I tend to write my musings on the Monday, before you see published on Wednesday of the same week. Most of us are rebounding from the tragic news that comes from Orlando, Florida.
I'm often asked if shootings bring any memories back for me. I was involved in a professional situation where a colleague was shot to death and I was shot six times by a terminated employee. This tragedy occurred June 16 - 18, 1999.
I'm sad that almost seventeen years to the day that countless lives continue to be lost or forever changed as the result of man's actions against man.
I consider myself blessed to have seventeen years of growth and healing in my recovery tool box. I'm able to see a bigger picture than what personally and profoundly affected me. I wish patient and gentle days ahead for those whose lives have been directly or indirectly touched by these shootings. I pray that families are given the space, dignity and privacy they deserve over these days - by the media and others who have a personal need for answers / are on quest to prove a point.
As I recovered physically, I gained perspective on what needed healing from an emotional viewpoint. I continue to work on trust, grief, vulnerability and anger issues stemming from the incident. I'm hoping that health care professionals from all disciplines will step up to the plate when dealing with survivors, families, loved ones from physical, emotional and spiritual realms. I am forever indebted to those who helped me along every leg of my healing journey.
I wanted to share the Inspirational Quote in my daily e-mail today:
If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. (Maya Angelou)
I also wanted to share an e-mail I received from the Sisters of Mercy at one of the universities I teach for:
Our hearts break watching the news today. We long for the days when violence and hatred are a thing of the past. Hold your love ones a little tighter today and through everything you do spread love.
What is / was the most beautiful smile you ever saw?
This was one of the questions I posed to fifty family, friends and colleagues. When I sat down to answer this for myself, I admit I ventured down several paths.
I am hooked on the power of a smile. I guess I'm hooked on facial expressions in general, as I prefer to know where I stand in any and all matters.
Smiles give me hope and encouragement. I don't remember any specific words that were exchanged. I will forever treasure the smiles, no matter how forced, that my husband, mother and siblings each gave me as I recovered in the early hospital days.
Smiles give me hope and a sense of purpose. Over thirty years of nursing and teaching, I have witnessed smiles of colleagues, patients and students that could collectively erase the violence and bloodshed with the conviction of goodness, compassion and love for each other.
Smiles give me hope in the joy achieved from the day to day. Smiles given to me by the four-legged critters I've loved along the way have been priceless. Currently, Andy Jordan may have Mama's vote for smiles by a mile award. ☺ Andy's current pose of joy and contentment is a reminder I'd like to share far and wide, along with the loyalty, protection and unconditional love included with his smiles.
I felt myself collectively and universally smiling at these responses sent to me from family and friends who sent answers to this question.
Babies and our beloved family are heavy hitters in the smile department--music to Maya's ears I would think.
Once again, thanks to all for your heartwarming responses. It's never too late to send me your thoughts. I can easily edit/update the posts of questions previously asked.
Mom was wise. She taught me I didn't always have to have an answer. She taught me the value and comfort in absolutely listening with a nonjudgmental and accepting demeanor. I model her approach (as much as I do) with family and those I interact with through life.
I recently heard this song on a new album I've acquired by a new Country and Western crooner, Sturgill Simpson. It’s called The Promise. I'm sending this one up to heaven because I am sure my Momma would love this old soul's melodies as much as I do.
This week promises to be even nicer than you think is possible. Go above and beyond in making someone smile. The reasons are countless and the investment has unlimited and far-reaching potential.
Until next week, hugs and smiles,
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