Tag Archives: reflection

In Memory Of

Today I went to a funeral of a colleague that I have worked with for the last three years. She was a dedicated educator. She gave her life to education, one student at a time. What a sad day. She was young, retirement age, two grown children. One of her children was getting married this fall, while her other child had two small children of her own. My friend spoke to me the day before her surgery about how she was looking forward to the summer and spending time with family and friends. She spoke of retiring and not working as much.

Her death was a tragedy for her family and for education. We all speak of the day that we will retire, or don’t work as much. We want to be with family and friends and spend money that we may have been saving for a long time. We try to prepare by taking care of ourselves both physically and spiritually.

Yes, every day is a blessing. But how quickly those days go by that we quickly forget the ever changing movement of time.  Not only did I reflect about my friend’s death but I reflected on my own life and what is so truly important. I was so glad to be able to tell her children how special and dedicated she was. I’m sure they heard this message from others, from near and far, from those who’ve they’ve known for years or from people like me who only knew her for a few years.

I’m sure that every profession is thought of in a special way. From my own experience, education is a unique profession, we give and give and give of ourselves, hoping to make a difference in the process. Many of us don’t expect anything in return, being able to work with children is the gift. We all have so many memories of children and colleagues that have touched our lives, through tears, worry, laughter, or even just a smile. . But as I get older, I do realize that we are all replaceable. Once we are gone, someone takes our place to take up where we left off.

There is a time to leave and move on. I think we have all been conditioned that we need to work until the last moment, so we have enough to live on,  and so our insurance will last, we don’t want to be bored, if we feel good we want to continue to work at the same pace. Is there a magic number that we reach in years or are we given a sign to help us with the decision of continuing on to the next phase of our life?

The last posting I had was to pause and reflect. How fitting. I do think that every day is a blessing and I am thankful for wonderful friends and family. I hope that I will be guided to do the right thing, make the right decisions at the right time.

You will be missed my friend. Yes, you did make a difference. You did change lives. You were a good mother, wife, friend and teacher. I just wish you had a chance to enjoy all the riches you deserved. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends.

 

A Good Teacher

A good teacher is a brilliant light,

illuminating the prism of a life,

revealing to students a rainbow of possibilities.

by Joanna Fuches

 

 

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The Power of Kindness

 What better day than today to think of how we can be kind and loving to one another. The quotes listed below may be simple and plentiful but one gesture or thought could have an impact in someone’s life and in turn your own life. I came across this site, called marcandangel.com that focuses on becoming a better you. As I read them, I said, “Oh yes, that is so true.” I hope that you find a quote that speaks to you.

Idea: Print the quotes out. Post a quote on your frig for the week. The quotes are just a quick reminder of how to treat one another in this crazy and wonderful world we live in.The quotes help to remind us to treat people a little better than necessary, the power of kindness:

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Poem of Grief

This year, I experienced the feeling of death and grief over a loved one. It is a  journey of pain and sorrow and gradual moments of peace and tender reflection.  
For the people of France -In your sorrow; we wish you peace to bring you comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to hold forever in your heart. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. 

Seasons Of Grief

by Belinda Stotler

Shall I wither and fall like an autumn leaf,
From this deep sorrow – from this painful grief?
How can I go on or find a way to be strong?
Will I ever again enjoy life’s sweet song?

Sometimes a warm memory sheds light in the dark
And eases the pain like the song of a Meadow Lark.
Then it flits away on silent wings and I’m alone;
Hungering for more of the light it had shone.

Shall grief’s bitter cold sadness consume me,
Like a winter storm on the vast angry sea?
How can I fill the void and deep desperate need
To replant my heart with hope’s lovely seed?

Then I look at a photo of your playful smiling face
And for a moment I escape to a serene happy place;
Remembering the laughter and all you would do,
Cherishing the honest, caring, loving spirit of you.

Shall spring’s cheerful flowers bring life anew
And allow me to forget the agony of missing you?
Will spring’s burst of new life bring fresh hope
And teach my grieving soul how to cope?

Sometimes I’ll read a treasured card you had given me
And each word’s special meaning makes me see,
The precious gift of love I was fortunate to receive,
And I realize you’d never want to see me grieve.

Shall summer’s warm brilliant sun bring new light,
And free my anguished mind of its terrible plight?
Will its gentle breezes chase grief’s dark clouds away,
And show me a clear path towards a better day?

When I visit the grave where you lie in eternal peace,
I know that death and heaven brought you release;
I try to envision your joy on that shore across the sea,
And, until I join you, that’ll have to be enough for me.

For all the remaining seasons of my life on earth,
There’ll be days I’ll miss your merriment and mirth,
And sometimes I’ll sadly long for all the yesterdays;
Missing our chats and your gentle understanding ways.

Yet, the lessons of kindness and love you taught me,
And the good things in life you’ve helped me to see;
Linger as lasting gifts that comfort and will sustain,
Until I journey to that peaceful shore and see you again.

Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/seasons-of-grief#ixzz3rcLNtW5c
#FamilyFriendPoems

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Season of Reflection

fall picture

The Autumn
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1833)
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Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.
How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.

Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth
That flesh and dust impart:
We cannot bear its visitings,
When change is on the heart.
Gay words and jests may make us smile,
When Sorrow is asleep;
But other things must make us smile,
When Sorrow bids us weep!

The dearest hands that clasp our hands, —
Their presence may be o’er;
The dearest voice that meets our ear,
That tone may come no more!
Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,
Which once refresh’d our mind,
Shall come — as, on those sighing woods,
The chilling autumn wind.

Hear not the wind — view not the woods;
Look out o’er vale and hill —
In spring, the sky encircled them —
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold —
Come change — and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne’er be desolate.

I really enjoyed this poem because I can see myself sitting and reflecting on the summer and the season to come.

Compliments of About.com poetry

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Spring Renewal

Spring is a chance to catch our breath and renew our spirit…

The ice is breaking up today
The frozen river cast aside its icy coat
And set its rushing waters free
To scour away the gray debris of winter from its banks
Beguiled by this joyous flow
I, too, have cast away my care
Allowed the sun to bless my face
And burn away all icy trace of worry from my mind
Trouble will return, I know
And very soon
I must resume
The battles that define my life
But for today
It is enough to feel the sun
To watch the water running free
And like the frozen river
Be renewed again by spring

Compliments of Karen Tracy

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Open or Shut the Door

Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.
Coco Chanel

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
Helen Keller

These quotes may sound simple but they are harder to practice than you think. Have you ever worked on a project with the positive intent of reaching a solution in the near future only to find you at a stalemate day after day. For those of us with A personalities you may find it hard to admit that something isn’t working and it’s in the best interest for yourself and/or the team to move on. You may find this happening with a dilemma at work, at home or with family and friends.

I am finding as I get older that it gets easier to move on, consider different options, and not take things personal. Don’t get me wrong it’s important to give it your best shot but looking at the big picture may be just as important. Not only can giving things a break help, it may bring clear reflection and allow new ideas to surface. Try it when you become frustrated with an ongoing process or project that isn’t going anywhere. Take a risk and let go when an end is completely blocked. Life is too short. Door #2 may open up possibilities that you have not considered!

Isn’t it inspirational that Helen Keller in spite of her blindness-truly had vision and insight to the opportunities around us.

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Story of Patience

A story to tell of the wonder  and value of Patience.  You may have seen this article last year, but I hadn’t so I thought I would share.  (From Seen and Shared.com)

The Taxi Driver and the Old Lady

A NYC taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’
‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?
‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..
‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
‘What route would you like me to take?’

I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.
‘Nothing,’ I said
‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.
‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

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