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!