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The Forum is a meeting place, a space dedicated
to the sharing of spiritual journeys. You, too, are
invited to submit a personal story or thoughtful
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Jodi Taylor Block contributes a piece that makes crystalline the choice
which can forever simplify our lifelong journey.
One morning I awakened to the wind blowing and crisp
air brightening my thoughts. I had an epiphany! I suddenly
realized that there is a clarity and simplicity in life...If we
would only choose to see it, hear it, and feel it.

We seem to complicate everything and make problem-solving
even more difficult than it has to be. The most awful feeling of
not finding a solution to a problem is analagous of standing in
the middle of a road. Somehow if a decision is not made and
you continue to stand there, eventually a truck will hit you from
either direction, so you must move!

Suddenly it came to me: "WHAT YOU WILL DO AND WON'T DO; WHAT YOU CAN DO AND CAN'T DO." That simple appli-
cation to any problem that requires an answer will force you
to face the truth and realize that you know the answer. You
cannot turn to another person to solve it for you, just as you
know instinctively that no one can walk your steps nor breathe
your breaths.

It takes great courage to make a decision and live with it, take
full responsibility for it. Many people make decisions based on
what others think, trying to please them. Then if it doesn't
work out, they quickly blame everyone else for their poor
decision-making. Others simply decide there is no solution.

But there is a solution to is simply (continued)

There comes with this epiphany a scary thought as well...once it is clear, and decision-
making is no longer complicated, we can no longer hide behind the muddled and hazy
clutter of the brain, claiming we don't know what to do because we are in such a dilemma.
The truth is always the truth,and it is an Emotional Evolution.

There is a saying, "Opportunity knocks and knocks into infinity," but too often we are so
busy searching frantically in our backyard for a four leaf clover that we never hear the
knocking at our front door.

So stop for a moment in time and let the brisk fresh air awaken you to the wonderment
of life and clarity. Realize that whatever decisions you make on this journey of life, they
CAN'T DO. Live with your decisions holding your head high, being brave and believing
in yourself!
--Jodi Taylor Block

My mother-in-law, Frankie, was dying of cancer. She had
previously gone through chemo and radiation therapies, been diagnosed ‘cancer free’ only to have it reemerge and then spread wildly. She tried chemotherapy one more time in an effort to continue her life long enough
to see the birth of her first great grandchild. In this, she succeeded. Shortly thereafter she halted the chemo
and began home hospice, then finally admitted herself
to a skilled nursing center for 24-hour hospice care.

On Mother’s Day, two years ago, she asked the entire family to please come and visit her at the care facility.
At that time, she said her final good-bye’s to each of us. She then requested that the doctors and nurses cease all medical measures that were keeping her alive. She had made her peace and knew that her time had come. We all waited for the final day to arrive, when the call would come saying that Frankie had passed on. My wife,
Kathleen, visited her mother daily. But watching her wither away was taking its toll on her.

One Thursday, Kathleen called me at work to say that she was going to see her good friend, have dinner and talk – she needed to not see her mother, it hurt too much. I had an ‘unsettled’ feeling the remainder of the day and finally decided to head for home early. For what ever reason, I delayed my departure a little bit, then finally left about 6:00pm, taking the long way home –
using surface streets most of the way from my work in Los
Angeles County to my home in south Orange County. As I approached the 91 freeway, getting relatively close to home, I had a feeling, a little voice that said, “Go see Frankie.” Instead of continuing home, I got on the freeway and drove – quickly – to the care facility.

When I arrived, Frankie was unconscious and breathing with great difficulty – very laborious and very unsettled. She had a frown on her face, as if encountering some inner struggle. I sat with her for a few minutes, then  went over to the bed. I took her hand and gently stroked her brow, wanting to wipe away the frown. I talked to her a bit and, as I had done with my own mother, told her that if now was the time to go, don’t be afraid.

In that moment, she took a very deep breath – then relaxed. The frown disappeared. Her breathing became soft and regular, then gradually slowed, coming to a complete stop within the next 15 minutes. I sat there in silence for several minutes and as I stood to go to the nurses station to let them know that Frankie had
passed on, my cell phone rang. Kathleen was calling to say that she was heading home from her friend’s house. For some reason, the power had gone out about 5 minutes before, so she was leaving. I said to please come to the care facility. She knew exactly what had happened.

So, where was the miracle? The first obvious miracle was the‘voice’ that said to me, “Go see Frankie.” The second obvious miracle was when Frankie relaxed and gave herself to the inevitable. The third obvious miracle was the phone call from Kathleen. But what of the ‘unsettled’ feeling that I had before leaving work? What of the power outage that was the nudge for Kathleen to leave her friend and call me – right at the moment that her mother had passed away? What of the miracle of Frankie being able to see her great-grandchild? Of her having the ability to call the family together and say goodbye?

Miracles ARE all around us. Sometimes we need to be reminded in big ways – like the parting of a sea. But if we really pay attention, there are little things happening all the time. Keep an eye out for the blooming flower that really shouldn’t be there. Listen to that little voice that whispers in your ear. When the cat jumps on your lap, curls up and starts purring, take the time to share the experience. Slow down for a moment and experience
the miracles of life.   --David Palmer


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