Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Story of Thanksgiving Most People Don't Know...

Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday.  I like Christmas because it’s the day we celebrate the Savior’s birth, but I don’t like how commercialized it’s become.
So Thanksgiving is it, especially the week of Thanksgiving. When my children were young, I used to read a book which I don’t remember the title, but it told the true story of the Pilgrims and the details we don’t normally hear.
The people who comprised the Plymouth Colony were a group from England who were Protestants called Puritans who wanted to break away from the Church of England. These "separatists" initially moved to Holland, specifically Leiden. There were about 150 to 200 Pilgrims intent on forming a “pure” church in 1608. Leiden proved more welcoming, and many found work in the booming textiles industry but after 12 years of financial problems, the group received funding from English merchants to sail across the Atlantic Ocean in 1620 to settle in the “New World.”

Image result for mayflower"
Initially, the plan was for the voyage to be made in two vessels, the other being the smaller ship called the Speedwell. The first voyage of the ships departed Southampton, England, on August 5, 1620; but the Speedwell developed a leak, and had to be refitted at Dartmouth. This pushed their trip to a later date. A merchant ship called the Mayflower ended up being used and set sail from Plymouth, a port on the southern coast of England. Normally, the Mayflower’s cargo was wine and dry goods, but on this trip the ship carried passengers: 102 of them (Men, women and children,) all hoping to start a new life on the other side of the Atlantic where they could freely practice their faith.
The Mayflower traveled the ocean for a very treacherous and uncomfortable 66 days and was supposed to land where New York City is now located. But windy conditions forced the group to cut their trip short and settle at what is now Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. 
Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years.
In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit.
The first Thanksgiving was not called as such, although the Pilgrims themselves may have used the term at the time, the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the first Thanksgiving's exact menu, much of what we know about what happened at the first Thanksgiving comes from Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow, who wrote:
“One day, Samoset, a leader of the Abenaki people, and Tisquantum (better known as Squanto) visited the settlers. Squanto was a Wampanoag who had experience with other settlers and knew English. Squanto helped the settlers grow corn and use fish to fertilize their fields. After several meetings, a formal agreement was made between the settlers and the native people, and in March 1621, they joined together to protect each other from other tribes.”
It was also told: “One day that fall, four settlers were sent to hunt for food for a harvest celebration. The Wampanoag heard gunshots and alerted their leader, Massasoit, who thought the English might be preparing for war. Massasoit visited the English settlement with 90 of his men to see if the war rumor was true.
Image result for mayflower"
Soon after their visit, the Native Americans realized that the English were only hunting for the harvest celebration. Massasoit sent some of his own men to hunt deer for the feast and for three days, the English and native men, women, and children ate together. The meal consisted of deer, corn, shellfish, and roasted meat, different from today's traditional Thanksgiving feast. They played ball games, sang, and danced.”
I think of the great sacrifice these people accomplished for freedom in a new world. If it weren’t for those Native Americans, those Pilgrims would have died.  They were blessed to have Squanto who spoke English, to help them plant and survive.
A hundred years later, in October of 1777 all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration. It also commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. But it was a one-time affair. Here is George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Thanksgiving Proclamation
New York, 3 October 1789

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interposition of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the “increase” of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Go: Washington”
We are so blessed to live in this country with such great beginnings from those who sacrificed so much to settle this promised land.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Agency and Liberty

Podcast: Agency and Liberty: I had the opportunity to talk with Paul Pulsipher on Stepping into Freedom today. It's an interesting conversation on Liberty and Freedom and our Agency.
Thomas Jefferson described the term liberty in the Declaration of Independence as “unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. ... For many, liberty means government keeping a light touch on how its citizens conduct their lives, businesses, and associations.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  Thomas Jefferson--Declaration of Independence.

Freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice. freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint: The prisoner soon regained his liberty.

Title of liberty
Moroni was so angry with Amalickiah's dissention and wicked influence that he tore his coat and wrote upon it, "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children."


The state or condition of being able to act and think freely. Obedience to gospel principles frees a person from the spiritual bondage of sin (John 8:31–36).
I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts, Ps. 119:45.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Socialism: A Poor and Unwise Form of Government

For the past several months we  have heard news reports and open opinions about the ideals of Socialism. I was astounded at the positive thought for Socialism in our country from those under the age of 24.  They promote and accept the principles of Socialism.  What?  What has public school been teaching them?

I have been taught since I could remember that Socialism is not good for any country wanting to be successful in their economics, lifestyle, or health. Granted, much of Europe lives under the Socialism rule. It is interesting to note for example, that when Mick Jagger needed heart surgery, he chose a heart doctor in New York, not England.

Our United States has been fighting Socialism since 1776 and I believe has already included too many ideologies of Socialism into our own way of living. It's shameful that those youth pushing for Socialism has only been shown one side of what Socialism is really about. I would like to change that and publish another opinion. We need to teach our youth the whole truth.

Here are fifteen opinions of fifteen men I trust and admire who has given their opinion and advise on Socialism. They are godly men and have led a people through persecution and peace.

From The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, our modern prophets tells it like it is on Socialism:

These inspiring words gives us courage to stand up for liberty. Stand for our freedoms when we vote for our representatives, stand for liberty when unrighteous laws are to be voted through. We need to pay attention to our national leaders to promote their goodness. Vote for those representatives who will work for the benefit of our country.

Through the testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints leaders, we know that the forming of our country through the Constitution was God's plan. Through the witness of the Book of Mormon, we know that our land, "a land that is choice land above all other lands" (2 Nephi 1:5) should be protected and it's people should be a righteous people.

Take these words into your hearts and ponder them. Pray to God of what should be done to keep our land free. A land of liberty.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

She Believed She Could So She Did

 How I Survived the Havasupi Hike

Early morning start
I was  nearly hanging by a thick chain standing on the edge of a cliff trying to pull my self up the canyon wall which went straight up into a cave.  This is where I was for a few scary minutes while trying to get my body up the wall to return to the trail from Mooney Falls.  My daughter and son went on down the trail to see Beaver Falls. I was with the rest of our group returning back to the camp site with my granddaughters and the other five, but I was the last one and had to make it up that rock wall to join the rest.

Isie with my father's camping stove Circa 1950

How in the world was I going to climb up? My legs were already tired from the 12 mile hike the day before. But let me start at the beginning. At 59 years-old I dared myself to join my daughter and her group going on the Havasu Canyon Hike to camp for two nights and three days to the bottom of the Grand Canyon along with the Native American HavaSupi Tribe who live there all year round.

An opening became available two weeks before the hike with the group so I had to do as much training as I could to be ready for this challenge.  Lucky for me I was still biking and walking but not like the others who had 6 months to train. I wasn't as limber as I used to be 20 years ago but I wanted to go.

Mooney Falls

Moses in front of Mooney Falls.

I learned to pack for hikes from 20 years experience of camping and hiking and was excited to take my father's old camping stove which was especially designed as a light weight stove for long hikes. We took light weight food and some extra snacks to share. We all ate well during this time and had the chance play games at night and talk. We brought enough water for our hike in as there was a fresh water stream down in the campsite that campers could use while there and filled our bottles and packs with water for the way back.

So the second day there--we climbed down to Mooney falls and I ended up hanging on the cliff at the hardest part convincing myself that I had to push myself up to get to the top. I just seemed stuck there looking down 20 feet and looking up 20 feet.  The hike along the way was fascinating as we passed by strange rock formations. The falls were beautiful and breath taking from the top but we all wanted to get to the bottom to swim and play. We brought our swim suits and towel, and snacks in our back packs. A few hours later, it was time to go back.

It was quite the feat to get down as the water falls created a mist which made the rocks very slippery and treacherous. Several chains were attached to the walls so we could hold on but now I had to get back up. It had to take some muscle power and positive thought that I could get myself up that wall. It took all my might, with both hands and feet to pull myself up and climb to the next level so I could get out.  Relief came with tears and my footing was secure as I made my way to the cave and then to the other side where the trail picked up. My group was still there and I joined them for a happy walk back to our camp site.

There are five water falls there in the area: HavaSupi Falls, Navajo, Mooney, Beaver and the Fifty foot falls. We passed by most of them except for Beaver Falls which is another 3 miles down from Mooney. The area of the falls was so beautiful. You never would have thought that a whole tribe of Natives would be living on the bottom of the Grand Canyon in such a green, beautiful, Shangrela area.

The mules with our packs on the way back

The whole camping experience on the Havasu Trail was a once in a life time experience for me.  A very challenging hike on the way back proved to myself that I can do hard things. With a 35 pound pack, I decided to let the mules carry it for me and just took water and some snacks for our 12 mile trek back mostly up hill. The last 2  miles were steep switch backs with little shade.  It was hot but we trudged on and made it back to the top.
 Truth be known, my son, Moses, helped my a lot by pushing me forward from behind when I slowed down. It helped challenge him more (as he said it was so easy for him) and it helped me get back up to the top. Otherwise, I might still be there walking up those switch backs. It was a once in a life time experience which I will never forget. Even better, it's a reminder to me that if I put my mind to something, I can do it. She believed that she could, so she did.

Top of the Grand Canyon-South Rim
Moses and I along the trail

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Suburban Micro-Farm Experience

I don't post book reviews here very often but this was too good a book to not post my review. 


When I first read about The Suburban Micro-Farm book I was excited to read it and I was not disappointed.  I really love this book.

Amy Stross is an expert in her field of gardening. Her background experience of gardening and micro-gardening gives insight to a world most people don’t know about: turning a suburban lawn in to a suburban garden. Two years ago, I lived in a home with half and acre and had as much room as I wanted for vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Now I am in a home with a very small plot of land in a small city and land management has become very important. Enter The Suburban Micro-Farm which has helped me plan and implement my own micro-farm.

The book is divided into three parts. First, Getting to know the Micro-Farm which includes managing expectations in gardening which helps us to not feel overwhelmed and anxious about planning what to plant and how to take care of our garden.

Part two is Becoming a Micro-Farmer which discusses the actual organizing, planting and maintaining our gardens.

Part three is Advanced Micro-Farming Techniques which includes landscaping with edibles, permaculture and setting yourself up to sell what you grow.

The information is fascinating and there are additional online resources which are very helpful. Her plans work and help in implementing ideas that can inspire generations. In her closing remarks Amy Stross tells us that “Micro-farmers are at the forefront of writing a new story about how suburbanites engage with their environment.” This is so true and a new beginning of independent vegetable gardening for many homeowners will help the future in feeding ourselves and developing healthy soil. A future we can live with for many years to come.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints

General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints has been finished this afternoon.  Wonderful, inspiring words of wisdom and instruction was given.

We were all so excited to hear about our new adjustments to our church schedule...

Adjustments at Church

Adjustments to the Church experience are intended to support increased gospel learning and living at home. These changes include adjusting the weekly Sunday schedule to include:
  • A 60-minute sacrament meeting,
  • A 10-minute transition time,
  • And a 50-minute class period,
As outlined in the sample schedule below:
60 minutesSacrament meeting
10 minutesTransition to classes
50 minutesClasses for adultsClasses for youthPrimary

Another great item of news is the fact that we should be using the full name of our church. We are not Mormons, we are not the LDS Church.  We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints which is why I changed one of the pages I have posted over the years..  See heading of blog.

Women of our Church follow this creed below and set a great example for the world to love and nurture those around.  

Ministering in our Church now is more personal and takes the place of Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching.  

Exciting times. 
relief society declaration  Get Relief Society Ideas at -  "I cannot believe how many LDS resources I found... It's about time someone thought of this!"   -

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Truth about the Trump and Putin Summit

Over the past several weeks the media has been extreme in their attacks on President Trump for what I feel is no good reason.  It’s frustrating for me as an American to read half-truths and uniformed information from what was once a trusted source. I now only take what I hear from the news with a grain of salt. I have experienced enough “seeing with my own eyes” and then hearing the media spin lies into what really happened.
A friend of mine has written a wonderfully insightful piece about this very topic which I am reposting here with his permission:

“Yesterday an historic meeting took place between our President and Russia's president. One of our nation's most respected Russian experts praised President Trump for engaging Putin when it was extraordinarily politically risky for him, and consequently defuzing the Russian nuclear threat (the US and Russia combined hold 90% of the world's nuclear weapons) as well as confronting Putin face-to-face over Crimea, Syria, trade, and meddling in US elections. And eliciting a commitment for Russian joint humanitarian aid to Syrian war victims AND to defend Israel! And a most amazing invitation from Putin to Moeller to bring his investigative team to Russia and participate in the interrogation of the 12 Russian agents just indicted for US election interference.

But all this was drowned out by a mob cry from too many on the right and a tidal wave on the left decrying Trump as a "traiter", "a disgrace", and "an idiot".

In less than 24 hours this has become a bigger witch-hunt than the last 2 years of the Russian "collusion" investigation.

And it appears cleverly orchestrated by both the liberal press and the President's own Justice Department. What an extraordinary coincidence that Rosenstein announced the indictment (by Moeller) just hours before the Trump-Putin Summit! How remarkable that the only 2 American correspondents at the post-Summit news conference -- from the "highly respected" news agencies AP and Reuters -- asked scathingly humiliating and baiting questions of both Putin and Trump. And the "lofty" New York Times releases the most vile political cartoon in our nation's history mocking both leaders to millions of viewers on Twitter. 

My wife and I -- unlike 99% (or more) of Americans -- recorded and watched the entire 45 min Helsinki press conference, plus the entire Chris Wallace interview with Putin held  immediately after, plus the post-Summit Tucker and Hannity interviews with Trump. We then saw authentic news coverage buried by a storm surge from the anti-Trump press of slime commentary and sound bites from the Summit taken out of context. 

And tragically, this conspiracy (and, yes, it is genuinely a conspiracy) may indeed get its way -- swinging the upcoming elections in the Democrats' favor, leading to Trump's impeachment, and plunging our nation into an economic abyss not seen since the Great Depression, if the Democratic Socialist progressives get their way. 

Donald Trump not a Patriot?! What other US President has forfeited much of his personal wealth and submitted to such attacks as Trump the past 3 years? What other President has so diligently kept his campaign promises? And Linda and I must say we have a greater respect for Putin for not angrily storming out of that press conference, canceling the interview with Wallace or even canceling the Summit altogether when confronted by the poison press. (We suppose that observation makes us traitors, too....)

Is Saul Alinsky laughing his head off at the gullibility of the American people and this unprecedented success of his "Rules for Radicals"? Our only hope is if enough American patriots have the courage and insight to see and call out this travesty for what it is -- now and in November! And NOT let this cacophony of vitriol overshadow the Strzok revelations, the Moeller bias, the Hillary crimes, and the Kavenaugh nomination. 

Who will join me in stopping this gross dishonesty by the Left and the Establishment Swamp...and pass this on to as many voters as possible?

Bruce Palmer

Then the next day he wrote some follow up thoughts:

"Were indeed the President's actions at Helsinki "disgraceful"? Even many Republican leaders are embarrassed and decrying him. As for me, I believe he is simply following Teddy Roosevelt's famous motto, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Period. 

Trump demonstrated in Singapore that he is not a diplomatic idiot that would humiliate our foreign adversaries once they come to the table. He speaks words of reconciliation and offers friendship. But Trump's big stick dealing with Russia is much bigger than Obama's ever was: most notably he has beefed up NATO strength thru significantly greater contributions from the other allies, armed the Ukrainians, and is strangling the Russian economy thru very tough sanctions and encouraging Germany to drop reliance on Russian natural gas. General Jack Keene clearly sees Trump's Summit as an effort to improve relations with Russia in order to end nuclear weapon proliferation, stop Russian threat to the Ukraine and Eastern Europe, and end the bloodshed and humanitarian catastrophe in Syria -- even while he keeps tightening the tourniquet. And as former Chief of the Joint Chiefs, Keene is no patsy, nor are Pompeo, Bolten, or Coats who still stand by the President despite the latter's questionable extemporaneous words at the Helsinki press conference. 

Should Trump's translator during the private meeting with Putin be subpoenaed to reveal what was discussed? Only if we want to forever shut down any future presidential private meetings with world leaders (what world leader would ever agree to meet in private with a US leader with such a precedent of nonconfidentiality??)! 

Finally, the idea that Trump's invitation to Putin to the White House is weak and inappropriate ignores President Eisenhower's precedent in hosting USSR Premier Kruschev's visit the US in 1959, decried by the Democrats at the time but hailed by historians as a brilliant step toward the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. Does Trump have a love affair with Putin? Only if you believe the moon is made of green cheese...or that Democratic socialism will save the US from the relentless prosperity of capitalism...."


The United States is being snow balled.  The media continues to spin the news with lies and falsehoods and Americans are continuing to believe what is written and spoken. Don’t believe everything you read or hear from someone else’s report of what happened until you see with your own eyes the real event.  We need to stand up for what is truth so our President can continue to lead and protect our country.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Patriotism: A Family Virtue

With the celebration of our Independence Day today, we know that families play a big part in contributing to the patriotism of our country. Patriotism is an important family virtue. Our children need to learn respect for the flag, respect for veterans of past wars and honor the U.S. Constitution.  As they learn the U.S. Constitution in school, they must recognize the importance of how our forefathers worked to write what our country longed for to stand free for many years.
Our children need to remember to stand at attention when our national anthem is played and reverently pledge their allegiance to the flag each day at school.  It is important to pass down the attribute of patriotism as this should be carried on into future generations.  We need to instill a reverence in our children to remember the importance of our country’s history, the heroism of those who died to protect our freedoms, and how to retire an old flag.
Teaching Our Children about Patriotism

Through books and movies, Americans are reminded of the great sacrifices our parents, grandparents and generations before have made in keeping this country free.  With the help of knowledgeable parents, all children can learn to be devoted to their country and learn the importance of patriotism.

Here are a few ideas which can help parents teach their children about patriotism:

1.    Post a U.S. flag: Buy a flag kit, hang it on the front of the house, and teach children to be respectful of it.  The flag should never touch the ground and should always be removed when raining or at night unless a light shines on it.  When the flag is being carried at parades, everyone should stand, remove any hats and place their right hand over their heart as it goes by.  Discuss the appropriate behavior we should have for our country’s flag which can help children be more reverent of this great symbol.

2.    Vote: One of the best ways children can learn about the importance of their country’s leadership is if their parents vote.  Explain, and include children in the voting process.  Discuss how important we are in choosing our national, state, and local leaders who make decisions for our country.

3.    Be involved in community: Attend patriotic events and be the example when the national anthem is played by standing and singing along. Every year most communities have a patriotic celebration for Independence Day and this instills feelings of devotion and respect for our nation’s history. Make a fun day of it and children will respond.  Join in singing the national anthem at ball games and other events and attend Veteran Day activities for children to meet those who fought to save our freedoms.

Instilling these patriotic ideals is an investment for the future. While some might feel patriotism is not necessary in these times, we can be a force for good in our country by teaching our future generations the reverence needed in patriotism.  Families should remember the importance of our nation and its history and revere the flag. Include honoring our veterans for their sacrifice for freedom, and families can instill the importance of patriotism for years to come.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Time of Sorrow and a Time of Forgiveness

My bike ride this morning started in the dark.  As the days are getting shorter, early morning and early evening have less sunlight and it's strange riding my bike in the dark but it clears my head of the cobwebs of sleep.  My brain took me to a place that surprised me. I thought about my widowed and widower friends and our conversations over the years. We meet monthly and sometimes more often for activities.

In the last eleven years, I have learned more about death than I ever care to admit. As we grow older we know more who pass on to the next life but the most difficult for many is losing their spouse. (Losing a child is just about as tragic in difficulty and maybe this is a message for parents as well)

The one person we are tied to in such close intimacy is gone from earth until we can meet again on the other side. It is so very painful emotionally and physically and is considered the most stressful experience a human can have. So how do we cope with others trying to help?  How do we react when others tell us ridiculous things like "It was his time to go, anyway." Or "Lucky you, single and unattached." I have heard so many more unknowing, crazy words from others.

Those were my thoughts this dark morning riding around Mesa. There are so many who want to help, so many who care and want to take the pain away and make it all better.  They can't but they try and we, as the recipient of this love and compassion become hurt and bitter at times because no one understands what we are going through. No one except those who experience it themselves really know. We have such great sorrows.

The inspiration which came to me this  morning was that along with these great sorrows, we must find some compassion and forgive those who mean well but say hurtful words. Most of the time (I would say 95% of the time as I had someone purposely be hurtful to me after my husband passed away) people are caring and want to help. They want to know what they can do to make life easier and then do it.

This is where forgiveness on our part bridge the gap between bitterness and hope. Widows and widowers need to forgive those who mean well. We need to be compassionate towards all those who try to do their best in understanding our sorrows but miss the mark.

The big question is, how can I say we need to be forgiving when all those other people throw those well  meaning words at us and expect us to feel better? It's a touchy subject among widows and widowers but I feel strongly that I need to write about it.

After the initial, raw pain is lessened by time (and it's different for everyone) we can take a step back and think about those well meaning people with their words and know that they were talking from the heart. They wanted the best for us.

One of my husband's favorite songs is Don Henley's Heart of the Matter. It's on a CD he made along with a whole selection of favorite songs which I play from time to time when I drive to work. Yesterday was one of those times and as I listened to the words of this song, it reminded me that I had to forgive others.  I had to remember the intent from where they were coming and know that they were trying to be kind. It can be difficult to forgive but for our own well being, it is necessary.
These words really speak to me:

Heart of the Matter
by Don Henley
(Starting with the Chorus)

I'm learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand,
All the things I thought I knew, I'm learning again
I've been tryin' to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

Ah, these times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
And People filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age?
Ah, the trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They're the very things we kill, I guess
Ohh, pride and competition
Cannot fill these empty arms
And the work I put between us, you know it doesn't keep me warm

I'm learning to live with out you now
But I miss you, baby
And the more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I'd figured out
I have to learn again
I've been trying to get down
To the heart of the matter
But everything changes
And my friends seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

There are people in your life
Who've come and gone
They let you down
You know they hurt your pride
You better put it all behind you baby
'Cause life goes on
You keep carryin' that anger
It'll eat you up inside baby
I've been trying to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me

So, after the sorrows have subsided and after the pain loses its rawness, we can forgive those well meaning people who love us and want the best for us. We can forgive their silly words and be strengthened by the fact that there are many who care about us. That is at the heart of the matter.