Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Birthdays Go On, Whether We’re Here or Not

Today would have been my mother’s 91st birthday.   I can hear her now in her unwavering tone… “shhhh…don’t tell anyone my age!”  Ever since her age lumped her into the official “senior” category at age 65 she was entitled to the perks of being a senior.  But take those perks?  Not on your life. 

Regardless of the discount offered, not in a million years would she have pulled out her driver’s license to prove she was a senior…no way.  One day I reminded her that she qualified for the discount at the little restaurant where we were dining.  She gave me “the look” and firmly pronounced, “I’ll pay the full price.”

My mother left a lasting legacy through her family and her work.  It was less than 4 years ago I wrote and read the following eulogy at her funeral:

“Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.”

Surely this quote by Albert Einstein can be aptly applied to my mother, Jean.  She WILL live on through her 9 children, her 17 grandchildren, and her 17 18 19 20 21 great grandchildren (and in the many more greats still to come). 

You know, my mother not only had her 9 children, 17 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren, she had some other “children”, too…she gave life to a dozen books.  An accomplished author, I am so proud to say that her work will live on forever. 

But in a small way, I feel I kept her from writing maybe another dozen more!  When my children, Lori and Michael, were preschool age, rarely a day would pass without me packing up the kids and heading to grandma’s and grandpa’s.

Dad was retired, but worked about 6 hours a day at his eldest son’s business.  The time he was away was mom’s quiet time at home when she would be lost in deep-thought, writing.  But it was at that time, I would come knocking at the door with my two little ones in tow. 

Mom never seemed to mind the intrusion, spending time, sometime hours, talking with me and the kids and always having the time to read them a story.

Always a mother, always a grandmother, and always the business woman.  From the early scratch paper and pencil, to the old manual typewriter, to the electric typewriter and, finally to her proficient use of the computer (which, at first, took some prodding to get her to use), my mom could ALWAYS be found either sitting with pencil in hand, at the keyboard, reading the newspapers from cover to cover, watching every news show on television, or taking a daily time-out watching her favorite TV show…Jeopardy.

Mom was born on December 20th, 1920 (a year I am sure she would normally NOT want me to broadcast) to her parents William Courtney and Gladys Beer Maddern, in the small upper-peninsula mining town of Ishpeming.  Although times were hard, my mom always spoke fondly of her childhood. 

She talked about the good times she had with her 3 best friends…the swimming in the lake, ice skating during the long harsh northern Michigan winters, even playing with dolls until she was 16…..and always spoke so proudly of her alma mater, Ishpeming High School…no other school could compare…not then, not now, not never!!! 

It was there that mom developed an early love of music and writing. After marrying dad in 1940 and moving to the lower-peninsula, mom delved into history and research, writing countless short-stories and articles for numerous publications, and always working on her books.

She was an editorial associate for Writer’s Digest School, director of music at St. Alfred’s Church in Taylor, and an organist for 20 years at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Dearborn Heights where she and dad raised us.

A past president of Detroit Women Writers, mom frequently spoke at writer’s conferences, and, with one of her biographies, Tangled Web: Legacy of the Auto Pioneer John F. Dodge, appeared on Kelly & Company, Unsolved Mysteries, and the Phil Donahue Show.  And I can’t forget to mention the countless music students she taught piano to. 

For years she visited the homes of students to give them their ½ hour music lesson….not to mention her own children’s lessons and, later, her grandchildren’s lessons.  I guess one of the great things about that is even today, many of her grandchildren have pianos in their own homes……such a testament to how her talents and guidance filtered down to other generations…..THAT is what will keep mom alive.

My mom was so very proud of her English heritage, too.  She felt a special closeness to England, so much so, that in 1964 she ventured off, alone, to what she thought of as “her country”.  She felt this closeness through countless stories told to her from her father.  Quite a journey for a mother of 9, (boarding the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth) but it was something she just had to do.

A life not without hardships, I remember when in 1966 my brother, Tony, was sent to Vietnam.  For that year he was gone, I recall my mother pulling up the footstool right in front of the TV and watching every clip that was shot of that awful war, and there was lots of film shot back then that was broadcast daily. 

During that year, I remember that if she was watching the television news, the other kids quickly learned not to interrupt…it was hard on her watching that conflict come alive on TV, knowing that her son was in the middle of it.  When I look back now, I can’t imagine how she did it.

9 children!  Can you envision that?  And she and dad instilled pride in every one of us, and turned us into the hard workers we have become.  Mom ALWAYS had dinner ready…and I mean a big dinner with all the fixings…every day.  Had to be home at 5…no matter what.  Had to be in bed by 11…no matter what.  House rules.

Mom had a long life, but in the past years, experienced terrible pain, but she was never a complainer.   As long as she could read and write, she was content.  Two days ago, mom gave up her fight.  She is at peace now.  The Lord called her home, and one day, we will all be reunited. 
Love you mom. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Changed People, Change People

Today it’s officially been 4 years since my divorce was finalized.

I’ve read where it takes about 1 year to heal for every 5 years married.   So, statistically speaking, after my 36 year marriage, before I jump into another committed relationship, I should wait about 7 ½ years. That means I have another 3 ½ years to go.  It’s what the “experts” say anyway, although everyone is different.

But no need to worry.  I am not even remotely looking to jump into any relationship, let alone a committed one.  I relish my alone time way too much.

During my first divorced year, I turned to internet dating sites.  Perhaps it was just for some “validation” I thought I may have needed.  People at any age need to feel wanted or desired. 

I met many people for first “coffee” dates, but only chose to meet a few for a couple dates each.  That was about it.  I think the dating sites helped me feel excited again at a time when it seemed all enjoyment was lost…but that type of excitement was short-lived.

These days, I am happy working at my part-time home-based job, and delighted that I can watch my 5 grandchildren while their parents can work without worry.  Nothing is more important to me than family.

In the 4 years post-divorce, I haven’t been anywhere on vacation or done anything spectacular, but I think it may be time to bust out of my cocoon.  I’ve learned a lot about life, men, marriage, dating, and most of all ME!

Whether change comes through forgiveness or discovery, I like to remind myself that “Changed People, Change People.”

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Slow Down...You're Movin' Too Fast!

I received a phone call the other day.  It went something like this:

Caller:  Hi, lmclinfromunsteranwantoknowifyoudliketomakeanappointmntforyerairbaforethehaldays.

Me:  You’re calling from where?

Caller:  Calling from unsterandwantoknowifyoudliketomakeanappointmntforyerairbaforethehaldays.

Me:  I am sorry. I cannot understand a single word you are saying.  You’re calling from On-Star? (my General Motors navigational system?)

Caller:  Yes.

Me: (Wondering what On-Star would want).  What can I help you with?

Caller: I just wantoknowifyoudliketomakeanappointmntforyerairbaforethehaldays.

By now, I was ALMOST at the point that I thought MAYBE it was me and I was having a stroke or something and couldn’t understand what was happening.

Me:   You’re going to have to slow down and speak more clearly.  I can’t understand anything you’re saying.

Her:     I'm-calling-from-All-Star.  I-wanted-to-know-if-you-want-to-make-an-appointment-for-your-hair- before-the-holidays.

All-Star?  Hair?    Then it hit me.  One day I walked into the new “Ulta” store in the neighborhood.  The store had just opened and I was curious as to what it had to offer.  When I walked in, I noticed that in the back of the store, they were cutting hair. 

I am a spur-of-the-moment kinda gal when it comes to my hair.  Although I do almost all the cut and coloring myself, on this particular day I decided to get a trim from the young girl waiting for her next victim client.  Why not, I thought, and plunked down in the chair.

If you had asked me the name of the salon inside the store, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you.  I thought, perhaps, it was just called Ulta…like the store.

Anyway…now…a couple months later, I received the dreaded sales call.

What is happening to the English language and our young people?  I am horrified!  SLOW DOWN!  Annunciate your words, PLEASE!  I know MOST abbreviate in text messages, but must you speak in abbreviations, too?

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

Then today, when I picked up my local paper, a Mr. Frank Beaumont, hit the nail on the head, when he wrote: 

Some can actually understand this overheard conversation:

              “No, Twirlytweet”

Most of us would scratch our heads and wonder what was said.  


             "Did you eat?"
            "No…did you?"
             "No, It’s too early to eat."

I wonder if the English teachers (or ANY teacher) ever tell their students the importance of clearly annunciating their words.  I’ve seen some local access cable shows and by what I see on the “news” channels from our local high schools…….I highly doubt it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pay It Forward

It’s strange how things happen.  Many times we don’t realize the forces and influences at work behind the scenes in our lives.  One such force happened recently to a friend of mine.

As she traced back the sequence of events, it’s easy to believe that there’s some sort of master plan for all of us.  Call it fate, call it destiny, or call it God’s work.

My friend, I’ll call her Sharon (because that’s her name), works in marketing at a suburban Costco.  She’s pleasant,  can talk endlessly, and tells a heck-of-a-good story.  She’s the childhood friend I mentioned in my previous post.  The one I reconnected with after a 47 year absence while we both were busy raising our families and living our lives.

Sharon held a variety of positions.  She married and had her two children a bit later in life.  It was after her marriage that she began to live a privileged life…for a while.  While her two sons were still quite young, though, Sharon’s husband deserted them and Sharon ended up raising her sons as a single mother. 

Sharon pulled herself up, got a job, an apartment for herself and her two sons, and, eventually, sent both sons to college.  All the while, scrimping and saving (along with a student loan) so the oldest could attend school.  He has his degree now.   Job opportunities took him out of state and he is on his own now.  One down, one to go.

Son number two is also attending college.  As with many college boys, Son 2 tired of the college dorms after his Freshman year and opted to stay in a house on campus for this, his second year.  Big plans and lots of hyped-up talk between him and his friends had been taking shape for months and months.  Out of the dorm and into their own house.  As time went on and Freshman year came to a close, promises of living arrangements for Son 2 and the guys were forged…or so they thought.

Summer came and there was still excited talk of moving to a house on campus with friends.  But, boys will be boys.  It’s now the end of August and Sharon is beginning to get more than a little uneasy because final, concrete plans for her son’s living arrangements haven’t come to fruition yet.  Of course, Son 2 says not to worry and goes about HIS life without a care.

Finally, two days before the semester is about to begin, panic sets in (for Sharon)……no house or apartment to be found.  So now, mom sets into motion HER plan.  STAY IN THE DORM.  Of course Son 2 doesn’t want to hear of it and says he’ll just crash at a friend’s place.  Well……that ain’t gonna fly with Sharon.

Frantic phone calls to get a last minute dorm.  Nothing.  More phone calls.  Up the chain of command.  Nothing.  Sharon begs for a closet, even.  Nothing.  Countdown…One day ‘til school.

Meanwhile, back at Costco. A woman enters the store and proceeds to the Return counter.  The woman is obviously upset.  She has a telephone to return, minus the box, that she had purchased a couple weeks prior at another Costco location.  The phone, she explains to a young girl at the return desk, obviously is used as it has messages on the built-in answering machine.      

The young girl at the counter, trying to help, is beginning to get flustered herself.  She stops Sharon, who “just happens?” to be walking by, and asks her if, perhaps, SHE could take care of this woman’s predicament.

The worried woman returning the phone proceeds to tell Sharon her problems.  The woman told Sharon that she is the caretaker for an elderly man and had purchased this phone for him.  After the woman figured out the new phone was, indeed, used, she is now returning the phone to the store. 

While traveling the roads to her local Costco, there “just happened?” to be a terrible accident just ahead of her.  The roads were blocked from traveling any further, and traffic was backed-up for miles.  She explained to Sharon that she had ALMOST turned around to go home, but “just happened?” to detour around.  She had wrongly entered the freeway and didn’t really know which way she was travelling or exactly where she was going.  Twenty-Six MILES later, far out her way, she “just happened?” upon THIS Costco.

At an attempt to lighten the lady’s troubled state at being out of her familiar territory, Sharon “just happens?” to relay a “You-think-YOU’VE-got-troubles?…Listen-to-THIS” story.  Sharon began telling her the problem with Son 2 and his lack of living arrangements with school starting TOMORROW!  Sharon explained the endless calls she had made to the college to no avail and there were Absolutely.  No. Vacant.  Rooms.  Son 2 HAD to have a place to stay or his student loan would be withdrawn.  The hours were counting down.

Both women eventually found laughter though their shared tears while Sharon wrote up the return item and refunded the woman’s money.  The woman excused herself momentarily to place a phone call on her cell.  Minutes later she again stepped up to the Return line and, as a “thank-you,” slipped Sharon a piece of paper with a scribbled phone number on it.  The women asked Sharon to call that number saying it was the number of the elderly man she was caring for and it “just happens?” that, possibly, he could help with her son’s predicament.

The next morning, with Zero Hour approaching, Sharon was desperate.  It was the day before school was to start.  Sharon picked up the phone and obediently dialed the number that was scrawled on the crumpled paper.

An elderly gentleman finally answered after several rings.  Not knowing who this man was, friendly, great-story-telling- Sharon proceeded to share her dilemma with him.  The two began talking as if they were old friends.  The man finally asked for her number and said he would return her call within a couple of hours.

The minutes ticked away.   Finally.  It was the man again.  He told Sharon to jot down an address.  The address turned out to be a dorm room on the campus Son 2 was attending.

Just like that.  A room appeared.

One day later, Sharon “just happened?” to receive another call.  This call was from an elderly woman.  She wanted to thank Sharon! 

“Thank ME,” Sharon wondered?

The elderly woman explained that she was the wife of the elderly man.  She went on to relate a story about how, ever since he had been ill, her husband had been quiet and somewhat withdrawn sitting in his home-library for hours on end.  “But today,” she beamed, “he’s been bouncing around here like a new man!”  The wife went on to say that just the fact that he could do a favor for someone who needed his service made him feel alive again.  So she thanked Sharon again.

Is it fate?  ls it destiny?  Is it God’s work?  Next time YOU meet a stranger, pay YOUR good fortune forward.  It could “just happened?” that YOU may be helping someone… or… it could “just happen?” that THEY may be helping YOU.   

We’re all connected in one way or another…..whether we realize it or not.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Two Score and Seven Years Ago

I recently had the pleasure of attending a reunion.  Not a college or high school reunion.  But a reunion of my Catholic grade school – the Our Lady of Grace 8th Grade Class of 1964 from Dearborn Heights, Michigan.

LIFE happened in those narrow halls - those classrooms that sat 50 students each - and in the adjoining church.  It’s where we shared our lives, learned together, worshiped together and played together throughout our formative years.  Our classmates were our neighbors.  We knew one another’s parents and siblings.  We grew up together in a simpler time, and we were part of the Our Lady of Grace family.

Forty –seven years ago, 150 of us innocent 8th grade students, left the confines and security of the Catholic school halls we had roamed lined-up in for the past 8 years.  For the first time, we were leaving behind our safe, secure friendships.  We were now parting – splitting - to attend one of a dozen or so high schools in the area.  Traveling our separate ways, but each carrying inside us that solid foundation which was to remain with us for the rest of our lives.

So it was with much enthusiasm that I looked forward to seeing old friends that I hadn’t seen in 47 years!  I must say, and I’ve been told -- to my benefit, and even to my detriment -- that I have a most accurate memory.  I knew just about everyone there…and there were close to 100 people who came out to celebrate our past that day.  What a testament to our happy childhoods!

While enjoying acquaintances, I kept my eyes peeled for a few of my very best friends.  Funny how 47 years can slip by so quickly. 

There she was!  In walked one of my favorite partners-in-crime.  You know, things like prank phone calls (Is your refrigerator running?), eating burgers and drinking phosphates at the drug store counter (each visit paid with a silver dollar “borrowed” from my friend’s much older brother’s coin collection…OMG). 

My friend and I tried our first (and my last) cigarette together.  We sang “Goin’ to the Chapel” in harmony thinking we sounded every bit as “cool” as the Crystals…and we DID!  And by the grace of God, our short bouts of pyromania on my friend’s kitchen table didn’t erupt into anything serious!

We looked for boys together – dreamily, from afar - at the nearby Detroit public pools, at the outdoor ice pond in the winter, and spent many many Sunday afternoons in the movie theater watching every Beach Party movie starring Annette and Frankie.   

Most importantly, we LAUGHED together.  We laughed in church…all the time (in our defense, we had to attend mass EVERYDAY), which invited trouble from the Principal, Sister Leticia.  Even 10 whacks with a ruler on the knuckles couldn't stifle the giggles. 

One time a teacher stopped teaching the class until my friend and I stopped laughing.  We tried to contain the laughter, but as our shoulders bobbed up and down uncontrollably , and the snorts of laughter seeped out, the whole class couldn’t help but join in the infectious, hysterical laughter.

My friend and I have reconnected now.  Lots of laughter again, too.  Phone calls that go on and on into the wee morning hours.  It’s almost as if no time had passed!   We’re still playing catch-up with these crazy lives of ours.  Talk of family, children, ex’s, and how our lives turned out, and how much more we still have to do.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Old Mother Hubbard

What began as a simple search for a small can of chicken broth to take a stab at a new soup recipe, ended up as a total purging of my kitchen cupboard.

I do skim through my cupboards occasionally. 

When the boy-scouts solicit door-to-door in their quest for can goods to benefit the local community pantry, I rummage through my cabinets to donate to this worthy cause. 

When the mailman, through the post-office, makes his yearly appeal for food items, I dig in again and fetch a few more items.

So see?  As I purchase new food, I do clear away the un-used…or so I thought.

But during my hunt for that elusive chicken broth, I came across cans, bottles and boxes of food that….well, let’s just say, were a tad significantly outdated.

Out came cans of veggies, bottles of dressings, cartons of bread crumbs, jars of sauces, and boxes of assorted jellos.  Some containers dated from years back.  Where did the time go?

Since my divorce almost 4 years ago, I don’t cook or bake nearly as much anymore.  Throughout my 36 married years, I had always made dinners…full course meals. Meat, potatoes, vegetable, bread, dessert.  And I always had plenty of food.  Growing up in such a large family, I witnessed food served in large quantities.  Good food, too.  Huge bowls of home-made spaghettis and stews.  Large pans of oven-baked chickens, and flavorful roasts.  And don’t forget the long sheets of pastys (U.P Style) by the dozens, coming from the oven.

Even now, when entertaining, I always have enough to feed an army…no matter what the occasion. 

You can take the girl out of the large family, but you can’t take the large family out of the girl.

So now I have outdated cans, cartons and bottles cleared from the cabinet sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor.  Out to the trash just in time for garbage day.

I’m confident I’ll be back to the grocery store soon to begin re-stocking.  This time, I hope to re-stock much more slowly.  Now where’s that chicken broth?

Monday, September 5, 2011

End of Summer

With the last days of summer on the horizon and the searing heat at 98 degrees today, I headed outside thinking I would make use of my swimming pool one last time for the season.  The pool beckoned my family throughout the scorching month of July, but as soon as August came around, the enthusiasm for swimming at grandma’s dwindled.

That happens every year.  Seems as if during June and July the deck is filled every day.  People (me) soaking up the early summer sun, and kids swimming.  But by August, it’s as if we’re already looking for some slightly cooler days.   So I was playing with the thought of closing the pool next week, a bit earlier than usual.

Besides, my pool chemicals are down to the last tablet and I just hate to head to the store for more because then I'd have a full barrel of chlorine sitting all winter long. 

I must proudly admit, though, that in the 5 summers since my divorce (I can’t believe it’s been that long already) that I have been caring for the pool on my own, I have had C-R-Y-S-T-A-L clear water.  Almost unbelievably so.  I don’t understand what the problem was all those years before….humm. 

The only help I need on occasion is with some muscle for opening the chlorine-feeder.  That so-and-so (the chlorine-feeder) is as tight as a drum.  My son fits the muscle requirements.   Luckily the feeder only needs to be wrestled-open every 3 weeks or so.

Anyway, if I am not playing working at my desk, or watching my 5 grandchildren, I am usually outside “playing” in the water.  Today, when I stepped out to use the pool, I noticed that the deck needed a light scrubbing.  Out came the hose, but when I looked up near my dining room window, I spotted one of the ugliest spiders I have ever seen.

I am not afraid of much. 

I take that back……..that’s a lie…a big, bold-faced, mortal-sin lie.

Let’s just say that spiders are ONE of my fears.  Although since being on my own, I’ve noticed that my fears have diminished.  I guess you do what you gotta do.

Anyway, after seeing that eight-legged arthropod beast, I was a little repulsed, but I was gonna get that sucka if it was the last thing I did. 

His web covered much of the diameter of the window.  At least I am assuming it was a He – all the more moxie for me to get him!

Don’t tell PETA, but I was armed with a hose primed to the POWER setting; I had a gallon-sized jug of Home Defense bug spray ready to drown that creepy-crawler; and I had a broom. 

Was that enough power for defending and protecting poor little me?  

Oh yes…my camera.  I ran inside to fetch it so I could document this huge undertaking.

Should I broom him away first and THEN spray the heck out of him?  I decided to spray first. 

I pumped up that blankety-blank jug until the pressure in the little release valve was ready to burst.  Cocked and ready, I pulled the trigger and let him have it.  


Probably over-kill, but he eventually fell to the ground where the broom did its job.  Smash. 

I took my trusty hose and washed him (what was left of him) through the deck and down-under.   Gone.  Nothing.  Nada.  Safe again.

What’s that saying?  Where there’s one….?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Manicures, Pedicures and Massages…Oh My!

Mannies. Peddies. Facials. Massages. Waxing. Even cuts and colors. I am not into them…not too much, anyway. I normally make an appointment for a haircut only when I desperately need a trim after too much of my own “butchering.” So, yes. I normally take care of my personal needs myself. Except for last week.

I ducked into a small neighborhood salon for a quick manicure and pedicure. I had no appointment. When I pulled open the door, I noticed 3 chairs. Two of the seats were occupied with women reading and relaxing while having their toes painted.

It was after a quick glance to the sign on the wall indicating only $35 dollars total to have my fingers and toes done, that I noticed a young girl curled up sleeping on the couch in the waiting area.

One of the women working yelled out something to me that sounded like “what do you want.” I told her what I had come in for and she motioned for me to have a seat.

After only a few seconds, the young girl dozing on the couch awakened. I presumed that the women who had asked me what I wanted woke the young girl when she blurted out something to her in what I believe was Vietnamese.

The young girl with the pale skin woke from her sleep and disappeared into the backroom just as the older woman quickly waved the back of her hand at me as if she were shooing me away. She was directing me to the shelf on the wall holding an array of vibrant, multi-colored nail polishes. She ordered me to “pick color.”

A minute later, the young girl reappeared from the backroom and motioned for me to take the third seat, next to the two ladies who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their peddies.

I placed my purse on the floor next to me, and removed my shoes and set them next to my purse. I placed my feet up on the foot rest while light colored blue water swirled into the small tub below me filling the basin to the brim.

To my left was an acquaintance I knew when our children were in school together. We were making some small talk when suddenly, on my right leg, I felt a Tap. Tap. Tap.

I turned from my conversation and eyed the dark-haired young girl. I must have had a puzzled look on my face. She tap tap tapped me again. Was I supposed to know what that tap meant? She did it a third time. Tap. Tap. Tap.

I think I even started to ask her what she wanted, when I realized she wanted my right foot to soak in the water. Duh. I felt a bit foolish at first. I lowered my toes into the water, and went back to my conversation with the lady in the adjacent chair.

Tap. Tap. Tap. NOW what, I thought. The tap was on the right leg again. I assumed that means out? Tap. Tap. Tap. This time on the left leg. Well guess what? I was finally catching on.

This tapping seemed to go on numerous times. It was beginning to get comical…to me, anyway. Both feet were never in the water at the same time. In..out…in…out. Never a word, not a motion…just that Tap…Tap...Tap.

When it’s time for my next manicure and pedicure, I guess I will be digging out the polish remover and nail color and doing my own nails. I can paint them as well as the next girl...or at least the LAST girl...Tap. Tap. Tap!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Life Cut Short.

I did something today that no one ever wants to do.   I visited a funeral home and tried to bring even a miniscule amount of comfort to a former neighbor and acquaintance.
My former neighbors are a wonderful family.  Great children.  Involved in school and city functions.  Today they are burying their son.  An adult son, 37, who was married, loved teaching his high school classes, and just all around good guy. 

Gone in an instant.  It’s not fair.  Parents are not supposed to outlive their children.  How do you comfort a mourning mother?  I can’t even begin to say I know the pain.  There are no words to comfort.

But tonight when I arrived home, I happened to see an episode of ABC’s Primetime Nightline.  Reporter Bob Woodruff probed the Mysteries of Near Death Experiences…what people see, feel, and hear when they describe crossing over from this world to the next – and return.

Woodruff himself spoke candidly about what he remembers in the terrible minutes after a vehicle in which he was traveling in Iraq in 2006 hit an improvised explosive device.  Woodruff had an out-of-body experience that he says, the feeling still effects him today.

Countless people recounted their experiences.  All describing a wonderful, serene sense of well-being.

The program left me with a peaceful feeling.  It’s a comforting thought that death is not something to fear.  That perhaps there IS more than this life here on earth.