Friday, February 29, 2008

STOP THE HATE

Dearest Friends,

I have never written about anything other than my life on this blog until today. I have been jarred emotionally by a recent incident in the news. It has angered me and moved me to tears--but it is crucial that each of us take this opportunity to make a difference in the upcoming election.

Lawrence King, a 15-year-old boy from Oxnard, California, was shot twice in the head during class at E.O. Green Junior High School on February 12th. He was declared brain dead and taken off life support three days later.

Larry King


Why was he murdered by another student, 14 year-old Brandon McInereney?

Friends say it was because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. "Larry" was reported to be openly gay, and sometimes attended school wearing make-up and jewelry.

Brandon was one of many students who were known to bully and harrass Larry. He has been arrested and charged with the murder. Ventura County prosecutors have said the murder was a "premeditated hate crime."

Another hate crime? Wasn't it just ten years ago that we witnessed another horrific murder of a young Wyoming teenager, Matthew Shepherd, because of his sexual orientation?

Hatred. Ignorance. Violence.

There is no room in this world for those three words. We can no longer tolerate these violent acts upon our young children.

We MUST enact a federal hate crime law to ensure the safety and freedom of ALL of the GLBT community. No if's, and's or but's about it. Hate crimes cannot be tolerated at any level...EVER.

All of us are children of God, no matter what our color, religion or sexual orientation. The US government must make it mandatory to hold classes, with NO exception, on tolerance and diversity. This should also be a mandatory part of a company's orientation to a new employee.

Young people desperately need our direction and guidance to prevent hate crimes from happening over and over again. Please, friends--mothers, fathers, teachers--I beg you to PLEASE educate our children about acceptance, understanding and compassion.

As a minister, let us pray for Lawrence "Larry" King and his family.

"Divine Presence of our Creator who is here with us and within us, lighten our sadness at this moment with the joy that as you are always with us, and as Larry is with you...so spiritually and in truth we all live together within you."

"And that death is but the temporary parting from the eye, but not from your presence which contains us all. For this realization of Truth to lighten our sadness and spiritually dry our tears with peace through your spirit...we do give thanks...Amen."



"Divine Father of Light, Goodness, and Truth, I call upon your Holy Presence, within us, and about us...that as we light this candle, with the candle representing Your Universal Spirit, that your spirit light be with Lawrence King giving strength, peace and love, and assurance in the continuance of his life beyond our physical presence."

"In the spirit of truth and goodness, we ask this in your name, and in faith we accept that SO IT IS."

(Moment of Silence)

May the King Family receive guidance, from the God within them, to remove sadness which they feel. Let the healing of God's love be greater in them than the loss that they feel.

Ellen Degeneres said it best during her segment today. Please click below:
http://www.tmz.com/tmz_main_video?titleid=1437079313

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February Winds Down, But I Don't!

Wow! I cannot believe there is only one week left in the month of February. We actually had some snow last week, but it only lasted a day due to the amount of rain the NY area has been incurring.


Dylan watching the snowflakes fall!

The temperatures have rollercoastered from the low teens to the upper 60s. Global warming? It definitely is weird!!!

I have been extremely achy all over, but my mental state has been amazing through everything, thanks to my studies. I completed my ministry courses and mailed them out, registered receipt. I spoke to a representative at the university who said it may take a month to receive my grade. In the meantime, she advised me to continue working on my master's degree.

I've taken a brief hiatus from my studies...for a week...to go over tax stuff, get last minute wedding plans in order, and to just relax. Of course, that is impossible with the April date so close. We did meet with the bakery to order our cake...it will be gorgeous!

My Long Island rheumy, Dr. Rumore, gave me a great report the other day. My bloodwork results for January looked fantastic! My CK levels are 77 and aldolase is 3.5! 3.5...yahoooooo!

I also had an appointment with Dr. Ruisi, the cardiologist, for a check up. His office staff couldn't believe how great I looked, and he also was extremely pleased with my health status at this time. I don't have to return until August!

Tomorrow is my appointment with Dr. Spiera in NYC, and I have many questions regarding my inability to sleep, despite the ambien. Dr. Rumore thinks it could be the pain I am in, so he suggested taking Tylenol along with the ambien. Maybe it is also hormonal, or lack of hormones. Let's see what Spiera thinks.

Sally's birthday was a three-day affair this year! I made a wonderful Valentine's/Birthday dinner on Thursday for the three of us.

We went out to Gasho of Japan with friends on Friday night, which was a very interesting experience. This particular restaurant recently opened, and they obviously didn't have their acts together just yet! But we made the most of it...laughing the entire time!

(Back) Dan, Eric, Ceil, Liv, Bev (Front) Ann, Joan & Sally


Catch the flying food! (Not too embarassing, eh?)

We ventured out later on that evening to Dave and Buster's for some fun and games. Sally and I competed in a very serious game of air hockey. We really get competitive! Yikes!



Not too competitive, are we?

On Saturday, Sal's gal pal Marjory took us out for seafood to celebrate yet again. Not bad, eh?

We also celebrated our little Goldie's first birthday! I cannot believe she is one! Where did the time go?



Goldie jumps for her "lit" birthday cookie!

This upcoming weekend will also be crazy! Mom is meeting me in NYC, and will drive us back to the island. She has to get her dress fitted, we are going to the florist to pick out the flowers, hopefully looking for shoes and finally I am having my hair styled on Sunday to get an idea of what I want it to look like. Oy vey!

Guess what? I actually found a metaphysical group out of Hicksville! I have been looking to meet with people who are also practicing metaphysics as part of their lives, and I am attending a meeting on March 7th.
The most important thing, right now, is staying on track with my health. My positive attitude and daily meditation will guide me in the right direction.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another Furr Baby Passes On To Rainbow Bridge

My best friend Dawn called to say that she knew it was definitely time to say good-bye to her 14 year old dobie mix, Cleo.

Dawn asked me numerous times over the last few months when she would know, without a doubt, when the time was right for euthanasia.

From my last two experiences with Casey and Kandie, they both let me know in their own unique ways. While my rescued 3 year old golden retriever Kandie lay on the floor at home, just two days after being released from the hospital, I asked her if she was ready to go. She slowly raised her head up to make eye contact with me, and placed her right paw over my clenched hands. At that moment, the song "Angel" by Sarah Mclachlan came over the airwaves. That was my sign.

Less than seven months later, Casey, my rescued 7 year old golden retriever's health quickly deteriorated. This time, I refused to be the hero as I didn't want to put him through any more than he could endure. He fought to be there for me through Kandie's passing, but he could hang on no longer. His sad eyes locked with mine, and we hugged for a very long time. That was the sign I was looking for. My best pal and I shared a final lunch of McDonald's french fries together on the back porch. The wrenching pain I felt upon his passing is something I will never forget. He was closer to me than any human on this earth.

In both cases, I was blessed to have found the most wonderful vet to administer the medication to help my fur babies find eternal peace. She had a room set aside with the lights dim, blankets on the floor and no other patients in sight. She explained everything, step by step, and stayed with us through the entire procedure. We cried, laughed and told stories...and she never left our side.

To see my loving fur baby pass peacefully to Rainbow Bridge was an experience I will never forget. I realized there was no reason to fear death, and that experience ultimately helped me deal with my Dad's passing just two years ago.

Euthanizing a pet is one of the most difficult decisions a pet owner can ever make. I accompanied Pat and Dawn to our local vet yesterday after the final decision was made, not to allow Cleo to suffer any longer. She was a fighter from the very beginning to the last moment of her life. Very courageous, loving and sweet.

The three of us stood around Cleo, reassuring her that everything was going to be alright, and that it was time to go to sleep. It was extremely emotional for everyone, but I stayed as strong as I could be for my friends. Since I am formally training to be a minister, it was the perfect opportunity to offer prayers for Cleo. I also tried to guide her to the afterlife, petting her head and closing her eyes.

The vet first injected a needle with a medication to relax Cleo so she wouldn't be agitated and nervous. Within a few minutes, her breathing slowed down and she seemed "out of it." The doctor returned with another needle to actually perform the euthanasia. He inserted the needle in her right paw, the one closest to the heart. The injection worked extremely quickly...as she passed with no reactions, just one sigh.

I feel blessed to have been part of Cleo's life and to be present at her passing. In Metaphysics--Whenever one whom we have dearly loved and cared for passes from our physical sight, we should think that they have passed more into God's sight. In this thought, though saddened by our loss, we should be gladdened at the gain of the one who has passed on before us.

The following is a special poem that has always helped me with the grieving process after I've lost a fur baby. It says it all!

Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
(author unknown)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Inspiration and Creativity Equals An Open Mind

Last week was extremely busy, but I put my nose in my ministry books and never looked up! I am so fascinated by the teachings that I seem to have a one track mind at the moment!

I knew a few years ago...probably a year or so into my illness...that I needed to change my life. I am not only referring to my way of life, (the long hours, sacrifices, anger, stress, plus giving my all to others instead of myself), but that I needed to change direction.

I realized that all it takes to change one's life is ONE creative idea. This idea will ultimately bring you intuitively into line with your own individual purpose for being.

You see, when you are told you have a rare, incurable disease...your life changes immediately. Things are put in perspective. You take each day...one moment at a time. You take nothing for granted.

Lying in bed for several months put my mind in a totally different hemisphere. All of a sudden being totally dependent on others for life's daily necessities--eating, going to the bathroom, etc.--was a scenerio I never imagined, much less had to actually experience/live daily.

But this "down time" also brought me to another place...one of peace and contentment. I let my mind be open...allowing creative thoughts to enter. I also paid close attention to the content of my dreams, which I soon found out to be God's way of directing me.

So many times, despite the pain and depression, I felt inspiration deep within my soul. Like a feeling of knowledge that I needed to pursue a particular direction.

It was through creative inspiration and an open mind and heart, that I found metaphysics. Each day I allow God to inspire my thoughts...allowing ideas to flow freely into my mind.

As a student of metaphysics, I am studying the philosophy that investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. I am trying to understand things that are beyond the physical world.

Currently I am trying to have a sense of control over my life. This can be accomplished by taking away the daily demands of my life from the personal part of my mind...giving total control to God.

Keeping a positive mental attitude and knowing that I am not dealing with lifes ups and downs on my own, helps me keep control in my life. This control can ultimately bring me peace and happiness overall.

To this day, I never allow myself to be limited by my illness. When an idea comes to mind, I don't dismiss it. Instead, I talk about it with loved ones, and allow God to guide me.

Last week I auditioned for a contemporary a capella group, something I never considered before. It would use all of my former musical reading knowledge, and challenge my vocal ability and skills.

The audition actually made quite an impression on me. I don't know where this will take me, but I am ready for the journey if God has it on my "to do" list!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A Giant Victory in the Desert!




We did it! The New York Giants shattered the New England Patriot's unbeaten season in the final minutes to win the Super Bowl! It is one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history!

I still cannot catch my breath. I think I actually stopped breathing at one point! OMG. I am certain I will not have a voice in the morning, with all the screaming I did all night long!

We were invited to our friends Kim and Kathy's house in Smithtown for the party, and we had a fantastic time! I baked a large chocolate sheet cake, and Sally decorated it for the occasion.

I also made chocolate football treats. They were a big hit!

With only 35 seconds to go, Manning tossed the winning touchdown to win Super Bowl XLII. And there were five, count them, five sacks on Tom Brady!

This is a night to remember forever! Go Giants! We are definitely numero uno!
This coming Tuesday is the victory parade in Battery Park for the champions. The same day as 'Super Tuesday' in New York.
It's time to celebrate, New York. This is going to be a wonderful year!