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2 Memorial Services, an Earthquake and Hope


I have found this to be true, whenever you get quite discouraged or worried or overly concerned seek out a Memorial Service to attend.  Try to pick out one for someone who made a difference in the world wherever they went.

I have just attended two services for 2 great souls who passed through my life made change happen for the better.   My Aunt made each person she was with feel valued and important, she had a special joy in living and in sharing the arts and beauty with everyone she encountered.  She loved what she chose to do in life and she loved the work she had to do in her life.   We were inspired to incorporate her gracious values into our daily lives and make a renewed effort to encourage all who we encountered in our living.

My Neighbor Dr. Bob died on Valentine’s Day.   The family wanted to pick a date when everyone could gather – so the service was just this past Friday.  Dr. Bob was a funny guy – not quite standup comedian, but because he loved a gentle tease and a practical idea.  He was a General Practice Physician and he took the word “practice” to a new art form.  He was always practicing to give his best and be his best at his art.   He was an inspiring listener and teacher and oh how he could promote one to their best effort.  He was a loyal friend and he just radiated love for his children, grandchildren and the children in the neighborhood.  He loved movies – especially westerns, and corn on the cob (he was born in Indiana) and having cob tossing parties from the deck.  My children raced to rake the leaves in his yard, bake cookies and take a plate full over, and when he fell cleaning roof gutters and broke both his legs, they delivered fresh DVD’s to his door daily.  He built our hospital into a fine institution and always took a peanut butter sandwich with him wherever he went.

Both of these fine people “let go” of life, they chose not to have hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical care heaped upon them, when so many people who were suffering could not get the care they needed.  They gave gifts to others as their last moments of living and embraced dying.

Our shores were touched by the tsunami waves from the massive earthquake in Japan.  We were moved by the pictures of devastation being sent to us and organized and phoned and began the process of support for the victims and the rebuilding.  I scurried around the internet to see if those living on boats in the path were safe and okay and I called my friends in Hawaii to check with them.  The personal were safe and sound.   We prayed for and blessed the rescue workers and then said, “What can I do?”

I lost heart and was discouraged by the doomsday criers; witnessed the fear promoters ramping up their stylish ways.   Actually, I felt exhausted and alone.

I took the puppy for a walk and I forced my eyes to notice the pink camellia in bloom, the many crocuses, the pink caste to the plum trees and the hours and hours of pruning work going on in my neighbor’s yards.  Everyone here believes Spring is coming, and that energy is bursting forth.  They are planning on it as a matter of fact and taking steps to embrace it.  All this rain is cleaning the air, all this wind is pushing us along, all this anticipation is creating belief.

I went to a birthday party and there I heard other folks sharing similar concerns and figuring out ways they could participate and share their beliefs too. 2 guests were losing their jobs and health insurance, one was job hunting.  Those gathered talked about how to share with their children, how to create open dialogue, and create patterns of change that would work for their new grandchildren too.  Each person was celebrating that birthday by challenging themselves to find an action that used their gifts – we laughed and felt hopeful.

This morning I read The Comma, a local blog with this story about a minister shearing her sheep: Two flocks and a fleecing

I thought the following quote was a profound metaphor for my thinking

“And my own observation, related to the ram: “If a sheep doesn’t give up its wool, eventually the wool will kill it.” (Sheep that have been bred for centuries to produce wool are not like sheep in the wild. Wool sheep must be sheared every year, or the weight of the wool will eventually cripple, then incapacitate, and then kill them. And if you skip even just one year, the wool you get is heavy and dirty and completely useless.)”

If I do not remove the wool from my eyes, I cannot see the hope and the process beginning a new.  It will eventually kill me and my spirit – because I need to find the gifts and spring forward. There is always something budding forth – but I need to see with fresh vision to find hope.

What gift of yours do you use to refresh your hopes and dreams?

Related Reading:
People are Often Unreasonable
The Work of Everyday
We Have Met The Enemy
The Wisdom to Know the Difference

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18 Responses to “2 Memorial Services, an Earthquake and Hope”

  1. Alien Ghost Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    People with fear is willing to purchase. It is not easy to change the mentality that has been promoted and guided in such direction for so long. The wonderful thing is that, just like trees, plants and flowers grow again to a garden in the woods destroyed by a wildfire, the same does happen to people after they suffer disaster.

    It is a really sad situation created by the quake and the tsunami in Japan, but what was destroyed was all that was built after the destruction of WWII, so with all the pain and tears they hold now for their loved ones gone, the world knows they will rebuild again.

    Perhaps that is the lesson to be learned nowadays; hoping for complete safety and perfection will never be achieved, there will be problems, but when human nature get hold of it capabilities for hope and see all the wonderful things around, it gathers whatever energy is needed to rebuild, create and smile again.

    Alien Ghost recently posted..Running DownhillMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Wise words and reflection here – thank you so much for sharing. I think smiling is a good healing action too

  2. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    I’ve been following the news from Japan. It makes you feel helpless – unless you do something about it such as donating to the relief efforts.
    vered | blogger for hire recently posted..I Know I Have Wrinkles I Don’t Want to Remove ThemMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    I think too it is a great time to cut down on the use of resources, just by un plugging electronics that are not being used at that moment is truly helpful, we also got those power strips that turn off and on…..I took a Japanese shower this morning and thought about how we shower in our drinking water – another resource running out…

    Donations are great appreciated too. Thank you for you great comment

  3. Talon Says:

    It’s hard not to feel the weight of life at times. The ability to lift your head and look with fresh eyes and find the beauty is a wonderful way to lift a spirit.

    So much devestation in the world – some man-made, some nature-made and all we can do is offer whatever help we are able to.

    Patricia Reply:

    I am spending the day in silence tomorrow and I think that will be good also for my spirits.

    I am feeling like my actions and words are not having an impact or bringing about change?

    On Absurd Old Bird a commenter said “I am a Canadian, and we are trained to serve and assist.” I am feeling like the folks here are born and reared to be selfish…

    I think I might just make myself a peanut butter sandwich!

  4. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. your aunt sounds special and I’m so pleased you were able to get over to Vancouver Island for her service.

    Dr Bob sounds so special too .. and I love your stories here – I can ‘see’ them.

    The earthquake and tsunami .. are dreadful and that challenge doesn’t appear to be over yet .. let’s hope the worst of the destruction is done .. I sincerely hope so. In fact seeing the behaviour of the Japanese people in their plight should be a lesson to us all …

    Usually I remember that I’m so lucky to be where I am and who I am regardless of the present challenges I’m facing .. I will overcome, and can overcome … others can’t or will really struggle to do so .. I count my blessings ..

    With thoughts Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..How a play came to be written Samuel Pepys- Robert Hooke My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Counting blessings and counting sheep very worthwhile endeavors.
    The Japanese have much to teach us

    as does the earth.

    Thank you for stropping by

  5. Dot Says:

    Nice post! And lambies. :-) My method of renewing my hope is to remember that despair is temporary and try to look at the good things in my life, which I’m so good at overlooking. And I see a therapist because I’m not good at renewing hope.
    Dot recently posted..Music and Depressed MoodMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Very good plan Dot – I think going to a birthday party was a good way too…did you get your birthday lunch? Hope you are feeling better

  6. Arts Web Show Says:

    The most concerning thing about Japan is the aftermath.
    I heard on the radio that a nuclear power station has had some explosions and is leaking radiation.
    I’m very lucky to be sat in a relatively safe place.
    I hope they will recover quickly from this
    Arts Web Show recently posted..Performance poem about darkness- dark poetryMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Japan is an amazing gift to watch…

    We are not so safely tucked away from it, but the waves were a disappointment to the surfers and folks here did not respond to the warning appropriately.

    I hope the recovery will be quick also, but the country will be forever changed.

  7. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia,
    The metaphor with the sheep’s wool is a very powerful one. Looking around us at any given day, let alone the disaster in Japan, and it is very easy to feel weighted down. Maybe that is why there is a tendency, or perhaps should be a tendency, to look up. Even on a cloudy day, you know the sun is there.

    Patricia Reply:

    I think it is important to keep talking too – to release thoughts and ideas and keep the conversation going – that give hope.

    If you notice it there is almost no dialogue or discussion these days – just us and them – other thinking…

    Japan makes it real… and in the present.

  8. Evelyn Lim Says:

    I have been sending thoughts of love, compassion and healing to the people in Japan. I read the news but try not to read too much of it as it affects me energetically.

    Just spending time in nature and watching how nature replenishes itself gives me hope. It offers me a wonderful reminder that nothing stays constant. What we resists, persists. So the best is to learn to meet each moment with harmony. I also take the opportunity to say thanks for being safe where I am.
    Evelyn Lim recently posted..7 Tips to Overcome PerfectionismMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    I attended an evening on “Stillness” last night and we focused a great deal on sending healing, recovery thoughts to Japan. I do think they will handle it better than the USA would have.

    I too am affected energetically by this event.

    Gratitude, harmony and nature- all grand tools of healing.

    I am nearly done with your wonderful book – very stuck at surrendering….
    Thank you for coming on by and commenting

  9. Sara Says:


    I loved how you ended this post. What a perfect metaphor for opening our eyes to what’s happening in our communities, our towns, our states and our countries.

    We are connected, more so than any other time in history. This connection gives us choice. We can hide our heads in the sand or embrace our neighbors, all of them.

    Thank you for this thoughtful post:~)

  10. Patricia Says:

    I start every morning remembering we are all one….

    On my walk I pass a very polluting house (2 of them) and they are getting ugly and run down and the owner rents to noisy, messy people – and I have to use these houses as a test of my connectedness to others everyday and bless them and the people who live there – it just stops my judging cold.

    I am having trouble surrendering at the moment…wanting to push the river….I think I need to shear the sheep of my thinking