Our Greatest Gift

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Our Greatest Gift
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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It is that time of year when we think about all the gifts we will give and also those that we wish to receive. Yet for most mature adult our greatest gift won’t be wrapped in tissue and colorful holiday wrap or tied up in a bow. Our greatest gift will be the gift of our heart.

Who we share our hearts with and who shares their heart with us truly is and always will be our greatest gift!

As I was preparing for this year’s Christmas card list and pulling out decorations I discovered our Christmas cards from last year. The one card that captured my attention was a small blue card with snow flakes and the outside read, “It’s Christmas AND ALL MY HEART TRULY WANTS IS EVERYTHING I ALREADY HAVE WITH YOU. Honestly I didn’t remember it. It was from 2016 and as I opened it and read the inside it stated, “THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING WE SHARE – AND MOST OF ALL THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME the gift of your heart AND FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF MINE.” Love Brian.

It was from my husband. It didn’t say wife on the outside or make mention of from your husband. It was a simple card, yet beautiful with a simple beautiful message.

As I processed that message throughout the day, all I could think was how giving and receiving love truly is our greatest gift. And because it is so valuable and truly great, that is why we are so fractured and broken when our love is rebuked or disrespected or even if it is taken for granted and unappreciated.

The capacity to give love is what we were born to do, it is our core, without our heart we don’t live and nothing in life has a beat. We know enough about love to know that you either have it or you create it. We are capable of loving many people and many places and many things in our lifetime. The ones that love us right back offer us the most incredible love.

We can still love without it being returned, we can love from a distance, from that quiet place in our hearts. Giving love is our greatest gift. It doesn’t have to be returned to us. Giving is for the giver.

How many people can we share that thought with, “thank you for giving me the gift of your heart and for taking such good care of mine” this Christmas and holiday season that is my wish for all of you to give and to be given love.

Cherish the love that you receive and give as much love as you are capable of giving, as the gift of giving and receiving love is our greatest gift of all!

Merry Christmas, with heartfelt love and Happy New Year 2018! God Bless us all …

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

Along The Way and Another Way books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Home

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Home
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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“There is no place like home.” From The 1939 Wizard of Oz is probably one of the most famous movie quotes. But did Dorothy always appreciate her “home” or did it take the loss of her “home” for her to truly appreciate it and all that came along with her home including all the special people, her family.

“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.” Wendy Wunder

This past holiday season was so special and so calm and so peaceful and the truth is unlike many previous Christmas holiday seasons because we purposefully chose to do very little. For the first time in over 10 years we did not travel but rather we stayed home and enjoyed that entire experience of just being at home. It was also the first Christmas in our 25 years together that my husband and I did not have any of our children with us at home. They are all adults now and out in the world doing what they want to do. Living their adult lives the way that they have chosen to live them.

We didn’t know what to expect living with just ourselves, two adults and our two precious pooches. We decided not to go anywhere but rather to enjoy our “home” we bought very few gifts and made our own food and drink. It was a pretty paired down holiday from so many that we experienced before and yet it was truly special. We appreciate everything so much more as we age. Our next big birthday will arrive in just a few short years when we both turn 60. We’ve never known “home” with just us.

During the holidays several celebrities died that were younger than us and others who were really close to our age, it drives home for us that each and every holiday is a gift and that we have no way of knowing when our time here will end too. How many more Christmas holidays will we share together? And how many more will be shared here in our home?

What made this year so special? It was the combination of complete gratitude and appreciation for all that we have and the peace that we share in the “home” that we created together. There was no family drama, no pressures and just pure bliss. We cooked together, we cleaned up together, we watched movies together, we ate together, we drank together and we prayed together.

Home can be anything that we want it to be just like life; it can be a place of peace and of rest or a place of drama and upsets. Being at peace means that we didn’t need many gifts or big yahoo type celebrations, we had everything we ever needed right here at home. We were together.

And like many kids with their toys, we did have fun playing with our new electronic gifts. It was fun, it was simple, it was peaceful and above all it was Christ centered and filled with love and that special feeling we all know as “home.”

Of course our two precious pooches Happy and Chipper were right there with us and a part of our “home” experience too because with them and for us, there really is “no place like home!”

Oh and because it’s always good to change it up each holiday season, we see you again next year Nashville, Tennessee! We did miss you this year but we were just as happy to be home.”

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

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Christmas Memories

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Christmas Memories
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Christmas memories, we all have them? We remember being children and the anticipation of waking up on Christmas morning and opening up all our gifts. We remember those special years when we received exactly what we asked for and other years when we were so happily surprised with others gifts that we never even thought about but turned out to be perfect.

What was your earliest Christmas morning memory? What present stands out the most? What gift did you receive that you remember so fondly and what gift did you give that was so much appreciated? Where did you go and who did you spend your time with?

What were your family traditions and what traditions have you carried on with? What are your favorite places to go and be on Christmas? And who are you spending time with that is part of not just today but the memories that you will hold onto in the future?

One of my earliest memories as a child was when I received Barbie’s pink convertible car for Christmas and another year our Uncle Michael, my father’s brother gave me and my four sisters matching quilted bath robes. Five little girls with matching quilted bathrobes. Then there was the year my mother gave us all new bicycles. I received a new 10-speed bicycle. It was All-American looking in red, white and blue and I was just a teenager and loved it.

Then came the years when I was married and my husband spoiled me and later the years with children when we spoiled them. There were the many years when we packed up the gifts and the twins and off we went to Nashville Tennessee and another holiday season when we spent Christmas in Key West, Florida.

It only takes one bad holiday with loss and grief and when after you get through it you pledge that will never happen to me again! And you do your best to plan ahead and make sure that Christmas is as special as it can be. Of course the off years make you appreciate the glowing years all the more.

Often as we age it becomes about “it is in giving that we receive” and it is about that food, clothing or gifts for kids that we donate to those less fortunate. Or that check and cash donation made out to our favorite charity to help them continue the mission of helping those that don’t have.

Christmas may be about our church or a new place of worship or that special drink and food that we enjoy to help us celebrate. It may also include that big game and sports event or a newly released movie or theater show. We celebrate. We love. We share. We enjoy. We remember. We make memories.

Merry Christmas and may you be filled with all the love and goodness this life offers and be surrounded by the people that you love most and together create fond memories for the many years to come.

God Bless Us All!

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

My Christmas Card List

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My Christmas Card List
(Written by Helen Steiner Rice)

Shared here by Bernadette A. Moyer

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I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book.
And every year when Christmas comes, I go and take a look.
That is when I realize these names are all a part,
Not of the book they’re written in, but of my very heart.
For each name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime,
And in meeting they’ve become the rhythm in each rhyme.
While it may sound fantastic for me to make this claim,
I really feel that I’m composed of each remembered name,
And while you may not be aware of any special link,
Just meeting you has changed my life much more than you may think.
For once I’ve met somebody, the years cannot erase.
The memory of a pleasant word or of a friendly face.
So never think my Christmas cards are just a mere routine
Of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between
For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you
It’s because you’re on the list of folks I’m endeared to.
For I am but a total of the many folks I’ve met,
And you happen to be one of those I prefer not to forget.
Whether I have known you for many years or just a few,
In some ways you have a part of shaping things I do.
And every year when Christmas comes I realize anew,
The best gift life can offer is meeting folks like you.
So may the spirit of Christmas that forever more endures
Leave its richest blessings in the hearts of you and yours.

I could not have said it better! Enjoy! Merry Christmas 2016!

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

Christmastide

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Christmastide
By Bernadette A. Sahm

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Merry Christmas! It is the season …

Songs are swirling around my head and I am singing, “this Christmas I gave you my heart …”

The cookies are baked and decorated; the trees are adorned with decorations and lit.Presents are in abundance and wrapped in pretty holiday papers and ready to be gifted.

There is wine and whiskey and an abundance of food, music is playing and everything is pretty and laced with hope and love and peace.

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Last night it was a beautiful Candlelight Church Service with Lessons and Carols and a special dinner with friends that have long ago become family to me. A woman my mother’s age who became my other mother and her special needs daughter born the same year that I was born. We ate and we drank and we chatted the night away, it was a special evening sure to remain in the memory books.

Hark! The Herald, the Angels sing …

Tonight we are off for a romantic evening in “the sweetest place on earth” Hershey, Pennsylvania where we will take in the Christmas decorations and music and a special holiday dinner. Then we will proceed the next day to visit the gravesite of family members that have departed this life.

Our hearts are full and are hearts are at peace and they are filled with joy and with so much love. We are grateful; so truly grateful for the life that we live and grateful for all the riches that have been afforded us these past 24 years in our home.

We are reminded that the greatest gifts that we can give are love and peace and kindness and we know that is what we want for everyone this Christmas and all through the holiday season!

For many people the New Year is about resolutions but a few years ago I gave up making “resolutions” for “affirmations” it even sounds more positive. This year we are for better health and even more happiness.

“Take out the trash!” will be the mantra for the New Year! Let go of the garbage and all that is dark and dirty and unhealthy. If you can’t say and do anything nice … then don’t say and do anything at all … “Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”

Wishing you all “Green and silver, red and gold and a story born of old, Peace and love and hope abide this Christmastide …”

Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy Brand New Year! Let hope and love and peace reign …

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

Eighteen Christmas Seasons

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Eighteen Christmas Seasons
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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You don’t get over it you get through it … it starts with just breathing. You learn to breathe again when you have been knocked over and kicked in the gut by an adult child that grows up and decides that the life you afforded them and gave them didn’t and doesn’t measure up. They decide alone that you are unworthy.

This Christmas will be my eighteenth Christmas without my daughter, a daughter who is now gone longer than what I had her. This was a daughter who initially shattered my heart and my soul. And a daughter who re-created her past so that she could have a new and different life. Initially I couldn’t believe it or accept it, and I now so freely do.

Not only do I accept it but I appreciate the gift and what it was; a blessing in disguise. I am no longer tethered to a past. A past life that was filled with hurt with loss and with abuse. I am free. Yet there was a time when I thought I couldn’t live without her. I learned that I can live and that I will live and that I can be happy and healthy and whole again.

I gave her everything I had to give. I gave her more of a life and a better life than what my parents ever afforded me. And in the end I appreciated my parents more. There is a lesson here for parents that just give and give.

More and more people are writing to me and contacting me about my writings and about my then teenage daughter who at age eighteen decided to estrange, and their biggest question is, “How did you do it? How did you survive it?”

There is no cure; you take one minute at a time, one day at a time and one month and one year at a time. You work through it, through the heartache and through the disappointment. You work through the grief and through the loss. You purge your pain. Then one day they are gone longer than what you had them.

What you are left with is your memories and for me I have wonderful memories of a beautiful little girl who was bright and beautiful and the absolute love and joy of my life. I have no regrets. I played the hand that I was dealt and I did the best I could with what I had and what I knew at that time. Today my heart and my soul are at peace.

She chose her life and I have mine. I am able to look at my friends and my peers who now have adult children and many are married and having children of their own. I absolutely love seeing those healthy loving and growing parent-child relationships.

I am not soured as I am truly happy for them. I look on with love and a happy heart. I know that, that was not to be for me and it wasn’t going to be my lot in life. I have not only learned to accept it but to move past it.

People tell me things about her and I have been sent photos of her and I don’t bite. I am not interested in anything related to her and yet there was a date and a time when I was desperate to know anything at all about her. Today I think and believe that if she wanted me to know about her life, she would not have estranged and gone out of her way to make sure that I am not included. I know my place. I got the memo and I heard her loud and clear.

There is life after our children. I do not believe that my marriage would be as happy as it is with the continued drama that was represented in that relationship. She has declared it unhealthy and today I agree. Because of all the loss that she experienced as a small child I took it on that it was my job to fill those voids and in reality it was not. I was there. I was there 100% if not more. I tried my hardest and I did my best.

The decision to estrange was solely her decision, I have learned to live with that decision and she too will have to live with her choices.

Factually speaking she may be my daughter but the reality is that she has not been a daughter to me for eighteen years now. You can’t miss what you don’t have. I don’t miss her at all anymore. I have created a very full and very happy and a very loving life. This past year was one of the happiest years of my life! I had pure joy and much love.

“If God takes you to it, He will take you through it.”

My new books Along The Way and Another Way have many articles, blogs and essays about my journey. It has been an amazing journey and just like any journey there is a beginning and middle and an ending. When it is over, it is over.

I was married for more than 15 years before I legally changed my name, in part because when I was getting married she said, “then I will be the only Moyer left” her dad died when she was just two. I was always trying to fix things and make things better for her.

As this year 2015 ends, I will begin the new year writing under my married name Sahm, Bernadette A. Sahm. Bernadette A. Moyer has many writings that have addressed love, loss, death and estrangement.

The new writings will be about love, happiness and beauty and hopefully even more inspiring and healthy. I have purged my pain, I have written much and I have helped many.

My greatest hope in sharing my experiences and my life story is that anyone that is experiencing this kind of loss, please know that you are not alone, others have survived it and you will too!

I am not saying it is or was easy but what I am sharing is that it is possible … you can be happy again and you can be happy after losing a child to estrangement.

The page has turned … and life is good and beautiful and happy again …

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

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer are available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble

Surrounded by Angels

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Surrounded by Angels
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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I have always had angels around me, my entire life I was aware of the spiritual powers that surround me. Angels are defined as ‘the messengers of God.” In order to receive them you must open both your heart and your mind.

We hear stories about guardian angels, angels of protection during war and people that are helped by angels. We see angels in art, on cards, notes and décor. After my first husband died, within hours I felt a strong spiritual presence over my right shoulder. This was more almost 30 years ago; however I remember it so clearly. The message I received was, “you are not alone.” I was heavy hearted with a two year old daughter. My faith walk as an adult truly began at this time. I believe that God sent that angel with that message.

Years ago I wrote a children’s book titled, Angel Stacey, Earth Angel to Guardian Angel. It was a tribute to our children’s parents and our previous spouses that passed on at such young ages. We raised our children to believe that although God had taken their parent pre-maturely, they may have left this life but that they were still there in Heaven.

When my parents died, I knew they had returned home to God, to their maker. My sense was that my father had made his peace before leaving this earthly life. My dad knew his last days were coming and he took all the necessary steps to make peace with the people in his life that mattered most.

To me, my mother would struggle since she left so much unattended to and certainly left much unrest. But shortly after her departure, I had a strong message from what I believe was an angel. The message was simple, “God knew then and now so does your mother, and you must carry on with peace and love in your heart.”

Having faith is no doubt, the single greatest gift my parents gave to me. I live with less and less anxiety as I age. There are so many wonderful and beautiful angels; I personally have quite a collection in books, wall hangings, ornaments and more.

As a collector, they make me happy. I choose to surround myself with angels and I am receptive to hearing their messages. I truly believe that if and when we are ready to receive our angels, they are there for us. And when we receive the messenger, that angel sent by God, then we truly hear the voice of God.

Angel Stacey books are available at amazon.com

New book Along The Way and Another Way are available on amazon.com and Barnes and Noble

Follow Bernadette on http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer