The Lost Child

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The Lost Child
By Bernadette A. Moyer

lost child

My grandmother on my father’s side, (my nana) lost a son (Jimmy) when he was just seven years old and just weeks after his first Holy Communion. She never got over it. It was an unexpected illness that quickly took his life. I imagine that a part of her died too. She talked about him all the time. She cried about him often.

I was just a little kid that visited her and I knew very little about death way back then, but I sensed enough to know and witness her heartbreak, sadness and uneasiness. She was tormented by her loss. It showed itself in her verbal and consciousness and stream of thoughts and words. Her actions showed intense grief. Today I can’t help but wonder how different her life might have been if Jimmy had not died so young.

The lost child changed her; it changed how she related to everyone including the remaining family members. How did it affect her marriage? How did it affect her relationships with her remaining four children? How much of the way that she was determined how her children became? Really we can never know but I think a reasonable person could agree that everything and everyone in that family was altered as a result of such a loss, like the loss of a child.

We can lose a child to death, to estrangement and to mental illness, where there maybe different types of loss, losing a child brings a wide range of emotions with it. We lose a piece of our hopes and our dreams. We lose a piece of ourselves and a part of our futures.

Mothers put so much of their own wellness on how their children are doing; they want their kids to be healthy and happy. I’ve read somewhere that “a mother can only be as happy as her saddest child.” I sure hope that isn’t true, but I do appreciate the thought.

I’ve never known the death of a child, thank God, but I have known losing a child. My first child was lost to me through estrangement on July 4, 1998. This year marked 19 years, she has been gone longer than I had her. For me she is a lost child. I too grieved her intensely and often talked about her too. I think that we talk about our lost children so that we can somehow keep them alive. It is all so unnatural for any parent to lose a child, regardless of the type of loss and a loss is a loss.

I changed. Initially my world was forced into an upside down position. Everything that I once held so near and dear in my own life like being a mother was shattered. I had to look at myself, I had to look at her and I was forced to look at everything. Being a mother meant everything to me, perhaps more than it should. I was consumed with grief. I went through all the stages from denial to acceptance. It felt like a death to me. A death of my child and a death of a part of myself, today I am different, very different. I see from a broader perspective from more of a life experienced, my head learned much, my heart initially shrank but then as the years passed by my heart grew larger with more acceptance and a greater understanding. Funny how that can happen, but it did.

Remember when the best stories ended with the phrase; “and they lived happily ever after”? After you experience enough life you soon realize that not everything ends with “happy ever after” but that does not mean that your happiness has to end.

You find new and different things that make you happy; you learn over and over again that true and sustained happiness comes from within.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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You Might Not Be Rewarded

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You Might Not Be Rewarded
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Do it for yourself! Do the right things and do them for yourself! Sounds simple, right?

How often do we do things and just expect to be rewarded? Then when we aren’t? Maybe the real rewards have nothing to do with what lives outside but rather what lives within us?

Love to love. Just for the sake of loving.

Give for giving. Just for the sake of giving.

Do for doing. Just for the sake of doing.

Work for working. Just for the sake of working.

Contribute for contributing. Just for the sake of contributing.

And the list goes on …

Do what is right and do it for you …

Let the only reward that you concern yourself with come from within and don’t think about rewards that may or may not ever come from outside of you.

Disappointment is rooted in expectations that are not met. The only disappointments we should ever entertain are the ones that we hold for ourselves, they become the meter for our soul, our character and they define us.

When we do the right things and when we do them for the right reason … we achieve peace and love from within.

When we have love and peace from within we have already achieved our greatest God given rewards.

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

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Living in Balance

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Living in Balance
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Healing Crystals Love

Healing Crystals Love Chakra Affirmation

From enjoying a hearty slice of chocolate cake to a fierce 500 plus calorie workout, striving for and living in balance is always the challenge. Finding the perfect balance of work and play can at times elude us. I truly believe that peace and love of life are a direct result of our achieving that balance. That perfect balance when we are achieving and contributing and when we are having fun and unwinding.

It is important to have a meaningful existence in our work and within our role in our family and in our community, just as fun and recreation are also necessary for a balanced and meaningful life.

Sometimes we fling from excessive work and being up and on to excessive play where we have freedom and free time. Often anxiety is born in too much time or as my grandmother was famous for sharing “idle time is a devils workshop.”

We have a need and a want, a desire to be needed but we also crave that alone time where we can recharge and retreat. We can give too much and come up empty or we don’t give enough and end up feeling unfulfilled.

It can be like our diet when we overindulge or when we starve ourselves; neither extreme is viewed as healthy. A life of leisure without any responsibilities or commitments can make us feel hollow and empty. Being valued is important.

Identifying all the pieces that are necessary to achieve balance is the first step. We come to the understanding that our social life, our purpose in life, our nutritional life, intellectual life, emotional life and physical life must all be in balance for us to live our best life.

We know better than anyone when our life is out of balance and what the side effects and suffering that come about as a result. Today I strive for balance more than ever. I see that place where grace and gratitude come together to help me in all the pieces of life.

Take stock … are you living in balance? If not what are the side effects? What do you need to do to reach that balance? I truly believe that the single best things we can do to live a long and happy life is maintaining balance in our life. That just right amount of work and play and diet and exercise and filling our soul and our brains with healthy thoughts and prayers helps everyone and anyone achieve a better balanced life!

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

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5 Minutes with God

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5 Minutes with God
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Recently I read a blog about what the writer would say if they had 5 minutes alone and face-to-face with God. For several days I pondered this question. Funny thing for me, there wasn’t one thing that I could think of that I would say in those 5 minutes. There wasn’t one thing that I could think of to do or to say that I haven’t already said to God.

Not one single thing! I talk to God every single day, sometimes I tell him I am sorry and I ask for forgiveness, sometimes I ask if I am getting it right and doing His will. Other times I tell him I’m not getting this at all, please help me to understand. Many times, I thank Him for all my blessings!

My prayers aren’t that complicated either, same old tried and true, Our Father and plenty of Hail Mary’s. For me it doesn’t have to be so complicated. There is no question I have screwed up in my lifetime and I suspect that no one knows it better than God himself. Most of the time, I know that I am living true to God because I have been true to my own heart. A heart that I believe He gave to me. For most often I do get it right and I try hard as I can to make this gift of my life, count as much as it possibly can for the something good.

Another writer wrote about the meal they would have and all that they would do if they knew it was their last day here on earth. I didn’t have that “list” either since I already have the people I love closest to me and the ones who aren’t here anymore I have wished them well. I pretty much eat healthy and fresh and do the things that I enjoy. I have learned that this is it. This is my one life to be lived like it was our last day. There are no guarantees in tomorrow, so I take what I get today and try and make the best of it.

So if and when I get my 5 minutes alone with God, I’m pretty sure I know what I would say. It probably would go something like this, “Hi it’s me again. Sorry for all my screw ups, I tried and I’m still trying. I understand the lessons about this and that and I get it. As you know I’m still struggling with this one particular thing. Is this the time? The time that it is revealed to me, what I was supposed to learn and why it happened? And again I am sorry for the times I fell short and I truly appreciate all that you have given to me. And thank you for taking the time to see me.”

And in parting I would ask, just so I was clear “What will you have me do now? What do you want me to do next? Thanks again for seeing me, and for never forsaking me. Thank you God!”

Then I imagine that we would pray together, pray like we have so many times before. I have had many 5-minute sessions with God. I feel His presence in my life and I know that He sees me and loves me and it looking out for me. I know that I have been God blessed. And that doesn’t mean that everything has gone my way or that my life was easy. It actually means the opposite, I have struggled, I have hurt, I have been hurt and at times lost. Yet it was always God that took me back, God who embraced me, God who gave me the strength to carry on …

God is with me every single day, He lives in my heart. Where it might be nice to have that 5-minute face-to-face meeting with God, however, if by chance, we don’t, I know that I have already had it.

God be with you …

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

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Regret
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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One of my professors was famous for saying that “regret is the hardest pill to swallow.” That phrase has stayed with me for decades now and I do my very best to try and live a life that is free of regrets.

Yet most of us probably look back on a time when we may have made decisions that we later live to regret. Bold decisions made in youth and/or in haste seldom hold up over the test of time.

“Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.” Don Miguel Ruiz

We can’t change our past but we can learn from it and when possible we can make amends. To live a life without regrets is to live a life of peace.

No Regrets by Gary Allan (Songwriters: Jon Randall, Jamie Hanna and Gary Allan)
Well time and fate can’t be controlled
You play the hand that you’re dealt
And the dice that you rolled
And who am I to question God anyway

I remember so clearly way back in 1983 when I was leaving the gravesite where my first husband was just buried and I remember thinking; I would rather do and say something I may live to regret rather that regretting that I never did it or said it. I was so fortunate that when Randy died everything that needed to be said and done was so.

There is tremendous peace that comes from knowing we did and we said all that we could during any given life experience.

Simply doing our best is surely the best way to live without regrets!

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

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Our Stained Souls

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Our Stained Souls
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Our shared humanity and yet so many of us have a stained soul, I read posts on social media and my head just spins. I see and hear things on the news about “the enemy” that took a pilot and put him in a cage and lit him on fire to watch him burn?

The person they claimed is the “mastermind” behind the attacks in France is on video and states that “dragging humans” behind his vehicle is more fun than the feeling of skiing or driving snow? And I can’t begin to imagine the female who is seconds away from self-exploding and calls out “help me help me” so she can take other innocent people with her.

These people are without a soul …

Then I read social media posts that state you can’t be a Christian and a Republican at the same time? Or that we should take or shouldn’t take Syrian refugees … the argument as to why we should and why we shouldn’t? Yet I see homeless people here in our country and veterans who served our country who don’t have a job, or a place to live or food to eat?

We want “blood” we want people to pay for their crimes in an almost inhuman way … that somehow a “prison sentence” will make all of Jared Fogle’s victims new again? It won’t, it won’t take their pain away it won’t restore them. I have zero sympathy for what he did and know all too well the many ills and the numerous challenges that the sexually abused will suffer. He is sick and needs treatment.

What happens to the cities that become flooded with illegal immigrants? Who will house them, feed them and employ them? Who will pay for them to be here? We have numerous soup kitchens in our city that literally have lines of people; men women and children waiting to receive their only hot meal of the day. They come needing food and needing clothes and needing care.

I watched “Black Lives Matter” and it would never have occurred to me otherwise? Except that I know for a fact that the large majority of the homicides currently taking place in Baltimore city are black people killing other black people?

And I am sorry but this college thing … if you are paying for a school you pick one that is in keeping with your values? We vote with our dollar, don’t we decide where to send our kids and where we will go for an education?

So when I see Towson University “sign a pledge” that came from the black student population, I think weren’t you already including all people? Was there discrimination going on there?

Our President went to other countries and bad mouthed almost half of the population here in the United States? Doesn’t he realize how bad that makes him look? He is the leader of this country and takes a crack at the opposing party of the country where he presides while on foreign ground?

There is so much anger in the world today, people are frustrated and dismissive and so quick to take a side? We are fighting mad but unsure what to do with our frustrations and anger?

There is a large sect of people that want “free” healthcare and “free” education, we ALL know it is NOT “free” who is supposed to pay? Pick up the tab? Even the insurance providers can’t make it work and they are the most motivated because it is their business, and yes people health care is a business.

Where is our value system? Do we hold the same value for what was given to us compared to what we ourselves worked for? When I was a kid the 10-speed bicycle that was given to me at Christmas was stolen while I was playing tennis with a friend. I threw it down and never locked it up when I returned for it, it was gone. The next bike my parents made me save for it and pay for it myself, it wasn’t near as nice but I took much better care of it because I was the one who paid for it.

Today’s young person seems foreign to me; they have demands and expectations that don’t jive with real life? They want FREE everything and even “safe zones” and to govern words that can’t be used because they are hurt by them?

I can only share what I learned in my lifetime, to the youth of today with your never ending “list of demands” toughen up! Life is not easy, you will be challenged, you will see and hear things that you don’t like or approve of … that’s life.

Get a soul, your strength comes from within you and not outside your body, getting along with other people means that you just may see things and hear things that aren’t “safe” and words only hurt you if you allow them to hurt you!

When your soul knows who you are and what you are all about … and when you are developed and matured you will easily brush off words that you don’t like and you will create your own “safe zone” in life. You can’t expect other people to give you everything without your willingness to work hard. The things you work for you will appreciate more.

If you want “free” work hard so you are in a position to be the giving one … I’ve known many successful people and I know them all to be generous and to be givers. And most don’t need to be asked or told to be generous.

If you are unhappy in the ways of the world, rather than “demand” change, how about being the change that you wish to see in this world? It starts with you. It starts with a soul, a soul that refuses to become stained by those that wish to breed more hatred; violence and discrimination … become the soul that you want to see in others …

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Effective leaders know that you model the behaviors that you wish you see in others … it always starts from within … change your thinking and change the world.

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

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