GRIEF, IS IT A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD?

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GRIEF, IS IT A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD? Recently, we have lost a very dear loved one and some of my close friends have experienced the same loss. Emotions have run high and even though some of the departed have lived full and happy lives, we grieve their departures. As so many life events start my blogging mind to turning, the thought of how we handle grief or how it handles us makes for an interesting blog topic.

grief
ɡrēf/
noun
  1. deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.
    “she was overcome with grief”
    synonyms: sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair; More
    informal trouble or annoyance.
    “we were too tired to cause any grief”
    synonyms: trouble, annoyance, bother, irritation, vexation, harassment

    This is the definition of grief as Google search defines the word. What I would like for all of my blog followers and readers to consider is “IS GRIEF ONLY THE MENTIONED DESCRIPTIONS?” or “IS GRIEF A MULTI-COMPLEXITY OF A LOT MORE EMOTIONS THAN THIS LIST?”

    sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair

    Of course, emotions of this nature are part of the grieving period and I feel confident most of you at some point after a significant loss of a person have felt most or all of these emotions.  One other emotion can easily be anger, common when the death is unexpected or a tragic death. These emotions are one side of the double edged sword of grief. Now let’s look at the other side of this emotional sword.

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    What about the focus of being positive about a loved one’s passing? I am sure that you are wondering how this is possible. The following excerpt is from an article which focuses on healing and how being positive can help in this process.

     

    DEALING WITH LOSS: 11 steps to a more positive outlook after losing a loved one

    The bottom line is that in order for you to heal after a loss, you must at least attempt to focus more on the positive aspects around you. This isn’t always easy, especially after losing a loved one! However, it’s important to understand that your main thoughts are creating the dominant feelings you are having, not the other way around. So it makes sense to say that when you deliberately change your thoughts from negative ones to positive ones, you will begin to feel better as well.

    But how can you focus on the positive and not focus on “what is” as you are going through the grieving process? Here are some small, but very significant steps you can take to help you to change your thoughts and feel better at this very difficult time.

    1.  The first step is to notice how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling badly, chances are you’re thinking negative thoughts. If you’re feeling happy, you’re probably thinking good thoughts. The more powerful your thoughts are, whether they’re good or bad, the more they’ll affect your feelings.
    2.  Again, the key is to deliberately try to think more powerful, positive thoughts. However, if you feel you’re just not able to think positive thoughts, try playing the “Yes, but” game.  That is, after you think a negative thought, follow it with, “Yes, but,” and add a statement of something good that came out of it. For example, you may be thinking of how much you miss your loved one. Then follow that thought with, “Yes, but we had a wonderful life together.” And then continue with even more positive thoughts, such as, “I’m so grateful he or she was in my life.” If you can, follow that with some funny memories you have of your loved one. Then continue to think of more and more positive aspects and memories. In this way, you’ll be focusing on your love and the good times you had with your loved one, instead of the absence of him or her.
    3. Speak to others about the good times you and your loved one had together. You’ll be so surprised how this helps you to feel better. You’re thinking about him or her anyways, so bring those great thoughts to the surface!
    4. Ask your loved one for guidance as to what you need to do now.  Then make sure to listen to your gut feelings and act upon them. You should receive answers and wonderful words of wisdom that come as thoughts and feelings.
    5. Focus on finding the right people who will help you to heal. You will see how the universe will then work in ways to make that happen! They may show up in your life unexpectedly; friends or relatives may talk about those who have helped them; you may read about local healers in the newspaper; the list can go on and on. Just make sure to pay attention to all those who are coming into your awareness. Then trust your instincts about whether or not these people will be able to help you.
    6. Pray! Ask God and the angels to help you. When you pray, expect the help that you’re seeking. Instead of begging God, thank him, even before your prayer has been answered. For example, say, “Thank you so much for helping me to feel better.” In other words, have complete faith that your prayer is answered now—not some time in the future.
    7. Meditate! Praying is talking to God, but meditating is listening to him. As in any relationship, it’s important to listen as well as speak. When you quiet your thoughts and meditate, you’re in a better position to feel your connection with God, the angels and your deceased loved ones.
    8. Repeat positive affirmations throughout the day. Make sure they’re in the present tense and you feel good when you say them. Some examples are:  It’s OK for me to heal; I’m able to feel my loved one whenever I choose; I always receive signs and messages from my loved one; I choose to feel better today; It’s good for me to pamper myself as I heal; I discover new strengths in myself every day; God is healing me more and more every day; and I’m willing to be happy again.
    9. Try to maintain peace in all of your relationships and in the situations around you. Make a point of being with those who lift your spirit and refrain from doing anything that overwhelms you.
    10. Pamper yourself and do anything that makes you happy. Sometimes that may mean just petting your dog or cat, going for a walk, listening to your favourite music, going out with friends, sitting quietly, reading a good book, or anything else that puts you in a better feeling place.
    11. Have an attitude of gratitude. Really take notice of all the good things in your life each day. If you have time, sit down and write a list of all of your blessings. Then, whenever you begin to feel sad, make sure to take out that list and redirect your attention to these positive aspects once again.

    In order for you to feel better, it’s very important that you begin to focus on how your deceased loved ones lived, not how they died, on the blessings in your life, on the happy times, on the things you love, and on positive goals ahead of you. At first it may seem very difficult to do, given all that has happened, but after awhile of deliberately changing your thoughts to more positive ones, it will get easier and easier. Writing down your blessings, goals and memories is a great way to start. Repeating affirmations throughout the day also helps immensely. It doesn’t matter how you choose to do it, just that you make the choice to feel better! Remember, according to the Law of Attraction, you get what you think about most of the time. So, it makes sense to begin to focus on more positive, loving thoughts throughout each day.

     

Berta

I now come to why I felt this was an important message. While I see people surrounding me fearing grief, I also see another approach, a more positive one to grief. Yesterday, we attended what I would consider the sweetest funeral I have ever attended, my husband’s sister Berta Davis who was 84 when she died. I know her passing wasn’t from a sudden death but developed over the past couple of years of watching a wonderful lady who experienced a full life encounter a life which required a lack of mobility. As both ministers spoke at the service, they didn’t dwell on the grief but how she loved travel, cooking, enjoying a good meal, working with children, and most importantly how she loved her God and family. They told humorous tales and sweet memories. As much as we will miss her, they reminded us that she lived her life the way she wanted to live and she had made the decisions of how she wanted to die on her terms without machines and feeding assistance. Berta, without knowing it, inspired those of us sitting there as to the importance of living life to the fullest. She chose to live in her faith by her heart desiring a closer walk with her Lord. She chose to enjoy food and was a magnificent cook and baker. She chose to be generous to people and her church. She chose to be a teacher and mentor to children. She chose to devote her love and kindness to those she loved and touched strangers’ hearts as well. She chose to travel and explore and even take risks. I remember the minister saying she had suffered great personal losses and she grieved. What really spoke to my heart was even though she grieved, she chose to keep living and loving.

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For those of you who have also suffered losses through death and even divorce, I want to give you a thought to ponder. In all of the topics of her life, they mentioned all of the choices Berta made but they didn’t dwell on what she did for a living even though Berta was a well respected medical lab specialist for over 30+ years. That was not what she chose to be recognized at the end of her life. It was all of the love, service, charitable acts, adventures, and challenges of living beyond the loss of her lifetime sweetheart who was her only husband and the early death of one of her children. I hope you keep it in mind that it is okay to grieve but do not live to grieve but live to live and love.

LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT EVEN WHEN THE DOUBLE EDGED SWORD OF GRIEF SWINGS BY YOUR LIFE.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to the original location if known. Photos are not exclusive property of Sipping Cups but are sourced if known.

 

This blog is dedicated to Berta Smith Davis and respectfully we will grieve our loss of this wonderful, sweet lady but we will smile and laugh too. She would have wanted us to do that very thing.

Obituary for Berta M. Davis
Funeral services for Berta M. Davis, 84, of Thomasville will be 2 PM, Monday February 19, 2018 at First Newark Baptist Church, where she was a member. Rev. Steve Brooks and Rev. Mike Keown will officiate and interment will be held at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Mrs. Davis passed away February 16, 2018 at Camellia Gardens. Born January 25, 1934 in Ashburn, Georgia, she was the daughter of the late Henry Grady Smith and Ruby Wynn Smith. She was married to Donald Davis, Sr. for 38 years, who preceded her in death. She retired from working in the lab at Archbold Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Davis was the past director of the Thomas County Baptist Association WMU for 12 years and past director of the library at her church. Her hobbies included ceramics and quilting. Survivors include son, Donald E. Davis Jr. and wife Kim of Boston; grandchildren, Donald E. Davis III, Caleb Russell Davis, and Lauren Grace Davis; brothers Gordon Clyatt and wife Martha of Cairo and Greg Miller and wife Arlene of Tifton, numerous nieces and nephews and her best friend for 62 years, JoAnne Zeigler of Thomasville. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Barbara Denise Jones; Brother Gerald Smith; Sister Dee Crutchfield. The family will receive friends on Sunday, February 18, 2018 from 4 PM until 6 PM at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be sent to Wounded Warrior, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517 or the Baptist Children’s Home, 8415 Buck Lake Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32317. Guests are invited to sign the online register at www.allenfh.com.

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SUNRISE, A NEW DAY, NEW BEGINNING

The featured image above is from a previous post which applies to this message:

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GOOD MORNING! It is a brand new day and let’s start with a brand new way of thinking. Positive thoughts bring positive results. We have had enough gloom and doom for a lifetime. Where is the joy? Let’s start the parade of happy thoughts. Let’s put aside the negativity in this world. Look at the sunrise, watch a child play, follow a bird’s flight into the sky, imagine characters you see in the clouds, listen to the singing of nature and bask in life. I am feeling better already…..How about you?

Below is an excerpt from a great article which can be found in its entirety by clicking on this link:

Article dated February 18, 2017

 

Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress

Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Practice overcoming negative self-talk with examples provided.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic — and it may even affect your health.

Indeed, some studies show that personality traits such as optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that usually comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don’t despair — you can learn positive thinking skills.

Understanding positive thinking and self-talk

Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.

If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you’re likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.

The health benefits of positive thinking

Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

It’s unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body.

It’s also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.

Even though we face a lot of obstacles, a positive attitude will keep us focused on the good things in life and not the good life busters that come our way. Always keep in mind, the memory of the deep sigh of relief when a tense moment or event is over and we move forward.

Until we read again…..Arline Miller, blogger and positive thinker. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LIVING IT TO THE MAX.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location for credit references. Photos are not exclusively property of Sipping Cups and sources if known are credited.

MY CATARACT SURGERY JOURNEY II

MY CATARACT SURGERY JOURNEY II continues. I blogged the first part of the journey with diagnosis and preparation for this event in my life. I thought I would take you through my surgeries and recovery today.

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My eyes before the surgery (different color than my normal from the opaqueness of the cataract)

On January 24 th the day of my right eye cataract/correction surgery, we woke up very early and after fasting the night before, I was captured by the smell of the coffee Greg had prepared for him. I thought how we as humans don’t seem to appreciate the little things of life until we have to do without them. Greg drove and while I was a passenger in the vehicle I was aware that I could not read the road signs until we were almost in front of them. It was a little frightening with the affirmation my sight had been shrouded by the cataracts. It was time; it was past time so it gave me confirmation the surgery was not only necessary but overdue.

 

We arrived at the surgical center in Valdosta and proceeded to enter the doors. I took a long breath and concentrated on how I had been assured I would not need glasses after the surgeries were completed. Step 1 and moving. The staff was so helpful and calming. I could tell instantly, they perform these surgeries like clockwork and have it down to a science.

After some quick forms of release, I was called to the back. I will always remember Greg saying I love you as I walked toward the surgical ward door. I told him I love you and the door closed behind me. I was on my own (I am never truly alone and all of you who believe in a Higher Power understand this statement). I was mixed with emotional excitement and concern which is normal when it is our eyes. I felt confident in their knowledge and experience, but it was my eye that was about to be operated. I said my prayer and listened to their instructions. The IV was inserted and the many eye drops began to be dropped.

The prep took a lot longer than the actual surgical procedure. My right eye which had the densest cataract didn’t dilate as much as most people’s eye would dilate and after many drops to dilate it, I thought how it would feel to have a normalcy about me but then I may not experience the uniqueness of my character either and I smiled. The ophthalmologist came over again and said to all of us, nurses too “This eye has dilated all it is going to and we will take her back in a few minutes.” Trusting him, I was then fully ready to get to the next step. One of the statements the anesthesiologist nurse said to me was a very important one to remember, “You will hear us talking and you will feel a slight pressure of the doctor touching your eye, and you can answer the doctor if he asks you a question, but what we give you to relax will keep you from caring.”

I was wheeled on the same stretcher to the surgical room and one of the most dramatic feelings was the drop of the room temperature. Sterility at its finest. I saw the doctor and the same nurse who validated my non care attitude that was coming shortly when she said I am going to add the comfort juice to your IV. I had my head and shoulders taped down with explanations and nothing seemed to alarm me at all. I understood what she meant by “You won’t care.”

The next part of my journey may not appeal to many of you, especially if you are squeamish but with my curious, non caring soul at the time, I was fascinated that I could see what the doctor was doing. It was as if I was watching a movie of sci-fi and I was glued to the screen (might be that taped would be a better description since I couldn’t have moved if I had wanted to move). I saw the base with the broken cataract lens and it looked like tiny mountain formations which disappeared in a few seconds and returned the “land of my eye” to a smooth desert. I was asked by the doctor to look at the red light and tell him when it disappeared which it did quickly. He then said “You will feel a light pressure” which I felt and then what I consider a WOW moment, I saw a tiny tool bring a folded piece of material inside that flat desert which was my corrective lens. I watched it quickly unfold and then with a few tasks, the doctor said, “we are done.”

I was pushed back to the same area and given some water (could have had other drinks) and some pretzels. I was thirsty and even ate a few pretzels and then I saw the most beautiful sight, Greg coming toward me. It was only a few minutes and we walked out to our vehicle and believe it or not, my first cataract had been removed and my vision in the right eye had been corrected.

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A protective patch will be placed over your eye following cataract surgery. (Image: Vance Thompson Vision)

I don’t want to say this was a joy ride but worth every minute of putting the drops in several times a day and wearing the shield for the first 24 hours and then each night for a week after each surgery. My recovery is great and even though I had to have an additional drop for some pressure in my eyes. I have 20/20 in my left eye and my right eye is very close with a 20/18 and good hopes that will improve even more. I have one more follow up and then will be dismissed.

What should you expect during cataract surgery recovery? http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataract-surgery-recovery.htm via @AllAboutVision

I hope if you have to have cataract surgery you will seek a professional, caring ophthalmologist like I have and keep a positive mind as the inconvenience you encounter is well worth the end result of seeing this world with all of its beauty.

I am attaching a photo showing my eyes a few days after the second surgery:

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“SEE” what you can look forward to seeing after your surgery.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material if known is sourced to original location. Photos are not exclusively the property of Sipping Cups and sourced if known to original location for credit.

My Cataract Surgery Journey

MY CATARACT SURGERY JOURNEY was a successful journey with my vision restored to a very satisfactory level. Many of my Facebook/Twitter friends watched from the sidelines and cheered me on. I thought some of you might want to read about it. Many of you may be too young to even think about cataracts at this time but take it from me that interim time will pass faster than you realize. So travel with me so that when that time comes, you might know more than I did upon diagnosis.

 

noun
1. a descent of water over a steep surface; waterfall, especially one of considerable size.
2. any furious rush or downpour of water; deluge.
3. Ophthalmology.

  1. an abnormality of the eye, characterized by opacity of the lens.
  2. the opaque area.

    Cataract is a painless condition where the normally clear aspirin-sized lens of the eye starts to become cloudy. The result is much like smearing grease over the lens of a camera which impairs normal vision. Causes of cataracts include cortisone medication, trauma, diabetes, and aging. In fact, cataracts will affect most people if they live long enough. Diagnosis can be made when a doctor examines the eyes with a viewing instrument. Symptoms of early cataracts may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. If these measures do not help, surgically removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens is the only effective treatment. Removal is only necessary when vision loss interferes with your everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching TV. You and your eye- care professional can discuss the surgery and once you understand the benefits and risks, you can make an informed decision about whether cataract surgery is right for you. In most cases, delaying cataract surgery will not cause long-term damage to your eye or make the surgery more difficult.

    Reviewed by Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS on September 17, 2009

    Image Source: Dr. Umberto Benelli, MD, PhD/EyeAtlas

    Text: MedicineNet – Cataracts

I heard the word cataract a couple of years ago while I was having my regular eye check up. I wasn’t alarmed because the optometrist stated it was very small and it would probably be 10 years before I would have to do anything about it. That sounds good, right? It would prove to be a false sense of procrastination. Fast forward 2 years to January 2018 and I told my husband I had to make my eye appointment now. He accompanied me because I had started experiencing moments of total blurriness especially when I was in a retail store and panicked when everything in front of me blurred and I blurted to my husband Greg that I couldn’t see. He didn’t understand at first until he saw the look in my face that I actually could not see anything but blurry light.

I went through the normal procedures thinking I needed new prescription for my glasses but that was not the case. After the initial tests, and I got in the patient chair to do the run through the eye charts, I realized I could not see the large letters with the exception of those huge letters at the top. My gut reaction was how did my eye sight diminish so fast. I have Type 2 Diabetes and then my heart seemed to drop to my stomach. I had heard all of the horror stories about blindness associated with diabetes. I could tell my blood pressure was going up and my heart started beating faster.

After the “failed” exam, the optometrist came in and his first words were “I don’t know how you are functioning.” I didn’t argue as my defenses had come down with the exam. At that time, I heard that soon to be dreaded words cataracts in both eyes and the right one was massive. He is a wonderful optometrist and walked me through the extra tests and confirmed I needed a referral to the ophthalmologist.  Greg sat in during the discussion and some extra tests before we shockingly walked out referral appointment in hand.

The next step was another exam with the dreaded dilation of my eyes which is another story for another day. It was confirmed surgery was required to remove the cataracts with one surgery one week and another the following week. Schedules and what to expect, cost, recovery time were professionally discussed and instructions not to stress my eyes prior to the surgery were “stressed”.

I took a picture of my eyes before and I saw something that struck me as weird at the time. My eyes have always been a gray blue but when you look at the photo, you have to notice the change in the color which has to be due to the cataract opaqueness.

The photo on the left is prior to the surgery and is what I referred to the change of color but the one on the right is after the right eye had been operated on and not only can you tell the dilated pupil in that eye, look at the difference in color and clearness of the right over the left eye. It makes sense to me now but I thought maybe someone else can learn how a color change in your eyes might signal a cataract existence along with blurred vision.

Tomorrow I will move farther in my journey encompassing the surgery. I don’t want the blog to be so long that the interest my fail. What I leave you with this morning is I am doing fine from the surgery and recovery. It helped that I had been with my Mother when she had her surgery but with time and technological advancement, I found it very intriguing what is being done in this field. For those who are curious, I have attached the link to a video on the surgery. It may not be the same as I had performed, but it gives you the idea of the surgery.

Cataract Surgery

Until We See Each Other Again……Arline Miller

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location and/or credited. Photos are not exclusive property of Sipping Cups and if known, sourced and/or credited.

 

 

Coming Soon…Back to Blogging

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Good morning my blog readers!

This is a quick message to let you know Blue Eyes will be returning soon for a weekly blog posting. I received a great report from my optometrist yesterday and with an addition of a new drop to lower the pressure in my left eye, he said I was progressing very satisfactory….excellent to be precise.

The photo above is the in between time frame when one eye, right one had been operated on and corrected and the left one still to go. The difference is significant. The featured photo is after both surgeries. I took a photo and it is below that shows my eyes before the surgery with the cataracts. I think you will see they change the eye color as well as block clear vision.

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I want to catch up with my work this week and then share my experience with you. I found out a lot during this period and of course I apply it to life in general.

Stay tuned….I will be back…..Arline Miller

ONE DOWN AND ONE TO GO

Good Morning,

Tomorrow I have my left eye cataract removed and the corrective lens inserted. I had my right eye surgery last Wednesday and I am excited about completing this procedure.

I hope to return to my blogging soon afterwards and I appreciate all of you who have been reading some of my previous posts and checking out the other pages.

One of my objectives is to do a series of posts introducing some of the dishes I have learned are better for my health but are tasty to prevent the boredom. I have some friends who have Facebook pages on wellness eating and I will ask them to guest blog too.

I hope to “see” you soon.

Thanks for your patronage of the blog.

Here are the many looks of your blogger, Arline Miller with and without glasses. Wait a minute I think I resemble some animals in some of them. Just kidding but then again, I am not seeing very well at the moment……Until We Read Again…..Arline Miller

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS WE TREASURE

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS WE TREASURE…and I should add THE MOST. Even though I am living in a blurry world right now until I have the cataract surgery in a couple weeks, I was reminded how much little things are huge in our world. I am focusing on some personal memories for this message but I want to exemplify the message by pointing out the “feel good” messages and news. They warm our hearts when we hear or even reach out to a total stranger and lend a helping hand. Right? You are going through your memory bank at this moment and pulling one or more of those “feel good” memories and your heart is beginning to warm even if it is freezing outside.

This inspiration started when one of my FB friends posted a video which I am linking for you to take a minute or two and realize how much we can touch another’s soul or have that same person touch ours. Please look and let it soak in before I go into some little, but huge tugs at my heart:

 

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I added this because this was the second point of inspiration for this message and I want to share what was so beautiful and inspiring from our Mom’s actions. Momma lived on a fixed income so extra money was not available so she found ways to help others in the most creative ways. Until close to the end of her life, Momma would find out what her neighbors favorite dishes were and asking a place to eat that had to discard unsold leftover food to “bag it up” and when she was not able to load or unload it, those sweet workers would load her trunk with the otherwise discarded food and off she would go to several homes and she would blow her horn and tell them where she had their portions placed. Yes, it cost her a little in gas and time but she thrived on being a gifter and seeing them smile.

Another time when she was younger and working, she would bag up the leftover sweets and drive over to a home which had a lot of little ones who would yell, “It’s Aunt Bea” when they saw her smiling face. She would hand the bag of goodies out the window and drive off to another one. It gave her so much happiness to share what was available.

Momma grew up in the depression and she had the memories, not stories, of doing with little and any kindness from another was welcomed and appreciated with all of her heart. She never forgot one person who had helped her, cared for her, or sacrificed for her.

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I could tell countless stories about Momma but I was doubly blessed with a Daddy who had a heart that was irresistible to babies and small children. He would give when he didn’t have it to see that little children had a little treat or gift. I will share this story which was posted by a family member who remembers to this day Daddy’s visit to their home:

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Mark Lott is with Cynthia Lott and 2 others.

THE CHRISTMAS SANTA WAS A DAY LATE

Christmas is a time of giving and a time of receiving in the eyes of a child. After the gifts are open and Santa is gone it is a time for playing and excitement for many little boys and girls. There was a Christmas that two special parents were unable to buy gifts for their four little angels. It was Christmas day and these little ones were not allowed to go out and play with the neighborhood children. Their mother did not want the other kids showing off their toys; causing her to have to answer questions as to why Santa did not come to see them. As parents it was difficult not to have the money to buy your children gifts on Christmas.

There was a visit from the children’s uncle that day. The uncle cared for his brother’s family very much. The children were always excited to see their uncle and their faces would always light up. He asked his brother and sister-in-law that Christmas day, “Where are the children’s toys?” The stressed parents replied there was no money for Christmas this year. The uncle smiled and said that he understood. He said they may have to stay in today! But as soon as the stores open tomorrow, Santa will come to see them.

The day after Christmas Santa did stopped by. The children were excited and ran and played just like children should on Christmas Day. There were toys, crayons, paper dolls and little trucks and cars. Uncle Arlie and Aunt Bea helped Santa out and witnessed four little children jumping with excitement. Uncle Arlie and Aunt Bea were as special to the children as the children were to them.

Christmas is a time for caring, sharing, loving, forgiving and remember what family is all about. It is a time to make a child smile and helping those in need. All this comes from having Jesus in your heart. With knowing Him personally comes the true meaning of Christmas. Without him you will never experience how special Christmas can be.

To all of the Uncle Arlie’s and Aunt Bea’s out there I want to say thank you and Merry Christmas.

All of these stories can be matched by your memories too as I am sure there are the Aunt Bea’s and Uncle Arlie’s in your families and this brings me to the focus of this message:

Please grant me the blessing of gifting to others. Please grant me a charitable heart. Please allow me to share the bounties of this life. Please, Oh God I pray, let me follow in the footprints of YOU and my parents to share love and hope to all of those who are in need. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by giving little things and time so that others will think of us and smile.

Until We Read Again…….Arline Miller

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