Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief



One of my all-time favorite songs to play on the piano is The Homecoming. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve played it at my piano recital, as the background music for the memorial video for my niece, and at my dear friends’ mom’s funeral.

I got to thinking about when I used to teach piano. I started doing that when I lived in Chicago. I always had a recital for my students and when the parents asked me to play once, that was when I pulled out that piece.

After I moved back to Buffalo, I started teaching again. Yep, I made my son Frankie take lessons for a couple of years. He quit after that, but he has a love for music today that is incredible. He will deny piano or any of the choirs I directed had any influence on him, but I know better.

Anyhow, I digress. One of the best memories I have was teaching my only adult student while I was in Chicago, Liz. She became so much more than a student. In fact, she became a teacher to me of more important things than piano. She became a dear friend. Her family became dear friends.

She has a wonderful heart. So wonderful, that she let me move into her home when I was stuck with nowhere to go. I stayed there for several months, never paying a penny for rent. She even let me hold the next recital in her house.

I recently re-connected with her after years of no communication. I found out she has been struggling terribly for over three years since she lost her adoring husband, the love of her life. Then last year, her only son lost his beautiful wife from brain cancer. Such suffering only comes from loving so deeply.

She is hoping to come and visit when this COVID stuff lightens up. (Will it?) I told her how much I still appreciate the selfless kindness she showed me when I was in my twenties. Say some prayers for her as she tries to heal her hurting heart.


Unexpected Answers

I was talking with my friend Gary and discussing the way that God/life/universe works things out in ways we don’t expect. He joined Match and has not met the love of his life. BUT… he met someone who inspired a novel that he wrote. Then he met me and was inspired to take the book to publication. Then he met someone else who ended up being a connection to his editor or publisher (or someone like that). So he joined Match for one purpose, but found other needs met that he hadn’t expected. (If you haven’t checked out his book, you should. It’s called “The Flockless Shepherd” and you can find it on Amazon.)

I have been talking with Brigette for over a year now about Baby Coop Publishing. We have been “successful,” but not profitable. Four books have been published, two of which I have authored. I have been on radio, TV, had several newspaper articles written, been published online, and had over 60 lectures across the area. But we still haven’t produced income.

And income is a tricky topic. I actually can only make x amount of dollars before I start losing Social Security. But in less than four years, I will be losing half of that anyway. In less than six years, it will all be gone. I have often thought about how I may have to go back to work at an agency to make ends meet. Not what I prefer, but I will have to do what I have to do.

So we swore 2015 is the year. We are going to make money. We are going to turn our “success” into financial reward as well.

I suddenly found myself taking a turn this week that I wasn’t really expecting to. I have added yet a FIFTH job to my plate. I am officially a college professor! I have been pleasantly surprised at how excited I am to be able to say those words. Teaching was not something I had aspired to do someday. But neither was writing a book. And neither was being a public speaker.

It’s perfect, really. I will be an internship supervisor at Medaille. It is only every other week in person, and the rest can be done via telephone and email. The structure is such that there is some guidelines, but it is mostly interactive with the students. That is right up my alley. Even when I lecture, I much prefer venues where there are questions from the audience.

It started to hit me that my prayers are being answered, just not in the ways I thought they would. This really is about the book. I made my connection at the college by doing lectures about the book there. One professor was especially impressed and passed my name along to the department head. If this goes well, when I need to make up the lost income, it may be in a venue like this rather than in the agency type I thought I would have to go to. It’s all very exciting and unexpected.

So the moral of the story is to keep your eyes peeled and your mind open. If you put yourself out there, it might pay off. It might be in a totally different direction than you expected, so be flexible enough to go where the winds of change might take you!

I wanted new life to be breathed into my home. It certainly is happening. We have two new, energetic kitties, a beautiful granddaughter that will be here once a week, and I have another new job (this one actually pays money. What a concept!)

I know lots of you are struggling. Hang tight. Your day is coming.