimes what I thought was positive ... turned out not to be ... and what I thought wasn't, turned out to be. I guess, for me, it's about what I'm grateful for in the moment.

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    1. Terri, writing always helps. It’s an avenue for healing, as I’m sure it is for you. Your writing is atmospheric too, and I adore your metaphor, and your muse, who really did work double shift at my place while you weren’t looking, while you were writing up a storm without her ;-) I don’t know that feeling blessed has anything to do with religion. I don’t know if feeling has anything to do with being blessed. Maybe it is, after all, being grateful for the moment, although that can be difficult – as in, when there’s no air or ice to be found! Sometimes I wonder if we’re not just spoiled by so many ‘blessings' - as we define blessings in America. Still, I don’t want to find out how the other side lives, and I won’t pretend otherwise. I think your mission is a blessing to the homeless and the mentally ill, and for that I applaud you. Bravo!

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  9. That's where she was! My renegade muse (or yours ... or ours?). I agree about feeling blessed not necessarily having to do w/ religion... and, yes, some moments it's very hard to be grateful for ... now that I think of it. Truth is, I just don't know. What I do know is that it feels good to read your words and, likewise, what you give here is a blessing to those who read.

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    1. Truth is, I just don’t know either!
      But it’s fun to philosophize sometimes. And even more fun to get away from too much mind.

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  10. Debra, I was there for Floyd, in Kinston NC. It was epic and frightening. Just ten years prior to Floyd, on the very day the flood struck, I was on the island of St. Croix when hurricane Huge hit. We lost everything but our lives. When I say everything I mean house and belongings, but I also mean my sense of security. From that time on I've carried with me the knowledge of how fast the infrastructure of a society can fail...all the things we lean on can disappear in an instant.

    I'm very blessed and very thankful, although I still look over my shoulder when the clouds gather. This post was written so beautifully. Thank you for sharing, and for Sting;) If I ever lose my faith....

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    1. Leah, the magnitude of Floyd was devastating. I remember Hugo too, but not like Floyd because we weren’t hit like the coastal areas. But how horrible to have lost everything, even your sense of security! Nothing like such wreckage to show us how fast the infrastructure of a society can fall. Speaking of looking over your shoulder… I have an innate dread of summer and hurricane season. Is there a phobia for that? I love “If I ever lose my faith” and find myself humming it more and more. Because what WOULD I do without it?

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  11. I used to feel abundantly blessed before the murder of my sister.

    I'd pray like this: THANK YOU, GOD! THANK YOU! THANK YOU.

    Now I pray like this: HELP ME, GOD! HELP ME! HELP ME!

    Great Post. Xx

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    1. Kim, sending you a hug today. *hug*
      <3 <3 <3
      Your cat reminds me of mine. Stalkers! I like what your children said, “Mooooom, it’s his nature. Leave him alone.”
      I say help me, help, me, help me, AND thank you, thank you, thank you, a lot!

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  12. Dear Debra,

    I don't want to need drama in my life to feel blessed.

    But, I can't escape the fact that those situations, like the one you describe here, which bring me face to face with survival do seem to be ripe with the opportunity to grow in faith and open to spiritual revelation.

    I feel blessed when I experience the reality that I control my experience with my mind, which opens me up to being able to accept more and more of God's good, GoOd, GOOD!

    I also truly feel blessed to count you among my friends! XOXO

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    1. Linda, I count you among my blessings too! Your upbeat attitude is always an inspiration to me and others, the way you turn even sleeplessness into a blessing and even find fairies in the process! Dramas do come, though, and I suppose it’s how we handle them that bring blessings or curse. Like with your family reunion ;-) I'll be thinking of you for sure.

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  13. I always try to say a prayer of thanksgiving when I wake up each morning as I believe that to be given another day to live is itself a blessing. Life will always have many storms and it is so normal to pray and ask for help. Your post however reminded me that what is more important is that we give thanks after the storm.

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    1. Anne, yes, gratitude for another day that we get to live is key to finding joy in that new day. It’s so easy to take life for granted, isn’t it? Giving thanks sets the tone for the day.

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  14. I have been saying that a lot lately, that I have been blessed, literally I meant it when I said to my son, God is at my shoulders.
    Things have been smooth and the plans I panicked over are just coming along.. and I am less worried.

    I suppose when trouble overwhelms us that's what we remember mostly and usually, but now I find myself looking at the many little graces and literally positive interventions that have taken place and recalling less of the bad past. I am finding the better part of ME slowly but surely.

    God works in mysterious ways.

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    1. Yes, He is at your shoulders, whispering, “This is the way, walk in it.” You have been guided to a place of peace and rest, after the storm. I know you must feel like you’ve been in the midst of a tornado, especially during the inconvenient move while the kids were in the middle of exams. Through all you’ve endured with the contrary person, you’ve come out on the other side, stronger and more resilient. Have a wonderful weekend! ~ Richest blessings to you and your children.

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  15. I think this is a constant state of change. We change, life changes, every thing shifts, and as it does, we alter our perceptions. Being blessed is different to many, and for some it's one constant thing (God, family, friends, money, health, love, and on and on). Life is fluid and what matters today isn't what might matter in a year. I think what matters to me, and what I am most thankful for, is my ability to love. It's the one constant in my life that never leaves me. Being able to give love to regardless if it comes back in equal measure, is a blessing that keeps on giving. I don't' know if I answered your question, but its one of those blessings I cherish.

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    1. Brenda, the idea of blessing is subjective, as you say, as well as fluid. Today I’m blessed by the cool rain because a) we need it. And b) it feels nice after scorching sun days. On the other hand, someone that had planned a picnic under the park trees or a ballgame wouldn’t have counted the rain as a blessing :-( Kudos to you and me, that we do have the one constant: love. That, dear friend, is the greatest blessing!

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  16. There was a time when I would keep asking god why me but today I thank him everyday for all that I have. I am so much more better off than others. I do count my blessings even when at times I tend to indulge in self pity. Beautiful and thoughtful post as always, Debra.

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.in/2012/08/call-of-night.html

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    1. Rimly, indulging in self pity should be the exception to the rule – amen to that. For really, what good does wallowing in self pity do, what does it accomplish? But we have every reason to give thanks. Unlike some, we have a roof over our heads, a bed in which to sleep, food enough to eat. And a computer on which to write. We are blessed, girl!

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  17. Dear Debra,
    What a post today. I do believe that bad things happened to good people. As imperfect, sinful humans, our lives will always be tested by the trials and tribulations of this unkind world. No man or organization can stop the tragedies from the laws of nature. I feel very fortunate for what I have...but know it can be gone in the blink of an eye. I remain a very spiritual man. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Andy, I believe that too. And yes, I can tell you are a spiritual man. You are so gifted with words! Extraordinary with the art of writing on passion.

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  18. its not easy to move on after the storm:(

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    1. Zarnab, no it’s not :-( Blessings. <3

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  19. Blessings to me don't mean there is no storm, but that I have support through the storm. When someone feels they only live a blessed life if there is no turmoil or pain, they are firstly unrealistic and unprepared (it will come) but they are neglecting the true outcome of pain--- often a lesson learned, a relationship invalidated, an inward soul strengthened. All this happens of course, only if we are open to the possibility.

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    1. Lynn, good point. Being blessed doesn’t mean the absence of storms, but the recognition that we can find strength to withstand the storms that will inevitably come. Thank you for your insights here today. <3

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  20. Lovely writing and a thought-provoking piece,Debra. For me, feeling blessed is a state of being. It's where I come from. Every single day I marvel at what a blessed life I've led with guidance provided all along the way whenever I asked for it and even when I didn't. At least once a day I say a simple prayer of acknowledgement and gratitude: Thank you, God, for this day. I AM blessed in every way. Because I AM one with the creative force of the Universe and I know that whatever I ask for in faith believing, and preface it with that it be for the highest good of all, I will be provided, there are never any shortage of blessings in my life.

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    1. Jayne, I love your take on “feeling blessed is a state of being.” Clearly you have found the key to being blessed no matter what the circumstance. It must be a frame of mind, then, to just “see” how you’ve been guided - with or without asking. Whenever I’m tempted to question, I’ll refer back to your words here and remind myself of this attitude in you. Besides, what do we have to lose by being grateful? <3

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  21. I have never had to deal with the loss of shelter, food, power (beyond a tolerable level), or the like. Loved ones have left, always, before I was ready to let them go...how can one ever be ready for mourning, for death? But things to feel grateful for have always been plentiful, though more recognizable as I have grown older; as I have realized that it is all too easy to let beauty be shrouded by pain and loss, too easy to see someone or some thing fly by before sufficient appreciation has been paid to it, to them.

    And so, my gratitude is a daily-renewing of awareness, an attempt to reduce my constant striving in equal measure by attempting to move gracefully through each day, adding more and more moments of beauty, no matter how tiny. I find that the more aware I am of that which is small (little voices, tiny victories, nearly-imperceptible shifts in perspective, purring kittens, creeping insects, and even glittering gravel), the more radical my thankfulness.

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    1. Britton, “adding moments of beauty, no matter how tiny” - I like that. Now I have one more thought to contemplate. To find meaning in those small voices (purring cats, chirping birds, the daily singing of nature… even the growling of a tummy can remind us that, yes, we have ample food forthcoming), shifts in perspective (gentle forgiveness for my own slackness, or someone else’s), oh, the list could go on. Thank you for bringing these small miracles to light! I am surrounded by beauty.

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  22. How serendipitous for me to be following right after Britton in leaving a comment . . . especially since my thoughts run so parallel re: the blessing being an (almost) 'daily renewing of awareness.' I fall into patterns, I rue the patterns; I observe/read about injustice and misfortune, I get pulled from a comfort zone. This morning a conversation with a friend made me irritable. Just reading this post turned things around for me. The mere fact that I can be grounded by the acute awareness re: the ways in which darkness can give rise to light is a kind of blessing.

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    1. Deborah, thank you for sharing your struggle, as it helps me feel less alone in mine. One dilemma for me is the temptation to bury my head in the sand and remain oblivious to injustice and calamity. But, since it surrounds us all, we can’t do that, can we? As a contemplative, the world scene contradicts truth and beauty, and distracts me from seeing what is lovely and pure.
      I read that article you shared last week: Shadows and Ghosts: Batman, Thomas Cromwell, and the Corporation of Yaddoo. Emily Rapp says, “Own your disaster; make it into a lake, build for it a shrine — not to show your strength but to show your weakness, which is a way of showing that you are yet human, that you are not yet lost. Shine the sign of your struggle into the sky. And then light it up.” Superb advice.
      And you said, “The ways in which darkness can give rise to light is a kind of a blessing.” Beautifully stated. Pondering all these things today.

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  23. Everything weather it is big or small is blessing to me.
    Love is blessing. Friend is blessing.
    There is no perfect definition of it.
    Lovely post.
    Follow each other.

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    1. Hi Izdiher, yes indeed, everything can be a blessing if we have eyes to see them as blessings: relationships, love, life, all is blessing!

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  24. Hi Debra. :-) For me, to be blessed means an abundance of God's gifts. But when was there ever a lack of gifts from God? I think we are all blessed, only in different ways.

    It reminds me so much of the victims of the typhoon that just hit the Philippines. The victims of the flood, those who were lost their loved ones and left homeless -- they are blessed too, just like me who is safe from the storm, because this trial will teach them a lesson and they will become stronger.

    It's amazing that you wrote this post when I published my post "Through the rain and the storm" on my blog. We must be kindred spirits <3 God bless, Debra :-)

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    1. Irene, we are kindred spirits, flowing down that same river of Life. And to write on the same subject at the same time, proof in the pudding.
      I’ve been keeping up with the sad news in the Philippines. Just tragic.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyhQiYPx78U
      xox ~ Prayers and blessings.

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  25. to be blesses to me is to feel like living

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    1. Hi Jerly, yes, yes! Just to live is to be blessed.

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  26. Sometimes it's hard to realize just how alive we are. And to be alive and healthy is to be blessed. I read this from a Buddhist monk's column in a local evening papers few nights ago. To be blessed is to be alive. Be alive. Be healthy. Then we can go on to pass a smile (or coffee) to our loved ones. And we can do what we want to do, help those we want to help, do something good in this world. Debra, I'm so sorry you lost your brother and mother. I'm very grateful you are safe and healthy and here provoking these thoughts in my head. *Hugs*

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    1. Claudine, thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts here. It is a blessing to be able to help others however we can. Though it wasn’t the heart attack that claimed my brother’s life, he did suffer one years earlier, and during that time we grew closer than ever and cherished every minute together. In some ways, even bad things can be turned into blessings. Maybe it isn’t always perfect health or feeling alive that makes us blessed, but how we react to problems when they come our way.

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  27. I believe 'bless', 'blessing', 'blessed' has something to do with words, gifts and reverence...according to Nouwen, 'to give a blessing is to affirm, to say "yes" to a person's Belovedness.

    Perhaps, I'm taking you into another wavelength ~ but to be blessed is to feel loved by God and to be love to other people.

    I think everybody else has his/her own share of dark times and sorrows and we shouldn't compare our lot to who was 'more' blessed... to be 'with' ~ to feel with ~ I guess these things are more important...

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    1. Melissa, love Nouwen’s thoughts on what ‘blessing’ means: to affirm, to say yes to a person’s belovedness. <3 And you, dear friend, are blessed among women! Your words are blessed, and they bring blessings to others. Love is IT, I believe that too! What else could possibly be more Divine? <3

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  28. I love that Debra :* Hail, blessed are you...When I get to pray Hail Mary, I'll remember to pause and reflect on how blessed our dear Mother is and Jesus, her fruit. And how blessed we are to have them in our midst.

    Yes, yes LOVE! Divine grace...

    Oh such beautiful and edifying words!

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    1. Blessed are you and Belle too. <3<3<3
      Hugs both!

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  29. I remember when I used to ask G-d why I was tried so many times and so young... until the day, when I was 17 and desperate, and I gave in. I told G-d that I would no longer fight but hold His/Her hand and be guided from that point forward. That was the most divine moment in my life. I was never without from that point on.

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    1. Ana, isn’t it liberating to realize that we don’t have to go it alone? That divine guidance is the way to live in peace and find joy, even in the midst of trials? Thank you for sharing. Hugs!

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  30. To wake up to a new day with breath, that's what it is to be blessed for me. I felt like I was reading the opening page of a novel. So good Debra. We went through several hurricanes while living in N. Carolina. Donated our living room furniture to a family who lost everything.

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    1. I agree with that one Shelly. To wake up with breath is a blessing to me too. NC has seen its share of hurricanes, that’s for sure. Oh, how wonderful to donate your furniture to a family who lost everything. <3<3<3 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  31. We were without power earlier this year and times like those definitely makes one more appreciative of the small things..the blessings in life..like hot coffee and a cool house, that often go overlooked.

    To be blessed , to me, means to be alive. Life is a gift and with each new breath is an opportunity.

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    1. Jessica, nothing like losing power to knock the wind out of your sails, and cause awareness of how blessed we are to have these small blessings like fresh brewed coffee and cool air. I love this: “Life is a gift and with each new breath is an opportunity.” When we see it that way, surely we’ll be more fruitful. Hugs!

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  32. What does it mean to be blessed. I would have to say good friends and family to help guide me when I go astray. With so much talk about unemployment I thank god everyday for my job.

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    1. Marcie, good friends and family are priceless. And, in this economy where jobs are scarce, employment is a true blessing. Hope your beach trip was sweet!

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  33. Debra, I'm in awe today having just read this post, and a few others you have written. It still amazes me how some bloggers can with their words make us think, deeply think, contemplate the meaning, the meaning to us.Your words strike at the cord of our minds, I think we all come to forks in the road at times, we all face difficulties on our journey. Everey time i question what i'm doing, bemoan certain things, i do look back, to more waring times, and i know im blessed to be alive. This is what drives me to make a contribution, and that is pure and simple.

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    1. Thank you Larry! How much your kind words mean to me! Being a contemplative allows me to stop and ponder the meaning of life more than if I rushed through life without paying attention. Recently I read this quote. Life is not an emergency. Makes you want to slow down and travel at a turtle’s (or a snail’s) pace and look around more, breathe deeper, enjoy life a little more. Take care Larry. So good to hear from you!

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  34. WOW! Powerful words. To be blessed means to hold onto HOPE. Regardless of what we face in life, to be able see the LIGHT through the darkness. Sorry for your loss and the storm you went through. Thankful that you SEE the small blessings, in the simplicity of love. Beautiful post!

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    1. Hi Farfella, it is a blessing to hold onto hope, regardless, and to see the light shining through the darkness. Thank you for shining YOUR light so bright! Beam on girl!

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  35. wow, how very powerful. I am so thankful you were blessed with the thoughtfulness of a kind friend. I'm also so sorry for the losses of your family members. So devastating. I relish in feeling blessed for the precious time and have (and had) with my family.

    Sending see beautiful thoughts your way~

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lydia, I miss that friend, but will never forget her thoughtfulness. That’s the kind of friend we all want and need. I’ll bet you’re like that too, thinking of ways to make someone’s day ;-) Hugs! And have a beautiful weekend!

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  36. Dear Debra, it has been very long since I had interacted with you and so I came over. What a post to come back to!
    And I feel blessed when I know that I always have my faith to fall back upon. I cannot exist without that faith and love.

    Hope you are doing good.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    Replies
    1. Hi Susan! So glad you came back. You know, I feel the same way. I cannot exist without faith and love – wouldn’t want to live without faith. Hope your weekend is a joyful one! Blessings!

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