Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Slice of Life

“An ordinary life examined closely reveals itself to be exquisite and complicated and exceptional somehow managing to be both heroic and plain.” 
Susan Orlean

 

Real People by Nikki


Real people.
Real life.
Real stories.
Once nameless, faceless people in the community.
They openly shared their story with a stranger,
The good, the bad, the defeats, the miracles
Years that passed worrying, wondering, hoping, not knowing.
Then life coming together.
Affirming what they believed, what they dreamt, what they desired.
Lesson learned that life gives back in time
Again and again and again. 

Watching their faces
Listening to their stories,
I saw a stranger becoming real
Their hopes and joys and dreams
Their challenges and heartache and setbacks
Merging with faith and humanness
Just like me. Just like you.
A bond formed by the stories they shared.
Real people.
Real life.
Real stories.

 It's out. The book, A slice of Life is a collection of short stories of twenty-six older adults living in Burlington, Ontario. They are stories of overcoming hardships, refusing to give up, finding romance and realizing dreams. All of them full of hope.

All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Family Council Network 4 Advocacy Committee to help them continue to push for policies that ensure dignity and high quality care for those living in long-term-care homes. 
 
I have loved working on this book and meeting so many incredible people.  I got another grant. Now onto the next one.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Forgive


"No hatred!"  Corrie ten Boom

She was 86 years old. An elderly woman living alone in an apartment, in Paris. A couple of days ago, someone stabbed her multiple times, set her place on fire and left her to burn to death. 

The woman was Mireille Knoll. She was a child in 1942 when the Jews were rounded up in Paris and sent to concentration camps. She survived the brutality of the holocaust, only to be viciously killed in a violent hate crime years later. 

Last April, another Jewish woman living in Paris was also violently attacked. She was Sarah Halimi, a 66 year old teacher and physician. Sarah's neighbour broke into her Paris apartment, threw her over the balcony to her death and yelled, "I killed the demon."

Hate crimes. They're still happening. People with so much hatred preying on the innocent and vulnerable. 

Hearing what happened to Mireille and Sarah left me reeling. How, I wondered, can anyone forgive the level of evil in those who do such terrible things?

And then I thought about Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch lady, who had also survived the holocaust. Her family were all killed in the camps. She had reason to hate. But over the years, I read her story. It was from Corrie, I learned about forgiveness. 

After she was released from the camps, Corrie went around the world telling people, God's love in me is stronger than the hatred.

Forgiveness, she said,  is not an emotion. Forgiveness is an act of will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. She also said, If people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love. 

Corrie's  words helped me forgive those who had brutalized me. I used to walk around full of hate because of what those people did to me.

I still today don't understand why some people inflict their awful hate on others, but I've made a choice. I, like Corrie, want to live with 'no hatred.' And I have learned it's true, His love in me is stronger than the hate. 

Forgiveness. Not easy, but to live free, it's a requirement. 

Happy Thursday, Guys.
  
 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

"What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven't even happened yet."Anne Frank

Someone once said, the best is yet to come. I believe that's true. 

No matter how great or awesome life has been at times, or even how bad and yuck - down the road, there's some amazing stuff that's still to happen in our lives. 

I love that thought. I believe it. It excites me and makes me what to live each day to the fullest. I'm holding onto that belief. Hope you are too. 

Happy Thursday, Guys. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Open Doors



"When one door closes, another one opens." Alexander Graham Bell

It took a long time to let go of something I had been doing and enjoying for seven years. It was at an organization I believed in, a place I felt a part of. But things changed. I changed. And I knew in my gut the time had come to move on. 

I've always resisted change and I hung on longer than I should. But the thing is when I finally let go, gave into the angst inside me and closed the door to what was - another door swung wide open. 

I had worried what I'd replace the old with. But the new is amazing. The best is I am running groups again and writing like crazy - contract work that seemed to come out of nowhere. 


It's true - when one door closes another opens. Lesson learned. 
Happy Thursday, Guys.  

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Tis the Season!

"Christmas reminds us we are not alone. We are not unrelated atoms, jouncing and ricocheting amid aliens, but are a part of something, which holds and sustains us." Donald E. Westlake 

It seems like everyone is getting in on the Christmas spirit. I wandered around the mall doing some last minute shopping. Although packed with people, it was such a great feeling to see the smiles and nods from everyone. It felt as if we're all connected, a part of something greater than each one of us. I love it! 

Came home happy, and wished it was like this all year through - the consideration, the kindness, reaching out to friends and strangers alike. 

Something is in the air. For me it's a God thing. 
Tis the season. Have a Merry Christmas Guys!




Thursday, November 16, 2017

Calling




Don't ever let anyone insist you can't do something. Follow your heart. Go for it. It's your right - and maybe even your calling.

So many times something burned in my heart that I wanted to do. And so many times people stepped up to tell me you can't.   It won't work. Some even said, it's foolish, not realistic. 

Looking back I realize how many times I closed my ears to those people who couldn't see or feel what I did. People who wanted the best for me but didn't have the vision, or the passion burning in their hearts like it did in mine. 

I think now, those things inside us, the ideas that won't go away, the desires that keep us awake at night, the pull towards something or other - might be a calling, the thing we are meant to do.

I think that's where courage and brave comes in. To follow our hearts. It's the best thing because when we do, there's this huge satisfaction we feel inside us.

There's something else. For a long time close friends have suggested I do something that I wanted but I hemmed and hawed because I didn't have the faith to believe I could get it off the ground. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to go for it. Amazingly, it's all falling into place. Taking that first step even when I don't believe it'll work is powerful.   

Happy Thursday, Guys.
 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Stories.


"Every single ordinary person has an extraordinary story." Cecelia Ahern

I've been interviewing and writing stories of so many people these last few weeks and yet, every story is completely different. 

Everyone I've met are all ordinary people with extraordinary life stories to tell - things that happened in their lives, challenges they've overcome, new adventures they embarked on, teachable lessons from an experience they had, dreams and longings realized, romance found when all seemed hopeless. The list goes on. 

I'm loving meeting the people, and hearing their stories. Makes me realize all the more just how much I really love true to life stories. 

I walk away in awe at how each life has been lived. And the best are the many new friendships I've made. 

People - no  life is ordinary. We are all living extraordinary lives. 
Just some thoughts on a dark rainy morning. 

Happy Thursday, Guys.