‘Twas an easy, natural, and quite unrestrained laughter of mutual sharing and agreement.
There was no joke, story, or rational instigator of our gaiety. I do recall the tattered remains of curtains fluttering from glassless windows in that long-abandoned factory across the waterway. Though neither of us spoke of them, we seemed to silently agree that those threadbare flags from yesteryear were mocking us and toying with our Moment. And that was reason enough for us to join in the frivolity offered.
There we were … sitting at one of those ubiquitous patio tables with its requisite umbrella touting some unremembered brand of beverage ... under a crystalline-clear sky that reached to Forever. On an outing whose whose hilarity was pre-ordained by its beginning with the ill-conceived attempt at concealing all 6 feet 2 inches of the "Rogue Yank" (Me) in the back seat of a small compact car; under a blanket. (Did I mention the delightfully warm July day?) What a hoot!
The al fresco setting created from what had been the roof of an old church, now reborn as a trendy restaurant cum bistro, was our lovely discovery for lunch. Our view was of an industrial waterway flanked by yet-unrecycled warehouses and/or factories. I am sure that the starry-eyed developers would have had us see the transplanted images of the Thames/Siene/Danube (you get the idea.) [smile] And we were blessed with a delicious breeze that mitigated the Summer warmth ... and provided the energy for the aforementioned curtains' display.
Then there, there was that abandoned relic of a structure with its empty windows … empty, save those tongue-wagging old curtains. We took it all in … took each other in … and, suddenly; it was all so wonderfully grand! Ahhh!
I know no other instance of such unbridled and pure joy as those celebrated with her. Trust, respect, affection, and appreciation were ours … beyond measure. There, in the beauty of that timeless, other-worldly Moment, we knew unfettered freedom and ecstasy in a Comfort and Bliss borne of honest and pure adoration. It was … and will forever remain … heavenly.
I offer my heartfelt “Thank You!” to the Giver, of all that is good and perfect, for that marvelous Gift. It remains, these twenty-three years later, still as fresh and vitally new as it was then.
Eternity(n.) Infinite duration, without beginning in the past or end in the future (Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary )
“Do you believe” I could ask, “in Eternity?” And I have a fair sense of confidence that I would receive an affirmative response from the majority of whomever I offer the question. So, neither beginning nor end … yep! That is how I know it to be myself.
Only makes the most rudimentary of sense that I celebrate this moment, in our shared Eternity, with you. This is our Heaven, if we so elect. Heaven being the Reality of living in the Presense of, and willingly choosing the direction of that loving Creator of all that has ever been … and will ever be. ‘Tis certain that Hell would be opting to live this moment in the elected absence of the influence and care of the “I Am.”
So, my Precious reader, I thank you for your heavenly Presence … here, in our Eternal Moment.
Pamela Murphy, widow of WWII hero and actor, Audie Murphy, died peacefully at her home on April 8, 2010. She was the widow of the most decorated WWII hero and actor, Audie Murphy, and established her own distinctive 35-year career working as a patient liaison at the Sepulveda Veterans Administration hospital, treating every veteran who visited the facility as if they were a VIP.
Any soldier or Marine who came into the hospital got the same special treatment from her. She would walk the hallways with her clipboard in hand making sure her boys got to see the specialist they needed.
If they didn't, watch out. Her boys weren't Medal of Honor recipients or movie stars like Audie, but that didn't matter to Pam. They had served their country. That was good enough for her. She never called a veteran by his first name. It was always "Mister." Respect came with the job.
"Nobody could cut through VA red tape faster than Mrs. Murphy," said veteran Stephen Sherman, speaking for thousands of veterans she befriended over the years. "Many times I watched her march a veteran who had been waiting more than an hour right into the doctor's office. She was even reprimanded a few times, but it didn't matter to Mrs. Murphy. "Only her boys mattered. She was our angel."
Audie Murphy died broke in a plane crash in 1971, squandering millions of dollars on gambling, bad investments, and yes, other women. "Even with the adultery and desertion at the end, he always remained my hero," Pam told me.
She went from a comfortable ranch-style home in Van Nuys where she raised two sons to a small apartment - taking a clerk's job at the nearby VA to support herself and start paying off her faded movie star husband's debts. At first, no one knew who she was. Soon, though, word spread through the VA that the nice woman with the clipboard was Audie Murphy's widow. It was like saying General Patton had just walked in the front door. Men with tears in their eyes walked up to her and gave her a hug.
"Thank you," they said, over and over.
The first couple of years, I think the hugs were more for Audie's memory as a war hero. The last 30 years, they were for Pam.
One year I asked her to be the focus of a Veteran's Day column for all the work she had done. Pam just shook her head no. "Honor them, not me," she said, pointing to a group of veterans down the hallway. "They're the ones who deserve it." The vets disagreed. Mrs. Murphy deserved the accolades, they said.
Incredibly, in 2002, Pam's job was going to be eliminated in budget cuts. She was considered "excess staff." "I don't think helping cut down on veterans' complaints and showing them the respect they deserve, should be considered excess staff," she told me. Neither did the veterans. They went ballistic, holding a rally for her outside the VA gates. Pretty soon, word came down from the top of the VA. Pam Murphy was no longer considered "excess staff."
She remained working full time at the VA until 2007 when she was 87.
"The last time she was here was a couple of years ago for the conference we had for homeless veterans," said Becky James, coordinator of the VA's Veterans History Project. Pam wanted to see if there was anything she could do to help some more of her boys. Pam Murphy was 90 when she died last week. What a lady.
Dennis McCarthy, Los Angeles Times on April 15, 2010 ~
Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star (with oak leaf cluster)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star (with oak leaf cluster and Valor device)
Purple Heart (with two oak leaf clusters)
U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal
U.S. Army Good Conduct Medal
Presidential Unit Citation (with First Oak Leaf Cluster)
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France))
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany Clasp)
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
French Fouragère in Colors of the Croix de guerre
French Legion of Honor - Grade of Chevalier
French Croix de guerre (with Silver Star)
French Croix de guerre (with Palm)
Medal of Liberated France
Belgian Croix de guerre (with 1940 Palm)
The Combat Infantry Badge
I cannot help but arrive at my own personal conclusion, my Dear Reader …
It seems to me that this Dear Lady’s being who she was … outweighed all of the accumulated awards, bestowed upon her husband, for all of his doing, of all that he did.
I am blessed to know, and have, in the past known, a few, very heroic, noble, and brave Individuals who fight daily battles with courage and effort equal to that of the most celebrated and decorated of Warriors. They will never receive any medals ... and, alas, they rarely enjoy even the most elementary of acknowledgement or notice.
Yet, it is my sincere conviction that they are crowned with a glory that surpasses the most bejeweled of crowns. They can face themselves and Eternity with the firm and solid confidence that they have given all that they had at their command for the highest and noblest of callings. They have given, and give, themselves, to Being all that they can Be. I salute them!
Pamela Murphy's story is yet another instance of One’s Being all that One can Be … having far more eternal merit than all of the most celebrated of Doings.
But, then again, that is merely my own perspective.
Lovingly, Your constant Friend and humblest of Servants, John-Michael
My sincere "Thank You" to Carole for sharing this lovely story with me.
"The privilege of a lifetime is BEing who you are.” Joseph Campbell
Subsequent to twenty years of marriage, and a career in management in the Financial Services Industry (investments, life insurance, and financial planning), I have invested myself in the pursuit of what Joseph Campbell calls "My Bliss." And my bliss is in living, loving, writing, and mentoring.
I find joy in awakening Imagination and endorsing the expression of Emotion in children ... as well as arousing Emotion and awakening child-worthy Imagination in adults.
I live a very simple (some would say primitive) lifestyle. In my solitary and simple life, I enjoy genuine, intimate, and meaningful friendships.
My dream is to write a syndicated column responding to life and living questions posed by individuals seeking a responsible grasp of their personhood and a fuller enjoyment of their world. I would inhabit a cabin or similar place of dwelling, overlooking some body of water, where I will spend tranquil and gentle hours rowing, writing, drawing, and communing with Life.
With their "putting out the 'Welcome' mat," by Listing me on their blogs, these folks have inclined me to visit them Daily.
(One does like visiting where "Welcomed," you know.)
ultimate social bookmark
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about my "lady muse"
You will hear me, quite often, make mention of ... and give respectful credit to ... my Muse (oft referred to, by me, as my Lady Muse.)
In Greek mythology, the Muses are Spirits, who embody the arts and inspire the creation process.
In the Christian doctrine, the ‘Holy Spirit’ is depicted as a 'Counselor' or 'Helper', guiding people in the way of the truth. The Holy Spirit enables a person to access his or her own innate abilities. Through the influence of the Holy Spirit a person sees more clearly the world around him or her and can use his or her mind in ways that exceed his or her usual capacity. Earlier in my life-walk, I was comfortable with this “Holy Spirit” verbiage. I now find it exclusionary. That is, it excludes others of other faiths and persuasions. And, inasmuch as I have come to a personal recognition of the universality of such an influencing ‘Inner Voice’ … I am far more comfortable with my use of the term ‘Muse.’
My personal references to my ‘Lady Muse’ always convey my appreciative respect for Life’s voice (without regard for any single sectarian label), ‘heard’ by my consciousness and made clear in my awareness. My use of the feminine in referring to my ‘Muse’ simply reflects my comfort with a feminine ‘Presence’ in my mental and spiritual functioning.
My ‘Muse’ may speak to me through the voice of another, a book, poem, song, some element of Nature … countless ways. I have found that all that is needed for me to ‘hear’Life speaking to me through that ‘Still Small Voice’ within my Being, is my willingness to “Be still and know …”
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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
“The hardest battle you're ever going to fight is the battle to be just you.”
There Is Still Sufficient Time For Sharing Our Thoughts
“Time has no meaning in itself unless we choose to give it significance.”
..... "his light shines" award .....
A lovely, and all-to-kind Expression of the marvelous respect and Love that is our Friendship ... from My Darling Joni.
expressing "namaste" in person
NAMASTE' "The Spirit within me, bows to, and honors ... the Spirit within you."
Embracing Our spirit-kinship
With My 'Brotherly' "Thank You!" ... to Kimberly Drever
“The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position.”
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I welcome and encourage your email to me
Please feel completely comfortable with sending me an Email with any comment, suggestion, or idea that you want to share with me. I will, most certainly, send as prompt a reply as is possible. My Email address is:firstname.lastname@example.org
“Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized.”
___kind heart award___
From My Cath-Daughter
"comments" and "responses"
Allow me to tell you how I approach this business of "commenting" on your articles.
And how I respond to "comments" that you graciously make on my submissions.
Deliberately ... caringly ... and ONLY after understanding the definition of what my Spirit wants me to see ... I write.
So, I read what you say. I go to your Profile (though I have seen it before.) I refresh my sense of "who you are." I return to what you wrote. I listen for a clear 'voice' from within my Self. And THEN (and ONLY then) I write a "comment" or respond to one.
Yes! It takes time. It takes effort. It takes an investment in You.
But to do less ... would be to show less respect for who you are and what you think ... than I could ever allow my Self to know.
So, I beg your patience, if am a bit slow in my comments or responses. Like the old tale of the Tortoise and the Hare ... this old Tortoise will eventually get there.
"YOU MAKE MY DAY" FROM ROSE
This "You Make My Day" Award Wrapped in Hugs by Darling Rose
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John Jordan 'Buck' O'Neil
“Love is always open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find that you are left holding only yourself.”
joni's "blogging with purpose" award
With Joni's loving embracing of my "Wheat," and forgiving of my "Chaff."
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
NITEBYRD'S PERSONAL " DUST BUNNY IN THE WIND" AWARD FOR BLOGGERS OUTSTANDING IN THEIR FIELD
Awarded (With all appropriate ceremony) by NiteByrd (HerSelf!)
“A single rose can be my garden...a single friend, my world.”
A Very Generous Award
Presented by San Merideth
“There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? Over that I have complete control.”
Please note that all quotations presented in bold, italics are the work of Leo F. Buscaglia
Leo F. Buscaglia
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joseph campbell quotes
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”
“The way to find out about happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you are really happy — not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what is called following your bliss.”
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls”
“Love is a friendship set to music.”
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”
“Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
“I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”
“When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.”
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.”
“Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is Whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.”
“Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.”
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”
“I think the person who takes a job in order to live - that is to say, for the money - has turned himself into a slave.”
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Louis Daniel 'Satchmo' Armstrong
Before You Go, Please Let Me Say
Your decision to invest this moment of your life here, with me, and my thoughts ... is a compliment and an honor, for which I humbly say "Thank You!" I do hope that you will do me the honor of a return ... real soon.