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One of Life's Big Questions...

One of Life’s Big Questions…

I have struggled to answer this question for probably my whole life, but last week I had an experience which showed me one very good answer.

One of my oldest friends lost her partner and best friend; he succumbed to a fatal illness in a short period of time. Attending the wake, I watched her standing alone to greet the mourners. I admired her strength and poise, even as I could see in the unguarded moments, the strain of the past months peek through.

I was impressed by the number of people who turned out on a week night — for her — despite more snowflakes and very cold weather, during a winter when travel had become an endurance test for everyone.

At one point I met one of her bosses. When she found out that I was a very old friend, she proceeded to tell me what a great worker my friend is: how skilled, how professional, and how well-respected. “I wish I had ten of her,” she said. “And she is completely humble.”  I thought to myself, how wonderful to not have to promote yourself because your work speaks volumes…and also to have someone you work for respect, love, and admire you so much. She gave me the heads-up about something that my friend did not know: she was going to receive an arrangement from a very prestigious client. When they found out what was going on with her, they said, “We want to send flowers.” “That is UNHEARD of,” her boss told me, “But they like her THAT much!”

My friend held a small dinner after the wake at a local restaurant. I sat at the end of one VERY long table. She was fussing over whether we had enough food and was worried that the family-style serving was not working, but not one person was greedy and filled their plate. All appreciated the food and appreciated her. Everyone knew this was costing her money she didn’t really have, and yet she wanted to show her appreciation to her friends.  She had been unable to work very much during the time her partner was sick, and she works in a field that when she doesn’t work, she doesn’t get paid.

Despite the terrible circumstances, I felt happy for her as I looked down the long table full of supporters. Her life had been particularly difficult lately, but even without her recent challenges, her life wasn’t necessarily one that many people would look at as a “picture” of success. But it was clear as a summer sky to me that night.

A successful life does not have to be one with all the trappings and media accolades. It can be one where, when you are struggling, you are overwhelmed by love and support, respect and admiration in your own corner of the world. To me, my friend won an Oscar.

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{September 6, 2013}   The Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

I started this post 3(?) weeks ago…

Well, I figured it was time I caught up with a couple of Award Nominations. I know I posted the “Tequila Award” saying I can’t accept too many, but I really like the bloggers who just nominated me  so…here we go! A big thank you to: Michael McGuireIn Her Words Avenue, and Sofie’s Diary ( A while ago and I can’t find the link…if you are reading this…post a comment and I will update).

Here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

Display the Award Certificate on your blog.  OKAY.
Announce your win with a post. Make sure you post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’
for the nomination. SO THIS IS IT.
Present 15 awards to 15 deserving bloggers. OH-OH, THIS IS THE TOUGH PART…COMING UP WITH PEOPLE WHO ACCEPT AWARDS WHO DON’T HAVE THEM ALREADY! HMMM…I SETTLED FOR JUST A FEW OR THIS WOULD NEVER GET POSTED…MAYBE I CAN ADD SOME MORE LATER…
Leave them a comment to let them know after you have linked them to a post. OK
Post seven interesting things about yourself. I MIGHT HAVE MENTIONED SOME OF THESE IN PREVIOUS POSTS, BUT HERE GOES…

1) I grew up with 6 brothers and 0 sisters.

2) When I was young I used to love to climb trees…now that I am grown up, I’m afraid of heights!

3) I appeared (for a few seconds) in a local TV station video singing about the New England Patriots.

4) I collected rocks when I was a child and was one of the only people I knew who dreamed of a “Rock Tumbler” for Christmas.

5) I created 3 holes of miniature golf in my backyard as a child.

6) My first published poem was in the sports editorial section of the Boston Globe when I was 15.

7) I won the “Voice of America” contest at my high school, writing and reciting an essay about what it means to be an American citizen.

So here are some of the new blogs I have discovered that I like:

http://biggangaphotography.wordpress.com/ : wonderful pictures, many of his autistic son

http://elbuenoelfeo.wordpress.com/ : I don’t think accepts awards, but don’t miss these gorgeous photos of Spain

http://storyshucker.wordpress.com : some great anecdotes and storytelling in the old tradition

http://okaywhatif.com/ : Funny guy

http://momentsinyourlife.wordpress.com/versatile blogger award




cats

MyCats

I have to admit, the title of this prompt is what attracted me to it. I have two cats, and I am grateful every day for their unconditional love. But that isn’t really what the prompt is about; it’s about creating an award for yourself.

Hmm…I tried on a few catchy names: the Super Supporter Award, The Creative Connector Award…I didn’t really like those names. It is hard to capture what I think I am good at and proud of, but I’ll explain it the best way I can. If you have ever played with Tinker Toys, I’m one of the unassuming little sticks that help build the final creation. (if you don’t know what tinker toys are, click here.) I look pretty plain, but I am empowered to be a part of great things!

I have so many different kinds of friends, from all walks of life, and I CONNECT them; I try to put together people who might never meet each other except that they both know me. It’s not random…I connect them if I think they have something to offer each other or if I think they can learn from each other. They go on to great things and I stay in the background, but I’m proud of what I did; it wouldn’t have happened with me.

Also, I provide support. I can see immediately the good in people. There is always something to compliment them on; I try to make their day and offer them support in their endeavors. Everybody needs that and most people don’t get it. I love this little film clip, because the main character is the person I want to be.

You know, I think I DO have a name for what I want to give myself — the Validation Award! And what would I say when it was given to me: Thank you, but I already feel rewarded everyday by making people smile and seeing the people I connect be successful. Gratitude to the Grand Architect!



et cetera
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