Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Story ~ My experience, strength and hope

Hello friends... I have been thinking I should share some things, with people from my past as well as people I am now meeting... to share my experience, my strength and my hope. (for those of you who now what I am doing, I will, to the best of my ability, try to adhere to the principles and traditions, but I hope this share will help others as well as myself. If I offend, you have my apologies.) In high school, I knew lots of people, I liked (almost) everyone, I had "fun", though I was miserably lonely, I was uncomfortable in my own skin, always felt like I was on the outside looking in, never felt "a part of". I imagined that everyone was constantly judging me, my looks, my behavior, my life, questioning my every action. Many of you who knew me may remember my behavior, my out of control drinking. One day, my Junior year I think, I was changing in the locker room one afternoon, coming in from P.E., and a classmate (Jamie Long) approached me, with a look on his face of... worry, disgust, care and pity, and he said to me, if I remember correctly something to the effect of, "you've gotta change" shaking his head,... I will always remember that moment, and I am eternally grateful for that truth, though I did nothing about it. As odd as it sounds, I cherish those times, that carefree life... it was carefree, I did not care about myself or anyone else. College was a disaster, a drop out, another failure to add to the growing list. My twenties were a blur, fuzzy, disjointed memories of actions I dare not repeat and hold no honor in, self-centered behaviors allowed me to become close to nobody, though I persisted in attempting relationships. There was a girl... You know, that one girl in high school that was the "one", I was so in love... I had no idea of what that was, or meant. That carried on in my heart for a long time, because I thought if I could only be with her, than everything would be great! This led to each following relationship as a recipe for disaster, my drinking increased, my esteem dwindled, and I hurt the women I was with, arguments, drunken fights, verbal abuse, you name it. My picker was "broken", the blind leading the blind, I did not have the tools to behave, live, trust or be honest with myself or the world. Three relationships that lasted 2 1/2 years each, after the end of the first year, I knew it was ending, and I would spend the next year and a half sabotaging the relationship to the extent that the woman, whoever it was at the time, would leave, so that I did not need to be the bad guy, so I would not need to be responsible or be held accountable. They were great, beautiful women, and I owe them... hopefully someday I will find them, tell them I was lost, I had a part in their torture with me. Drinking everyday was common place and had been for a long, long time, but now it had led to drinking a shot in the morning, just a little "hair of the dog" to shake off that horrid feeling deep in the core of my body. I knew what I was, a drunk and an alcoholic, and I did not care, I wanted to die, just go away from the loneliness, THAT was the plan! I was hurting my family, could not behave well as a friend, but "functioned" well at my job.. my job, my one escape, my one passion. At the ripe old age of 29, after the last in a string of unsuccessful relationships, I decided that I would simply be alone! No more women! No more trust, or sharing, or commitments... though I was not practicing any of those behaviors to begin with. That is when... out of the blue, a woman... no... an angel, who at first meeting I thought was a bi*#@! For some unforeseen reason apparent to me, she liked me. As bitter as I was, and turning her advances down, her requests to participate in fun and life, I tried to say no, but she persisted. Oddly, we had both lived in Santa Barbara in the eighties, over a span of 2 years, and never met, then in San Diego, me in P.B. and she in O.B. for 4 years and never met, and then the universe, God, higher power, whatever you want to call it brought us together in a teeny tiny town in East County S.D.. She had just lost the love of her life, a man who passed from breast cancer. Her name was Mary-Cynthia Hendrickson... My beautiful Cindi, that was 1993. We married July 7Th, 1996, and in the beginning I thought that it would work out well for me, because I would not be alone. I was not "in love" with her when we wed, I thought I was at the time, but in "my drunk", I was really just in love with the idea of being in love. We were married for 10 years... Now dear friends, please allow me to share this beauty with you, this awakening, this amazing gift that was bestowed upon me, like a gift sent from God almighty, I learned what love meant, real, real, unconditional, non-judgmental, never ending, love, beautiful, pure, honest, love... I wish I had realized it better at the time. After we had been married a short time ( 2 years?) we moved to Cripple Creek, Colorado (Burrr!) Our love, my trust, had grown, changed, I really cared about someone other than myself... or so I thought, the drinking continued. The world was more beautiful with her in it, the sky a more vibrant shade of blue, the music I heard rang with her name in it, it was like a dream, I was uncontrollably happy. We would dance by the fire at night, naked, laughing, we shared all our thoughts, our dreams, our hopes and aspirations. We hoped one day to open a Bed and Breakfast in Oregon, she was a Food and Beverage Director and I (working at the time at a high end resort) had almost every Hotel management position under my belt, it was a possibility! We would someday get a prospectus together, get a loan, a grant, some investors and we would live our dream... someday. We had often spoken of so many places we would go, so many things we would do, so many experiences we would share... someday. She drank with me, not as much as I did when we met, but in the end she drank, (I think) simply to keep up with me, trying not to see what I was doing to myself, to her, to us. After ten years of marriage, I began feeling sorry for myself, that I was not giving her as much as she deserved. I knew my drinking would lead to an end... the plan was for me to die, somehow, releasing her to carry on with her life and find another, better man... what a noble gesture I thought. In reality, I was being (at that point) the most selfish I had ever been in my entire life, but I did not see it, I was blind, blind to my own behavior, my own self, my own needs. In the early morning of January 5Th, 12:58 A.M., I awoke in bed (after passing out about 9:00 P.M. the night before), next to my beautiful wife, this amazing creature that loved me to no end. I felt her arm next to me, she was cold, I looked above the head of the bed and realized the window was open, so I reached up and closed it, leaned over to pull the covers up over her she had kicked off in her sleep and looked at her face, her face,... I gently shook her arm... "babe?'... Babe, BABE!?... SWEETHEART!!! BABE, WAKE UP! Her arm was ICE cold, she did not respond to my inquiries to wake up! Her color was gone, her beautiful lips a shade of blue, and she had no breath. The window was not the reason she was cold. The coroners report declared in a very simple, cold, callus way her cause of death as "complications due to acute alcoholism". My world ended that day. To this day I cannot remember any part of the rest of that January month, except for one flash, one memory, I do not know who I was with (people, family and friends kept close watch on me) but I was at a grocery store, walking down one of the isles and noticed tampons, and thought "oh, I should buy some, that's a good price and she will need..." and then I remembered, no, no she won't need them. I stood there, frozen in the market, sobbing. I remember her memorial, a beautiful Catholic Mass, her ashes sitting on the alter, that was February 2nd, 2006, it was ironically a day of birth for me, a continuance in my life from that point forward to cherish her, to honor her existence, to share the best of what she had taught me by becoming the man I should have been for her, making her proud by practicing good and honest principals in all of my affairs, or at least trying to preform these principals to the best of my ability. I continue on, one day at a time. I still at times think, "wait! I'm suppose to be with her still! Why did this happen? and the pain sets in. I am in a program of recovery, and this February will be the fourth year of sobriety, my 4th year of participating in the "experience" of life, contributing and being of service to my fellows. The story my friends continues, as does all of yours. I am now engaged to be married again, I am so thankful for each day, for all of you and for meeting her, to be given this opportunity twice in life amazes me, I am thankful just for the ability to SEE the gifts and opportunities placed in front of me. My beautiful friends, please stop for just a second to "be in the moment," to reflect and give thanks, to be grateful and aware of your place in life, your part in it, your actions and your own contributions, even if you may think you have none to offer, you are more valuable than you or I could possibly imagine. If you are in love, SHARE it, with her, or him, post it, shout it from the rooftops! If, at this moment in life you are single, than love yourself, be thankful for your experiences and try to see all of the gifts that are bestowed to you each day, great and small ones that we usually let pass us by, unnoticed. I am thankful for you all, all of you who are part of my past, those of you who may be part of my future and those of you who I will never meet, because we are all one community, sharing and contributing to this great experience we call life. Be well, all my love, faith, strength and hope.
Anthony Longoria.

If you feel you may be having difficulty with drinking, if you feel scared, angry, or lost, if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you're not alone. You may choose to get help, or you may choose only to get information. It is your choice.
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
244 East 58th Street 4th Floor New York, NY 10022
phone: 212/269-7797 fax: 212/269-7510
email: national@ncadd.org http://www.ncadd.org
HOPE LINE: 800/NCA-CALL (24-hour Affiliate referral)
A.A. World Services, Inc., 11th Floor
475 Riverside Drive at West 120th St.
New York, NY 10115
(212) 870-3400
You may contact me at sb.concierge@yahoo.com or on Twitter @AnthonyLongoria or online at http://aasponsor.ning.com/

Cradle Song, Lyrics (Shriekback)

Lyrics to Cradle Song :
Sing a cradle-song now, as the light fades around us
And you breathe like the ocean, lying small in my arms
See it all in a moment - you so young and unclouded
Shining bright as a lion - feel the motion of time
As the world rolls away from the sun.
I can feel your life burning - unlived moments within you
Further than I can see...

May the fire be your friend and the sea rock you gently,
May the moon light your way - till the wind sets you free

I remember your face as you cried for the first time
The cold air of the world and the fierce light of day
And the cruel separation in a world washed with tears;
Numbed with pain to unfeeling - May you hold to your truth
As you walk the dark night of unreason
The stone walls which surround us - may your spirit fly round them
Like the wind from the sea...

May the fire be your friend and the sea rock you gently,
May the moon light your way - till the wind sets you free

May you never know hunger: may you love with a full heart -
The light stay in your eyes...

May the fire be your friend and the sea rock you gently,
May the moon light your way - till the wind sets you free
May the fire be your friend and the sea rock you gently,
May the moon light your way - till the wind sets you free

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Words of wisdom

Success is not to be measured by the position someone has reached in life, but the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed.
Booker T. Washington

When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard, ' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'
Sydney Harris

Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.
Richard L. Evans

Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
Joshua J. Marine

The best way to predict your future is to create it.

The World is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything.
Albert Einstein

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.
Eleanor Roosevelt

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
Helen Keller

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
Helen Keller

The real test of character is whether you will do the right thing even when it costs more than you want to pay.
Michael Josephson

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
John Wooden

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most great men and women are not perfectly rounded in their personalities, but are instead people whose one driving enthusiasm is so great it makes their faults seem insignificant.
Charles A. Cerami

There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: Those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.
Ray Goforth

To succeed it is necessary to accept the world as it is and rise above it.
Michael Korda

Men succeed when they realize that their failures are the preparation for their victories.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?
Robert H. Schuller

There are no great people in this world, only great challenges which ordinary people rise to meet.
William Frederick Halsy, Jr

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
Norman Vincent Peale

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Walter Bagehet

Far better it is to dare mighty things to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered with failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that know not victory or defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.
Sam Walton

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.
Rosalynn Carter

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.

The greatest motivational act one person can do for another is to listen.
Robert E. Moody

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.
John Maxwell

Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.
Vince Lombardi

There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
Mark Twain

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Never let yesterday's disappointments overshadow tomorrow's dreams.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
Walt Disney

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
Albert Einstein

When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things: There will be earth upon which to stand, or you will be given wings to fly.

One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves.
L. Tom Perry

A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.
Arthur Golden

I have learned to use the word 'impossible' with the greatest caution.
Wernher von Braun

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Walter Bagehot

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
Eleanor Roosevelt

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.
Denis Watley

To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.
Anatole France

You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw

We need men who can dream of things that never were.
John F. Kennedy

I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.
Oprah Winfrey

The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.
Oprah Winfrey

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.
Shirley MacLaine

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.
Anna Quindlen

The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.
Dan Millman

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain

Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted…One moment Would you capture it or just let it slip? -Eminem


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I asked God...

I asked God to take away my pain.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a by-product of tribulations, it isn't granted, it is earned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings, Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as he loves me.
God said... Ahhhh, finally you have the idea!

Author unknown

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Balcony People, By Joyce Landoff

I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those who are coping with illness or loss. Please read this book! Below is a brief explination of Balcony people and Basement people.

Basement people are people who constantly pull you down or discourage you. Basement
people in our grieving process can and do cause us much hurt and distraction.
Basement people are the people who do not wish to hear about your loss, they do not
want to talk about your hurt or actively help you go through the grief process. Basement people are also people who say ugly or uneducated things about your loss such as “Aren’t you over that by now?” Basement people criticize your bereavement or question every method you chose in dealing with your loss. Basement people make everything about them and their feelings; disregarding the fact that it is your loved one who is ill or who has passed.
Basement people can cause a lot of hurt (often, unintended) to you during your bereavement process.
Balcony people are the people who pull you forward and along the road of grief. Balcony people come beside you and cry with you, spend time listening to you talk of your loved one and tell you stories they remember, too. Balcony people encourage you to seek ways to heal and process your loss. They understand that the way you chose to deal with the death of your beloved one may not be their way but it is what is good for you.
Balcony people understand when you do not want them around but stand by just in case you change your mind. Balcony people cook or clean for you because you just do not have the energy or they do not comment when the house is a little (or a lot) messier than it used to be.
Balcony people understand that you will never be the “old” you and help you
to find the “new” you who will emerge through the grief and loss you have sustained.
Take the time to identify the Balcony people and Basement people in your life. Spend
most of your time with the Balcony people and try to limit the time with Basement
people; if possible. Balcony people pull you up, cheer you on, encourage you and take
care of you when you most need it. Basement people pull you down, criticize and find
fault in what you do. Balcony people and Basement people; we all have them in our
lives. It is our choice of who we allow to be part of our bereavement process and our
lives. I choose my Balcony people.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A few special prayers

Lord, forgive this child of any sins that she may have committed.
If it is your will, then recognize her as a lamb of your fold and a sheep of your flock.
Send your holy angels to protect he and his family from all spiritual harm, to guide and direct them, to counsel and defend them.
Take this child into the paradise that you have prepared for those who love you.
Let her stand in the resurrection of the just on the Last Day and live with you in your glory forever more.

A Prayer For The Dead
God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.


Prayer of Solace
May Christ support us all the day long, till the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in his mercy may he give us a safe lodging, and holy rest and peace at the last.


Friday, August 28, 2009

"Do not stand at my grave" & "All is well"

"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 softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight.
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there — I do not die. "
--Mary Elizabeth Frye

All is well...

All is Well
Love never disappears for death is a non-event.
I have merely retired to the room next door.
You and I are the same; what we were for each other, we still are.
Speak to me as you always have, do not use a different tone, do not be sad.
Continue to laugh at what made us laugh.
Smile and think of me.
Life means what it has always meant.
The link is not severed.
Why should I be out of your soul if I am out of your sight?
I will wait for you, I am not here, but just on the other side of this path.
You see, all is well.
--St. Augustine

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Crabby old man...

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Tampa, Florida, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found a poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Missouri. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem. And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? ........... .... What do you see?
What are you thinking ......... when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, ............ ......... ...... ......... . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food ............ ......... ......... . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice ........... 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice ............ ....... the things that you do.
And forever is losing ............ ....... a sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not ........... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding ........... the long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? ..... Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am ........... as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, ......... as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten ....... with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters ............ .. who love one another.
A young boy of Sixteen .......... with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now ............ ... a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty ............ my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .... that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now ............ .. I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide ........... and a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty ........... .... my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other .......... with ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons ......... have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me .......... to see! I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, . babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me ............ ... my wife is now dead.
I look at the future ............ ... I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing ......... young of their own.
And I think of the years .. and the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man ............ ..... and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age ............ ... look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles ........... grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone ........... where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass ... a young guy still dwells,
And now and again ............ .. my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys ............ ..... I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living ............ ... life over again.
I think of the years .... all too few ..... gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact ........ that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people ............ ..... open and see.
Not a crabby old man. Look closer ..... See . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within . we will all, one day, be there, too!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thought for the day

I arrived at the address where someone had requested a taxi. I honked but no one came out. I honked again, nothing. So I walked to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets..

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, and then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated'..
'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, 'Could you drive20through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly.
'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice'.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued. 'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through20the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now'.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' she asked, reaching into her purse.
'Nothing,' I said
< B>
'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.

'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you send this to ten people. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate by sending it on.

Thank you, my friend...

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

A reason, A season and a lifetime.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which it is, you will know exactly what to do.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go..
Some people become friends and stay awhile...
leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts...
and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!!
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a
need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and
support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you
need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an
inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the
relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we
must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled;
their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it
is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn
has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience
of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have
never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you
must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your
job is to accept the lesson, love the person or people involved; and
put what you have learned to use in all other relationships, and
areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is
When you read this, just recite the following prayer.
That's all you have to do. There is nothing else attached.
This is the power of prayer at work.

May today there be peace within you.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities
that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing that you are a child of God.
Let His presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
dance, and to bask in the sun.
It is there for each and every one of you.

A large jar of mayo and two coffee cups

When things in your lives seem too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up all the open spaces in the jar. He asked once more if the jar was full? The students responded with a unanimous "YES"!
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the granules of sand. The students laughed.
"Now", said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things -- your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions, and if everything else was lost, and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else, the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children, take the time to get medical check-ups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. 'Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised their hand and inquired what the coffee represented? The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked."
It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend."

Please share this with someone you care about, I just did!