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The Gifts of Age

The Gift-Wrap & The Jewel by Wanda B. Goines


I looked in the mirror and what did I see, but a little old lady peering back at me
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair, and I asked my reflection,
How did you get there?
You once were straight and vigorous and now you’re stooped and weak, when I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique
My reflection’s eyes twinkled as she solemnly replied, you’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside
A living gem and precious, of unimagined worth
Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth
The years that spoil your gift-wrap with other things more cruel, should purify and strengthen, and polish up that jewel
So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
Then, when your gift-wrap’s stripped away your jewel will be set free, to radiate God’s glory throughout eternity
Wanda Burch Goines went home to be with Jesus in February 2016

HuffPost 10/12/2015 "Wanda Goines, mother to eight children, grandmother to 15 and great-grandmother of four, lives in the Cave Junction, Oregon house that her father built. Her eldest son is internationally known artist David Lance Goines, who told The Huffington Post that his mother was an accomplished artist and calligrapher who at age 87 wrote and illustrated her first published book, Bunnyfluff Wants To Fly. David Lance Goines’ posters are collected by museums worldwide, and he credits his mother with being the only art teacher he ever had."

Mail Tribune Aug 18, 2010 "Wanda Goines paints mainly in oils, though she learned watercolor painting at age 75. She has donated a series of large, whimsical paintings of babies to the Neonatal wing of Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. And she recently published a book of children's stories, "Bunny Fluff Wants to Fly," with 32 charming, full-page illustrations. "I wanted every other page to be a picture, so children sitting on both sides would have something to look at," says Goines. Alta Bates is selling the book as a fundraiser. *(Alta Bates Hospital, Berkeley, 2010)

Death and Dying

Yes there is a difference between Death and Dying. Death comes without warning and dying creeps in to take over your life with a terminally ill death sentence, stamped with an approximate life expectancy date. My heart goes out to embrace all the children who are terminally ill, they remain their innocent self while becoming stronger than they should need to be at their young age. In the adult world; sadly knowing death is knocking at the door, many people begin to get their affairs in order, make amends if needed, all the while searching and hoping for a cure that won’t kill them quicker while they are dying to live. During these times, there are those people when given a death sentence who will remain their own sweet self. Other people will react like a sports participant, running around trying to better their lives and relationships with the people they know and love; but once the endorphins wear off, they return to their normality and begin the routine of home, doctor, home, doctor, home… until death do they part. Regrettably; other people will steadily remain their seemingly natural cruel self and depart this world as seemingly angry as they entered it.

The only similarities in Death and Dying is that no matter what, when it is your time to depart this earth, it is your time. Reminds me of a true story that occurred in one of our local nearby towns. An elderly lady was involved in a car accident, fortunately a minor fender bender; so she continued her drive home. Shortly afterwards; approximately two blocks away, another truck struck her car and instantly killed the elderly lady.

Face it people, none of us are going to get out of this world alive. I can not emphasis enough to get your affairs in order. Have two Wills, a Living Will and a Last Will. Get and keep your belongings sorted, make a notarized list of who gets what or what can be thrown away; do not leave this behind for those living. Going through your belongings after you’ve passed away is not an easy task; not only does it take an emotional toll on the heart, there are also somethings that are best left unknown about your life and should be deposed of before hand or at least in a box labeled, “Throw Out Upon my Death”.

Understand the difference between a Living Will and a Last Will. LegalZoom: “A will, also known as a last will, distributes a person's property after his death. A living will, on the other hand, explains what kind of medical care that person wants when he is still alive but unable to explain his wishes”

Also, I highly recommend a Living Trust instead of a Last Will. There are Lawyers who know the gray area in the laws that can allow a person to obtain Power of Attorney after a persons’ death in order to supersede the Personal Representative listed on a Will to also replace and exclude any appointed second Personal Representative.

Nolo: "Property left through a living trust does not pass through probate. Property left through a will does go through probate. Probate is the court system designed to wrap up a person's affairs after their debts. Probate takes a long time, can be very expensive, and for most estates, isn't necessary."

As for when a loved one dies, with or without warning; forget the 5 or 7 Stages of Grief. There are no stages. Every emotion you could ever feel will rush through each and every fiber of your being; in one swift gut wrenching, heart shattering, mentally bewildered… longest moment in your entire life thus far. You will become angry with yourself wondering if you could have done more, you will question if in those final hours, did you do and say enough. You’ll doubt rather you had even said, I love you my dear Friend. It was then I truly understood just how deep friendship enters the heart, sometimes deeper than family members. I’ve probably only had 6 deaths of loved ones in my 50ish years. 4 family members, 2 friends, and have only been able to attend two of those funerals. But nothing can prepare anyone for being there when a loved one takes their last breath. Somehow though you will find the strength to be strong for them, offering comfort. And when the time comes; and it will and you will know when, in some way you will also find the strength needed to tell your loved one who has suffered enough, that ‘it is okay to go now’; all the while you are going to pieces inside.

And the closer you are to a loved one who has sadly passed away, the harder it is in that very moment, let alone daily to pick up the shattered pieces of what remains of your life and try to continue on. Two months later, I still cry without any warning and not always because a memory crept in my mind. Sometimes I just get this huge lump in my throat, then unexpectedly tears spontaneously burst from my eyes as if the very depth of my heart is weeping. Recently I was in the middle of an important job interview and my tears instantly streamed down my face, onto my resume. Did I get the job? No. Life goes on and a death is no excuse. The hospital bills start rolling in faster than the funeral. You call to make payment arrangements and the creditors knowing no payments were ever late in life, fear my friend may finally be late paying because of death. So they are quick to want to lay stake on the estate, no matter how small the estate is such as merely an automobile. And when I called the Vet to reorder the flea medicine prescription for my friend’s cat, I was denied. Angry, I merely said: after all the money my friend spent at your establishment, you are going to deny the cat flea meds because he is 1 pound over weight for the current dosage! (*Thinking to myself: Unless I agree to increase his flea meds and risk increasing his life expectancy because of 1 freaking pound.) I was quick to apologize for my outburst, however; immediately after the phone conversation, the Veterinarian Office Supervisor called; reprimanding me as if I were a child, stating a death is no excuse for my behavior. Yes people, there is no time or excuse for mourning; life goes on. So people, be as prepared as you can be in life for death while you continue to enjoy living. And mostly; when someone you cherish passes away, be ready to put on your pretend happy face while you are falling apart inside, because the majority of the living don’t give a damn about Death and Dying.

Related Posts:
How Did You Die? by Edmund Vance Cooke
Is God To Blame?
Cubical Human Rat Race

Lost and Found. On this emotional roller coaster called life; during crises, especially in regards to health and/or the death of a loved one, a persons' faith can be shaken. Yet for others in times of crises that tug on the heart strings, their faith is strengthened; while for other people, they find faith. -ndpthepoetress

Rebirth Yourself-Emerge From Your Mental Cocoon


Image from Wikipedia

ndpthepoetress: "Many of us have read our fair share of self-help articles proclaiming the Secret in Life is to get plenty of rest, eat right, exercise, etc. However; in the daily mishmash of this, that, and the other; combined with the seemingly never ending to-do list - who actually has the time or energy to abide by the so called “Secret”!

In my opinion, the “Secret” in Life is FIRST: ‘Change Your Thoughts’. Out with the negative, in with the positive. Because when you become enthused, new energy materializes for you. Once your mental energy is increased then you CAN achieve anything YOU set your mind to - no matter how little time you seem to have.

Let’s start with an article about how to Changing Your Thoughts. This excerpt is by Colleen Kettenhofen, “a Phoenix, Arizona motivational speaker, trainer, & co-author of "The Masters of Success ," featured on NBC's Today Show”:"


8 Essentials for Creating Balance Out of Chaos
By Colleen Kettenhofen


Leadership and life balance has been a hot topic for some time now. Employers are waking up to the notion that for people to perform well they have to feel well.

In these trying times it's imperative to stay motivated. Change your mind and you change your circumstances. Change your thinking and you can change your life.

How do you do that? Here are 8 essentials for creating balance:

1. Focus on what you have, not on what you don't have. There will always be someone worse off than you. Whether they're facing a financial crisis, health problems, grief and loss, or something else. If you know someone like this, think of one thing you could do to help them.

For example, there's someone at my church who recently lost his father. A group of us decided to take food to the family. Helping someone gets your mind off your problems. And it makes you grateful for what you do have. You start focusing on the positive. As Denis Waitley says, "You are either the captive or the captain of your thoughts."

2. Feed your strengths, starve your weaknesses. Researchers note the average person has 50,000 thoughts a day. Most of those thoughts are negative. Your mind is like a computer or the crew on a ship. And what orders you give it will determine what you get.

What you dwell on becomes your destiny. What you focus on the longest becomes the strongest. Spend as much time as possible in a job, or in your life in general, in areas that utilize your strengths. Work doesn't have to be a four-letter word!

3. Practice self-control, self-discipline and a strong work ethic. This is a paradox, but doing the things you like least first helps in creating balance. Practicing good work habits, especially early in the day frees up time later on for doing things you enjoy. And you feel more deserving.

The most successful people are those willing to do what others don't want to do. They've mastered the challenge of overcoming procrastination. Live by the motto, "Just do it. Not by the tongue-in-cheek saying I saw on a t-shirt in Hawaii recently which said, "Just do it-tomorrow"."

4. Decide what really matters. Make a list of those activities and individuals that put a spring in your step. What gives you energy and makes you laugh?

For example, spending time with my boyfriend's family is terrific because they're hilarious. I always have belly-aching laughs when I'm with them. Laughter really is the best medicine. Conversely, what detracts from your life and drags you down?Start phasing those things out of your life.

5. Focus on having fun. No matter busy and stressful your days, schedule some time for fun. In creating balance, what makes you happy? For instance, this weekend my man and I are taking our dogs on a day trip to Flagstaff, Arizona. Being at 7,000 feet in the pines helps me "fill the well." There's nothing like crisp mountain air and the smell of the pines to make me forget the cares of the world.

6. Spend time in silence. Make an effort to get more sleep. Studies have shown getting enough sleep helps reduce cravings for carbs and sweets. Temporarily turn off your cell phone, Blackberry, TV or car stereo. Before bed spend quiet time in prayer or meditation.

7. People-pleasers: Learn to say no. Or, if there's something you must do, ask for support. Don't try and do it all yourself.

8. Concentrate single-mindedly on one task until it's complete. Stop multitasking. Sometimes when you try to do 10 things at once, you end the day not having completed anything.

Lastly, it's been said that survivors of emotional, physical, or circumstantial difficulties practice eight things: strong spiritual belief, sense of humor, strong support system, a connection to nature, goals, proper nutrition, openness to new ideas, and get sufficient rest and exercise. In creating balance, which of these can you create today?

Colleen Kettenhofen
Website: http://www.ColleenSpeaks.com

You are free to reprint or repost this article for use in your newsletters, association publications, or intranet provided Colleen Kettenhofen's contact information (name, website, and email) is included with the article.

Related Articles:
Human Stages of Metamorphosis

Change Your Thoughts; Change Your Life by Lisa M. Brazelton

This is for the World


I hope you enjoy my cover of We are the World. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie. It's been a crazy time in the world, and sometimes it's hard to feel like we can make a difference, but we can.

Johnny Cash - Thanksgiving



To see a full transcription of the video, please visit HubPages Inc. and scroll down to the video on their page.

Binding Ink Serving Humanities Banquet: Thanksgiving



Thanks for Giving Troops!

A Soldier's Thanksgiving Day Poem
By Marcy Mobley, published Nov 12, 2008

I know we are at war,
But I hear change is in sight
Instead of family and friends for Thanksgiving you will
Chow with your comrades tonight
One to your left, the other to your right.
Your regiment, your battalion,
Have now become family and friends
Living day to day in a personal sacrifice
On a mission to defend.
You are the hero's who's faces we may never get to see
But the pride and glory that's lives in a soldier heart
Biers one word
"Integrity"
On this day
We give thanks and honor to those brave and true
Our banners, we will proudly wave
The Red, White, and Blue
We will give our thanks not only to our god
but also to every soldier for our bounties, that be.
For they give meaning to words
Home of the brave Land of the Free.
To the soldiers in the mess hall
Eating their thanksgiving feast,
to the troops in the desert eating another
Meal ready to eat.
May peace, hope and strength
Travel with you along the way
And may these wishes find you
On A Soldiers Thanksgiving day.



































For our brethren Vets and Family whom on Thanksgiving have a Vacant Chair:


The Vacant Chair was written to commemorate the death of John William Grout (1843–1861), a Union soldier from Worcester, Massachusetts, and an 1859 graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover."

















Thanks for Giving Troops!

A Soldier's Thanksgiving Day Poem
By Marcy Mobley, published Nov 12, 2008

I know we are at war,
But I hear change is in sight
Instead of family and friends for Thanksgiving you will
Chow with your comrades tonight
One to your left, the other to your right.
Your regiment, your battalion,
Have now become family and friends
Living day to day in a personal sacrifice
On a mission to defend.
You are the hero's who's faces we may never get to see
But the pride and glory that's lives in a soldier heart
Biers one word
"Integrity"
On this day
We give thanks and honor to those brave and true
Our banners, we will proudly wave
The Red, White, and Blue
We will give our thanks not only to our god
but also to every soldier for our bounties, that be.
For they give meaning to words
Home of the brave Land of the Free.
To the soldiers in the mess hall
Eating their thanksgiving feast,
to the troops in the desert eating another
Meal ready to eat.
May peace, hope and strength
Travel with you along the way
And may these wishes find you
On A Soldiers Thanksgiving day.





















For our brethren Vets and Family whom on Thanksgiving have a Vacant Chair:

The Vacant Chair was written to commemorate the death of John William Grout (1843–1861), a Union soldier from Worcester, Massachusetts, and an 1859 graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover."

















The Power of One

One
by Cheryl Sawyer

As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heros
We become one people.

We are
One color
One class
One generation
One gender
One faith
One language
One body
One family
One soul
One people

We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.
---------

Cheryl Sawyer is a professor at UH Clear Lake in the counseling department.

*Permission to post poem One granted to BindingInk.org by Dr. Cheryl Sawyer School of Education University of Houston – Clear Lake