Life in General

Miscellaneous observtions on Life

Up to 500 million people – about one-third of the world’s population – became infected with the 1918 Pandemic virus, according to the Centers for  Disease Control & Protection.   As many as 50 million died, or one out of every 30 human beings on the planet.  The virus killed more American troops than died on World War I battlefields.

The intensity and speed with which the flu struck were almost unimaginable. It was the worst global pandemic in modern history.

"Influenza viruses, with the vast silent reservoir in aquatic birds, are impossible to eradicate," the World Health Organization warned.  "With the growth of global travel, a pandemic can spread rapidly globally with little time to prepare a public health response."

If an equal ratio of Americans died in a pandemic today, that would be 2 million Americans. That's the current population of the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area.

Pandemics ignore national borders, social class, economic status and even age.  The pandemic killed more people in 24 months than AIDS killed in 24 years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century, according to the book "The Great Influenza."  The dead included about 675,000 people in the United States. In just October alone, the worst single month in the U.S., an unthinkable 100,000 Americans died. Many were young adults in the prime of their life.    The World Health Organization said the 1918 influenza pandemic was known colloquially as “Spanish flu,” although there was nothing “Spanish” about the epidemic. 

What can we do to get through these next months with Covid-19?  We can give thanks.  Wikipedia defines  'thanks' as gratitude, appreciation or thankfulness which is a positive emotion in acknowledgment or that one has received or will.  It's hard to give thanks or feel gratitude when we have to wear masks, distance ourselves or feel gratitude if we have lost a loved one to this event.   It's hard to give thanks or feel gratitude when the economy is poor; there are wars & rumors of war, heated disagreements over how the government should be run; foreclosures; and even personal problems caused by these events.   It is disheartening that there are mega problems that surround us today.  A hopeless feeling might come over some of us.  Have you thought of giving thanks for anything recently?  Is there anything that you are thankful for?  God talks to us via the Bible and tells us:"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." Psalms 100:4   The Lord tells us in Psalm 32:8 - "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."

God wants us to be happy. His Word in Scripture reflects this. He instructs us in His Ways in the Bible and His instructions pave the way to happiness, peace and prosperity. How do we know that God wants us to be happy? He tells us in Proverbs 17:22:

"A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."

One of the ways you can get happier and over the disillusionment of life’s events is to start praising God and thanking Him. There are uncountable things we can thank him for and show true gratitude for. They can be little things; in fact, it’s the little things that change your heart from downtrodden to a cheerful heart. I thank God for opening my eyes to see every morning and being able to get out of bed. I thank Him for the capability to drive, work, exercise, read, share love with my mate, family and/or friends and for every meal I partake. These are all gifts and blessings from God. Not everyone has them.   You may have different ones - think about them.  We all have so many blessings we take for granted.   We have  many avenues we can use to fight it.   There are vaccines coming available.

I give thanks to Him and Praise Him. ‘All good things come from God’. They don’t have have to be lottery wins, or windfalls or extraordinary happenings. The more I praise Him and thank Him, the more cheerful I become. The negative things in my life become less prominent. Two matters cannot occupy the same space. My praises highlight the thankfulness; my thankfulness highlights the good and negates the bad; my gratitude is mind-changing.

Become aware of all the good things in your life. Start praising God for all the good things; give Him genuine gratitude. And you will find that you will achieve a happy heart and a cheerful mind. And when you become uplifted, don’t forget to thank Him and praise Him for that, too!

Marie Coppola updated October 13, 2020

I offered this writing of an Evangelical Meeting four years ago before the 2016 election.  Some of it hasn't changed since then;  you might enjoy hearing from someone who was “inside the room", Bill Perkins of Compass International.  Bill wrote about 1000 Christian leaders from all over the USA to ask Donald Trump tough specific questions about his policy & intentions should he be elected POTUS. 

 This was a fascinating day in New York City as over 1000 Christian leaders from all over the U.S. gathered to ask Donald Trump tough specific questions about his policy and intentions should he be elected POTUS. The only opening on Trump’s schedule was in NYC for 30 minutes.  Invitations were sent out to about 1000 Christian leaders. 

 

Each person who accepted the invitation then had to be vetted, and ultimately ok’ed by the Secret Service. Once cleared, you were notified by phone.  Despite receiving the late notices, the response to attend was off-the-charts. Almost everyone they invited accepted the invitation.  Ultimately there were over 1000 who hastily changed their schedules to attend.

 

After opening remarks by the conference organizers, Jerry Falwell Jr.  spoke, then Franklin Graham. Both attested to the authenticity of Donald Trump.

 

George Barna, the polling guy, spoke. Using several charts he showed that Trump has a genuine path to victory if Christians vote. But in the last Presidential election, some 40 million evangelicals stayed home and that was literally the difference in the election.

 

Then Ben Carson spoke for about 20 minutes. His easy and soft-spoken style easily warmed the crowd. He referred to the fact that Trump had a bad three weeks, and Clinton had a good three weeks and yet the race is still close, virtually tied. But his main point was that Trump is a proven leader. He’s certainly not a politician who’s always worried about offending someone. And that’s what we need, a leader, not a politician.

 

Next came Huckabee, who moderated the discussion between the crowd and Trump.  Before introducing Trump, he made the point that we’re not voting on a pastor or a Pope, but rather a leader.  A leader who is quite different from the past in order to change things from the status 

quo.

 

So the day was set that this was not about Trump’s Christian knowledge or virtues, but rather where Trump wants to take the country.  And where we’re headed if Trump is not elected.

 

The biggest concern centered around the Supreme Court. The next President will appoint anywhere from one to five members. The Second Amendment, freedom of religion, prayer in public places, etc.will likely be settled by the next President’s appointees.

 

When Donald Trump was introduced, he didn’t speak from the podium but rather sat next to Huckabee on the stage fielding questions from the crowd for about 90 minutes. So much for the 30 minutes originally allotted.  There was no press allowed inside, so it was just Trump and the Christian leaders talking back and forth.

 

The really big Christian leader names got to directly ask Trump questions from the floor— i.e. people like James Dobson, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, etc. Most felt religious liberty was at stake with this election, saying that if the policies Obama has set in place are allowed to continue, Christians will eventually have no freedom to worship.  Harassment of Christian organizations would continue.

 

Through it all, Trump answered each of their questions with solid answers, both acknowledging the problem cited and how he would take care of the problem. He seemed to be genuinely concerned about changing the direction of the nation.

 

He addressed many subjects including the Supreme Court, national defense, border problems, Christian persecution, his pro-life stance, Israel, healthcare, education. and energy.

 

I would say that most of those who attended who were not sure if they would vote for him, left convinced of how much is at stake in this election if Trump is not elected.

 

After Trump left, to a standing ovation, more questions were taken from the audience addressed to a panel of Christian leaders. Things like the weakening of the military, Christian business rights, etc. were discussed at length.

 

I have to say, we pretty much all came away thinking that if Clinton, or any Democrat, is elected, the path this nation is currently on will continue and WILL lead to disaster. If we don’t turn the ship now, we’re headed to be like socialized Europe— religion pushed out of everyday life and a financial disaster getting worse by the month. 

 

Even reaching problems like what’s going on in Argentina, where they are currently literally fighting for food, is not out of the realm of possibilities. It’s that bad. Don’t think it can’t happen here.

 

At the end of the day was prayer. With few exceptions, the entire room knelt on the floor in corporate prayer for our nation. I took the opportunity to take a quick picture of that sight, some 1000 people in their Sunday clothes on the ground praying together. Who knows where this will lead. Maybe….

 

So, the bottom line for me is that I love this country and our 

Constitution more than I dislike Trumps antics and ego. He will attempt to change the direction that Godless liberals and their propaganda-media have led this nation.

With Trump we have a chance.  With Biden we have no chance.

Be thankful we still have a chance and VOTE this fall.

 

The future of our country in general and our religious liberty in particular depend on every Christian being registered to vote --  AND VOTING  

Thanks to  Bill Perkins of Compass International 

 

We aren't a nation adrift. We are a nation divided.

I read Mr. Lee H. Hamilton's articles of August 27 and September 3rd and would like to comment on them. Mr. Lawrence is a long-serviced, awarded Democrat from Indiana and served 1964 to 1999. Thank you for your service. You must have seen a lot of changes in the government and I am commenting on some of your statements below:

LHH - "I’ve lost track of the times over the years I’ve heard a politician say, 'This is the most important election of my lifetime.' In fact, I’ve said it myself. And I’m sure we all believed it at the time. But in my case, at least, I know I was wrong in the past. Because this year’s election is the most important of my lifetime."

MC - I concur.  This election will either bring us together or separate us as we have never before been separated.  We can remain a Constitutional democracy or become a socialistic country which as we have seen in history never works - for the people.

LHH - "Americans’ trust in the election process is at best unsettled. Many are worried about foreign meddling of the venerable absentee ballot, and who talks constantly about “corrupt” elections. or otherwise compromised”.

MC - I agree with corrupt or compromised  - I have friends who worked at elections and are aware that 'major mistakes' can and do happen.  They happened in past elections and setbacks have already materialized in some states.

The Democratic party under Nancy and Chuck, et al, wasted three and a half years of Trump's presidency by impeachment proceedings and so began the division of our country .The same time waste happened at the Justice's hearings.  As Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee from 1993 to 1995 you must have been aware of some of these allegations.

LHH - This is actually one of the remarkable things about the American political system — the degree to which Americans over the centuries have placed their faith in election results, win or lose.

MC - This wasn't true in the last election. Hillary Clinton's defeat is still reverberating through the Democratic party who still lament the outcome.   Our president and his many accomplishments and his timeless energy are appreciated by everyone except the progressive, liberal government folks. This has caused division by progressive liberals aligning themselves with the media - who chant the same opinionated lies from channel to channel. They are blatant and speak against him.  Americans are tired of this destructive bad attitude and many Democrats agree with this. We need to give the Sitting President - whomever they may be - a man or a woman - respect & manners. He's given us many pluses - more than most who have been in office - and he needs Dems to work with him and not against him.

LHH - "Now, it’s not uncommon to hear charges of voter fraud, but study after study has found that actual voter fraud in the US is rare. It’s possible in a city or town, but if you think about how our national elections are run — in 50 states, each with its own rules, and each locality controlling the electoral process — it’s hard to see how fraud could take place on any sizable scale."

MC - I, personally, have received numerous emails from a Progressive Democratic group saying that my post office has been shut down by Donald Trump and if I give $$ to the Democratic party, they would reinstate it. Our post office is intact and working. What do they do with the money? I have asked many times to take my name off their list - only our Lord knows where they got my (and others') addresses.  I did report this to the post office administrator.

It has been said that whichever 'side' wins in this coming election, there will be "war in the streets". This is added to the fears from gossip and lies that Trump is not a good leader in the virus pandemic - he gives updates consistently and tries to give us faith and not fear in what is happening. It is the media, reporters & fake news that has caused much of the disruptions that are taking place in our wonderful country - and so-called 'peaceful protesters' rioting, looting, taking down statues, burning life-long businesses, killing seniors and children blatantly - happening in Democratic-states - why? It doesn't change anything they are against - why do they want the police defunded? Trump didn't do this - he offers aid but is turned down by state officials, The Dems can bring up that he doesn't wear a mask but they never talk about our past history and cities being destroyed - why not? This is what the media tells us daily - death, lock-downs, riots, murders, and virus statistics which have been found and verified as incorrect. Trump aims to keep up spirits and lessen fears.

We need to bring our country together - not apart. We are a capitalistic democracy - we do not want a socialistic or communistic government.  We don't want to be added to the infanticide list.  Many of us worked long hours & sacrificed to buy a house in the suburbs - we don't want them taken away to replace them with high rise buildings which can promote damage & harm from rioters/protesters.  A socialist government will take away our freedom of life and speech.

Influenza pandemics occur very rarely; there have been four pandemics in the past 100 years.

The phrase "New Normal" is a phrase that is used in many psychological, life transformations or any situation that changes the old way you did things to the new ways - hence 'the new normal'.   In our church ministry, it is used in grief situations after the loss of a mate or loved one - and the mourner is advised to seek a 'new normal' environment to adjust to their loss.  It is a successful tool. 

Here we are in the 3rd month of trying to find a 'new normal' during this first for us - a pandemic.  Praise God that Influenza pandemics occur very rarely; there have been four pandemics in the past 100 years. 

Sometimes the 'new normal' of the one we are experiencing now feels like it's been here for 100 years.  Has life changed?  Has anyone's life not changed from the Guidelines we are given?   

We have masks, gloves and Clorox wipes in plastic bags in our cars & pocketbooks.  We avoid contact if we are to be in the company of others, especially if one happens to sneeze.   [Don't wipe your nose with the Clorox wipe.]   Churches were shut down and now open - there are brave ones who sit a pew apart and pray that no one coughs or sneezes.   There are televised church sessions that many attend.   The fear of actually acquiring this or Influenza pandemics occur rarely; and hence the yearnings for Old Normal arise.   Like haircuts and doctor visits.  And going where you want with whom and how many.  And so many more. 

If someone wants to drop something off, you kinda detective question where the person was - how old they are - and do they mask & glove?  How are they feeling?   Can I leave it on the doorstep - they can ring the bell?   How's everyone in the family - oh the kids just got home from Disney?  Well, we aren't available that day.

The younger generation thinks it's all over, what's the big deal about getting the flu & aren't you over-reaching your safety?   The senior generation stays 'put' and goes out only for emergencies such as eating - and they cross-examine anyone who enters their home.   I am not making fun - because I am in that senior category.   So much so, that I convinced my husband that he is capable of 'cutting my hair' which was growing down my back.  He did it very well and now he is my hairdresser.   Well, for a little while anyway.  The salons are re-opening.  So are other businesses.   It is so great to see neighborhood kids riding their bikes and waving again.  Life goes on.   

If you know me, you know that I am a hugger.  Alas. hugging is not in the New Normal.  I get it about the new handshake - It just isn't the same offering my elbow to their elbow.   It rejects the 6 foot distancing as hugging does.   There was a news item showing two women hugging who had on plastic shower curtains.  Imagine if this becomes a New Normal?   We would have to Clorox down the shower curtains many times.  And one size will fit all?   Now I fully understand what "The Good Old Days" means.   Please come back!

 

Marie Coppola  May 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Without much warning, we are encased in a situation that may cause disorder or death.   If we follow the critical guidelines handed down from our government administration to contain the situation, we may,  therefore - have less fatal consequences.

COVID-19 is disease caused by a coronavirus, a common virus that can cause what doctors call a respiratory tract infection. It can affect your upper respiratory tract (sinuses, nose, and throat) or lower respiratory tract (windpipe and lungs). Most coronaviruses aren’t dangerous.

In early 2020, following a December 2019 outbreak in China, the World Health Organization identified a new type of coronavirus. Officials named this new virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Droplets from coughing and sneezing and close human contact likely transmit the coronavirus. The respiratory droplets are probably absorbed into the body through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and eyes. The virus is likely to remain active in the environment for several days.   How can it be transmitted?

This could be through:  Hugging and kissing
Sharing utensils for eating and drinking
Speaking to someone within a distance of 3 feet
Touching someone directly

A person with the virus can spread the infection by leaving respiratory droplets on objects, such as door handles, doorbells, and telephones. These are then picked up by someone else.

In our North Myrtle Beach area, there are many seniors who have always lived here and those that have retired here.   According to Prevention Magazine the majority of deaths from coronavirus have been in the elderly.   Dr. Adalja says. “Above age 50 is when you start to see more severe complications,” he explains, adding that older patients have a harder time recovering, similar to  the flu.  Common flu complications in high-risk groups include bronchitis and pneumonia, which have also been reported in patients with COVID-19.

During the initial outbreak of coronavirus-related deaths in Washington state, a majority of patients were residents of a nursing facility and over the age of 70.  People with underlying health conditions

How are younger adults dealing with COVID-19?
People in their 20s, 30s, and 40s seem to have a lower risk of novel coronavirus complications, Dr. Adalja says. “It’s very unlikely for young people to have severe cases,” but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen, Dr. Adalja says, especially if you have direct or frequent contact with the disease or an underlying condition.   What about the COVID-19 risk in children?   Unlike other respiratory viruses like the flu, COVID-19 has not been severely impacting children in the United States, Dr. Adalja says. “It’s not that it’s impossible,” he explains, “but we haven’t seen it yet.”

With all these factors, much rhetoric is heard in the media about our country becoming under a dictatorial government trying to over- control  our lives  OR praising the government for the steps they are taking to protect us.   Arguing and pointing fingers at each other will not stop this virus.   It is time we came together and fight  this health hazard together.

It could get worse - it has in Italy.   We have friends there and it is a complete shutdown.  They don't have medical facilities as we do.  The people in the country can go outdoors, but the people who live in the village where homes are connected together, cannot leave their homes unless they obtain a permit from the government to do so.  They cannot go to piazza uptown to gather with friends.   The solitude is quite evident.   I found a video of their quiet streets with no one outside but then some Italians came out on their balconies and sang some beautiful tenor songs to break the silence.  It was emotional to see and hear them.   But they are making the best of what they have.  It is improving.

We need to do the same.  We need to follow the guidelines that are set forth - and not complain and bellyache that we can't do what we want to do.   It is for our best and especially for the seniors among us.  Lots of them.  Italy's death rate is high due to their high senior age population.

We started earlier with guidelines and hope to save lives with them.  Common sense, following the guidelines and praying can do a lot - for you and the grandmas & grandpas in your life.

Marie Coppola  March 2020

 

 

 

 

 

It's interesting that seniors can't immediately remember everyone's name or face at times, but have no problems drifting back through years of memories in detail.

I vividly remember that at age 4, my parents (probably needing a break from their parenting  of 5 children) signed me up for kindergarten earlier than the final registration date they should have.  I was off by 8 months (too young by public school age standards).   As a result, I spent 2 years in kindergarten.  This was good and bad.   Bad because the kids never let me forget it up to 6th grade until we went to junior high.  They said things like "You stayed back in kindergarten."  But, it was good because I had kindergarten (K) nailed down in my 2nd year and knew all the procedures and was 'picked' daily by Mrs. Hayes, our beloved teacher to 'help' her in lessons and activities.  Everyone thought I was her "pet" but I just knew the program.

One of the 'chores' Mrs. Hayes gave to me was to sing  solo - "Silent Night" at the Family Christmas Party.  I didn't know the words and my 4 years older sister spent much time teaching them to me.   She did a good job and I wish she could have taught me how to carry a tune, but knowing the words were enough.   My mother was especially thrilled at this and bought me a pink linen lace-trimmed dress and new patent leather shoes AND a golden heart locket (for good luck).   And...my father came to the Christmas party!  He was a hard-working man for his family of 7 and he rarely missed work.

I wasn't overly nervous about doing this; my sister taught me well and I remembered we did the same program the Christmas before.  Just with different kids.    I remember I was a little worried because I felt a cold coming on --my annual colds were usually around Thanksgiving or Christmas complete with the runny nose, the stuffed up feeling and worst of all -- The Cough.

Sure enough, I did break out in my annual cold the day before the program.   I practiced singing the song in between coughs (I held my breath longer to control it).   I told my sister I was afraid I would cough and she said "No, you won't" - and I believed everything she told me -- still do.

I sang the song well - took the holding breaths in between - didn't cough once and saw my Mom & Dad clapping with smiles.

The topper of that day was that Mrs. Hayes told me the day before the program that right after I sang, the next act -- the 'K band' -- consisting of tambourines, piano and triangle  played by members of the K class  would play Jingle Bells - each of them would do a "solo" when pointed to.   Mrs, Hayes put me right next to her piano and when she whispered the instrument I was to conduct them and wave the baton and just point to them as she whispered.    One can't lose doing this bandleader act.   My mother was astounded - she hugged me afterwards and said, "I didn't know you would lead the band!"   (A puppy could learn to do this.)

When I think of this at my age now, I am so grateful that I lived at a time when a public school of all different races & religions sang Silent Night together for a Christmas play.  Would that happen today before someone got offended by it?    I won't go into what the kindergarten kids are being taught today - things way before their time that are not necessary and/or should be taught by their parents.

I'm happy with my memory of that day and pray that our children and grandchildren grow up with similar memories.

Marie Coppola © December 2019

 

 

 

We all love hand-made personalized gifts.  They are very special and one of a kind.  We think of the giver every time we use them or see them.

My personal favorite is to make a memory book for children or grandchildren.   You can buy some really nice memory scrapbooks for $10 or less; make sure it is a nice sturdy one.

When our family all relocated around the same time, I found tons of old report cards, school pictures, mementos, certificates and cards that I had saved in the attic.   When each family member packed things up, no one wanted the ‘junk’ as they called it. I couldn't leave all these cherished memories, and put everything in one big box and moved it with me.  After the move, I went through the ‘junk’ box, which were really family memories of the kids’ growth and accomplishments.  I sorted them into 3 piles, one for son and one for daughter–and one for combined memories of their formative years (grandparents, parents, pets, house pictures, etc.)  I recopied some of them to a smaller size so the book would not be so voluminous!   The whole project took me 3 months and I worked on it a little each day: I have to say I looked forward to creating it each day, reliving those memories.  I made each book differently.

• In the beginning of each book, there were pictures of grandparents & parents weddings, dates, pictures, and houses. I brought the pictures I wanted to use to a store to copy them or you can copy them at home if your copier does a good job.  It might cost about the same.

• Both books had the same beginnings of history until it came to the part when each was born.

• The next portion was of their own history from my pregnancy to birth including photos. Then their school years.  I selected specific award letters, or special reports or school activities about each one and copied and reduced them so I could fit many in places on the pages.

• I copied quotes and special readings from the internet or scriptures and pasted them alongside pictures and events and awards.

• Each portion of ‘personal’ notes were for each book & them personally.

• The last section was ‘where they were now’ and included degrees, special interests, new houses, new babies, etc.

It helped my own project that I sent a book to my sister because it was fun to do and for her to make one for her daughter. She and I shared this memory-lane project and she found pictures I didn’t have and vice versa. I was able to discard the ‘junk’ box once I had copied and pasted all the memories in the book.

Although I knew both my son and daughter would enjoy receiving this ‘memory’ and collection of family pictures, I had no idea how revered and special it would become to them. They showcase them and take these books out all the time to look at old pictures–aunts and uncles and old cars and houses we lived in.

The last gift selection is not a DIY, but a gift idea. Hand-made items such as needlepoint and yes, they are special gifts from the heart and hands, and cherished. I do not do needlepoint, crochet or knit. What I do, is attend our own as well as other church craft fairs where neighbors and or friends portray their handiwork for sale at most reasonable prices. I have purchased a hand-knit sweater ($8.00) and a matching shawl ($8.00); hand-knit bags ($10.00) and many other lovely scarves, aprons, baby clothes, blankets, home and holiday gifts for $10 and under. Don’t pass by church craft sales – stop and shop; they are one of a kind and professionally hand-made. These ladies know their trade.  Happy gifting!

© Marie Coppola Revised November 2019

 

 
 

Many folks retire to our southern states and South Carolina is one of them.   Our demographics show that we have many seniors in our area.  Seniors can bring a wealth of ideas and  experience, as well as  time and efforts towards a community.

One thing seniors have in common that is in their future: one of them will lose their life-long partner.  It is a joy to share our golden years with someone we have been together with for decades.   Suddenly being without them makes one not function as they did at their pre-loss capacity.   But you can take steps to ensure your life doesn't fall apart while you are in the midst of it.

Grief is a complex situation.  And when you are in the throes of it, one may find it difficult to do almost anything else.   Many people just want the pain to end but are convinced it never will.   Reaching out to others and accepting support is often difficult when you are hurting so much.  It's best to seek those persons who will 'walk with", not "in front of" or 'behind" you in your journey with grief.

There is a free grief program called Grief Share where the members will walk 'with you'.   We have many such groups in our area - you can find one online at www.griefshare.org   Put in your zip code and you will find these wonderful programs that are mostly held in our church communities.   They are offered free to the whole community and are Biblically-based  concepts  to cope with grief ; they are nondenominational.  GriefShare addresses the loss of spouses, children, family members and close friends.  The program right now is not designed for divorces or pets.   All faiths  and atheists are invited.

The program consists of 13 sessions [one day a week for 13 weeks].  Each session consists of a video seminar featuring  grief recovery experts.   A small support group discussion follows.  There is a workbook journal & exercises for each session.  Workbooks cost $15 - the only cost to you and you don't have to purchase it.

The atmosphere is friendly and supportive.   It is a 'safe environment' where confidentiality and bonds are formed.

Often,  friends and family want to help you but don't know how.  That's the reason Grief Share was formed.   The groups are led by caring people who have experienced grief and have successfully rebuilt their lives.    We understand how you feel because we've been in the same place.  We will walk with you on the long path of grief toward healing and hope for the future.   Our groups in SC are part of a network of 12,000+ churches worldwide that offer GriefShare support issues.

Many new bonds and friendships are formed at the meeting; healing results from shared experiences and ways to cope with one's loss.

But you will have begun the process.  And the only way forward is to put one step in front of the other.   GriefShare helps to do that.   This newspaper and church notices/bulletins will announce when these sessions will take place.

Marie Coppola    October 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are times in life when a good friend, a family member or even a mate can hurt your feelings by mistake, on purpose or thoughtlessness.   Sometimes their bad behavior could be spiteful, selfish, or just being in a mean mood.   On the high end, someone could have personality disorders, drug interactions or just plain retaliation or 'place in family'.   In today's world, it could be interactions about political issues.   You might take time off from these challenges of differences, or say you are finished with this person(s)  and even hold a grudge.

I read recently that forgiveness is important in one's life.   Actually, it is good for you.  On a health note, forgiving someone can improve your cholesterol levels, make you sleep better, reduce your risk of heart attack, lower your blood pressure and improve your relationships.   On the dark side if you hold onto that grudge & anger, you can have heart problems, raise cholesterol, boost hypertension and even lead to depression and more stress.

A University of Michigan School of Medicine recent study showed that 2,000 middle-aged men showed that those who dealt with their anger had half as many strokes over a 7-year period as those who didn't deal with their anger.   How did they do that?

Forgiveness helps you take control again; it doesn't mean you aren't expected to trust the hurtful person or even continue your relationship with them.

But you can try some 'Forgiveness Strategies' that help you manage your anger & hurt.

  1.  Reframe the situation in a different light:  Don't dwell on why the hurt was done to you but rather ask yourself "Why am I letting this hurt me?"  And try to stop  going over and over the initial hurt.

2.  Give yourself time to come to grips with the hurt.   Feeling the hurt allows healing to take place.   It will feel like one step forward and one step back but take that one step forward & try not to go back.

3.  Ask yourself questions as you would to a friend..."Did you play a part in the hurt situation or was the other person wrong?'  Is there another side to look at?   What would or could you have done differently?  If you can't 'see  it', ask a friend valued d or a fair family member for their feedback.

4.  Did the other person involved have any idea what they did and how much it hurt you?   Could it possibly have been a misunderstanding?

5.  When remembering the incident makes you feel hurt again, focus on all the good things in life that you enjoy and neutralize the bad feeling.

6.  I am adding one of my own ways to neutralize hurt.   Pray for the person who hurt you and ask God to forgive them as He forgives us.   It is somewhat difficult at first to pray for one who has hurt you but it becomes easier and the bad feelings do go away.   Prayer works.

Some thoughts to ponder:  Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years and chose to forgive his captors.

In 1981, Pope John Paul II was crossing St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City when an attempt was made on his life.  Two bullets struck the pope in his lower intestine, one in his right arm and one in his left index finger.  The Pope met and publicly forgave the would-be assassin.

Jesus, dying on the cross after mistreatment, severe scourging, beatings & whippings,  said the prayer, "Forgive them, Father; they know not what they do".

In a book by Mark Miller, he states that the people who did best in tragic relationships were those who found "forgiving was a way to restore balance and peace in their own lives even if they did not condone the misdeeds."

Sometimes the person who is hardest to forgive is oneself.   Forgiveness helps you to take control again of your feelings.  Give the hurt to God and don't take it back.

Marie Coppola September 2019