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Do The Unexpected

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Err on the Side of Compassion

Iona Morrison I have been pushed through a rough patch in life lately. It seems when things happen they come in a clumps; never in ones or twos, but in several, leaving me feeling numb and slightly overwhelmed. I am not complaining because I know I am not the only one in the world to face a time of sorrow and loss. It has however given me a fresh perspective as I face things happening around me. I try hard to stay out of politics. To be sure, I know what I think, but how I do. may not be how you do, and I don’t want to risk friendships over politics by any means. So this note comes with a warning if you feel differently about what I  am about to write I am only stating something from the sadness I feel inside of me and it’s not meant to tell you what to think, but what I’m thinking.

I almost cried when I heard that our country is thinking of  separating children from their parents at the border as a deterrent. Life separates us too soon as it is. I yearn for more time with those who I have recently lost. One last look at their face, a few more kind words spoken in loving ways. And listening to them, really listening to what they are saying. The trauma of separation is a lot to handle as a reasoning adult, but is so much harder for a child. Ask my husband who lost his father at an early age.

I can still remember the photos of children that I saw walking through the Holocaust Memorial who had been separated from their parents one or both, facing certain death. I cried photo after photo. Children should be protected, but never taken from parents who care for them and love them. A foster home is for a child in need of loving attention not for children who have parents who would risk all in their love for them.

Life is tough enough without adding more to the load humanity is carrying. I guess I believe in my heart like he said that if I show mercy, mercy will be shown to me. I remember when I held my first child in my arms and the overwhelming love and sense of fear I felt at the same time. I would have done anything for him and my others as they came along. Much like my Irish and Scottish ancestors I would have left my own country to give them a better life if necessary. (No, they didn’t all come here legally.)

I read this from a letter / Life Lesson by David Weismann: “I don’t try to distinguish the authentic needy person from the phony. I don’t worry about enabling alcoholics and drug addicts or about being scammed or hoodwinked. Of everyone with a hard luck story or an outstretched arm, I assume the best, not the worst.

Are there times when the people I give money to are phonies? I’m sure there are. But who am I to second-guess the truth of another human being’s circumstances? What if I’m wrong in my assessment and the person really is hungry or really has no place to live or really can’t find a job and is unable to pay the rent or doesn’t have the money to pay the fare to visit a sick parent?

I consider myself very fortunate. I live quite well. I’ve been blessed. I’ve really never known what it is to not have enough food to eat or not to have a roof over my head or not to enjoy many physical comforts of life. God has been good to me. But I also recognize that there but for the grace of God go I. And I don’t know how I would manage if I went to bed hungry every night or had no place to live,”

Thankfully, I have never known true hunger or want nor have my children. I want to keep my arms open wide to bless others in the manner I have been blessed. I will err on the side of compassion and want to believe that others would do the same for me.

Saying Goodbye

Iona MorrisonLife is filled with beginnings and endings; ebbs and flows, and ups and downs. It sounds so philosophical and wise. Unless, of course, I’m the one in an ending and don’t see a beginning close at hand, or I’m in a down that sees no up in sight. I’ve told myself many times this to shall pass and it usually does. But, sometimes it means saying goodbye to what I’ve known, and heading down a path that is new and foreign to me. Goodbyes are never easy. I find them hard to do even in the best of circumstances.

Over the years I’ve had to face my comfortable beliefs being challenged by new ideas, and change. Thankfully, I didn’t freeze in time. I’ve seen my faith reduced to its simplest form, to Love, which is one of the hardest things to do, and yet the greatest. I have had to say goodbye to friends, to a way of life that was familiar, and to start over again.

And so it begins again, another goodbye. A little over a week ago my big brother passed away. Anyone who has ever lost someone they love, knows how hard it is to say goodbye to them. A big brother is someone special to have on your side. Eight years older than this pesky sister I followed him around whenever he was home. On more than one occasion I would sneak downstairs to watch him and his friends dance. He loved to dance and was often found among the dancers on Denver Bandstand back in the day. I was his greatest fan. He was my handsome big brother and I loved to be around him. He played the guitar, sang, and was in a band when he was young.

My brother was an Eagle Scout, had a photographic memory, and was a coach. He was a husband, father, and grandfather. He was witty and fun to be around. Somehow I must find the way to say goodbye and I’m not ready to. I want to have one more conversation, and see him one more time. I want to hear another one of his witty comebacks. I have a hope of seeing him again, but it’s the here and now that hurts like crazy. I have to figure out how to do life without a big brother and I’m not sure I like the idea. Rest in peace big brother you will be missed.

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Magic

An image posted by the author.Writing is more than simply putting words on a page. It has been an adventure in finding my voice and putting it down on paper. It’s about letting my characters become a part of me while still remaining myself.

I have been on a writing marathon the last few weeks. The story is building to the point I have to finish it to see how it all turns out. Putting words on paper and watching the story come to life is therapy for me. I get lost in what I am writing and yet at the same time I find myself coming through the words on every page. It’s a strange world of wonder and pure magic to me.

When I write in my own strange way I am trying to make sense of a world that often makes no sense at all. It’s not tidy, wrapped up in a bow, but often unpredictable and crazy. Life, like my books, has lots of plot twists and turns. I can’t say I understand them, I don’t, many leave me shaking my head. But writing allows me to quiet my mind so that I’m free to hear the whispers of my heart.

Getting the beginning just right takes work, winding my way through the middle of the book often times seems messy, but the end results can leave me feeling satisfied and almost euphoric. The perfect title is the icing on the cake. After i write the words The End, I walk away for a day or two until the urge to create begins in me once again. I’ll go down another road, around the curve, and weave my way through another adventure.

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Celebrate Reading

An image posted by the author. “The statistics of illiteracy in our country haven’t changed much in the past ten years. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, 32 million adults or approximately 14 % of the population can’t read. Another 30 million adults read at or below a fifth grade level. While approximately 63 million read at levels between sixth to eighth grade. On a global scale, illiteracy affects 774 million adults aged 15 or older. Among developed nations, the U.S. ranks 16th for adult reading skills. Between 40 and 44 million adults, or roughly 20 to 23% of adults in the U.S., are limited to reading at the basic or below basic proficiency levels. ” Credit Donkey

I am grateful for a mother who read to me and encouraged me to read. I can still remember the many times I went to the bookmobile parked in the school parking lot and checked out books. I would carry several books home every two weeks, which gave me hours of entertainment. I still read at least one to two books a week. That is why I am happy to be one of the many authors who will be a part of the Colorado Book Festival at the Denver Public Library on March 3. We will be there to celebrate reading, writing, and literacy in America one book at a time.

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