Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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You CAN HEAL your disc herniation without surgery or steroids! — My healing journey

Chronic pain can bring despair, but Ka’s healing journey inspires hope.

Fiesta Estrellas

This is my healing journey. These were the words that I wrote in 2014. I don’t have a lot of time to write right now. This isn’t getting the special treatment that it deserves, but my child needs me so I can’t write for very long. I also need to get this out there. To take the next step.

At this point, it has been 7 years. My disc herniated on July 21, 2012. It was my own personal “2012,” 6 months before the Mayan date. It was the end of an old life that was just turning out to be brilliant. And, guess, what, it still is!

However, for me it got re-injured several times, including after I wrote this post below. Re-injuries corresponded to painful times and joyful times, but the re-injuries were definite periods of debilitation. For example, in December of 2012, my back re-injured after my…

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The Only Real Coup d’état in US History

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The Prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ght.” Find a word that contains the letters “ght” in that order, and use it any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use three or more different words containing those letters. Have fun!    (From Linda G. Hill)

The Stream:

Fight or flight. I’m Sooooooo glad I’m not in that mode much anymore. It can be addicting and distracting from what we really need to focus on. But sometimes, it is warranted, a matter of survival.

In 1898 in the city I live in, the only successful coup d’état in US history took place.  People had to run for their lives because of the color of their skin. Yesterday, I attended a ceremony to unveil a historical marker to to remember what took place.

1898 Memorial Marker

It was surprisingly cold yesterday at the ceremony. But there was a good crowd. Ten names were read of the people who were known to be murdered in the coup. But we will never know how many people were killed.

Why is it important that we remember this coup, sometimes called a massacre? We need to know it happened to understand the history of our city, to understand the pain passed on through generations, and work to not let it happen again.

In 1898, Wilmington was a model city of restoration. African American owned businesses flourished as did diversity in government and the press. I imagine a city, a country, a world, where we work together and cooperatively in diversity and peace.

I thought I was going to write about my own move toward peace. I guess that’s where it starts. At least we need to work toward inner peace as we work toward peace with others.  We can do both.  It’s not always smooth, in reality, it can be hard work, but peace is possible.

You can read more about yesterday’s ceremony and the history here.

There is also an excellent novel, Cape Fear Rising, including the history which I read a few years ago.

I just want to add, getting back to “fight or flight,” that the African Americans involved in the 1898 massacre did not fight, they did not riot, they mostly fled for their lives. Now, there are different ways of fighting racism and injustice so that we can move forward together in peace and diversity.

The Info:

For more on SoCS, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/11/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-9-19/

The Rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


12 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Forgiveness and Perseverance

Sunflower w address

Just two stories today, but the first one is pretty powerful. It starts with bad news and offers hope for something better.

Brandt Jean Asks to Hug His Brother’s Killer, and the Judge Lets Him

After a long shift, Dallas police officer Amber Guyger walked into the wrong apartment and killed Botham Jean who was in his own apartment eating ice cream.  It was a horrible mistake that could have been easily prevented. I’ve been thinking a lot about this case. What would I have done as a juror? As the police officer? But I think what Botham Jean’s brother did was more important. After Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison, Botham’s 18 year old brother,  Brandt Jean, made a statement of forgiveness. Then he asked if he could hug his brother’s killer. Judge Tammy Kemp broke with protocol by allowing the hug and later by giving Amber her Bible. 20 years ago, I would have been objecting strongly to that act, now I admire Judge Kemp’s compassion.

This first video moved me to tears and the hope that maybe greater good can come from this tragedy.

In the second video, Brandt talks about what made him ask for the hug. There is an important distinction made between forgiveness and justice.

Jimmy Carter is Amazing

At the age of 95, Jimmy Carter is the oldest living former US president. He lives in a modest house and shops at Dollar General. After a recent fall, he was back to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. What a role model!

Got good news? Please share in the comments!


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Good News Tuesday

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

My personal good news is that I’m reporting from my balcony, surrounded by trees, in the  Appalachian Mountains AND my son got married on Saturday!

No Whaling in Icelandic Waters this Summer

“A shrinking demand for whale meat” has led the major whaling companies of Iceland to “abandon their summer harpooning.” Let’s hope this trend continues to spare the lives of highly intelligent and social beings.

Here’s more of the story from the Good News Network:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/no-whales-will-be-harpooned-in-iceland/

Phasing Out Plastic Bags

The states of Maine and Vermont banned plastic bags on the same day. There are some exceptions, but this is progress. Plus, Woolworths Department store is making progress in Australia.

Math Teacher Fosters Student Needing a Kidney

I always love Steve Hartman’s stories.

Amazing Grace

In 2018, professional singer, Elly Brown had life changing surgery for oral cancer. Doctors  removed half of her tongue and part of her jaw. They later used bone and muscle tissue from this her leg to repair her tongue.  Her recovery process has been a long and continuing road. She wants us to share this video to give hope to people with oral and facial cancer. You can read her story while she sings.

Got good news?

Feel free to share!

I might take a while to respond to comments. The birds are singing, and the fresh mountain air is intoxicating.  The years of heartache fade into history as my soul overflows with amazed gratitude. Oh! And there were fireflies here last night!

 


25 Comments

SoCS: “Lovely Gifts” of Healing

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Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “open book, point, write.”

Specific instructions:

Pick up the closest book to you when you sit down to write your post. Close your eyes, open the book, and place your finger on the page. Whatever word or phrase your finger lands on, write about it. Enjoy!”

Did I follow those instructions? Not exactly. To be honest, I picked up a few books and tried the pointing with my eyes closed. (That was earlier today – which was Friday since I’m writing this Friday night – almost Saturday.) I didn’t like any of the places my finger landed. Then, I went back to my original first thought when I read the prompt: Heidi.

I’ve been trying to figure out where to put all my books. How did I get all these books? Well, it’s taken over five decades. And books can be hard to get rid of, even if I’ve read them, or plan to read them, or started reading them – though if I didn’t finish, there must be a reason. Some of my books will go to the mountain house since that’s where I’ll see my grand children more, the children’s books will go there. Wait. I’m missing some books! I have a lot of children’s books that I haven’t seen lately! I LOVE children’s picture books. Maybe they’re still at my parent’s house which must be cleaned out by the closing on Monday. Whew, it’s taking a long time to get to that prompt.

I want to read Heidi to my granddaughter. It’s a perfect book for the mountains even if they are the old Appalachians instead of the Alps. The gentle Blue Ridge Mountains are ever so green right now. Get to the prompt! I know.

So I closed my eyes and pointed and this time, I liked the words. (A reminder to go with the first instinct or book.)  “…lovely gifts….” That’s where my finger landed. Good thing it was on the left, because the right was a picture. Here’s the passage:

“When the doctor arrived, he brought us lovely gifts from the Sesemanns. He quickly understood why I love my mountains so. He learned that the mountains could heal body and soul. Before he left, he told me that he thought a visit would be good for Klara.”

And the mountains did heal Klara.

I know the ocean can heal too. Salt water and ionized air, the sound of the waves… all healing as much as the mountains. What lovely gifts we have on this planet Earth. Trees that give us oxygen, bird songs, flowers…. and the lovely gifts of love in all its forms.

Doctors and medicine can heal us. The doctor in Heidi was wise enough to understand that other things heal also. Modern medicine is miraculous in many ways, but it’s soooo expensive in my country. What else heals? That’s my question for you if you’d like to answer. What heals your body, mind, or spirit?

Here’s a clip from a 2017 Heidi movie that has a lot of mountain scenes. Clara had been in a wheelchair until the mountains made her well.

For more on the Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit Linda Hill’s blog at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/06/07/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-8-19/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


29 Comments

Lonely Hearts Healed

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Today’s SoCS prompt from Linda is:

“ends with -ly.” Start your post with any adverb (oops) that ends in “-ly.” Bonus points if you end with an adverb too. Have fun!

I choose lonely. It’s not that I choose to be lonely. I’m not lonely anymore. I like to be alone with the dogs, writing and puttering around the house. But I was lonely for a partner, oh, ten or so years ago. Except that I didn’t want a partner who added stress  to my life, so I waited and learned to trust the timing. I’m still learning that with other things in my life and realizing what a gift it is to have this time to work on my parents’ old house while our house gets finished and we get to paint the walls!

I’ve been reading the letters my mother wrote to my father when he was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after having served 13 months in Vietnam. Her letters are very enlightening and sometimes uncomfortable since they are personal. She writes about how lonely she is and how much she misses him and how she (and us girls) can’t take more separations. I’m learning about how she would find me up reading at 2 am on a school night and how my sister and I were, “sassy.” We were 10 and 12. I was a big tomboy 12 year old. I know now that most 12 year old girls are sassy.  Sorry mom.

My mom was sick a lot and so was my little sister. Mom writes about a cough that won’t go away. I’ve gotten through January and part of February 1968, and she’s still coughing to the point of exhaustion. I resented my mother being sick so much with migraines and nervous break downs when dad was in Vietnam and I was 11. These letters are giving me more compassion as I read her inner struggles of taking care of a home and two sassy girls and missing her man. It also dawned on me that the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune/Tarawa Terrace probably didn’t help her get well. There’s a big thing about that now, but I’ve read many claims have been denied. My parent’s died of “natural causes” in their eighties, but I bet that water contributed to some health problems even if it didn’t kill us.

Dad used to talk to me in his later years about Vietnam and GTMO. Awful stuff. Horrible stuff that gave him nightmares for the rest of his life. After Vietnam, he came home for three months, and then they sent him to GTMO for five months. He told me he drank a lot while in Cuba. He had PTSD before they called it that. A chaplain helped him. I wish I knew his name and could thank him if he’s still alive. Thank you anyway, Chaplain who served at GTMO and helped my dad. I think he needed this time in Cuba maybe to begin to process Vietnam – a job that would never be finished. It was so hard on my mom and him. The separations put a lot of pressure on their marriage.  ( I didn’t know this until I started reading mom’s letters.)

And yet they made it through. Their deep love and their strong faith helped them through the maze and mess of PTSD and all the other challenges life threw at them. I did know that they were very much in love. They were married for over 50 years and still got smoochy sometimes. Dad used to sing to mom, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”

Love and faith and time overcome loneliness. When we are lonely, God loves us no matter what. And dogs too. 😉  I’m reminded of one of my favorite poems from Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese.”

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination….”      Mary Oliver

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I’ve probably shared the lonely people song at least a couple of times before on this blog, but it means a lot to me, so here it is again with different pictures.

 

 

 

 

PS: I now realize that I didn’t follow the prompt corrrectly since Linda asked for an adverb and lonely is an adjective.  Letting it be is my goal here. This is progress for a recovering rule follower/people pleaser.

To learn more or join in the stream,  visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-9-19/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


28 Comments

#SoCS: Family Roles and Beyond

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Hero child, hands folded.

Lost child staring into space.

Scapegoat telling it like it is.

Mascot spewing comic relief.

These are the classic roles in dysfunctional families I learned about in workshops when I started working with families of addiction. In one workshop – one of the first – we were each given a big sheet of paper and told to draw a picture of our family of origin at the dinner table. Not much more instruction than that. Just go for it. Then we were asked (though I’m sure it wasn’t required) to share our drawing in front of the group of about 20 other counselor at the workshop.

I can get flashes of the drawing and remember wearing a striped dress with a belt. I remember hesitating when it came to my mother. I’m sure my dad had USMC somewhere on his visage. I said I didn’t want to be like my mother. I was afraid of being like my mother. Afraid of having nervous breakdowns. I wanted to be strong like my father. Though now I know my mother had a different kind of strength that saved my father. I was the hero child and the lost child combo. My sister was the scapegoat after she was the mascot/clown. Then after she died, I became the scapegoat.

But after all the families I’ve encountered, we weren’t that dysfunctional. We are all learning how to cope with what got to us. And we can all move to different places at the table, or move to a different table of our own choice or creation. We can step out of our assumed roles. The hero can roll in the aisle laughing a belly laugh and dance around the living room. The lost child can become grounded and focused if she chooses to. The clown can learn to cry and be okay. The scapegoat can save the day or save himself.

Or they can embrace their favorite parts of their best roles. The hero can lift herself and others may follow. The lost child creates stellar colors of music. The clown amuses those who need laughter most. The scapegoat cuts through the crap.

Each role, each component, is inside each of us. The child remains within and comes out to play in the warm sunshine. Nurture him. Hold her. Sing to him. Guide her with love. We are survivors. Strong yet fragile. Imperfectly wise. Hungry for healing, each at our own pace. Even if that pace is standing still and breathing air. Sometimes recovery is all about resting on the earth and watching the clouds. Other times, it’s dancing and leaping in faith into an ocean of love or mystery.

Be happy now

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was roll/role.

To learn more, visit Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-17-18/

 

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!