Free Yourself

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Free Yourself

By Bernadette A. Sahm

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In order to fly we cannot be weighted down by things or by people from our past. We must be free.

Before an eagle of God can really start to fly into the heights that God has in store for us in this life, the eagle must break off any chains that are keeping him down and on the ground.  For some of us these are issues from our past.

Jesus came to set the captives free and ones that are stuck may be stuck in wrong thinking that may come from past experiences. We must learn how to fully let go of our past before we can go full steam ahead with our divine destiny.

People get stuck and they get stuck in divorce, death and estrangements in relationships that have ended. I was guilty of this with a significant lost relationship and then it occurred to me, “How much more of your life, are you willing to lose to someone who cares nothing about you?” When is enough, enough?

We feel badly in the loss and we want to retreat and to give up burying ourselves, we pull the covers up and over our heads. But what does this really do for us? Does it make it better? Does it take the pain and the loss away?

We need to forge ahead in spite of our pain, forge ahead to newer and brighter futures. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you, nor abandon you. DEUTERONOMY 31:8

Free yourself from that which is holding you back, like the eagle that God intended for you to be. Free yourself and soar like only you can do…

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

What Really Matters This Thanksgiving

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What Really Matters This Thanksgiving

By Bernadette A. Sahm  

          

At the time of this writing I have been parenting for just over 40 years, there have been many years when I believed my parenting skills to be in line with my life’s greatest accomplishments and other times when I knew first hand that I totally missed the mark.

In parenting I learned that love truly is blind, that letting go is by far the greatest challenge and seldom does it matter what we really want for our children. In the end, it comes down to their life, lived out in their way.

I have loved and lost in parenting to where my skin hurt and the hole left in my heart was at least the size of a cannonball. My children taught me the true meaning of love, where you give and you give and expect nothing in return. It is the only relationship, when it is you who brings that child into this world and you who chose to give them life. You give life to your child who may live in a way that you may never understand but you know that the gift was in the giving.

With the three children I have mothered, I learned that each child is unique and different and comes with their own likes, dislikes, talents and abilities. I learned that where environment may matter, that does not translate into same environment and same outcome for each child.

It was in parenting that I learned humility and put myself in places and spaces that I would never have gone without the hand holding of my child who led me there. I learned that children have immediate needs and the adults in my life could wait. My children taught me patience and they taught me to trust in the letting go. My kids taught me that most children will be dishonest at times and not to take it personally or believe that because your view is one of a close parent and child relationship, it will mean honesty at all times, on all issues.

If the definition of forgiveness is defined as letting go of how you thought it should be, then again it was my children who taught me how to forgive. I learned to forgive myself, before I could begin to forgive them, or any others.

As amazing as giving birth is so is the circle of life, after 40 years of parenting I have learned so much from my children and all the many enrichments they have afforded me. Our children are all legal adults now and the greatest lesson learned is that each child was God’s gift to us. Then came the day when we had to trust the process and the life cycle. The time arrived when they were no longer in our care nor were they our responsibility. It was then again when we knew to return them back to God who trusted us with them so long ago and who we trust will continue to protect them and to watch over them.  

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

A Thanksgiving Prayer

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A Thanksgiving Prayer

By Bernadette A Sahm

May you have an abundance of light, love and laughter and may you be surrounded by loved ones, and may your heart be filled with joy.

We thank you Lord Jesus for all that we have, and we appreciate our family, our friends, the food that we share, the warmth of our home, and the peace and unconditional love that You bestow upon us.

May we love all people as You, our Father loves us. We pray for all those in need that their prayers may be answered.

We pray for peace in our families, in our community, in our country and in our world.

We pray that love wins and grace and gratitude reign. We pray for light to cast over the darkest of places.

We pray for good health for all people in mind, body and soul.

May we all share in Your love and abundance for this Thanksgiving and all the days of our lives.

We pray.

Amen.

Birthday Blessings

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Birthday Blessings

By Bernadette A Sahm

Every birthday is a blessing, a time to be thankful to be alive. Each year is a treasure as it unfolds. We all have a birthdate. Today is mine!

Some birthdays are better than others some so memorable that we never forget them. Thank God for my parents Bernie and Inez who gave me my life, without their union I would never have been born. Today they live in heaven, and I am certain they are proud of the daughter that I have become.

Last year I turned sixty and on my birthdate we purchased our new beach home in Rehoboth Beach. Five years before that we flew to Las Vegas and on my birthdate met friends in person that I only knew from my online support group for estranged parents of adult children. Who knew that our husbands would have so much in common and easily become friends too?

The year before that I replaced my old convertible car with a newer version. All memorable big birthdays. But I also remember the ones where I cried my heart out when my mother would choose to deny that I was her second born daughter. Or the years I would cry nonstop because just days after my “special day” is my estranged daughter’s birthday. These hurts and losses would make the big sweet ones all the more special.

What I know about birthdays is that God willing they will come around every year and that some will be better than others. I am blessed I am at peace and I am surrounded by love, what more could this birthday girl ever want and wish for?

Yesterday I was late for a meeting that I thought was cancelled, rushed off after receiving a message “are you coming?” only to show up without my mask and to a room filled of masked colleagues singing “Happy Birthday” I will remember this as the year I was mortified to have forgotten my mask and the thoughtfulness of those who caught me off guard by celebrating a day early!

This morning one of my dearest friends treated me to a birthday breakfast celebration where we chatted for hours, it felt so normal to participate in a face-to-face meeting and conversation in our COVID year. Such a gift her friendship is to me.

On the way home my husband texts me that a dear friend and mentor has died. My birthdate is now his death date. I settle in to do some work in my office and am interrupted my husband has taken his lunch break to bring me flowers and a card. Tonight we will celebrate with a really nice dinner at a favorite restaurant. In between all this I am trying to get some work done with a few projects that I have going on with work.

A few friends have donated to a charity in honor of my birthday, St. Jude Children Research Hospital. I am so thankful to them.

In my life and between my birthdays, I have lived and I have died a little each day. Some days were filled with love and life and some were filled with death and despair. But isn’t that the pure beauty of life?

Every single person that has remembered me has touched my heart and I am filled with gratitude. And guess what? This gal has so much more good living ahead of her …God willing.

Stay tuned … I love life and living it during the good days and the not so good ones, given the alternative, I will happily take all the birthdays and all those days in between.     

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer  or blogs by Bernadette on https://bernadetteamoyer.org

Books by Bernadette A Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble  

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is

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Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Almost from the very beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic I have been walking around thinking of the lyrics from an old Chicago song title that reads ”Does anyone really know what time it is?” Seems like we are forced into a new reality where just about all of our lives are on new and different schedules.

Some places are open but with limited hours and new and different schedules. There is much adjust and adapt on how we proceed even in the doing of the most ordinary things.

Sometimes it even feels like the twilight zone and not very real. Time takes on new meaning when we are living our lives so unlike anything we have known before or have been accustomed to in the past.

Chicago
As I was walking down the street one day
A man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was on my watch, yeah
And I said
Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to cry

Other times I tell myself, “what are you waiting for?” Just do it! Do what you can and with that I completely outfitted my home office where I truly can work from home. The tasks that have been deleted and post-phoned in an attempt to isolate and social distance have allowed me to understand what I can do versus what I can’t do.

As a doer initially this was really a very difficult adjustment to make but granted a necessary one thrust upon us all. It wasn’t just me we were all living it. Once I trained myself to think about all that I can do, much stress and pressure that I placed upon myself lifted. And immediately I started to feel better and more like my old self.

Then the other phrase swimming through my mind is/was, “time waits for no man” the most quoted from a proverb that means some things are inevitable, such as birth, death and the sun rising in the morning, the passage of time.

For most all of my life I understood that we all have a finite time here on earth and I for one choose to make the most of it and live life to the fullest regardless of the situation I find myself in and any curveballs thrown my way.

I never wanted to live a life filled with regrets. I would rather say it and do it and maybe it doesn’t turn out like I hoped and thought it would, but it was always easier for me to live like I was trying!

This period of time has made me more quiet and introspective and more prayerful and deliberate. There is no “auto pilot” in this pandemic. We have to think ahead and plan accordingly. Much is limited and changed and different.

On a deeper and spiritual sense I have come to the conclusion that we all needed to stop! and take a break and a pause and deep breathe. Without the diversion and chaos of concerts, sporting events and gatherings we were forced to reimagine our lives. What was important to us? What could we do without? What could we be making more room for? Are we living our true and best life?

It was time for a deep dive into self-reflection. With the lack of an ability to socialize and so few people that I was personally (in person) interacting with I became acutely aware of how we are treating others. Who and what might we have taken for granted? And when I said, “it is really good to see you” I meant it, wholeheartedly!

But I was also appalled by the riots, violence and deep disregard for human life that our news brought to us. The political anger/divide/disrespect was even more difficult to witness during this pandemic. It seems like winning by all and any means was all that mattered. I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum and both with deep passion. They just know that they are right and the other side is wrong. People that I love and respect making fun of another human being because THAT person doesn’t believe and think like they do. It makes me so sad.

Oprah said it a long time ago, “Do I need to be right or do I need peace?” I need peace and this pandemic with its new time makes it even more important.

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The last big thing I think about is ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8, what is THIS time for? Here is hoping and praying that you are making the most of this significant period of time in our shared living at this very special time.

God’s peace and prayers …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Between You, Me and the Garden

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Between You, Me and the Garden
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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We are on “Covid time” and suffering from “shelter snacking” and add anything thing else like an untimely death or violent outbreak and many of us are literally fighting back tears. We are trying to function in a world that is upside down and visibly on its head.

Hard to justify complaining about missing a baseball game or live concert when some people have been forced to close their business or lost their job and source of income. One problem isn’t isolated from the rest or from others. Some have died and some has lost a loved one due to Covid-19.

Have you been to the grocery store or a restaurant lately now that we are living through months and months and months of a pandemic? Our mask is a minute by minute reminder of the seriousness of what is happening in our country and in our world. We are living through a pandemic and it has changed everything about how we are living life.

If nothing else during these “self- isolation” days, weeks and months, we have been afforded a true reflection opportunity. A time to reacquaint with oneself. I turned 60 years old last October and that big milestone was also about looking inward about my past, present and future. I’ve had a wonderful life with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It has been rich in experiences and opportunity for learning. Let me share a few.

Without God I am nothing, I literally couldn’t function without my deep sense of faith in God and in this life and the afterlife. I know for certain that at times people will let you down and God is always present in my life. I am thankful to my parents Bernie and Inez who brought me up Catholic, I feel blessed as a result. My faith in God has made me strive for the best version of myself, warts and all. Each life experience has molded me into the person that I am today. My heart is full and I am so grateful.

On being widowed, knowing someone and loving them as your husband and father to your child and then having them die unexpectedly when you are only 23 years old changes everything. You grow up fast and see things as life and death and you learn how quickly a person can pass from this life to death. He was not a perfect man and we had many problems, being so young I doubt that our marriage would have survived. I had yet to grow up and was still maturing on my own. No matter what the future held I never wanted our child to grow up without a father. She did at age 2.

On knowing sexual abuse within my immediate family, it can be summed up neatly and nicely in one sentence. “In order for them to believe you, they would have to change their life and they are not going to do that.” Thank you Father Kevin! Sadly it was decades before I would hear that statement that rang so true. I stood up for a child and it cost me my family, period. The final blow and smack in my face would be omission from my mother’s obituary. Ask yourself why any loving family would do that? For me it was just one more hurt that they would pelt at me. The family I miss is not the family I experienced, the one I miss was one that lived only in my heart and my mind.

On losing a precious pooch, I don’t believe we ever get over our losses but rather that we learn to live with them. The takeaway is the glory that comes from knowing real love and the hearts ability to love so deeply.

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” this was often quoted by my mother. I will leave it at that for the ones that once owned my heart, my time and my attention. Be well and know that I am at peace within myself and with God. It may have taken some time but I am there, thank you Lord Jesus.

And for the positive loving lessons learned. Early on I didn’t really appreciate my husband Brian as much as I do today. He is everything to me. He has shown me by example what real love is, the kind that is able to endure all that life throws your way. After 28 years he still makes me so happy and makes my heart melt and skip a beat when I see him. I am so thankful for our years together and for his steady love. Blessed in marriage! But we never forget that we met as young widows who experienced the same life lessons. Each of us came together after having one partner die and one who cheated. These experiences made us appreciate the “us” that we created together even more so.

Our home and our work have both sustained us. This fall we will begin 29 years in the same house, never would I believe that. Brian knew 35 years with one employer and now 4 years with another all in the same field. For more than 20 years I have been a professional fundraiser again truly blessed to do the work that I love.

So at being 60 years and in the same house for almost 30, what is ahead for us?

Right now we think about how many more years of working before retirement and how do we want to spend our retirement years, again, God willing. We are “empty nesters” after me living as a mother with children in the home for 39 consecutive years. A career by any measure, for sure. I am so happy for the experiences and joyful to be out the other end.

My garden literally and figuratively is blooming with so much color and variety and in good health. It looks happy and at peace. It is living through this pandemic and not skipping a beat on living a beautiful and healthy life. My garden much like me hasn’t always thrived. It has battled poor soil, infestation and lack of water and nutrition. But once fed and nurtured properly has come back bigger and brighter and filled with life.

One of the greatest life lessons I have learned is that whatever you are going through, this too shall pass. I learned to lean in and accept what I cannot change rather than fight it. I learned that most people really are doing their best with what they have and what they know at any given time. And most probably the greatest gift you can give yourself is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the gift that you gift to yourself and the one that allows for peace and gratitude and most of all for God to live within our own hearts.

Between you, me and the garden …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Planting Sunshine

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Planting Sunshine
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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During Covid-19 isolation when so many writer friends were writing books and articles and blogs, I had nothing. I had nothing to say as I watched in horror how the pandemic was affecting all people. I was stunned and shocked and just like a train wreck that you really do not want to witness, I could not stop watching.

Then came the civil unrest and the full force of BLM and the war against all cops. Once again, I sat wide-eyed and unable to write or even string two sentences together. I was sad and horrified at how humans were treating one another. It was not at all political for me, it was witnessing the basic lack of humanity and complete disregard for life. The cop who stole the life of an African American man who did not deserve to die.

It was all the aftermath and witnessing the destruction of property, the property of innocent people that had nothing to do with George Floyds untimely death. Destruction as a way of expressing, “I am angry, I am mad” and again I watched in disbelief as innocent people were hurt.

There were no words, they did not come to me, because first and foremost I did not have the answers.

What I know for sure is that you put out into the universe, comes back to you. If you want more love you lead with love same for anger and fear, they grow out of anger and fear. You cannot give what you do not have.

The pandemic and all the time that I sat alone afforded me with much time for self-reflection. What is in your heart? Are you planting sunshine and love or darkness and hate?

Over the weekend my husband drove through a toll where the car in front paid his fee. It took him a moment to understand what the toll taker was saying and then he responded with the cash he had in hand and stated “please use this for the car behind me” it really is that simple. One good deed responds with another good deed.

I am acutely aware of all the unrest that is going on in the world today, what can I do? I can keep my own heart in check. I can plant sunshine both literally and figuratively. My garden is well tended this year. It is receiving more love and care and it shows. My garden is life. People are life. When we treat life with love and care it grows. It grows healthy.

The answers are not outside of us but within our own hearts and souls. If each one of us worked on ourselves and took personal responsibility for our thoughts and actions rather than blaming others? What a world we could/would live in.

Many decades ago I was in therapy, probably the late 70’s, a placed called Confront and that is exactly what we did, it was there that I learned “you are only a victim if you choose to be” that doesn’t mean that at times in life we may fall “victim” but rather that we choose if and when we stay in victimization.

We could all declare ourselves a “victim” of this or that but at what cost? Stuff happens. Every situation whether deemed good or bad affords us a chance to 1) learn from it and 2) turn it around for the greater good. Our choice. Our free will.

“If you do your best in the search for personal freedom, in the search for self-love, you will discover that it’s just a matter of time before you find what you are looking for.” from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

What is in YOUR heart? It begins and ends within each and every one of us …

Treat others as you wish to be treated and where and how can you plant more sunshine?

Follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Writing Prompts and Reflections … Mental Health Awareness Month May of 2020

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Writing Prompts and Reflections … Mental Health Awareness Month May of 2020
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Mental awareness

May is mental health awareness month.

Recently I read a post from my previous employer (The Children’s Guild) about mental health awareness month with some writing prompts. During this period of “stay at home” and “stay safe” with the COVID-19 I haven’t been motivated to creatively write much until reading these prompts.

So here goes …

The best news I have heard recently is: witnessing students that are posting their prom pictures and graduation signs both from my alma mater and schools that I follow. Young people willing to dress up and show their formal attire and graduates that are sharing their college destinations. It makes me happy and proud to see them. Life goes on and although this surely wasn’t the way they believed prom and graduation would turn out, they are making the best of this difficult time.

The things or people I can always count on to make me laugh are: Easy one! Without a doubt it is my husband Brian. He consistently shares memes, comics, funny writings and stories with me. Laughter truly is the best medicine for all that ails us and I can always count on daily doses from him.

The best compliment I have received is: “You have the best heart and are always so generous and giving.” More than one person has said this to me in my lifetime and I finally accept it. Giving is for the giver and I love to love and to be in a position to give.

My favorite way to relax when I am stressed out is: I have more than one! 1) a bubble bath 2) uplifting music 3) prayer 4) a drive 5) the beach 6) gardening 7) visiting with friends and loved ones 8) swimming 9) working out 10) a good movie 11) a good book and the list goes on …

A way I can show gratitude to others is … telling them they are loved and appreciated either verbally or with a card, note or gift.

A small “win” I have accomplished today is … sitting down at my desk and writing this when I haven’t been inspired to write creatively for several weeks now.

Something positive in my life that I didn’t have a year ago is: Time! All this time at home due to COVID-19 is definitely something I didn’t have a year ago. And a brand new beach house!

The things I hope will happen in the next year are: A cure and/or vaccine for COVID-19. Health and wellness in our country and the world, physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. That the greatest takeaway from this time in history is to love and to appreciate and to live life fully. Personally I hope for success at work and some travel time too.

Answering these prompts was fun! Feel free to share yours with me … and Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!

Follow Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and B&N

#gratitude #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawarenessmonth

Adjust and Adapt

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Adjust and Adapt
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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We must learn to adjust and to adapt as life is ever changing. To stay stuck in yesterday, and the news is like living from behind. Most people hate change. It throws their equilibrium out of tune. I have always embraced change. I love new things and I love to learn. We are all evolving.

History is great but that is exactly what it is, history, the past. Every aspect in our lives depends on how we adjust and adapt to change. Life changes when we leave home, when we get married, take on a new career job, purchase a home and have children. It changes when we embrace new relationships and when we let go of old relationships.

We adjust to that new baby or new work place environment. We have to figure it out and to learn again. Many people will suffer a sort of “norms crisis” with their new environment. That new baby cries and disrupts our previous peaceful past. We work with new people that we instantly gel with and others that we may barely tolerate. But we learn from all of them.

I’ve always been the “change charger” in our family and my husband the “slow and steady one.” Together we make a balanced couple as a result. A guy that has worked for the same organization for 35 years and then stays in the same career for several more years and lives in the same house for 28 years is not a guy who easily embraces change. Being with him for over 28 years now, I love that about him.

When our kids started leaving home, I had the hardest time. The number one job that meant the most to me was in being a mother. I soon learned to take my career and my writing more seriously. These things are what makes me, me. Being a mother was only a part of me not my total being.

Adjusting and adapting to letting my kids go wasn’t easy but now that I have, I feel free again, with less responsibility after more than three decades of being responsible for so many others. It feels great. Life is easier with less people to please.

I never thought I would be so happy with less people in our home and I am. I think you get to an age where all you crave is peace. It is so easy to fill our lives up with everyone else and their drama and issues but often at what cost? Perhaps the cost is in denying ourselves and our own needs and wants.

When my husband took an early retirement six years ago, I never witnessed him smile so much! At the end of his career he had reached the highest level that he had wanted for himself, as a General Superintendent. At that level the demands were great and time was a commodity that he often didn’t have. You could physically see what that job was taking out of him. Meetings and more meetings and always on 24 hour call back for the past 6-years, every waking moment checking his communication devices. He was needed and worked hard to fill the needs.

He allowed himself a much needed break for about three years before returning to the same line of work. At first the changes that came with an early retirement was welcome just like a vacation but after 6-months it wore off and although he adjusted to it, he felt like he was missing out and wanted to work again. Next month he will begin his fourth year at the job that he took after his short lived “retirement.”

But the truth is that if we drop dead today, life goes on, not one of us is irreplaceable. What is the line “People plan and God laughs” COVID-19 has changed the world for all of us. Not just in our work schedules but in our personal life and how we deal with our family, our friends and even strangers. We are told to “socially distance” and “self-isolate” all foreign concepts for most humans.

We are embracing our future and looking forward to making all the necessary adjustments and adapting to the newness of what comes next. Not one of us knows what comes next, but I sincerely believe if we embrace it with an open heart and eyes wide open we will still manage to feel and see the best and most important life experiences and lessons.

Adjusting and adapting, that is both the beauty and the secret of life. Adjust and adapt … it makes everything and all of life’s many changes just so much easier.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Just Because

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Just Because
By Bernadette A. Moyer

dining room flowers

Today after about a month of “social distancing” I decided to start this weekend off with a nice dinner/drinks/dessert at home and in our dining room. I wanted to make it nice and special but also support local businesses that have supported me through my years in the nonprofit arena, work I have done for more than two decades.

So I opened up the china cabinet as I thought “why don’t we use this pretty stuff and why is it just for company?” so I took the inserts out of the table and made it more comfortable for two people. It would be dinner for two at Chez Sahm!

The crystal champagne ice bucket and champagne glasses reminded me of all the special occasions that we used them for and toasted with in the past, and I thought why not now? Why not celebrate “just because” and I pulled them out and cleaned them up. I thought about the people that gifted us those crystal pieces during much happier days. Warm and welcome thoughts embraced me. It felt good.

I had placed a grocery order days earlier that would be coming from Wegmans through Instacart and I decided our table needed flowers. I wanted to support Radebaugh’s Florist in Towson. Normally I would go pick out my own floral arrangement partly because of the added expense of delivery and partly because I enjoy picking out exactly what I want. But in “isolation” and “social distancing” I ordered online.

As I was placing the order I was asked if it was a special occasion like a birthday, thank you, thinking of you etc. and it was not any of them but rather “just because” just because we are going to be home all weekend and I wanted to celebrate being home, life and living it with my husband. Midway through the week he expressed feelings of depression. And I wasn’t in a much better place myself. You can call it what you want but often it does feel like “home detention” and given that we normally lead very active and social lives, it was sad and heavy on our hearts just like everyone else.

Just because my husband is “essential” and works really hard and he deserves it. Just because it is Friday, the start of the weekend when we would normally be going out for dinner and drinks. Just because my husband mentioned late last evening that I might consider getting “gussied up” since I have been wearing tattered old worn sweat clothes for several weeks now. Honestly clothes that even Good Will wouldn’t embrace accepting. Just because I might consider wearing something a little nicer and not my I am cleaning the house attire.

Next up I wanted to support Fairgrounds Discount Beverages in Timonium, again a liquor store that has supported many of my special event fundraisers. So I ordered champagne, the good stuff, the champagne we normally only drink for truly special occasions. Again tonight’s dinner theme is just because! We often run around town and beyond a lot and never truly appreciate our pretty dining room that has been here with us for almost three decades now.

I knew that like myself, my husband needed some joy, some happiness and a night when we didn’t grab dinner from the kitchen and rush to the family room so we could watch endless hours of the news regarding COVID-19. We needed a break and to celebrate life, just because we still have a life to celebrate.

Many of my followers and readers know that I have written about death and about estrangement and many sad stories tied to my life and life experiences. Brian and I share coming up in poverty, he was city poor I was country poor. We knew losing a spouse to death and having adult children estrange. All of our parents are long gone. We have experienced extended periods in our life with deep sadness and sorrow.

One of the great gifts of grief is getting through it and to the other side. One of the greatest gifts is learning that your happiness comes from within and not from other people or things or places.

We have lost much in our lives and have learned to view each loss as a gift, we learned to be better people and to never take life or the quality of life for granted. We learned very early on that life can change in a moment with no advance notice.

Today we appreciate everything we have and share as much as we can with many that are in need. I am a firm believer that giving is for the giver.

But last night was giving to ourselves, taking care of ourselves and one another. We talked for hours without the interruptions of the news and electronic devices. We paused and looked deep into ourselves, each other and our home where we have lived for over 28 years. We are God people and believers who know that like everything this is temporary and will pass.

Last night was so fun, we ate a nice dinner with a few drinks in a pretty dining room with pretty china that we seldom use. We prayed together and we played together. We dusted off our old vinyl records and Brian played DJ as we listened to music from being teenagers and forward. We played games and even danced together.

During this pandemic I have thought deep and long about what is happening. I continue to work from home making phone calls and sending notes and cards to many supporters. Everyone has been thankful to hear from me. People want to talk and to connect.

The hardest part for a person like me who loves people (most people) is the inability to be with them. But maybe that is exactly what this period in time is all about. How do we treat others? What are we saying about them and doing to them to this planet and to the earth? We have a lot to think about and the time to reflect.

We have many friends with many views on life, on religion, on God and on politics and many that are not necessarily on how we view things but we enjoy hearing and seeing from different perspectives. I try hard to see the best in people even the ones that are adults and resort to name calling our political leaders. In my mind, though, I think if you don’t like it and you can do better join forces with others who believe as you do and be the change that you want to see. Sitting back on your sofa and making fun of or calling leaders names does not bring about change.

Peace is so important to me, inner peace where I can be alone with myself and accept myself warts and all, and that came after years and years of working through so much grief, loss and heartaches in my lifetime.

I have nothing to complain about, all in all I have lived a very full life and I don’t want to die of COVID 19 or any other disease, but if I did and when I do, I don’t want to regret not living each day to its fullest no matter where I am and what situation I find myself. We need to appreciate everything and celebrate all that we have no matter how much or how little … just because … it is not over until we take our last breath.

At age 23 I was widowed and I learned the single most valuable lesson, life is for the living, live it, just because you still can …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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