Time With Julie, Crafting Dying Her Way

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” 
~ L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

 

Perhaps you read my post a few days ago, about my friend Julie who has been given a diagnosis of mere weeks to live due to end-stage inoperable ovarian cancer. No-one knows if she’ll have three months, less, or longer, but we do know that her remaining time is short. Precious, short and non-renewable.

We’ve talked a lot in the past few days. A lot! And in that time on the crazy roller-coaster ride of shock, denial, anger, grief and acceptance some big decisions have been made.

Truth is, Julie really is dying. This is the end game for her. There will be no miracle cure or last-minute reprieve. She understands that, and always the pragmatist, she’s been working out how she wants these weeks to look for her and her family. It is not chasing some possible cure in some remote part of the world, or filling herself with pills, tonics or juice fasts. Julie wants to spend her last weeks with the people she loves, to live life doing things that give her pleasure and that fill her up with love and gratitude, and to die a good death. One that is peaceful and without pain or trauma.

Day One after her diagnosis we began to get some care options in place and attended to all the legal stuff. Her mum, an ex-nurse who will be Julie’s primary carer, has spoken with the oncologist about what to expect, and contacted a local hospice for help and guidance, including the equipment and medications needed for home care. Julie will spend her last days back at the family property outside Brisbane, surrounded by nature, family and friends. There are still good places to go for coffee, and for tasty meals to be had if she feels like an outing. But there is also the comfort of familiar surroundings. Julie was clear – no hospitals.

She’s taken sick leave from work, checked all her insurances and contacted all the appropriate people. She spoke with her husband and then updated her will, and nominated a medical Power of Attorney. We’ve found some good counsellors for the family to help with this time of transition.

We’ve spoken to people about spiritual care for Julie and her family for this final part of her journey here on earth.

All of these things help Julie to have a sense of peace and control at a time when so many things are being stripped away from her.

Day Two we went shopping; for stationery, scrapbooking supplies, a decent photo printer and some journals.

Why? Julie has two little girls, aged three and six. Daughters she adores. Daughters she will never get to see grow up. Another of my friends lost her own mum when she was five, has many unanswered questions because of that loss, and has had many times when she’s wished for advice or support from the mum she never really knew.

Image from Dr Momma

Image from Dr Momma

Julie wants her loved ones to feel her love, support, guidance and encouragement – even if she cannot be here in person to give it.

So we’ve made a plan:

  • Scrapbooks for each girl, to celebrate their time together, and for Julie to leave messages of love and support. Julie’s mum and sister love to scrapbook, and they have promised to help with this task, pouring all of their love into these albums
  • Letters from Julie to be given to the girls and her other significant loved ones for important milestones in their lives
  • Video messages for some of those same milestones (and believe me we brainstormed many possibilities, including the hard and sad parts of life as well as the usual celebrations) She’s recorded the first few already.
  • A journal that documents Julie’s life, from her own childhood to the present day. This is a project just for Julie, to do in her quiet hours and until she can no longer write entries for herself. This is a place where she can glue pictures, talk about who is in the photo, what they were doing, and what that meant for her. A place that records Julie the way Julie knows herself and her interior world – as a person, not just as a mother, or a wife.

Day Three and Julie and her family began a whole weekend together, sleeping in, watching DVDs, baking cupcakes and reading stories. No work, no deadlines, no emails to answer or calls to return, no papers to write. Instead there will be lots of cuddles, snuggles and love. Some time to think about a bucket list. Some time to cocoon from the world for a while.

For now her pain and fatigue are manageable, and she can still live independently and with quality of life. We’ll reassess as things change.

Help is there for Julie and her family as they walk this part of the journey together. So much of it will simply unfold as it needs to. And of course, Julie has her plan of things to leave behind for those she loves. This is so important to her, it’s her last and most important project – and I know it will help with closure for her too.

In the next few weeks Julie also wants to take one last shopping trip, for a few special items for her loved ones.

She wants wine, cheese and chocolate with her best girlfriends – soon, while she still feels like getting dressed up and going out.

She’s got a romantic weekend getaway booked with her husband for next weekend.

She is going to plan her own funeral, with help from her husband, daughters, mum and good friends. She wants to go to that life celebration in person. She says it seems pointless to miss her own, best party.

My friend does not know how many good days she has left, but she wants to make the most of her time on this earth.

That’s a good lesson for all of us, don’t you think?

Image from Words on Images

Image from Words on Images

Saying hello to Mae West

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“I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway… let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.” 
~ C. JoyBell C.

 

On my walk this morning I got a rare photo of Violet with her new calf Mae West. Rare – because these two are hardly ever still! (We were going to call this calf Moo West, but have you ever tried yelling ‘Moo’ at a herd of cattle?)

Violet is a great Mum. She is protective of Mae but she doesn’t curb Mae’s natural curiosity or her need to act like a big girl in the herd.

For Mae’s part, she is the most grown-up new calf we’ve ever known. This is a young lady who knows what she wants.

She’s a naughty girl, just like her Mum. Right now her favourite thing is to slip under the fence wires and into my garden where she eats as fast as she can, knowing that Harry and Bert will soon chase her out again. It’s become a big game for all three of them. Yesterday while the dogs were napping in the midday heat she came right up onto the veranda and had a drink of water out of the dog bowl. Cheeky lass!

We totally adore her. 🙂

Violet’s New Baby

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Violet’s new baby calf takes its first steps

“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” ~ Mae West

One of our cows, Violet, gave birth yesterday morning. But instead of a snowy white calf, she produced a deep burgundy baby with blotches of white all over its head.

Hmmm….

That baby didn’t come from our bull.

Earlier this year, during bad weather, Violet went missing. We drove down to the river looking for her, and when we called we could hear her distinctive moo. We kept yelling and suddenly she appeared on the other side of the very swollen river. Thinking we had some kind of tasty food treat she ran down the hill towards us.

To our horror she launched herself off the edge and into the water, a drop of about six feet. It looked like a very inelegant cow belly flop. The flooded river carried her rapidly downstream and past the bend, where we could no longer see her, but about half an hour later she turned up back in our bottom paddock again, mooing loudly for some hay or molasses.

Naughty Violet!

Three years ago her very first baby, Blackie, was by that same neighbour’s bull. Here’s a picture of them, being watched by another young Murray Grey calf. Can you see the resemblance between Blackie and this new baby?

IMG00040-20090815-0945

Violet’s very first calf, in 2010, was also an unusual colour – black with a white head. Her baby should have looked like the little white one who is looking on.

Violet had only just given birth when I took these latest pictures. The little calf had just stood up for the first time, and been licked clean by mum. Violet is now busy eating the afterbirth.

The calf is a girl. In the final picture she is licking her lips after her very first drink of milk. Cute, huh?

So, we need a name for this new girl too. She’s got a very independent, feisty kind of nature. Incredibly brave and outgoing. Mum kept trying to stash her baby in long grass to keep her safe yesterday, but this little calf ran after the herd all day on her wobbly new legs.

I’m looking forward to spending some time with her today.

If you have any suggestions for a name, let me know!

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Baby, licking her lips after her very first drink of milk!

Thoughts on Mother’s Day

image from www.weheartit.com

image from www.weheartit.com

“There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.”~ Albert Ellis

 

It’s Mother’s Day in Australia today. It’s a day when so many families will get together with their Mothers, give heartfelt gifts of appreciation, share meals and practice love and gratitude. Love and gratitude is a beautiful thing. Togetherness and belonging is the foundation of so much that is good in our society.

No doubt there will be a flood of feel-good sentiment in our media, and on facebook and twitter. But this Mother’s Day I want to acknowledge a different reality.

Today’s also a hard day for many people. I want my post to stand for you.  I want you to have a space to put your feelings. I want you to know that you are heard.

This is a post for all of the children, some long grown, whose Mothers failed to love them, protect them and nurture them.  Not everyone had a happy shiny family.  Not everyone has the love and support of a wise and kind Mother, as a child or as an adult.

This is a post for all of the women who gave up their children, who lost them to accident or illness, who had them torn away by war or foul play or relationship breakdown. Today, some Mothers will know great pain, as their mothering goes wasted, as their arms stay empty of a child to hug.

This is a post for the women whose wombs could never bear fruit. The women who know the pain of infertility, of miscarriage and of stillbirth. The women, whom through circumstance, have not become Mothers. Or who are unacknowledged in their identify as a Mother because there is no surviving child for others to see.  The women who wonder, each Mother’s Day, how their life might have been different…

This is a post for the children who have lost their Mothers early, or who have never known them, and for those abandoned or deserted by their Mothers.

This image from www.favim.com

This image from www.favim.com

This is a post for all of you who loved your Mothers and Grandmothers, and who won’t have them at your table this year. Perhaps they are ill, or passed on. Perhaps distance separates you, or misunderstanding. Perhaps they are living in the shady halls of memory where they no longer recognise you, or the love you have for them, or they for you.

This is a post for the blended families, for the difficulties of mothering children who are not your own, and who may not accept you.  This is for those of you whose Father chose someone other than your Mother, and where you still feel the pain of the loss of that sense of family and of all you had held dear. This is a post for the children who became second best or didn’t rate at all, once the family structure shifted.

This is for the Mothers whose children will be in your ex-partner’s home, and with that side of the family today, while you sit at home alone. Perhaps for you a phone call.  But no hugs. No day of sharing. Not this year.

This is for the Mothers who are not accepted, loved or acknowledged by their Mother-In-Laws. For the families who know friction and tension, but who still make an effort to keep up relationships and appearances.

This is for all of the Grandmothers who don’t see their grandchildren because of relationship breakdowns or sheer distance and the life choices of their own children.

This post acknowledges all of the women so busy working, or looking after the children of other people, that they never had the time or the privilege to be the Mother they would have liked to have been for their own children.

This is for all the Mothers who made mistakes that they regret, who made bad choices, or who wish now that they had done things differently.

This is for the single Mothers, who long for support and company and someone to share the load, but who are doing the best they can.

This is for the Mothers who do not like their children, and the children who do not like their Mothers.

Life can be a strange, hard and sometimes cruel journey. Mothering and the love of a Mother is not a given and it is certainly not a right.

But we all need love, and at times we all need to be Mothered. This Mother’s Day, you can start by being kind to yourself. By recognising that we receive Mothering energy from many, and give it ourselves, although it may not be to our own children. By letting it be okay that today might be bittersweet, or downright difficult. Life is not a Disney Movie.

This Mother’s Day it’s okay to feel pain, to cry and to wish things could be different.

This Mother’s Day, above all else, I want you to know that I see you, I honour you, and I am sending you love. I’m thinking of you today.  Bless ♥ xoxo

Parents are also People

Photo from Getty Images www.telegraph.co.uk

Photo from Getty Images www.telegraph.co.uk

“Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.” 
― Cheryl Lacey Donovan, The Ministry of Motherhood

 

It’s a common theme right now – I see it over and over again on cheesy social media posts – how rewarding parenting is, how ‘special’ and ‘wise’ children are, how exceptional and precious the bonds are between parent and child.

And then there are all the posts people encourage you to share about having an awesome father or a wonderful mother.

These days, more than ever, it’s expected that parents will be engaged with their children, that they’ll actively parent them and give them access to every opportunity and possibility so that they can grow up to be exceptional, after having had the best possible start in life.

I hear all sorts of things in my job as a psychic.  But one of the most common confessions is from parents – admitting to me how hard they find their situation.  There are some who even regret ever having had a family of their own. And there is terrible guilt with that. There is shame at the feelings of resentment or fatigue, there is despair that the parenting journey is less ‘special’ and more ‘hard work’…

The other thing I hear, more than you might imagine, is the pain adults feel (especially around Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day and other family centered holidays) when they do not have a good relationship with their own parents, either now, or because their childhood was difficult.

The media holds up all these examples of happy families, and that perfect extended circle of love.

But that’s not what families and parenting is all about…

Parents are people.  The act of parenthood does not suddenly bestow upon you a saintly grace and the ability to park all your own hopes, dreams and needs so that you can put your children first in all things. Indefinitely.

Parenting is a role, a function, a work in progress, for some an act of love, for others an act of duty.  Parenting is a huge responsibility and a lot of hard work. There is sacrifice. And there is pain. But there is hopefully also reward, joy and connection.

It is not a given that the relationship between children and parents will be smooth, loving or fulfilling. And the dynamic changes from day to day.

For those of you who have experienced difficult relationships with your own parents, I can say this:

You chose them.  And for whatever reason, they have given you a lot of what you need to become the person that you are.  When there is a lack, we learn to fulfill that for ourselves.  We become stronger, or more independent. We learn to grow and overcome.

Let’s be clear – you are not responsible for the behaviour of your parents, and you did not cause them to treat you in a particular way.  It’s not your fault.  Parents are people, and people are flawed. As an adult you can choose to find other role models, support and mentors in your life to fill the place that’s left wanting from the lack in your own relationship with a parent.

Find a place of forgiveness in your heart, and let go of expectation. Sometimes, when we’ve cleared away the hurt and energetic debris, we find that we can begin again, in a new way of relating, and form a relationship that works better for us. And sometimes, we just need to let go and move on. Being born is not an automatic recipe for a sense of family, for love, nurture and ongoing supportive relationships. Not every story has a Disney ending.

For those of you who are parents:

It’s normal to get overwhelmed sometimes, with all that is expected of you as a parent.  It’s normal to have days where you want to run away, where you resent your children and momentarily wish they’d never been born. Because the truth is EVERYONE feels like that sometimes.  They just don’t admit it.  I mean, who could, when we are surrounded by images and expectations that parenting is this joyous, wonderful and endlessly fulfilling journey?

In becoming a parent you often forget that you are still a person. You are the same person you were before you had children, except that you’re stretched now in different ways.  You still have needs and wants.  There are still dreams.  This is normal and natural.  You are not a bad person for wanting to have some space in life for YOU.  You are here to walk your own path, and fulfill your own destiny, and (except for a handful of you) only part of that will involve the act of parenting.

It’s always going to be struggle to maintain your own relationships and interests when you have others who are dependent upon you.

And it’s going to be even harder when your children tell you that they don’t like you, or scream I HATE YOU.  Of course you’re ruining their life.

The stakes are so high these days.  So much is expected of parents. YOU expect so much of yourself…

So what can you do?

Love helps.  Love helps us to find that space of being able to give when we honestly feel that we can’t.  Love helps us to cope when no-one is grateful for our efforts or our sacrifice. Love – that honest love without conditions – grows us into better people; it matures us and helps us find those reserves deep within that let us achieve far more than we could have ever hoped.

You are a person, even when you are a parent. Make space for your own interests and relationships. Find a little time for yourself.  To not honour your own needs is to create a recipe for resentment, and nothing good grows in that space!

Know that love is a deep-seated emotion.  Even when kids are screaming at you, ignoring you or completely taking you for granted, there can be great love BENEATH what’s currently being acted out. Can’t you remember behaving like this when you were their age?

There are times in every family when a child does not like a parent or a parent does not like a child.  It doesn’t mean there is no love there – it just means that right now you’re not gelling. Families have friction. Frictions causes growth.  As a parent it is not your job to be liked – it is your job to parent!

Kids push our buttons.  It often brings up our own deep-seated childhood insecurities.  Funny, that!

Keep on loving, and do your best.  Try to find some room for fun, and for relaxing.

If you don’t have kids, or they’re not your own biological children?

There’s always a role to play in supporting and guiding and loving others. You can be involved and you can make a difference. Sometimes, it’s the people outside our immediate family who become the most important people in our lives.

We’re all just people.  And people need love, dreams of their own, and a sense of belonging.

Image from mashable

Image from mashable

 

Mummy told me to talk to the Angels…

Image from google.com

Image from google.com

“The guardian angels of life fly so high as to be beyond our sight, but they are always looking down upon us.”  ~Jean Paul Richter

*NB – The names have been changed to protect the identities of the family involved in the following post but I have permission to share their story.

On the morning of December 29 my husband and I went down to Byron Bay for an early swim and coffee in a favourite cafe.  The power was out from a storm the night before, and I’d cancelled a day of work.  We had just said goodbye to the last of our Christmas guests and were looking forward to a day on our own.  We felt relaxed and happy.  The surf was gentle, we bumped into friends and shared laughter and news, and we wound our way home through the hills singing along to the radio.

But as I sat under a tree in the back yard I began to feel uncomfortable. Something was wrong, although there was nothing I could think of to make me feel that way.

Out of the blue I thought of Mandy, a student of mine I have not seen for years. The last I’d heard of her she had two small boys. The skin of my arms was covered in goosebumps, and I felt sweaty and anxious. Something was not right with her husband. Something was not right about her kids.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, I couldn’t get a clear picture. I just knew I had to call her.

I ripped through my database until I found her details. The landline was disconnected, but finally I found a cell phone number for her. She picked it up on the third ring.

Of course she was surprised to hear from me, and I made it all the more awkward by blurting out, “How’s Wayne?”

“Oh,” she paused for a moment, a catch in her voice, “we separated just before Christmas. I’ve moved back home with Mum and Dad til we work things out.  Wayne’s changed so much in the past six months, Nic. So depressed and unmotivated, when life is going well for us finally.  I don’t get it! He just isn’t who I married any more. I still love him but I didn’t know what else to do…”

“Is Wayne with you right now?” I asked her.

“No, he picked up the boys for a sleepover early this morning. Why?”

Why?  I didn’t know why. All I knew was something wasn’t right.

Before I could say anything, Mandy continued. “He’s got a place just around the corner.”

“Go. Get your Dad and go there now. Call me when you get there!”

“Why? Is something wrong?” I heard the panic in her voice.

“I don’t know.  I hope not.  Just hurry.”

She hung up and I sat in my backyard with a desperate anxiety. It took three hours before she called me back.

They’d found her husband and three small boys in the family car, the engine running in the enclosed garage, semi-conscious from exhaust fumes. Ambulances took them to hospital. Their two older sons stayed in overnight, their toddler a few nights longer, and her husband is still there.

By some kind of miracle, a tragedy was averted.

Mandy called me again today, and we had a long talk. Two things emerged.

Firstly, one of her sons, Blake, who is five, told her roughly what had happened.  Daddy had put them all in the car and said they were going on a trip.  But Daddy wouldn’t stop crying. Blake hadn’t known what to do, but then he remembered his mum telling him that he could always talk to his Guardian Angel. So Blake said to his Angel, “Please help Daddy. Please stop Daddy crying.  Please help us find out what is making Daddy so sad.”

Blake fell asleep, and he had nice dreams about a kind lady.

Secondly, as part of a routine set of tests, it was discovered that Wayne had a serious thyroid problem. Serious enough to have created the mood swings, fatigue and depression that had led to him growing away from Mandy. Serious enough that he’d gotten to a place where he felt life was hopeless.

He’s getting the medical help he needs.  Doctors are convinced that it is the thyroid issue that created this sudden change in Wayne’s personality.  And the family is going to get counselling.

Wayne and Mandy wanted to share their story. They wanted to reach out to others suffering from depression and ask them to seek help.  Speak with your family doctor.  Get a health check-up, including a thyroid work-up. And reach out to loved ones, friends or a help line and let them know you’re struggling. There is help out there. You don’t have to battle this alone.

In Australia you can contact Beyond Blue or Lifeline, and for people outside Australia you can find help here.

I-believe-in-angelsThe-kind-that-heaven-sendsI-am-surrounded-by-angelsBut-I-call-them-friendsAuthor-Unknown

And as for Blake, I am sure that his childlike faith and certainty helped change the outcome for him and his family.  How can I not believe in Angels?

A Psychic Kind of Day

Mother and son – by Stephen Armstrong

“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

Just over a week ago, on my last day in Brisbane as I was running around madly, getting ready for my holidays, I received a text message from a client.  Could I speak with her sister? It was urgent.

There was no time left in my day to shoehorn in another thing, but I sensed this was important.  I made the time.

The woman I rang was at the end of her rope.  Her only child, an eleven year old boy, has an aggressive form of leukemia. They had exhausted every treatment possibility, and all that was left was the possibility of a bone marrow transplant.  But neither she and her husband, nor any of their family, were a suitable match. She wanted to know if there was any hope, anything left that she could try.

There’s not much can stop you in your tracks like that sort of intensity. I told her I would call her back. Then I went outside, and meditated.

I saw an upset boy yelling at his father. It was not the boy I’d seen in the picture the mother had texted me.  But from this image I saw a pathway back to hope.  I rang the woman back straight away.

“Your husband has another child,” I told her. I couldn’t find a subtle way of saying it.

“That’s not possible,” she said. “That’s. Not. Possible.” She pretty much screamed it at me.

“I’m sorry.  It is,” I said. “You need to talk with your husband. Just talk with him.”

“I thought you’d help me,” she cried,  “but you’re a useless fraud.  You’re pathetic.  I hope you rot in hell.” She was so angry with me she hung up.

It haunted me the rest of the day. I was only trying to help. I did my best to put it behind me, and I packed my bags and headed off to Thailand.

A week later we were in Bangkok, coming home from a night of dancing and fun, and one of the women called to me, “Miss, Miss, let me tell your fortune!”

“Go on,” urged my husband.  “It could be a bit of fun.”

It was only $3 Australian.  Why not?

So, my fortune…

“You are a mumma.  So happy. Many children and grandchildren for you.”

No, actually.  We have no children.

“Your business, no good. You no good at your work.  Better to be a mumma and stay home with your babies.”

Okay, this is going well…

More followed, none of it particularly inspiring.  My house will have a plumbing problem.  Nothing serious. Ha ha ha. Lots of travel.  My husband gets big promotion. There’s a win of money. Must look after my old parents. Blah blah blah.

Her parting words.  “You give up work.  Let husband keep. You no good your job. Be mumma. Better for you. Happy Happy.”

I got back to the hotel room, and picked up my laptop so I could get into bed.

There was a message for me on facebook. I didn’t recognise the name.

It was the woman I’d spoken to in Brisbane.  The one with the dying child. Turns out her husband had a son from a previous relationship, a long time before he met his now wife.  At seven years of age, the boy had told his father that he never wanted to see him again, and made his father promise to stay away – the boy’s mother had been in agreement, and so all contact had been severed.

The young man is now 22, has reconnected with his father, is thrilled to have a little brother, and is a match for a bone marrow transplant, which he has willingly volunteered to do for his young sibling. Hopefully, a happy ending.

My psychic kind of day went okay after all…

Everyone has something special to share with the world!

What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God. ~ Eleanor Powell

I have never met anyone who wasn’t unique in some way, who didn’t have a special gift to share with the world. The problem is that most people don’t acknowledge their gifts because they are always the things that come naturally and easily, even if we get better at them with practice.

We live in a society that crazily seems to prize two things above all others: hard work to get somewhere, or money for nothing.

I’m not talking about either of those.

I’m talking about the essence of your soul, the thing you ARE. And we catch glimpses of it from the moment of our birth.

I’ll give you some examples, and maybe you’ll start to understand what I mean…

My Grandmother had a gift for listening. When you spoke with her you knew she truly heard you, and acknowledged what you were saying and feeling. She was trustworthy and wise, and she helped many people through this gift. She never had a job or a career, and yet she touched the lives of many.

I have a client who has never been educated.  He can’t read or write, can barely sign his name. He has lived in the Outback his entire life. But he can break any horse.  He can turn any wild brumby into a horse that can be ridden and worked with, and he does it gently, without breaking their spirit.  No-one ever showed him.  He just seems to know how to communicate with them and win their trust.

I have a friend who is a nurse. I’ve know her for many years. She’s a talented nurse, and studied hard to get there, but her real gift? She has a knack for comforting people.

Ask anyone who’s known her and they’ll tell you the same.  She’s been like that since she was small. Animals, people, upset children, she just seems to know what to say, how to move, and her touch is filled with love and kindness.  Her voice is soothing and reassuring, or cheerful when it needs to be.

It’s not just her ability to do her job, it’s the essence she brings to that job that is so important.

Don’t ever think that you have nothing worthy to offer the world.  You came here with a gift inside you, perhaps even more than one.  That might not be a gift that will bring you great fame and riches, or public acclaim.

But for someone in your life, your gift will mean the world.

Not sure what your gift is?  Look back through your life.  What came easily?  What was a natural expression of who you are?  What have you done or been where you know you uplifted, or connected, or helped in some way?

You may have discounted this thing as ordinary or unimportant.  But I promise you, it’s not. And all you ever have to be is yourself!

You are precious, and valuable, and important to the richness and texture of life.

Kermit says it better than anyone…