The three most beautiful women.

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I met three very beautiful women over the past three months, one since passed away from cancer, one has just recovered from cancer, and one’s son recently committed suicide. No it had nothing to do with make up or “taking care of themselves”, though each was tastefully dressed etc. This was something more. Each had struggled with something beyond their capability to bare, as if life had operated and created a void inside emptying out the self, the pride, till an inner beauty had kindled that took my breath away. All three are in their 60’s and one of them had never been beautiful even in youth, but now she glows.

Maybe I don’t see as others do. I must admit I often find the commercially vaunted beauty, tacky, superficial, even slimy. My daughter (who’d secretly like me to find a “special someone”) tends to point out guys to try to “find out my type”. I frequently answer “ugh no!” I try to explain there has to be something to the eyes that shines out. What ever it is these ladies have it, an inner beauty so strong it transforms their faces like angels.

(The photo is from bing by the way (I don’t generally post friends or family on my blog)).

Dream Master (no. 3)

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flash fiction from October 2014

Song Bird Songs

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The darkness was soft around her like a comforting blanket, warm and snug, endued with a faint glow. Embedded in the walls, if such they could be called since they had no substance, glimmered pinpoints of light, momentarily flickering. She reached out her hand, as in slow motion, clasping substance in the mist. A jewel glistened within her hand, glowing in the darkness. She reached out eagerly to get more wondering at the rainbow forms glistening on her palm.
She was aware of a being beside her his face picked out in silver light. The dream master was here.
“I’m sorry you had to come alone,” he whispered, his voice an echo of the stillness. “This lesson cannot be taught another way. I wanted you to overcome your fear of the darkness, those black times when clouds of doom and destruction overcome your life.”
Reaching up he plucked a delicate…

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Beauty and pain.

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from September 2014

Song Bird Songs

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Strangely related these two… I’m not talking about the fleeting “beauty” that flashes across the glossy covers of fashion magazines. I mean the deeper kind that’s not reliant on youth, face lifts or beauty products, the sort that beams out through any age, even through the most homely of faces, and transforms by its radiance. It can be found in the deep tenor of a sympathetic voice, a hug or squeeze that imparts comfort. It is often worn by those souls we feel most comfy and safe with.
From where does this deeper beauty come? It comes not from sunny days, an easy, indulgent, life. No, I’ve most often seen it follow in footsteps of pain, of remorse, of deep sorrow. It’s as if the light of inner beauty must dig deep within to find that place from which it shines out.

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A friend “moves on”.

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butterfly

The pain didn’t make her bitter; instead it seemed to kindle a fire within, an almost tangible glow. She’d always been kind and concerned. I recall her compassion when I was once far from home in a desperate situation, she didn’t just talk she did, she was always like that.

Her life, though often touched with joy, had not been easy, she’d had to fight many battles and the last (with cancer) took away her strength. Yet as power ebbed away something more pure filled the vacuum.

I can understand why God called her home, something so beautiful belongs in Heaven, though she’ll be sorely missed here.

The most overlooked characteristic of who you want to marry.

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(This article was originally published on Kevin A. Thompson’s blog.
I saw it on my daughter’s face book page and shared it on mine, but it’s such an important point I wanted to also post it here – some of the best advice around.)

“In sickness and in health.”On two occasions I have said those words with the full confidence that the couple repeating those words actually knew what they meant.
The first occurrence brought a smile to my face. She had endured and marriage was her reward on the other side of illness. Together they have journeyed through the struggles of a serious disease as boyfriend and girlfriend. Now they would be husband and wife. They knew what “in sickness and in health” meant.
The second occurrence brought a tear to my eye. She had weeks to live. The vow renewal was his gift to her. I almost cut the words fearing they might be too painful. But with a crowd gathered I included them as a testimony to all who would hear them say, “in sickness and in health.” They meant it and everyone knew it.
Few people consider sickness and suffering when picking a mate.
They consider how the other person might look in the morning or what bad habits they might have.
They consider what offspring they could produce or what extended family they might bring to the reunion.
Yet few people ever consider what is a vital question — can I suffer with this person?
It sounds like the beginning of another marriage joke, but it’s not.
It’s a real question and one which should be explored by every dating couple.
Suffering is a part of life.
And the older a person gets, the more we realize that suffering is not a rare occurrence, but is a common aspect of our lives.
Sorrow comes in many forms, yet it is guaranteed to come.
BEWARE: Not everyone suffers well.
Some live in denial — unable to confront the deep realities of life.
Some live in despair — unable to recognize the convergence of laughter and tears.
Few have the grace to suffer well.
Those who do suffer well are a well-spring of life and faith.
• Who do you want holding your hand when the test says “cancer?”
• On whose shoulder do you want to lean when the doctor says, “We’ve done all we can?”
• With whom do you want to lay beside when you don’t know where your child is or if they will ever come home?
• When your world turns upside down, in whose eyes do you want to look?
Find someone who suffers well.
I know it doesn’t seem important when life is perfect.
A beautiful smile is far more attractive than a quiet determination.
A common interest is far more appealing than internal strength.
Yet when life falls apart, you want someone you can run to, not someone you want to run from.
• You want someone who believes in you.
• You want someone who instills faith, not causes doubt.
• You want someone who hopes no matter the circumstances.
In the Bible, Job’s wife responded to his suffering by saying, “Curse God and die.”
Had he not suffered enough?
Was life not difficult enough?
Enduring hardship was enough, yet Job was also forced to rebuke his wife during his time of struggle.
Life is hard enough; there is no need to make it harder.
Choosing a spouse who does not suffer well makes life harder.
It makes every grief stronger.
It makes every sorrow more painful.
It makes every hurt deeper.
Yet,
when our spouse knows how to suffer,
when they don’t live in denial, but confront the sorrows of life,
when they don’t live in despair but know how to laugh and cry at the same time,
when they offer support and hope in all of life’s challenges,
when they can see the big picture of life,
then,
every grief is wedded to hope
every sorrow is matched with love
and every hurt is paired with healing.
One of the great guarantees of life is that every person, every couple, will suffer. When choosing a mate, choose someone who suffers well and you will never be sorry.

Dream Master (no. 3)

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The darkness was soft around her like a comforting blanket, warm and snug, endued with a faint glow. Embedded in the walls, if such they could be called since they had no substance, glimmered pinpoints of light, momentarily flickering. She reached out her hand, as in slow motion, clasping substance in the mist. A jewel glistened within her hand, glowing in the darkness. She reached out eagerly to get more wondering at the rainbow forms glistening on her palm.
She was aware of a being beside her his face picked out in silver light. The dream master was here.
“I’m sorry you had to come alone,” he whispered, his voice an echo of the stillness. “This lesson cannot be taught another way. I wanted you to overcome your fear of the darkness, those black times when clouds of doom and destruction overcome your life.”
Reaching up he plucked a delicate jewel from the dusky clouds. Spinning silver with his fingers he wove a chain upon it placing it about her neck. The cool blue sapphire shone in the darkness.
“Remember,” he said jewels are found in the darkness, look for them!”
Her mind awoke with a feeling of peace, her body weak and trembling, remained in its hospital bed. Visions of the accident dashed through her brain, attacking the peace, with their glaring blacks and oranges. Her battered body ached with pain. Then her eyes rested on a small package on the bedside table. The nurse caught her glance.
“Your husband brought it in,” she said. “It was to be your birthday gift. You were sleeping, he didn’t want to wake you. I can open it for you if you want?” She nodded. Carefully tearing off the wrappings the nurse revealed a small jewelry box. Her heart pounded. It couldn’t be!
The box opened and there inside was a sapphire pendant.

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