Finding Gifts in Unexpected Places

In July, 1998, my sister, Colleen, was driving with our parents when their car was struck, head-on. Our parents were killed instantly. Colleen suffered a head injury so severe that she was left in a persistent vegetative state. She remained in the coma, never regaining consciousness, until her death in 2003. What follows is a eulogy I gave at her funeral and I am sharing it today, on what would have been her 68th birthday.

Thinking of you today, Collie. Thank you for the gifts your life and death provided. 


Nearly five years ago we were a family, much like other families, going through the motions of life – rearing the next generation, working through marriage, divorce and issues of commitment, loving, usually without conscious effort and frequently with a struggle.  Then came the day of the accident. It was a day that began with a ripple, not unlike a pebble dropping into a pool of water, only this was a boulder and the ripple that resulted grew to engulf...

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Finding Your Joy in Connections

Sitting on my deck, I see that the redwoods are starting to sway gently when just moments before, they were still, the morning sun is shining warmly in the cloudless sky, with my ears I hear the sound of the wind – the thing that my brain tells me is causing the trees to sway and for a brief moment, I close my eyes and simply breathe . . . imagining how it must feel to the trees.  Like a lover’s tender caress, the gentlest of breezes, moving into the branches, kissing the needles warmed by the sun.  The message; one of love and connection – that same soft breeze caressing my cheek, the same rays of the sun warming my skin – the tree and I together, just for the moment enjoying the same experience. 



When we're ready to bring happiness into our lives, what I've learned is that we really need to ask: "How can I make my foundation one of joy so that happy events will be more attracted to me."  This awareness came to me unexpectedly when I...

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