Heidi's Blog

Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 05:10 PM ( 2 views )  - Posted by Heidi
I had an opportunity this week to speak to our communities Civic Club. I was able to share J.T.’s story to a group of women who have children and grandchildren and share some of my journey through grief. During the speech I remembered something President Bill Clinton said during a Memorial Ceremony for September 11TH victims and their families, he said “ There are nothing but victims when we believe our differences are more important than our common humanity…” . I found this quote one that has really hung in my mind, perhaps because I believe that one of the things all humans have in common is the fact that we all grieve. Think about it : we all have suffered some sort of pain or loss in our lives causing us to grieve, the loss of a child, a parent, a spouse, a friend, a divorce or an illness. They are all different circumstances but they give us the ability to help us understand another persons journey and when we can understand another persons journey we open ourselves up to the opportunity to learn something from it and when we do that we begin to create awareness that gives way to change.

Sunday, March 22, 2009, 09:11 PM ( 1 view )  - Posted by Heidi
What Will Matter
Michael Josephson

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear. So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.

It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident. It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

Michael Josephson is a nationally known ethicist and radio commentator. For more information, please visit this site: www.charactercounts.org

© 2003, Josephson Institute of Ethics

Saturday, March 7, 2009, 10:56 PM ( 5 views )  - Posted by Heidi
I see God all over and I definitely believe he is found in nature. I look around and I see the colors he created like the blue of the ocean, the green of the trees, and the orange in the sunset. Beautiful pure colors that surpass imagination and show us that God is real and all around us, but as of late I have also discovered that God shows himself to us in other people as well, In my children for example because children are clean. No, I don’t mean they don’t have mud on their shoes or smell kind of funny when they come in from playing outside, I mean clean of spirit. I remember the moment I knew there was something bigger than me and it wasn’t confessing my sins in church or in a Sunday School class it was moments after my first child was born. They picked her up and placed her on my chest, her breath was sweet like she still had a mouthful of heaven and when she opened he drowsy little eyes I saw that she knew more good than I had ever experienced. That moment is when God became real to me. God has also found a way to present himself to me in the friends I have met through this cause. People who have adopted my passion for J.T. and change as their own, some of them because they too know the pain of losing a child or family member in this way, and others, not because they have a personal loss but posses the ability to truly empathize and see that the losses we have suffered are senseless. These people who understand and help are God’s way of saying “You are not alone.” I think The Rev. William Kolb sums it up quite well by encouraging us to “look for God” give it a try…He’s closer than you think.

God does not promise to prevent pain and tragedy. If we are fortunate to live long enough, we will experience and encounter pain over and over again. What God does promise is to be with us through the pain; God promises to give us the power of His presence so that we can cope, so that we can have perspective, so that the pain of loss, of heartbreak, of our own dying does not overwhelm.
Look for God in the person who sits and listens with his or her heart when you need to pour out yours. Look for God in hope that grows out of ashes; look for God in the growth and peace that comes to some who have been through dark valleys. Look for God in the laughs of small children and in the confidence of youth. Look for God in every person who is open to God, everyone who seeks and searches for God; look for God in everyone who asks questions such as yours.
--The Rev. William A. Kolb

People see God every day, they just don't recognize him. ~Pearl Bailey

Monday, February 23, 2009, 07:55 PM ( 26 views )  - Posted by Heidi
My Mom tells me all the time “The minute you set your mind to something all the negatives hit you in the face.” Ok Mom as much as I hate to admit it… you’re right. Here I am on my quest for peace and who should show up banging on my door but Anger himself. I swing open the door to confront that gnarly beast and say “What are you doing here? Can’t you see I’m on the beach, my toes in the sand, the sun on my back and the kids just started laughing over their lopsided sandcastle?” He pushes past me into the living room and sits his revolting, filthy, putrid self on my beige sofa and announces “Your going to deal with me one way or another!” Good ole’ Anger, I have fed him so long he resembles some kind of overindulged, overweight giant mealworm. I decide he needs one more meal before his long overdue diet so I lean back in my chair and inhale a nose full of his stench, then sit up and slowly exhale and say “Here you go fatty, snack on this! I am angry because I believe Yamaha killed my son. I believe they miss designed the Rhino and knew it before they even ever sold one! This injustice has cost me way more than I was willing to pay and I don’t think they care! They even painted the Rhino’s the appropriate colors, Red for the innocent blood they spilled all across this country, Green for the money they made off of these murders without conscious, and Camouflage to conceal the mistakes they knowingly made. I believe some of the salesmen misrepresent the Rhino as safe, helping people to purchase their very own murder weapon! I believe there should be a real recall not just some offer of doors, I believe all of the problems with the Rhino like the too narrow track width and the lack of foot and arm protection, the inadequate roll bar and seatbelts should be corrected before one more unit is sold and I believe that Yamaha should do this, not because they HAVE to but because they have one tiny ounce of human compassion for there fellow man, BUT THEY DON’T!” I stop talking to catch my breath from my rant and smile to see J.T. out of the corner of my eye doing a victory dance because I just told Anger where to stick it, and then it hit me… The anger I just vented is justified, being mad and wanting to force change in Yamaha is alright it is my habit of turning other emotions into anger that is toxic. I have developed the ability to turn sadness into anger because heartache can’t be thrown at someone, it just sits inside me weeping. I can even skillfully turn my guilt over happy feelings into anger because then it is vented and not eating me alive from the inside out. These reasons for being angry are not justified and the true emotions that lay beneath should be acceptable to feel and ultimately need to be felt, not fed to anger, so I can truly move forward in this journey.

Anybody can become angry--that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way--that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
- Aristotle

Thursday, February 19, 2009, 09:42 AM ( 30 views )  - Posted by Heidi
The challenge I set before myself in the below blog “Spirit Of A Storm” is one I choose to accept, to find peace. Peace I believe is personal and unique to each of us, to me it is a feeling, a feeling I can only describe as sitting on a beach facing the water with my toes in the warm sand and the rhythmic sound of the waves rolling in. I can lean my head back, close my eyes and feel the sun on my shoulders while simultaneously a crisp sea breeze blows across me making the temperature just perfect. I hear birds squawking quietly in the distance and the sound of my children laughing over a lopsided sandcastle…Peace. My goal I suppose is to have that feeling without relocating, to find that beach inside myself and dwell there where worries take a back seat to just living in that moment, where life ceases to just pass me by, where anger doesn’t dominate my thoughts and joy is found in the simplicity of it all.
The truth is I am angry a lot and I tell myself that I have a right to be and after all anger can be a great motivator in rectifying what happened to J.T. and making sure Yamaha is stopped but there is a little voice inside that often speaks out in my rage saying love can be an even greater motivator without so many of the negative side effects. That little voice is J.T.’s so how could I choose not to listen? So that is my mission and hopefully I will find a way to arrive at a more peaceful place in the next few weeks and I will share with you my journey and what I learn.

Many a happiness in life, as many a disaster, can be due to chance, but the peace within us can never be governed by chance.
- Maurice Maeterlinck

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven ... A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1,8

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