Reflections

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  1. Robin Ann

    For me I think of anyone battling a disease like cancer or any other life threatening disease. My Mother was one who did battle cancer which was terminal and I often wonder if I could have the same courage to handle it!!

    2 weeks ago
  2. Barb C

    My mom, and my grandma on my mom’s side. I told a bit of Grandma’s story in a piece I wrote about her rocking chair that I inherited (https://biketoworkbarb.blogspot.com/2023/02/the-rocker.html). The chair now sits in our living room, beautifully refinished, and reminds me of Grandma. Her family emigrated from England to western Canada when she was 4 years old, the youngest of 13 (!) children.

    An excerpt from my post to give you a sense of the later part of her life:
    ————————-
    Grandma becoming a nurse is a big piece of what makes the rocker special. She married at 18 to a man 20 years her senior (which was so scandalous they each fudged their birth years a bit on the marriage certificate to shrink the gap). She was the youngest of 13 children and knew nothing about how to live in the world; he had to teach her to cook, clean, run the household. She had three children, my mom being the oldest and only girl.

    When Grandpa H. dropped dead of a heart attack in his 70s she was in her mid 50s. Grandma had never driven a car, held a job, or signed a checkβ€”he handled all of that for the household. She was all set to move straight into “old age” and rely on my mom for everything. Mom had four kids at the time (I’m one of the last two “late in life” babies she hadn’t had yet) and really didn’t have time to drive Grandma everywhere or have Grandma relying on her for all emotional support.

    So Mom gave her a fierce pep talk along the lines of “you can be an old woman now, or you can have a life and be an old woman many years from now. Which is it going to be?”

    Grandma went to school, became a licensed practical nurse, learned to drive, made friends, joined two bridge clubs and a bowling group. She became the woman who taught me to knit and tat and bowl, and always had the store-bought waffle cookies in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry that we called “Grandma cookies”.

    Mom telling me this story was part of her raising me to be a feminist; she told me to be sure I could take care of myself and never to rely on a man for everything.
    ————————

    2 weeks ago
    1. Robin Ann

      I love this story about your grandmother! Thanks for sharing Barb

      2 weeks ago
    2. Michele

      What a beautiful story…. it makes me proud of my girls who are strong independent women. Treasure that rocking chair:)

      2 weeks ago
    3. Dolores Kazanjian

      What a wonderful story, Barb C. My Mom was your typical hausfrau of the thirties, forties and fifties, I made a decision similar to yours, but it was not to rely on a man for anything, As a result, I married late, My husband of 44 years respected and admired my independence, but he still sometimes has to be reminded to keep his control needs in check.

      2 weeks ago
    4. S
      Ana Maria

      What a powerful story! I love how these women were aware of the need to learn to be independent and to take care of themselves. My mom was born in 1931, she is about to have her 93 rd birthday in June. She is just like your mother, she tought us to be independent through education. She was denied one and she knew that her life would have been different if she had the opportunity to finish school like her brother who got a PhD in economics. I will be forever grateful for her wisdom and determination to give us a better life, the one she wanted for herself. Thank you for sharing!

      2 weeks ago
  3. Chanel Adams

    My mom’s courage.

    Also, those are able to overcome such difficult circumstances and obstacles in their life.

    2 weeks ago
  4. Charlie T

    I am inspired by people that have faced
    injustice, and continue to have compassion.
    I am also inspired by all of you that are
    courageously looking inward and continuing
    the journey of gratitude, empathy, kindness,
    love, and understanding.
    This is in spite of being surrounded by
    messages of hate, competition, fear, greed,
    and indifference.
    To make this choice, is truly revolutionary.

    2 weeks ago
    1. Charlie T

      Carol, I miss your voice here.
      Thinking of you this morning.
      I hope you are okay.

      2 weeks ago
      1. Michele

        Yes, I noticed her absence too. Hoping you are ok too Carol.

        2 weeks ago
  5. Josie

    Five months ago, a friend was diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer. After months of treatment, yesterday she received bad news about its progression. After appropriate tears & sharing her disappointment, this courageous woman once again chooses to be hopeful as we await the doctor’s advice on Friday. While it may seem like denial to me at first blush, I also recognize the grace to live in the present moment & not get too far ahead of herself. This courage inspires me to do the same today. Namaste.

    2 weeks ago
    1. Yram

      This brings to mind a quote of Mother Theresa.
      “Never travel faster than your guardian angel can fly.”

      2 weeks ago
  6. L
    Loc Tran

    I watched the Indiana Pacers vs New York Knicks game 5 of the NBA playoffs eastern conference semifinals last night. The Knicks were down 3 starters and a key rotational player in
    C Mitchell Robinson
    PF Julius Randle
    SF OG Anunoby
    G/F Bojan Bogdanovic
    to injuries. The Knicks still managed to whoop the Pacers 121-91. It starts and ends with their head coach in Tom Thibodeau. His work ethic is legendary. “The magic is in the work” is one of his trademark sayings. Authenticity, building habits, preparation, and focus are his core values. He’s earned a reputation as a passionate innovative old-school coach who has created strong defensive units and succeeds regardless of who’s available to play on the roster for a particular game from stints with the: Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, to New York Knicks. This explains another montra he has called “Next man up.”
    Thibs’s courage inspires me to persevere through life’s challenges. We are living in an age of instant gratification. That’s only on the rise. Welcome to the materialistic society. I’ve certainly been there and done that myself, and it got me no where. This brings me to my mom.
    My mom is someone who will try until she succeeds. A perfect example is yesterday when she told me a story at lunch of her childhood about solving a math problem, getting stuck for a month or 2, and finally being able to figure it out. That’s only a part of it. She’s been through a lot in her life from: having a childhood loaded with illnesses, surviving the Vietnam war and unsuccessfully immigrating by boat to the US, bringing my dad, my brother, and me to the US in 1993, and tending to my vision problems/surgeries and mental health struggles later on being hospitalized twice once in 2004 and again in 2019 for manic bipolar episodes. Despite all that, she still manages to still have a positive attitude. When my dad and others were broken down when I was in the mental hospital, especially in the spring of 2004, it was my mom who stood strong and kept everyone on their heels.
    My mom implemented the value of trying until I succeed at an early age. I started playing piano when I was 7 years old. A combination of having a strong work ethic, not being able to make friends easily, and her encouragement helped me resist the temptations of giving up leading to the part-time piano jobs I have today. It’s already challenging to find employement as someone with a disability. That multiplies by 10 when mental health struggles gets added to the equation. Giving up piano is common during the teen years. 9 out of every 10 teenagers prefer hanging out with friends and being active. Quite a few older adults over the years I’ve talked to have either said that they wished they studied or continued with piano.
    If I was discontent, I’m always reminded of my mom encouraging me to: keep trying, find solutions, and not give up. 9 out of every 10 times once we look back later on, it turns out that our minds needed to clear up. The solutions were there, but we didn’t see it at the time.

    2 weeks ago
    1. Yram

      Blessings on your mom!

      2 weeks ago
      1. L
        Loc Tran

        Thanks Yram. Perfect timing. She’s battling Step 2A breast cancer with a positive HER2. Fortunately, the surgery a couple weeks ago was successful. The worst being the 6 chemo sessions and the surgery is over. Now, the 1-month radiation and maintenance along with a cancer med process for a few years or so comes next.

        2 weeks ago
  7. Avril

    My ancestors inspire me. When I think about what people of West African descent had to overcome even to have children, it’s overwhelming. Without looking back that far, I have some pretty brave people in my immediate family. My grandfather immigrated from Barbados to Panama to improve his life. He and my grandmother had a prickly marriage, and she decided to come to New York from Panama with limited English and being a woman and black in the 1950s. They ultimately reconciled, and the whole family moved over. But that first step for her was audacious. She also worked as an accountant at a time when very few women even had jobs. My mother learned courage from her parents. She became one of the first black international flight attendants in the world. She flew worldwide to places where they had never seen a black person. Her stories about flying in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s are inspiring, and she could have written a book. She moved us to the suburbs at a time when people weren’t integrating. it may not seem like a big deal to some, however, not all the neighbors were silent. but, my parents were insistent that we deserved all the goodness in life and the best education opportunities. So, intentionally or not, I have a bunch of relatives who were pioneers.

    2 weeks ago
    1. Robin Ann

      Thank you for sharing your families story. Very inspiring!

      2 weeks ago
    2. Michele

      Like all the others, I too benefit from your reflections. Thank you and blessings to you and your family.

      2 weeks ago
    3. Josie

      I always benefit from reading your sharings, Avril. To me, the inner spirit behind your words demonstrates to me that their legacy lives on in you. Namaste to your ancestors..and to you.

      2 weeks ago
    4. L
      Loc Tran

      Avril, you have a rich family history. It’s commonplace in the African and Asian communities. Family is prioritized over the individual. Honoring the family legacy happens to be one of the ways these people show grattitude for those who came before sacrificing for them.

      2 weeks ago
    5. Mary Mantei

      Avril, I would love to be able to sit with your grandmother and listen to her story. We stand on the shoulders of women like her and your Mom. Thank you for their story.

      2 weeks ago
  8. Joseph McCann

    Migrants. Migrants throughout the world. I read of the fear of migrants from the rhetoric of the haves. A fear that somehow, they will have less. These fellow humans leave their homelands for a variety circumstances. War, drought, hunger, oppression the list of ills is long. They are not facing the hardships of walking, crossing seas in rickety vessels for the fun of placing dread in those who fear them. They face those hardships’ because life is harder in their homelands. Migrants seek a better life. I have worked with many migrants in my life. Mostly from Mexico but also from Cuba and South America. I recall many of their names. Humans. Just as I am. Nothing more, certainly not less.

    2 weeks ago
    1. Barb C

      This compassionate comment immediately made me think of the incredible poem “Home” by Warsan Shire. Sharing a link from an educators’ site because of its important discussion about the dehumanizing language in the poem. I’m glad teachers have resources to help them place this in context. The poem continues slurs and violent imagery that are part of explaining why someone would flee their homes. https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/home-warsan-shire

      2 weeks ago
      1. S
        Ana Maria

        Thank you barb and Joseph. This poem brought tears to my eyes. I know this journey well. What a powerful poem, no one leaves home when home is safe. A civil war made me and my family run away, dreams shattered by making the decision to leave. Forty four years since and the journey fresh in our minds as if it was just yesterday. Running away to safety, primal actions to survive. I thank you both!

        2 weeks ago
  9. Michele

    Anyone battling something who digs down and finds the courage and strength to deal with it …

    2 weeks ago
    1. Joseph McCann

      Such a nice sentiment Michele.

      2 weeks ago
      1. Michele

        Thank you Joseph:)

        2 weeks ago
  10. Sheila

    My great-niece has Down’s Syndrome and she was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4. She went through 21/2 years of chemotherapy. She is now 14 and is doing great. She loves life, loves school and to her everyone and everything is wonderful! May everyone’s day be blessed with peace. πŸ™πŸ’žπŸŒˆ

    2 weeks ago
  11. Carla

    I lived with a group of Franciscan Sisters in Colorado Springs, Colorado for eight years. Many of them traveled by boat to come to America from Germany. Some never returned to see their homeland or families. Once in the US, they became educators, medical providers, and nurturers of children and elders. They lived in sync with a deep abiding faith that God would provide leading them every step of the way and they would follow. I cherish my memories of them and the stories of their lives. Women of Courage. They taught me to Trust Providence.

    2 weeks ago
    1. Josie

      A beautiful tribute to often-overlooked courageous souls. Thanks, Carla.

      2 weeks ago
      1. Carla

        Thanks 🌺

        2 weeks ago
  12. O.Christina

    Yours! To love is courageous and the only way possible to live and create a peaceful, harmonious and spiritual world in His Love.

    2 weeks ago

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