Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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Tangible Healing

broken-heart-from-pixabay

It was 16 years ago. The emotional pain was tangible. Like the bottom fell out of my stomach and my head was somewhere far away.

I had believed that “to death do us part” meant that we would grow old together, and travel out west chasing the sunsets.

I was willing to work on it, to do my part, be more attentive, go on vacations, whatever.

But it was too late.

They said it was just acid-reflux that made my chest feel so tight, like a fist closing around my heart.

So I had to learn to take slow deep breaths in between the sobs in the hallway sitting on the hardwood floor when the kids had gone to their dad’s new place.

It took time for the pain to subside into mere sadness. Then there were the cover-up rebounds. The first one a disaster, the second better, but stressful and not a good fit. But at least I was  making progress.

Finally, I learned to work on me, and to trust that God had a plan.

Now, my heart sings a new song, better than any song I could have imagined.

Now, the joy is tangible like the ocean waves  caressing my skin, like a cool breeze on a warm day, or a warm blanket on a cold night.

healing

I painted this during the cover-up rebounds.

(The broken heart at the top is from pixabay)

This post was written in response to the Just Jot it January prompt: “tangible,” provided by Prajakta at https://anarmchairperfectionist.wordpress.com/

This post is also for TS.

Except for the last two lines, it summarizes Chapter 13 of my Work in Progress.

 

just-jot-january

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.

 

 


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When Dreams Fade

david-and-joaanne-1972-at-carolines-6

This is my offering for the collaborative at Forgotten Meadows inspired by the prompt:

“When Dreams Fade Away.”

(The photo was taken by my friend Caroline in 1972.)

When Dreams Fade, By JoAnne Silvia

When you left me

all those years ago

against your will

and surely against mine,

the dreams in my young heart

faded slowly

into mere echos

of another lifetime.

Four decades later,

after years of doubt

and darkness,

a speck of dream

survived

asleep so deep

it barely breathed.

When the time came

that you found me again,

and you kissed me

by the river at sunset,

and I smelled your neck

just below your ear,

the dream awakened.

Sparks flew because we knew

the dream was more than just alive

and more than just a dream.

© JoAnne Silvia, 2016


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Tough Old Marines

Jerry's medalsThey knew each other in Vietnam. Jerry was one of four tunnel rats in a battalion of about 2000 marines. Dad’s unit didn’t have a tunnel rat, so when they needed one, they’d call up battalion to get one. Sometimes it was Jerry. He’d crawl through tunnels with a pistol in one hand and a flashlight in the other, and a rope tied to his ankles so his buddies could pull him back out. Jerry got away with cutting up on the radio, cracking jokes, and harassing everyone, even officers, because he was so valuable.

My dad was a Gunnery Sargent, but did the job of an officer, leading his own platoon through the jungle. He retired after 20 years in the corps and still has nightmares about Vietnam. Jerry stayed in a little longer and retired as a Master Sargent.

My dad and Jerry each earned three purple hearts during their military careers. Dad got his in Korea, being wounded in the legs and back.  Jerry was seriously wounded in the abdomen in Vietnam.

They weren’t close in Vietnam, but as civilians, they serendipitously ended up being neighbors. Jerry moved in across the street from us when I was in high school. The bond of having served together in hell ignited an instant friendship. Jerry and Dad (and Jerry’s wife and my mom) became  best friends.

As I grew older and listened to their stories, I came to respect my father and Jerry more. In spite of my pacifist leanings, my peace songs, and peace rallies, I grew to admire the strength and courage of these two men who I knew to be caring fathers and loving husbands. They’d both been close to death multiple times. They both had to do horrible things to stay alive. Dad didn’t talk much about Vietnam, but with Jerry around, the stories flowed easier. Jerry’s sense of humor was good therapy. I wonder if it kept him from going crazy.

When dad was in the hospital with is heart surgeries, and when mom was in the nursing home, Jerry and his wife, Joyce, always visited, even after they moved an hour away to the same city I live in. After mom died, they tried to help me convince Dad to move closer to us. But dad has been stubborn, staying in the house where he feels my mom’s presence. Because of his age and health problems, we all assumed my dad would die before Jerry. My dad is 84, but Jerry at 75, went on ahead. Jerry died unexpectedly this past Thursday, on Nov. 5.

November is a hard month. Dad’s sister, my older sister, and my mom, all died in the month of November, and now Jerry, too.

carrying the casket in

For me, Jerry’s death is hard evidence that, contrary to what I’d like to believe, even tough old marines don’t live forever. But I will always remember what my dad told me when I was twelve:

“Nothing is Impossible.”

It’s even possible for a tree-hugging pacifist to love, respect and deeply admire a couple of  tough old marines.

I am forever grateful to my father, to Jerry, and to others like them, for their years of dedicated service as soldiers and as civilians. I am increasingly amazed at my father’s character, his integrity, and his strength in adversity. His body may wear out, but his spirit will live forever. And so will Jerry’s.

 

always faithful even in the pouring rain

Always faithful – even in the pouring rain, as we said goodbye to one tough old marine.

 


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A Man of Hope, Heart, and Spirit

“Black lives matter, because all lives matter.” __Bishop Michael Curry

Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry of the Episcopal church gets things moving. He has the power to unite us, to help us find common ground.

I’ve had the privilege of hearing Bishop Curry speak on two occasions in his role as the Bishop of North Carolina. Sometimes, Episcopalians can lean a little toward the intellectual. Bishop Curry speaks from his heart of love with power to shake up the intellect and infuse us with the Holy Spirit. I’m excited and hopeful about his election as the Bishop for the Episcopal Church of the United States. I’m not at all surprised that he won by a landslide.

I ask that you watch this powerful five minute video of the newly elected Bishop Michael Curry speaking at the Bishop’s march “Claiming Common Ground Against Gun Violence” on June 28 at the convention in Salt Lake City:

 

“So walk together children. Walk and change this world.”___Bishop Michael Curry

 


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One Family

crayons-623067_640 from Pixabay

“We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.”

Pope Francis

 

I don’t want to be color blind.

Our souls were made

to see many colors.

A world of sameness

would be boring and weak.

We may disagree.

We may argue,

But we need each other.

We were created

with two eyes

to reflect beauty in each other,

two ears

to hear familiar lullabies,

one brain

to understand,

one mouth

to speak kindness,

one heart

to love one another.

We must learn to cherish diversity,

appreciate differences,

listen to each other,

to find the harmonies,

and work together

for Peace.

 

Flesh colored crayons

 

Top photo: crayons-623067_640 from Pixabay. Who knows who took the Flesh one?


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My Heart Walks Outside My Body

socs-badge

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is attach/attachment.

Attachment seems to have a negative connotation for me. I’m often talking, reading or thinking about emotional detachment to help people, including me, recover from co-dependency.

But when I try to think of a positive feeling about attachment, I remember my baby girl. She’s 21 years old now, but I can still remember the lovely, warm feeling of her being attached to my breast that summer I got to stay home and just be a mom. I think it was the most peaceful time of my life.

We were always close, my daughter and I. After the divorce, and after I stopped getting into relationships that weren’t right for me and accepted being single, and after my son moved out on his own, it was just me and my girl. And the dogs. For five years.

We didn’t do everything together. We had our own friends and activities, but we did a lot of fun things together, like canoe trips, road trips, and just hanging out. We also had plenty of arguments. After all, we did go through puberty and menopause around the same time. That’s what happens when you have a baby girl at the age of 37. Maybe it was a good thing it was just me and her during that time.

I know she’s felt a little displaced since I got married two years ago. She had me to herself for five years.

She’s a grown up now, technically. But she will always be my baby girl. I guess there will always be some emotional attachment between us. It reminds me of a quote, the origin of which I do not know. So I’ll just stop and look it up. (I can tell you I’m doing that because this is Stream of Consciousness Saturday.) Here it is:

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  __Elizabeth Stone

To join in the Saturday Stream of Consciousness prompt/response, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/02/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-february-1415/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

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.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! 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 right 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. Have fun!


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Be Yourself and Sing from Your Heart

It was a bit outside my comfort zone to sing  “Never Would Have Made it.” At least when I tried to sing it like Marvin Sapp. After all, I am still a white chick. But I’d asked the men at the Rescue Mission of Cape Fear, if they had any song requests for next time David and I led Wednesday night chapel, and one of them took me up on it and asked for the song.

So for the next couple weeks, I studied Pastor Marvin Sapp singing on You Tube with his powerful gospel energy. I attempted feebly to play some guitar chords to go with it. My limited ability to strum a few basic chords was not up for the  jazzy gospel notes I heard on You Tube’s guitar versions. It just wasn’t working for me. But I liked the song itself. It moved me in a good way, because the words rang true.  I never would’ve made it throught the darkness without God’s son carrying me, sometimes dragging me kicking and screaming. Cartoon about footprintes

So I decided to sing the song a cappella after the scripture discussion Wednesday night about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. As I started to sing, I felt myself being pulled into the song. Sometimes when this happens, I forget my place, especially when I’m playing guitar too. But this time, it flowed just fine. I snapped my fingers gently on one hand like I’d rehearsed it.  My other hand moved to my heart, as I sang in my own simple white-hippie-church lady way. My body swayed back and forth of it’s own accord.

The men of the mission have always been polite and patient with my choice of songs. As usual, they humbled me with their enthusiastic applause. The man who had requested the song gave me a warm broad smile and thanked me for singing it.  I think they appreciate my effort as much as anything else. They knew I was singing from my heart.

I realized that I’m showing them how it’s ok to try something new, in a safe place, even if it’s outside your comfort zone, even if it might not be as good or the same as how somebody else would do it. I have come to feel safe enough to stretch myself in the company of this diverse group of men who have come to the Rescue  Mission seeking shelter.  And I have been blessed with new songs to sing.

To learn more about the Rescue Mission of the Cape Fear, and the men who stay there, see my interviews in Wilmington Faith and Values:

http://wilmingtonfavs.com/2014/01/10/men-mission-big-als-story/