I've Landed!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Harnessing Hope

Faith, Hope and Love.  
These things are eternal.   But the greatest of these is Love.                                
                                                                                                    --- Holy Script

Cognitive ability.  Can you not see that Hope and Faith require a sophisticated brain?  
Not everybody is into Faith and Hope, but we humans can be, if we are smart enough, if we have enough cognitive ability, energy to think and the will to do so.  
Come on!  We are not just sophisticated chimpanzees!  
We have, more or less, the ability to visualize  a better life, the ability, more or less, to climb the mental mountain.

On the other hand, Love does not require abstract thinking and mental visualization.
No matter how lagging we are in our talents, we all have the ability to love.  
And we are not easily excused from loving others. 

Of course most of us spend more time looking for some one to love us, than for somebody to love, yes? . Oh, well.  "A" for effort.  

Some of us  are excused  for our lack of faith, our hopelessness, our failure to think it through.

But failing to love is not an option. 

Darn't.  Sometimes I don't even get "A" for effort. 
How badly I have always wanted "A"'s for achievement and "C"s for effort!
With Love, I don't always even get an "A" for effort.

As a nurse, I have given much thought to Hope, because Hope, while not a placebo, makes such  a difference to our well-being.
In fact, one reason a placebo can work a miracle or two is because the recipient  HOPES that placebo is the real thing. Immune system hops into action on Hope.

Naturally we don't want false hope.  

But hope is natural and means we can visualize success, because we can see paths we can take, or paths we can avoid.  We are successful because we are pathway thinkers.
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We see our challenge.  We see pathways, we visualize pathways to our goal. 
We feel our power. We feel a Power higher than ourselves. 
We correct course when need be, because we are human and we have learned how to change paths.  

Help me be a woman of Hope.

PS  thanks for the call

Identity after death. Mary

I first posted this in November of 2012.  I consider it one of my Thanksgiving posts.  
This event was a life-changing event for me.  
It was 1961.  
I was 18, a Student Nurse.


I still remember the first time I saw Mary.  She was sitting in her chilly white hospital gown in a metal-painted-white bed with white sheets, in a mostly white room with 5 other similar beds in a busy metropolitan hospital.

Six-bed wards were not the norm, but every nursing division had at least one such large ward to accommodate the poorest of the poor......... or even the overflow of better endowed patients.

There was nothing warm about the room.  Medical research had not yet "discovered" the plain-as-day truth that we are strengthened by soft colors, plants, carpet that doesn't echo the nurses' hurried clip-clops, and nurses dressed in colorful arrays instead of being all done up in starched white.

The one rectangular window was placed high on the wall, horizonal to the ceiling.

It was a chilly starched white atmosphere that Mary inhabited.

Mary was young.  Which is odd to say since I was only 18 and anybody middle aged should have appeared old.  Maybe it was her "teenage" thinness.  Having battled cancer to the last terrible stage, she had basically quit eating.  Maybe it was the way she looked at me in desperation.  Maybe it was the lack of wrinkles, her skin having lost enough of the  under-structures to be pulled taut over the bones.

Maybe it was all her "unfinished business" that created a look of youth.
Maybe it was I couldn't notice she was 40 for being focused on all the things that were wrong with the scene.

Many many of us, as we die, will be surrounded by loved ones who care.

But  many of us will not.

Some people die in war, surrounded by enemies.
Some people die ignominiously publicly, without loving support (perhaps even hated) ,
surrounded by reporters and media hounds there to chronicle the execution.
Some people die alone in the desert trying to make it to a better land.
Some people die hiking alone.........or on the high seas alone..or in accidents.
Most people in earlier times died at home.  Some still do.
But for many of us, we will die in a hospital
hopefully surrounded by loving kind family or friends.

Mary was  almost alone.

Nobody came to visit her.
An illusive husband, grown children, a teenager, a sprinkling of very young grandchildren and yet there were no visits, cards, flowers, phone calls.

She had only nurses.... mostly one student nurse, me.

Mary was assigned to me "for the duration", a person to "learn upon".

It was my first real close-up with death.   My little cousin Janie didn't count since I was not there when she died of an accidental fall from a shopping cart.  Since I had to baby sit my younger siblings...I was 12....  during Janie's funeral, I did not attend the services for Janie.
 I last saw Janie alive and well...and then she disappeared.

 Lots of living people go away and never come back, so, for me, Janie was like one of those.

Mary's death from cancer was going to be nothing like Janie's death.
Mary was my patient "for the duration" and I was staring at death.
Cancer deaths are not quick, as a rule.
Today, for many cancer patients, cancer is a chronic disease, not even acute, and life goes on for years.
But even back then, Mary was not going to die quickly.

Mary lived long enough for me to become very familiar with the window high up horizonal to the ceiling as I struggled to "be there" for Mary and I often focused on that window, praying silently, groping in my mind for some comfort I could give.

One day Mary asked me point blank, "Am I going to die?"

I stood mute like an incompetent, unable to utter a word.
It would be several years before I learned that one doesn't answer that question, but instead uses it to open the conversation to the patient's thoughts, concerns, even fears about his or her impending death.
It takes practice to open up those conversations because we are mortal and have an emotional need to close down those conversations  for our own comfort,
because the honest answer is "Yes, you are going to die.....and so am I !!  Oh, my god, I am going to die !!!"

It takes practice to open further the window to another person's soul.
I failed Mary.

Mary's bed was so situated in the ward that she was plainly visible from the door.
She and I became close as I spent more time than necessary at her bedside..... or chairside since she was still ambulatory with help.

Those were the days when I had no idea many people are conscious right up until death calls them!

One day Mary had a visitor!  It was an event of such magnitude that I "hung around".   A young man came to visit.
I can see him today as plainly as I saw him that day.  His eyes glossy with tears, his hair too long and stringy, his clothes pitiful, his feet big (or his shoes big).
His jacket hung limply and he seemed as incompetent about what to do as I was.  
Mary was asleep from the pain medication.
I stooped beside this noble young man and whispered, "You can hold her hand", and he immediately held her hand.

It was time to go to class, so I had to leave, but I visited Mary at dinner time that evening and we talked a bit.

The last time I saw Mary was that night.  She appeared in my dormitory bedroom as I awakened from sleep.

The room was filled with the greatest sweetness I have ever experienced.

"I just came by to say good-bye and to thank you.  And to tell you I love you."

I smiled and she was gone.  I looked at my clock.  11:45

I settled back into bed and went back to sleep without ado.
Though I had just experienced the strangest most unusual event of my life, nothing seemed strange, nothing seemed odd, nothing seemed out of place.
No question came to my mind as to how Mary entered my room, or left my room.

Next morning before breakfast, I went in as usual (a habit) to see Mary before I started my busy student day.
I stopped in her doorway.  Her bed was empty.  Her bed was freshly made, hospital neat without a wrinkle.
Running out to the Nurses' Station, I asked the night Charge Nurse where Mary was, even though I knew.
"She died last night."
"Her chart is over there.  It hasn't gone down to Medical Records yet."
Finding Mary's chart, I flipped through it.

You know, don't you, what time she died.  11:45

I stood there at the desk, silent and puzzled at the enormity of life.

I have never forgotten Mary.

This early nursing experience expanded my vision for every situation I have since encountered in life.  Indeed, it was a life-changing experience for me.
I do not know why or how  this visitation happened.
I do not know why such kind of an event has never happened again for me.
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 But I do know our personal identity does not end at death.

That much I was given the privilege of knowing.

And now, being old,  I have lived long enough to learn that , of course I am going to die!  But not today.
Not today.

Grateful to God  and giving thanks,

Grateful to you for visiting my blog.

Monday, July 24, 2017

52 years ago

Fifty two years ago this month, 

President Lyndon Johnson signed three life-changing pieces of legislation 

dramatically improving the outlook for older Americans:

and the Older Americans Act.

Medicare went into effect on July 1, 1966.
I was working that day as a new RN in a Montana hospital.
Dr. Petersen's 77 year old patient, a frail, thin woman, was undiagnosed and suffering, 
Dr. Petersen sadly said to Dr. Gregory, "I wish she had the money for me to run some tests on her."
Dr. Gregory looked at him.
"Well", he said, "you can now order that."

You can now order that.

The rest is history.


As we look at the horrendous cost of "you can now order that", let us look at the major benefits to the young people of a population whose aged people, some aged people, have health care financed by "taxes".  Taxes?  Only because the government spent our "tax contributions" as quickly as we had our money taken from us back when we were working.
Look at the rapid advancement in medical technology when somebody will pay for "you can now order that". 
Advancements are applied to medical care for the young as well as the old.

 Medicare is the financial foundation on which many medical advancements  have sprung,
  because Medicare is guarenteed payment,

unlike philanthropy.  

Hospitals within medical research universities receive extra money from Medicare.  

Did you know many older people do not "qualify" for Medicare coverage?
That is because Medicare is an insurance program, a government insurance program, and not a charity nor a "medical care benefit to all the old people".  
Got Social Security?  
You qualify for Medicare insurance.

For those of us who are privileged, may some of us never forget the disenfranchised.

Thank you for tolerating my "nursie" perspective.
Thank you for visiting my blog.
Forgive me if I offend.  (I am old, you know!)
Riverwatch, RN

Friday, July 21, 2017

Let me be.

Investing in.......unconsciousness.
Are you?

In our most beautiful land and country in all the world,
in  2016
we produced  at least 736 movies
garnering revenue of    $11,368,601,974.

Oh, yes.  We want to be alert, and productive and expanding our consciousness.  Not!

Spirituality is increasing consciousness.
The opposite is deadening our consciousness.

Escapism.  Fleeing the scene.
Foregoing creativity.

Our first defense against all things is a mind that has not escaped.  No?

Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.
Rainer Rilke
Image result for images for chaosnautilus/science connected

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It's a new world.

It's a new world.

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                                                                      Psych Central Professional

Respond appropriately.

Make necessary changes.

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Great to see you!
Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, July 15, 2017

From Pain & Suffering

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; 

blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; 

for the Creator, there is no poverty.

                                                                                            Rainer Rilke

From pain and suffering
come brilliance,
and wisdom,
and expression.

 From pain and suffering
come compassion
and consciousness
and eventually understanding.

The only journey is the one within.
                                                                Rainer Rilke  

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Nature trails resorts

Thursday, July 13, 2017


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                                                                                   Women's Health Queensland Wide

When she awoke to life and received her name, she asked, "Why am I here?"

You have been given the power to help us create life 
so there may be joyful movement and joyful sound.  
What is life without sound and movement?
You have been given the knowledge, wisdom and love to bless all the beings you create.  
That is why you are here.
                                      The Hopi Book by Frank Waters


Sher Institute/Facebook
                                               The Protracted Efforts It Took To Conceive

&rejoicing that you paused to visit me,

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


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how surprising, said nobody ever

A de ja vĂș of a dreampinterest.com

"Cry in your dreams.  Be brave when morning comes."

Yeh, old age means sometimes running out of thoughts.

Thursday, July 6, 2017


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becoming conscious
becoming more and more conscious & more and more conscious

Conscience is usually conceived of as an inner voice, which says “do this” or “don’t do that”. 
This may be a perfectly usable conception. 
But it may be more accurate to think of conscience as a voice that says 
look at this”.

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 One can manage to look away. 

However, we increase consciousness by listening to our conscience and seeing as it guides.

Pain. The pain of increasing consciousness.Image result for images for feeling sad
                                                                      "They don't love me."


Pain. Becoming global in our awareness.

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The East African

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                                                                                                             BBC News


Pain.     Becoming universal in our awareness.

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Love will get you through.  Oh, not BEING loved, but loving others.  Be prepared to cry for them.
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I once read, therefore it must be true, that the smarter you are and the more aware you are, the more you suffer.

That's why they invented Red Wine and Chocolate Milkshakes.  

To dull the pain of beholding.

Monday, July 3, 2017


Showing up at a function  for the first time in a long time, I was  warmly welcomed.
So warmly, that I wondered why in the heck  was I not "rounded up" to return when I went missing.

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Fortunately for me, I gave birth some 50 years ago to a woman who turned out to be smarter than I !

As I whined, philosophically, to her about my "perceived neglect", my darling daughter sighed.
"Mom," she said.  "I think you have forgotten why we became Presbyterians:  our attendance is not required." 

Ahh, the beauty and freedom of those words.

"Your attendance is not required."

  Attendance is optional.

There really is nothing on earth like Freedom of Worship.

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Loving life and appreciating your call at this blog,

I only whine philosophically.