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short stories

We must mourn the loss of loved ones for the healing to begin

Death is the hardest thing for humans to understand. Death is a process we will all go through. We enter death without knowing what happens next. Will we be with our loved ones again or in a different place when our time comes? This is the greatest question, I believe, that has ever been asked. I have my beliefs, and you have yours. Only in death will we know who was right. 

As I grow older and friends and loved ones leave for the great beyond, I find loneliness slipping in. It truly becomes a greater task to find an end to the sadness and emptiness I feel. Must I continue to mourn until my dying day, or will peace find me before my time comes to an end? I’m at the age now where many of my friends are leaving this earth, and I start to wonder when my time might come. Although many die young as well as old, when we grow older, the wick of our candle grows shorter. With each passing breath, we are tempting fate. We shall die, and those who mourn us will do so as we did with so many others.

I suppose I should thank God for allowing me to get this far in life. I never believed I would see the age of thirty-three. I am now within days of my fifty-sixth birthday and am amazed that it has shown up so quickly. Where did all the years go? How is it that I still see myself in my twenties, but when I look in the mirror, those years are long past their existence? Have I fought the good fight? I believe I have. Have I spent my life wisely? This I must sadly say no to. There were so many choices, and yet I made few correct ones. 

I look to the youth to find my strength to go on. I have fought to maintain my breath and know that my time too is running out. Will it be today or one of the tomorrows yet to come? This I do not know the answer to. I shall continue taking one breath at a time until the breath no longer enters my body.

I am here only by the grace of God, for on my own, I would have been dust many years ago. Many choices with many failures, but I live on while I watch better people who deserve so much more, return to the ground beneath. “Why, Lord, have I been allowed to grow older while the young with so much to give are taken away?” Where do I fit in the grand scheme of things? Am I here only to write these words or to right my wrongs? If I must right my wrongs, I shall live forever. 

We all strive to leave this world on a good note, with many who will miss us and tell our tales. How can this happen when all those we know are already leaving? I mourn for those I have lost and find myself in a state of perpetual mourning. “Oh, Lord, let me have a break from this sadness. “Let me wake up to the living around me, and let the dead be few for a while.”

I write this with great sorrow in my heart as I learn of another friend being put to rest. I pray you have found the heaven you imagined, and your eternity will be one of true happiness, my friend. We followed the same God in life. May we meet once again after death. Peace be with you, “Big Jon.” You will be missed.

We must be allowed to mourn the passing of our loved ones. This does nothing for the dead but allows healing for the living. Our hearts break, and the repair is a long journey. Do not hold in what must be let out. Without wailing, our hearts cannot heal. Release the hurt and allow the healing to begin. May God be with you and yours. Remember, we are all in this together.

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short stories

What kinds of situations are you willing to put up with to call a place home?

     Depending on what you are willing to put up with, will determine where you want to live and call your home.

      As I write this, I am thinking of the different states within the United States of America as those I will be discussing. However, this post can be used anywhere in the world. We all have our breaking points, which will move us from one place to another.

Saguaro cacti in Arizona desert
Looks like my backyard

      I currently live in Arizona, which has its beautiful along with its dangers. When someone thinks of this state, the first thing that comes to mind is heat. However, if you were to travel in northern Arizona, such as Flagstaff, in the winter months, you may be surprised by the massive amounts of snow you’d encounter. I, myself, reside in the middle of this great state and see cool winters, but still very high temperatures in summer. There are also many other dangers, these come in forms of rattlesnakes, scorpions, Gila monsters, and many other poisonous things. Cacti are also very troublesome to put up with. Speaking of cacti, this is the only place in the world where the giant saguaros live. So if you are willing to put up with the various dangers here, you will be given beautiful landscapes, awesome lightning shows, and of course, sunshine with clear skies most of the year.

       Another place I have lived is in the Midwest, in the state of Missouri, where I spent many years of my youth. This is a beautiful state, full of farm land, lakes, rivers and woods. Here, you will have wonderful fishing and hunting opportunities. You can easily live off the land since water is abundant, and growing your own food in the fertile land is fairly easy. Raising your own livestock is also a plus, with the grasslands for your cattle and other farm animals is easily found. The downside to this great countryside comes in the form of high humidity in the summer and hard freezes in the winter. It is a well known place to carry a sweater, light jacket, raincoat and heavy coat most of the wintertime. The weather can change rapidly, and being prepared is sometimes a challenge.

Missouri River in Missouri
Missouri River

       North Carolina is a place I lived during my time in the Navy. While it is an absolutely beautiful state, hard freezes and hurricane weather is something that may keep you from this state. Some of the friendliest people I have ever met, live here. The hunting is absolutely wonderful and fishing is great as well. The winters are fairly hard, and wet weather is an understatement. This state has very fertile land for growing whatever you wish in your garden. You can also live near the Atlantic Ocean, with some beautiful beaches to enjoy. If you are willing to deal with the harsh winters and hard rains here, you have found one of my favorite states.

Forest trees in the fall, North Carolina
Fall in North Carolina

      Virginia is an interesting state with abundant historical American sites of the Civil War. Many other states have places to see involved with this war, but Virginia stands out in this category.  This state also has many woods as well as beaches to enjoy. The weather is much like North Carolina, with fairly hard winters and hurricane weather to put up with. Furthermore, this state contains the military city of Norfolk. While other states contain military cities, this one stands out as one of the greatest. I was stationed there and can honestly say, if you are not military, you are of the few, not the many in this city.

Welcome highway sign entering Virginia
Welcome to Virginia

      I, personally, have been to every state of the United States, except two. These two states are Alaska and Hawaii. I would like to visit both of these states before I die. I have only lived in a few, but have traveled through many, forty-eight, to be exact. One thing I have noticed is the difference from state to state. It amazes me how much difference there can be, just by crossing an invisible line from one to the other. We can freely move from one state to the other and live  as though we have always been there. The language may be the same, but accents can be extreme from one state to the other. All in all, we are Americans. We stand as one with completely different ways of life. All we have to do, is decide what weather we are willing to put up with, and in a short period of time, we can live out our dreams in the place we choose. If this place gets old to us, we just pack up and move to another state and try something completely different. We can do this as many times as we wish, as long as we live. We may have to learn a different accent, but we will be welcome.

Northern lights in Alaska
Northern lights as seen In Alaska

      I may be a little prejudice, but I feel that I live in the greatest country in the world. This is not because I don’t like other places, this is just because I love my country with all my heart. I have been to many countries, and enjoyed the sites, but I like it here and believe I will stay. As I mentioned from the beginning, this post speaks of what one is willing to put up with to live somewhere. I used the United States because this is where I live. However, you can use these thoughts anywhere in the world. Do you like the woods, desert, plains or beach? What kind of weather are you willing to put up with to live there? There are natural disasters everywhere in the world. Which ones do you deal with? Mother nature is e everywhere, and she will use her power, one way or another. What disaster can you handle to live where you wish? These are questions we must ask ourselves to be happy of our surroundings.

       Fortunately, in this day and age, it is easy to find that perfect spot we wish to live. With the availability of the internet, we can find that special place where we wish to live and raise our families. It wasn’t many years ago that people had to travel to a place before they knew what mother nature had in store for them. So with that in mind, where is your perfect place? Have you even thought about moving, or are you content where you are? I’m curious to know, for I have yet to  live in my perfect spot. I am however looking, as we speak. Furthermore, I’m very close, but these summers are getting to be too hard as I grow older and feel I need to head more north. I thank God that I live in a country where I can move to different parts of the country, without any trouble.

      I hope this post has brought you to a decision of where you want to be, and what you are willing to put up with to live there. I would like to hear of the place you live, and some of the issues you face. Do you have hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme heat or cold? Maybe you have found your Utopia. My readers and I want to hear. Feel free to leave a reply, and I will answer as soon as I can. My readers will likely chime in as well. Take care, and I hope today finds you well. I look forward to discussing this post with you.

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Blog posts short stories

Make time for Needful things

       In today’s world, we are in such a rush that we are forgetting the most important things in life. We hurry to work, eat fast food, while time for family and friends are laid to the wayside. Is this what life is all about in society today? It sure seems that way, but is this a healthy way to live? The answer to this question would be a resounding no. If we don’t find time for the needful things in life, then what kind of life are we really living? This answer would add up to be a very empty life indeed.

Small girl sitting with a smile

       All the money in the world won’t be near as precious a gift as a smile from your child. A child’s smile is more than enough reason to find the needed time for family and friends. How many people live their whole lives working and look back from an old age, knowing they have waited a lifetime? This is such a sad existence and one that should never be lived in the first place. Did you take care of your family with all the work you did? Of course, you did, but how many birthdays did you miss because you got called into work, and you took it upon yourself to answer the phone?

       It is true that working hard for your family is very honorable, but what did you miss because of work? Don’t get me wrong, I respect a hard worker, and I’m sure your family does as well. The thing I’m talking about is the downtime to enjoy your family and friends. Do you find yourself spending all spare time in front of the television or reading all about the bad stuff happening in your newspaper? When was the last time you spent free time teaching your daughter to fly a kite? Maybe it’s something even of a shorter time, like explaining a math problem or teaching your child how to bake a cake. The key is to find time when it seems like there isn’t any to spare. If you can’t spare it now, then when?

        Using your free time wisely is extremely important! Some of this time must be used for relaxation of the mind, other parts need to be used for connecting with loved ones and friends. If you don’t find time for others, why would they find time for you later? Many people grow old alone because they didn’t have time for others earlier in life. Don’t set your life’s goals only upon working that nine to five job. Finding the downtime away from work leads to a much healthier and happier life for you as well as those around you. Why wait until that one-week vacation to find out who is important to you.

Old man sitting alone reading a book

      We live our lives sitting on a time bomb! What I mean by this is, we never know when our time is up. Some die at a very young age, while others live to be very old. Are you going to lay odds that you will have time to enjoy life later? How old will you live to be? More importantly, how long will your family and friends live to be? Will they still be around when you decide it is time to get to know them better? Furthermore, will they be willing to give you the time of day after so many years of being ignored?

     I understand, in this day and age, it is hard to make a living for your family and many friendships may be put aside because of the stresses you have to deal with every day. I also understand how important it is for us to have friends and family in our lives in a social environment.

Dog getting a pat on the head by his owner

      Let’s think of a dog for a moment. Your pet dog is a great pet because they are always happy to see you! You could leave the house and be gone ten minutes. When you return, your dog is so happy to see you that he can hardly stand still. As long as you give your dog a pat on the head or a quick scrub on the belly, your dog is happy. He is always looking for another way to get that pat or scrub. Why do we call dogs man best friend? Because they are forgiving and ready to please you anytime day or night. Now, people are very different in this nature. People have to be reminded that they are loved and needed. If you go long enough without reminding them of this love and need, they will forget and look for another place to receive these things. Dogs are loyal to their owners, but people are their own owners and only loyal to those that show loyalty to them. Are you willing to pass a time to show your family and friends your loyalty? How long do they have to wait on you? Besides, your dog tends to get more attention from you than your family and friends, even if it is only a pat on the head. This is very sad if you think about it.

       When your children were younger, do you remember how excited they were to see you, even if you had been gone only a short time? As you become too busy to spend time with them, are they still as excited or are you now just someone that lives under the same roof? There was a time when you would call your friend, and they were excited to come over for dinner. Now, when you call, they seem to have other things planned. Do you feel any of this happening in your life? If so, then it’s time to find time for others, even if it’s just a few minutes to let them know you care. Make the connection today, or live to wander later when you are alone.

Father and children holding hands and playing

       One final note, and I will let you consider if my words hold truth for you. If you don’t want to grow old alone, I suggest you take this post to heart, and do so today. Don’t wait until it is too late. Remember, people are different from dogs, besides most of us outlive our dogs. Show a need and love for your family and friends today. Tomorrow may be too late. Take care, God bless and remember, we are all in this together.

Living and life

It is true that we must labor to make a living, but what are you doing to make a life? I’m not talking about having children, I’m talking about your life. Going to work at a job you don’t like will make you a living but not necessarily a life. You need to enjoy what you do for a living to have a good and fruitful life. You can have a job that you dislike and still enjoy it with the right frame of mind.

Mechanic working on car
Keep a joyful life even while making a living

Most people don’t realize the difference between just living and life. One hundred percent of us are in the living sector but what percent can actually say they have a good and fruitful life? Many go to work forty or more hours a week to make that all important living that pays the bills and puts food on the table. Maybe seventy percent of these people make it to retirement age. Once retired, possibly twenty-five percent of those retired have the means and physical ability to enjoy the remainder of their lives. That’s not very high in my point of view. Besides, why do we need to get to sixty-five or older to have that life we so much desire? Why can’t we have true meaning before we get old?

So what makes a good life? Some are content with the nine to five jobs, going home to see the family and for a home cooked meal. Three or four hours of enjoyment, then off to bed. The best thing we can think about is the weekend or maybe the week or two of vacation once a year. Of course the family vacation takes away the savings we have, which later will hurt us when we are ready to finally retire. Some have retirement money through their jobs like the 401k or maybe the company will pitch in if you spend thirty years with them. By the time you reach this all important age, you find out the retirement money isn’t really as much as you planned. It really looked good on paper, but when you start paying for things you want to do, you find out it’s never enough.

Man carrying a woman piggyback
Don’t wait till retirement, enjoy life now

I know it sounds like I’m being down hearted about this living versus life, but I’m going to bring a light to this right now. You can make a living and have a good life everyday once you set your mind to it. This has nothing to do with money. This my friends has everything to do with your mindset. You have to learn how to enjoy life even when things are at their worst. If you are of the mindset of just putting in your time till retirement to have a life, then that’s exactly what you’re going to get. You will not find true joy until you receive that gold watch for thirty years of hard labor. And sometimes, once we arrive at that time, we find out how fast time has gone and how much joy we have missed. Worse of all, maybe our bodies aren’t in the shape we planned on when we get there. This would really put a kink in our plans.

Retired husband and wife looking off into the world with morning coffee
Retirement is happiest if you enjoy life before

To have a good life from beginning to end, we must determine to live every day to it’s fullest. Then once we hit that all important time to finally retire, we can look back and see that we had a good life all along and didn’t miss the joy that came with it. When you wake up in the morning, and every morning from now on, decide to have the positive outlook instead of the grind it out negative way. I will guarantee, if you follow my advice, even the worst day can be a good day.

My friends, this may not make sense to you right now, but if you try the positive outlook for one month, every single day, you will feel the joy that you so desire and deserve. Don’t wait to get old to have a life. Start today and enjoy the time you have. We never know how long we truly have. Don’t wait to enjoy life. Take care my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.