Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Life and Death’ Category

If I Die This Afternoon…


No one can ever say it all.
What if I die this afternoon?
What words will die with me
That I should have shared at noon?

What words will die with me
That I might have said too late?
Is there a right time for silence –
A perfect time for words to wait?

Have I left unspoken affirmations
That should have been shared?
Have I failed to let folks know
How very much I cared?

If I die this afternoon,
I want you to be sure and know
That my love for you and God are deep.
I hope the depths of it will glow.

I hope my unwavering faith
Was an inspiration to you,
And my prayers were comforting
When you were feeling blue.

If I die this afternoon,
May you smile when you think
Of the things I did so sweet –
And forget the things that stink!

May my words on blogs and cards
Live on in your loving hearts,
And keep you remembering how
Reaching out’s where loving starts.

If I die this afternoon,
Take care of my dear Bob.
He needs me to help him dress,
And do any technology job!

Take care of my TazE, too.
She relies on me for her meals.
I spoil her with hamburger
And know just how she feels.

Let my blogging friends know
That JanBeek will no longer send.
Give them this last post,
“Jan’s gone to her eternal end.”

If I die this afternoon,
Be sure to help it to be true:
As folks celebrated my birth,
They’ll cheer my departure, too.

They won’t cry that I have left.
Don’t mourn and feel bad –
Know that I am in Heaven
Reunited with Mom and Dad.

Know that I will be at the gate
To greet you when you ascend.
And live your life with dreams
Unfulfilled until the very end.

Never stop dreaming big,
As Bob Goff wrote in his book.
Live fully each day you’re here,
With new thoughts and delights to cook.

If I die this afternoon,
Let Bob know it’s alright
To find another love in life –
Someone to hug and hold him tight.

Tell my kids that I always did
My best to leave a loving legacy.
I pray they’ll smile more than frown
When things come up to remember me.

Remember my smile!

But of course, the chances that I am going to die this afternoon are slim. I am a healthy 81-year-old who expects to live happily to celebrate my 100th birthday, BUT…

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.

Isaac Asimov
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

A post about quotes on “The Art of Blogging” yesterday inspired my poem. Cristian posted it and several other good quotes on Cristian Mihaihttps://artofblogging.net/2020/09/23/writing-quotes-to-inspire-you-to-punch-the-damn-keys/

What inspires your writing?

I have an old faded cardboard with poems on it posted inside my kitchen cabinet door. They are poems gathered by my mom in 1936, the year she & Dad married – and she moved from her family in Washington to live the rest of her 89 years in California. She had most of those poems memorized.

One of my favorites reads:

“When I quit this mortal shore,
And mosey round the earth no more,
Don’t weep, don’t sigh, don’t sob –
I may have struck a better job.

Don’t go and buy a large bouquet
For which you’ll find it hard to pay,
Don’t mope around and feel all blue –
I may be better off than you.

Don’t tell the folks I was a saint
Or any old thing that I ain’t.
If you have jam like that to spread,
Please hand it out before I’m dead.

If you have roses, bless your soul,
Just pin one in my buttonhole,
While I’m alive and well today.
Don’t wait until I’ve gone away.”

Poet unknown

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com


What would you want people to remember about you if your doctor told you your days are numbered? All of ours are, you know.

By God’s Grace,
I’ll see you tomorrow.

Hugs,
JanBeek

Memories


Susan Hardwick & Phyllis Wasick

In March Susan got to visit
With Phyllis, our dear sister,
Before our dear friend’s life
Ended on earth. Oh how we missed her!

Tomorrow we’ll remember
Stories of Phyllis’ life
And share them with each other.
She was a loving wife.

Her husband died too young,
Over thirty years past.
Phyllis made his ring a heart
And wore the love that last.

The heart hung ’round her neck
All these many years –
She willed it to her Yana
Through memories and tears.

How many of us have
A memory to share
Of a loved one gone too soon
To their heavenly home up there?

If life is lived so fully
That when time comes, we are ready,
It’s easier to say good-bye.
Live your life with grace. Be steady!

Be loving and kind-hearted.
Be compassionate to those you meet.
Then, like my good friend, Phyllis,
Your friends’ memories all will be sweet.

Her children know the treasure
Of a mom whose love was always true.
She shared her life with God and friends.
I hope there is a friend like her for YOU!

Keep your memories of friends
Alive and smiling in your heart.
Make memories others will treasure.
Today’s a perfect day to start.

Rest in peace, dear Phyllis.
I’ll love you forever!

Phyllis was a grown up who did not “act more like children than children”
BUT
She was one of those people who needed people… just as I am.
We are/were “the luckiest people in the world!”
We each have (had) the person who made us whole…
… thank God for that “very special person.”


Share your memories of a loved one with me.
I’d love to read some of your thoughts on this subject
in the comments below.
Hugs,
JanBeek

A Day to Remember


This is a day to remember –
Remember the lives lost on 9-11-2001.
Remember the heroes who risked –
Risked their own lives to save others.

Today is a day to acknowledge
We as a nation are not impenetrable.
I used to think we were;
I used to think wars were someplace else.

Now I know wars rage right here.
Wars rage in our hearts and homes.
Wars rage on our streets.
Wars don’t need tanks and guns.

Wars are acts of hatred and violence
Against those we wish to oppress.
Wars rage where love is absent.
Love is the only way to douse wars.

So today, remember the feeling
Of fright and disbelief – – – the horror.
Remember how we came together
Joined hands as a nation to help.

And let’s do it again!
Let’s join hands to save our souls.
Let’s reach out to heal our wounds.
Let’s just love one another.

Never forget 9-11
Never let it happen again!

Another Angel in Heaven


Phyllis Wasick and me –
about 10 years ago

The older we get,
The more ready we must be
For our angel friends
To leave you and me.

They ascend to heaven
Where loved ones wait
To greet them in song
At the pearly gate.

Today’s selfie

When our hair turns silver
And wrinkles show our age,
We have to be ready
To turn the eternal page.

The eighties are great;
It’s a decade of reflection
And a time to appreciate
Every earthly connection.

But it also is a time
When we look at this season
As the winter of our years,
And we search for life’s reason.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

We look at life differently
Than we did in our teens.
We see through our experience
What life is – what purpose means.

It’s not about what we can get,
Or what riches we acquire.
It’s about the love we give
To the people we admire.

It’s about reaching out to strangers
Who are falling between the crack.
It’s about filling their needs –
Helping give the things they lack.

Photo by Luis Dalvan on Pexels.com

Reaching up in prayer and praise
I thank the Lord for all His gifts.
As long as I have life and breath,
I’ll reach out to give others lifts.

I hope you’ll use your senior years
To do the same – to spread your love –
Because we are blessed to be a blessing.
For every day, I thank. God above.

My Prayer for You

When your time comes
To say good-bye to earth,
May the angels welcome you
And your friends rejoice at your New Birth!
Amen

Welcome to Heaven, Phyllis.
I miss you here…
But I rejoice at your Eternal Reunion.
May all who were blessed by your presence
And who entered the pearly gates before you did
Be there to welcome you HOME.
God bless you!
Keep the light on!

Love,
JanBeek

Scared of Getting Older?


Do we have an obsession with image? More concerned about the outside than the inside? As a nation… as a world?

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

Are you fed up with it? Do you feel it is robbing us of our sense of purpose and our wisdom?

These are some questions I gleaned from Scilla Elworthy, the elderly South African woman in the Ted Talk above:

Are you fully alive in your body? Do you have energy and attractiveness in your soul? Are you content with what is? Can you remove the mask, let the wrinkles show, and still like yourself?

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Self-acceptance is a great, great gift!

Obsession with image is tiring… Yes, I believe that!

What makes you feel electric? Does the world see your energy? Do you have real aliveness?

Health, exercise, purpose, usefulness… those are the keys!

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Many people struggle to find purpose in life. Scilla Elworthy said, “Most people fear pain and loneliness.”

We worry about what will happen when we are no longer able to care for ourselves and must rely on other people.

Photo by sergio omassi on Pexels.com

Dementia is a real fear for me. My mother was diagnosed with it before she died. My sister is in a home today – a nursing home – being cared for because she has Alzheimer’s. It is in my family. Is it in my future? I cannot dwell on that! I must live in the NOW and love myself so I can love others. The keys are:

  • gratitude,
  • prayer and meditation,
  • time in nature… being outside with things that are alive
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

What about death? It is inevitable. Approach it with curiosity. Think through it. Know that death is not finality.

What are the gains of growing older? We can speak out! Dare to speak up about those things that we think are wrong! Stand up for those things! Make a contribution by making a difference – by being true to ourselves.

Know that with age comes wisdom. Wise, experienced leaders are a gift to the world. As we age, we can be that older, wiser person who sees beyond the horizon. The world need us!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

But age and wisdom are not synonymous. Wisdom does not come automatically. We can’t live in a foxhole and gain wisdom. We need to go out and risk adventure. Risk rebuke. Risk the world hating you. We need to be true to ourselves as we lift our heads to what is happening around us and seek the solutions to the challenges we all face. We can’t be ostriches with our head in the sand.

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

A friend of mine said she has decided that the best way to avoid dissension is just to avoid having an opinion. “I try to remain totally objective – with no opinion expressed. Opinions just garner arguments,” she said.

We can’t let ourselves live in that kind of fear! Avoidance invites stagnation.

“Whoever is free from all fear will always be safe,” Scilla Elworthy said in the Ted Talk above. So, we must let go of any fear we have of speaking out.

What do you care about? What’s your opinion about aging? Let’s hear it!!

Derrick told me I earned every wrinkle.
I told him, “… and every silver hair, too!”

I’m not afraid of growing older.
Just don’t call me old!!
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

He Could Have Been Me


As the “Black Lives Matter” protests gain less and less news coverage and the reason for the demonstrations that are still happening become obscured in the face of violence, looting, burning of buildings, and disjointed opinions, let’s revisit the subject!

Black Lives Matter

A chilling thought flashed into Isaiah McKinnon’s mind the first time he watched the Minneapolis video seen around the world of George Floyd’s death.  

“George Floyd could have been me,” the former Detroit police chief wrote at the start of a Free Press guest column. 

McKinnon joined the Detroit city’s force in the summer of 1965, four years after graduating from Cass Tech High School and entering the Air Force. He served as chief from 1993-98 and was deputy mayor from 2014-16.


Isaiah ‘Ike’ McKinnon asked: “What were they willing to do to Black civilians?” (Photo: Facebook/2014)

Ike McKinnon today

A Personal Account

In Isaiah McKinnon’s vivid commentary, the 76-year-old retiree — still a Detroiter — recalled blatant racism when he entered law enforcement five and a half decades ago:

“As a rookie officer, I encountered overt and casual bigotry and routine denigration and brutality. Many white officers refused to ride alongside Black officers. Some made cardboard dividers in patrol cars — designating the ‘white’ section from the ‘colored.’ Others used Lysol to ‘disinfect’ seats where Black officers sat. Some of my white colleagues refused to speak with me during shifts, dared not eat near or with me, and frequently used the ‘N-word’ to describe me and the African American citizens they were sworn to protect.

Two years later, I felt the sting of betrayal as an officer during the 1967 rebellion. One night, after a grueling shift, two white DPD officers pulled me over. I was still in uniform, badge affixed to my chest, and a #2 pin on my collar, indicating that I worked in the 2nd Precinct. I identified myself as a fellow officer, thinking they would see me as an equal. Instead, one pointed his gun at me and said, ‘tonight you’re going to die, N….’ before discharging his weapon. I dove back into my vehicle and miraculously managed to escape. I realized then that not even our shared uniform could save me from their racism. And I wondered if they were willing to shoot and kill a Black police officer, what were they willing to do to Black civilians?

As a supervisor a few years later, I stopped a group of officers from beating three Black teens. I was finally in a position to hold them accountable for their excessive use of force. But my precinct commander yelled at me for attempting to ‘ruin the lives of those good officers.’

I witnessed this kind of complicity repeatedly. When other officers reported abuse, as they should, they were ostracized, transferred to lesser assignments and treated so poorly that many quit.”

McKinnon, known widely as “Ike,” wrapped up his account with a call for “a change at all levels.”

Now is the time to get to the heart of the matter: There must be a major effort to fundamentally restructure police departments so that they actually do what they promise: serve and protect all people.

Listen to the Ones Who Know


McKinnon knows what he’s talking about! He is credible. He has lived the scenes of discrimination and experienced the violence first-hand. “Ike” has met six U.S. Presidents and Nelson Mandela, and has appeared on the “Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, “Oprah”, and “The History Channel.” He is a national motivational/inspirational speaker to Fortune 500 companies and schools.

Ike began his five decade career in public service as an officer with the Detroit Police Department in 1965. He held more than ten different positions in the department including patrol operations and various supervisory, administrative, command, and executive roles, before retiring as an Inspector to start his own security firm. In 1993, McKinnon returned to the Detroit Police Department to serve as Chief. Under his five years of leadership, hundreds of police officers were directed to go into city neighborhoods and introduce themselves to residents in an effort to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. In addition to shifting the focus of the department to community-driven policing, he advocated for and implemented training programs for officers responding to domestic violence.

What to Do Now

Let’s continue the leadership McKinnon demonstrated during his tenure with the Detroit Police Dept. Let’s make sure we engage across the USA in some of the practices that will help:

  1. Send police officers into neighborhoods to bridge the gap between the law enforcement and the community
  2. Shift the focus of the departments to community-driven policing
  3. Continue funding our police departments as we train officers to respond in appropriate ways to various needs
  4. Advocate for and implement training programs for officers responding to domestic violence
  5. Hire officers who demonstrate compassion – and fire those who do not!
  6. Oh, and do not forget about ME! I am part of the problem if I do not check my “White Privilege” at the door – and examine my own heart and actions. Am I guilty of prejudice unintentionally? If so, how? And what can I do about it in my own life??
Keep George Floyd’s memory alive!
Don’t let this continue to happen!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

No more needless deaths!
No more hatred!
No more discrimination!

Reach out in love
Call Unity into Action.
Just LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!
Be the change you want to see in the world!

See ya tomorrow.

Sending Love


Have a Marvelous Monday.
Hugs,
JanBeek



Die with Unfulfilled Dreams


Check out this
Bayside Church You.Tube
of Bryce Jessup
delivering a very inspirational message,

youtu.be/xtxrU-Hw2tQ

Photo by William Brand on Pexels.com

Bryce Jessup died this week. He was 88. He dreamed of celebrating his 90th birthday by climbing Half Dome in Yosemite and standing on his head!

Bob has paid over $7,000 for a fishing trip to Alaska. The trip is cancelled because of this pandemic. The fly-fishing company has denied a refund. Instead it is a credit for his 2021 trip to Alaska. Bob wanted a refund because he’s not sure at 82 he’ll still be “up” for the trip.

I told him, “You have to allow them to credit it for your 2021 trip! As Bob Goff teaches us, Dream Big! And we need to live looking forward to the dreams of tomorrow. Know you WILL be a strong 82 year old! Live (or die) with unfulfilled dreams!”

That was Bryce Jessup’s secret to a vital life … he died living his dreams.

Let’s all do the same!

Hugs to you.

I’m headed off to go 4-wheeling with that 81 year old vital guy!!

See ya later.

JanBeek

This Cliff-Dweller is Heavy-Hearted


My heart is heavy.
God answered my fervent prayer.
So why am I sad?

My cousin, Cliff, died.
I received the news today:
God answered my prayer.

I prayed for freedom –
Freedom from this earthy pain.
Our God is faithful.

His family gathered;
All his loved ones surrounded,
And God took him home.

God of Great Mercy,
Thank you for answering prayer.
Now, heal my heart’s hole!

Cliff & Janine
with their two daughters
and sons-in-law,
two sons,
daughter-in-law,
and three grandsons

Cliff and Janine are two of my favorite people in the world!
And now Cliff has left this world…
but he lives on in the hearts of all of us who will always love him.


Janine’s mom is my second cousin, Betty.
Her mom was my mom’s oldest sister’s oldest daughter.

That sounds rather confusing and maybe like a “distant relative”… but there is nothing distant about my relationship with Janine. I was twelve when my family drove from California to Washington to visit mom’s family near Seattle in Issaquah…
and to meet Aunt Evelyn’s first grandchild.

Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Hans were my first connection to the land of Switzerland which claimed our daughter DeAna about two dozen years later! Uncle Hans immigrated from the German part of Switzerland to the state of Washington. Their daughter, my cousin, Betty, with her husband, Nick, lived right across the alleyway from her parents. Knowing we were there, she came over with her new baby, Janine. You know my name in JAN – and so I immediately claimed JANine as my own!!

I was there for Cliff and Janine’s wedding. I claim Cliff as my cousin, too!

Cliff was “Opa” to his three grandsons.
A more doting and loving grandfather never graced this earth!
I am so sad that those three boys will not have
the presence of the Opa as they grow into adulthood.
And the youngest one is too little
to have lasting memories of him.
It makes me cry!

Cliff was a robust man
– a former University of Washington champion rower –
weighing over 200 pounds most of his adult life.
Cancer and the chemo treatments
wasted away his body and took away his strength
– and eventually his life.
But his spirit lives on.

He’ll remain strong and robust forever
in all of us who knew and loved him.

We are a vast array of Cliff-Dwellers!

Love and condolences to
Hans, Stefan, Janine, Heidi, and Erika

God bless you, my Word Press family.
Thank you for praying for my cousin, JANine, and her family.
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Birthdays, Thanks, Worship, Music & Prayer


When is YOUR birthday?

Thank you for all the sweet responses and inspiring messages that helped make my 81st birthday so memorable. I love my WordPress community!

I had a “Selah Day” yesterday to pause
and absorb all the many gifts of cards, calls,
messages, cakes, cookies, and candles.
Yes, I’m spoiled!

It’s Sunday, so of course, Bob & I went to church this morning. Our worship service was outside. It’s a beautiful day here in Ennis, Montana. Thank you, God, for the sunshine and mild temperatures in the 70s. Everyone wore masks and socially distanced. The sermon topic was based on two New Testament scriptures: Romans 8:26-30 (A Wonderful Future for God’s People) and Matthew 13: 31-33 (The mustard seed and the yeast).

Hope in Difficult Times
(as usual I took my notes in poetry as I listened.
Here they are:)

Bombarded daily with bad news,
It’s hard to keep our spirits up.
But reading the Bible is a fresh breath
Of positivity and love that fills our cup.

The parables of the mustard seed and
The yeast that magically rises the dough
Are examples of Jesus’ storytelling.
They are hard to easily explain, though.

Trying to explain the parables is like
Describing photosynthesis to a four-year-old.
You can say all you want to explain them,
But we need simplicity in what we’re told!

See the mystery of God’s world.
Don’t try to explain it away.
Look at the wonders of creation
And let the mystery come into play!

It’s okay to read and not understand
How God makes the world work.
It’s okay to wonder and say “I don’t know,”
We can’t see it all – Some’s in the dirt!

Some of the greatest miracles
Of Jesus are buried from our minds.
We can’t see the way His mysteries
Play out – but we see the love that binds!

Look at how the mountains skip,
And the trees clap their hands,
And know that these exaggerations
Are part of the Power where God stands.

Read the Bible not with a microscope,
But with a telescope so that you
Can see the bigness of His Word.
He’s bigger than our understanding – That’s so true!

The music that accompanied our worship service today was so appropriate to this world we currently are trying to navigate. Sing along … the words are here for you on this You.Tube:

Lord, show me the Way, one day at a time!
Help me believe in what I could be – and all that I am.
Just give me the strength to do every day what You want me to do.
So for my sake, teach me to take – One Day at a Time.
Show me the Way!

The other song that we had printed on song sheets so we could sing along was “Mansion Over the Hilltop.” I had not heard it before. Have you?

In our call to confession, we read in unison these words from our bulletins:

“Let us trust in the words of the Psalmist who said,
‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves those who are crushed in spirit,’
as we lay our burdens before our God.”

The biggest burden on my heart today is this big guy pictured on the left in the photo below. My cousin, Cliff, is shown here with three of his rowing buddies from the University of Washington. Cliff is losing his battle with cancer.

I lay my burdened heart before God as I asked for prayers for my cousin, Cliff Hurn. He is in his last days of trying to fight off cancer. He has fought the good fight and he is tired. Hospice has been called in and his family has gathered around. Please pray for his wife, Janine, his family, and all of us who love him so much.

I posted about Cliff early on in his battle. The link to one of those blogs is: https://janbeek.blog/2019/11/09/prayers-for-cliff/ You can see him there surrounded by his wonderful wife and two daughters. Please pray for Cliff today.

Photo by Luis Dalvan on Pexels.com

Do you have something
that’s heavy on your heart today?
Tell me about it –
and I will add you and your request
to my prayer time.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

God bless you, my dear WP Friends.
Have a blessed rest of your Sunday.
See ya tomorrow.
Love and virtual hugs,
JanBeek

Spend it All or Give it Away!


“Being of sound mind, I spent it all!”

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Those were the words read from the will
when my friend, Marion,
met with her siblings after their mother died.

Today’s devotional in
“Mornings with Jesus 2020”
told of a similar story.
The writer quoted her father as saying,
“Before I leave here, I intend to spend every dollar I ever made.”

She thought he was kidding.
After all, he was a God-fearing man …
“who could quote scripture from Genesis to Revelation.”
(Alice Thompson, Thursday July 9th).

But her earthly father had given her no inheritance!


After being angry for awhile,
Alice turned to her Bible,
and she turned to the Lord.
Alice wrote that she spoke to her head
about Lamentations 3:24.
It says,
“The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Even though Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,” Alice realized her father – who left “nothing for me,” had indeed left the most precious gifts of all: His loving relationship with her and his faith in God.

He lived his life loving her and her mother, giving to the Lord and to those in need, and using his hard-earned dollars to enjoy a good life. A nice house, a new car every few years, memorable vacations, generosity with his children, and gifts to charity… these were the signatures he left. He left her the gifts money can’t buy: love, faith, a good work-ethic, respect, and joy.

If our parents live their lives in love and faith, generosity and joy.
If our parents pass those gifts on to us,
We have the received the most important gifts of all.
They don’t owe us a rich monetary inheritance.

If our parents demonstrate a good work-ethic,
and teach us to do likewise,
If our parents help us learn to read and compute,
pray and serve, and get a good education,
then they have equipped us to do as they might:

Being of sound mind,
I spent it all
or gave it away.

Go and do likewise!
Have a great Thursday.

I’m headed to a Happy 70th Birthday party!
See ya tomorrow.
Live in peace with EVERYBODY, my friends!
Hugs, JanBeek

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