Crystal clear vision PLUS a beautiful blessing!

Wow….. just…… WOW.

After eye surgery yesterday, I can see things so clearly now; reading will require some glasses I think but I can’t believe how crystal clear my vision in my right eye is now!

And I had the most beautiful blessing – when I got home from the eye doctor this morning, I was standing in the kitchen waiting for the coffee to brew and a beautiful humming bird came to the fuchsia hanging outside my kitchen sink window – turned away from the plant and looked right at me for a good 3 or 4 seconds! And I could see every beautiful color and detail on this little angel!!

hummingbird-fuschia

After a short, two week treatment with prednisone last fall, I developed a fast growing cataract in my right eye. And yes, I absolutely believe it was the prednisone because in June of 2012 I had a complete, dilated eye exam and no cataract was found.

I’m deeply grateful for the successful surgical intervention, the great health insurance I have and my crystal clear vision.

We, the People……

Strong words to remind us of our responsibility.

What has happened to our country is nothing less than treasonous.

President Obama has committed treason against We, the People.

His administration has continued the abhorrent, and criminal policies of the former president.

This, despite promising to do the exact opposite.

I never imagined I’d feel compelled to say this but…..

I’m deeply ashamed of my government. And I’m beginning to wonder what the hell has happened to the American people.

Who am I?

My name is Shawnna

But that’s not who I AM

I am a mother to Matt and Ryan

But that’s not who I AM

I work hard every day for a non-profit organization committed to assuring access to health care for all

But that’s not who I AM

I have been ‘in love’ a few times, but never really had that deep, spiritual connection one would call ‘true love’

But that’s not who I AM

Who am I? Today, I am an eternal, spiritual Being committed to bringing Love to all

Tomorrow, I hope to feel the same but this mortal body is subject to emotions that take me different places

I am grateful for today

Father’s Day – 2013

My father was a man of integrity and commitment.

He wasn’t passionate about politics, but I know he loved his country because he always put a flag out every legal holiday. And not just any flag; this one was huge and stretched across the front balcony of our converted duplex apartment.

I find myself wanting to talk to him more and more lately about what’s become of the country we both love. It is truly a fascist state-in-the-making and most people are blind to it.

Not only do they not see it; they don’t want to see it. Wrapped up in their every day lives, they refuse to even entertain the idea that our society is quickly drowning in a fascist toilet.

I wonder what my Dad would think of all of this. I love you Dad – you gave me my sense of responsibility and commitment and for that I’m eternally grateful.

dadandMe

Mother’s Day – 2013

Growing up, I never looked forward to Mother’s Day. Being abandoned by one’s mother leaves a very deep wound.

Today I feel incredibly blessed.

I have two wonderful sons and have done my best to give them a sense of purpose and moral compass. When I have failed – and that is more often than not – I have failed miserably.

Hopefully they don’t feel the same way I did about Mother’s Day.

Love you Matt and Ryan – more than you’ll ever know.

Mom-Matt-Sized

momandryan-Sized

christmas1988cropped

What do bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter?

I’ve often wondered about that – we have so many religious holidays peppered over with seemingly irrelevant symbols.

Then the other day I found this.

Ishtar-Easter-Explained

That made a lot of sense to me intuitively.

But my spiritual yearning for community and companionship calls deeply. Why am I so alone year after year? My Vedic astrology reading shows it will be challenging for me until 2019. Yes indeed – it sure looks like things will be quite challenging for me for at least five years going forward given my self-inflicted tax problems. Be that as it may – I will always look for the deeper meaning – in everything. My son wrote to me yesterday:

maybe you going through this right now is supposed to be how i learn my lesson?

Yes – I hope so. I’m glad to have whatever suffering I encounter serve as a Life Lesson for my sons.

Easter has profound meaning for Christians – especially those Christians who choose to follow Jesus’ message of Love. Rabbi Rami Shapiro has given me a wonderful Easter homily via his blog – and the message of letting go of fear strikes at the very heart of what the spiritual journey means.

The Meaning of Easter by Rabbi Rami Shapiro

May each of you let go of your fear and embrace Love.

A Father, a Daughter and a Dog – A True Story

A dear friend at work sent this to me and it brought me to tears as I was riding home on the commuter train. Enjoy!

A Father, a Daughter and a Dog
A true story by Catherine Moore

“Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!” My father yelled at me.

“Can’t you do anything right?”

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn’t prepared for another battle.

“I saw the car, Dad. Please don’t yell at me when I’m driving.”

My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts….. dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil.

What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn’t lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn’t do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone.

He obstinately refused to follow doctor’s orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether.

Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.

Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody.

Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation.

The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad’s troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, “I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.”

I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world’s aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.

Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. “Can you tell me about him?” The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. “He’s a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we’ve heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow.” He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. “You mean you’re going to kill him?”

“Ma’am,” he said gently, “that’s our policy. We don’t have room for every unclaimed dog.”

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision.

“I’ll take him,” I said.

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch.

“Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!” I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. “If I had wanted a dog, I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don’t want it” Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. “You’d better get used to him, Dad. He’s staying!”

Dad ignored me. “Did you hear me, Dad?” I screamed.

At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.

Dad’s lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently.

Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years.

Dad’s bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne’s cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father’s room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad’s bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad’s peace of mind.

The morning of Dad’s funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

“I’ve often thanked God for sending that angel,” he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article… Cheyenne’s unexpected appearance at the animal shelter ….his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father…. and the proximity of their deaths.

And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly.

Live While You Are Alive.

Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.

Share this with someone. Lost time can never be found.

Dog-Angel

Square peg trying to fit in

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes…..

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things…..

They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Often misattributed to Jack Kerouac, this is a perfect description for how I’ve felt my whole life.

In my almost 59 years, I’ve experienced homelessness, as well as being a country club member; I’ve perfected the art of questioning authority; I detest small talk and find those who revel in it to be generally untrustworthy and less-than authentic.

Sometimes I don’t feel like a very likeable person. My sister tells me that pretty much every time she talks to me. Needless to say, I don’t talk to her very much anymore.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed at the beauty of Life; at the incredible compassion and love that surrounds me. These are fleeting feelings that I long for every day.

I think I’m just a square peg trying to fit in.

Heavens-pink