My “Heart Throbs” for You!

The Old Scrapbook
The Old Scrapbook

Years ago, my first employment right out of college was as a recreation director for a faith based nursing and assisted living ministry.

I had my own office and thought I had reached the pinnacle of employment success. My responsibilities included programming all the activities for 40 nursing wing patients and 40 residents. Meals for them were all provided, meds dispensed, oh and by the way, they were all women.

The average age was 85. It was a challenge to do activities planning with seniors of such limited physical movement. So I planned birthday parties of the month, brought in entertainment, utilized my piano playing skills (yes mom and dad, this did pay off!) and even brought in dogs through an organization that catered to the elderly.

But my absolute favorite activity was Poetry Corner. At first, I had a large turnout but gradually the numbers dwindled. Soon, it was just me and Constance. I loved Constance. She was in her mid 80’s and had alot of spunk. She also had a chaise lounge in her room that I loved. I’ve had a fondness for them ever since! One of these days, I’m going to have myself a chaise lounge.

Constance loved poetry and instilled in me an even greater love of classical poetry. She had two “Heart Throbs” books and we read from them over and over again. If you’ve never heard of them, here is what the inside foreword had to say about volume two: “Following the first announcement of “Heart Throbs” six years ago has come the most fascinating experience ever allotted to publishers. This book, containing 840 selections made from the contributions of 52,000 people, has become a classic in thousands of homes and libraries. The simple bringing together of the favorite selections of the people has far transcended the results of any mere literary or editorial compilations.”

I grew so fond of the books that when I left my employment at the home, I asked Constance if I could have them. She said YES.

Since then, life, marriage, children have all taken precedence. I’ve not looked at the books much but I do bring them out every Valentine’s Day. I happened to think of Constance recently and my heart did a leap. Her face came into perfect view and I can remember her just like it was yesterday.

In honor of Constance, here is one of my favorite poems:

The Arrow and the Song

I shot an arrow into the air

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For who has sight so keen and strong,

That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.

Henry W. Longfellow

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Join me on my graceful journey.

Cupid’s Arrow: Love Without Boundaries

Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960
Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And so here we are. Valentine’s Day 2013.

It’s a day for romance, flowers, chocolate, dinner out, maybe diamonds, maybe a marriage proposal. I want to propose more than that. I want to propose a day of unconditional love.

Just for today, I want to propose that we are kind to every man, woman and child we come in contact with.  That we do as God does for us daily….love ourselves and others unconditionally and unabashedly. I wish no hard feelings against anyone or anything today. No thoughts of resentments or anger.

To assist me in this endeavor, I have a bag of small bite size Snickers, wrapped in pretty Valentine’s day packaging, along with some Snoopy kid’s valentines to give away to everyone, including strangers. This will help me in my own efforts to spread a little chocolate and cheer.

The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I hope you embrace a way to experience great love today! May you have a wonderful unconditional love kind of day!

Join me on my graceful journey.

Love-ly Thoughts

Heart by Izaya Shanti

Isn’t this picture just beautiful? It was created by Izaya Shanti, age 5, for his mother Amanda, in honor of her February birthday. Amanda passed away suddenly two and a half years ago and since then, a bunch of family and friends get together on her birthday to celebrate her life.

Amanda loved pasta so Amy, Joel and Becky (her family) always make a big pasta dinner and invite lots of friends over for a noisy, delicious, wonderful eating/sharing/love celebration. This year, I walked into Amy’s kitchen and this beautiful color drawing was smack dab in the middle of the refrigerator. I love color, lots of color, so I kept sneaking glances at Izaya’s masterpiece all evening long.

If you look closely at the picture, there is another picture in the bottom right corner. It is a magnet, cleverly made by Becky and Amy, from one of Amanda’s original art works. Amy gives us all a little gift each year and this year, the magnet was our gift.

Before we sat down to eat, twenty or so of us all held hands around a generous dinner table and said a great big “thank you!” for our gratitude prayer. It was amazing to be all together to share in the day and stuff ourselves full of pasta and delicious cake.

The evening so inspired me I came home and wrote a quick “Love” poem in honor of Amanda.

Here is it:

Love doesn’t covet… shares

Love doesn’t confine….it releases

Love doesn’t fear… trusts

Love doesn’t keep count… is infinite

Love doesn’t hold grudges….it forgives

Love doesn’t argue….it compromises

Love doesn’t envy….it cherishes

Love doesn’t waver…it has faith

by Katherine’s Daughter, inspired by Amanda’s Birthday

February 1, 2012

Join me on my graceful journey.