Monday, May 30, 2011

Sometimes KNOWING is not enough--

Sometimes KNOWING is not enough-- when do you tell people the emperor has no clothes on and when do you just not speak?

Because sometimes I tell people the emperor has no clothes on and instead of being open to understanding what I am saying --- I am met with violent reactions including " she is just difficult to work with" she "is confused" and we need just ignore her.

I consider myself a student of life. I am constantly trying to understand this world around me. But I also sometimes speak out about "ignorance" being presented as fact. This has served me well in work. Sometimes people not educated in the subject would "guess" at an answer to a problem. Those not educated in the discipline would decide based on any numbers of opinions (not research)if they would accept the premise or not.

RESEARCH yes, before we go further, you can find research information to justify any position on any subject. But I am talking about exhaustive research with credible sources.

This reminds me if a discussion I had with my then 15 year old grandson. He was educating me on the wisdom of Marilyn Manson. My first reaction was "No more!!" but this particular day I actually had some patience. So I really listened to this rational of Marilyn Manson. My grandson began with how it was "the free thinkers" against the police, schools, and anyone in authority.

His rational was based on a death occurring in an IHOP parking lot. A so-called clean cut looking kid was driving wreck less and killed a "Gothic looking teen". The driver never spent time in jail for this death was the report.

So I challenged my grandson to find the date and time and research the case. I explained to him that court records would be available. The reasoning and results of the judges decision would be a public record. I imagined a wonderful learning experience to pursue. I could teach my grandson a new avenue of Internet use, we could write to and obtain court papers. A real first step to learning to investigative research. We could find other so called "quotes" and read further learning to understand deductive reasoning.

Although I had visions of real teaching and wonderful constructive interchange of ideas, I was met with Grandma has a closed mind. Grandma just hates Marilyn Mason and Grandma is part of that "them" against all "free thinkers". (sigh)

So because I am such a "Pollyanna" about education--- I started to research the Marilyn Manson quotes and examples myself. My grandson felt this was disrespectful and "evil" on my part to try to "belittle" all free thinkers of the world!! (sigh)

I use "Pollyanna" in the true understanding of the word. I am such a rose-colored glass, naive, very foolish Pollyanna that I set myself up for ridicule and judgement all the time.

So I document my thoughts and invite those who choose to "debate" my thinking. So we can both learn and gain in knowledge. Or just speak my truth and leave it to those to interrupt at their level of interest. Like my then 15 year old grandson, I find not everyone has that investigative mind and desire to exchange ideas.

I have known my own grown children have truly opened my eyes to different ways of looking at things. They have very valid information. But usually those ideas are presented in a HIT and RUN scenario. Mom, I am so mad at you that you are ignoring this "truth" and so I am leaving. SLAM the door shuts. Sometimes the concept is so new to me, it truly takes me a bit of time to process. I have to remember my children were raised in a different 1980's world than my own 1950's childhood.
So a Ruth Truth: I adopted a while back. Speak up -- go on record --- document --- and let go.
So like the naive child of the emperor's new clothes ---- It is okay to speak your truth; encourage and invite discussion regarding your truth ---- honor those willing to explore ideas with you and be willing to be proven wrong and change your mind.

Who knows maybe Marilyn Mason was revealing a real "cover up" story.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Purpose of a Funeral-----My Grief

My son came to my home the other day and viewed a wall of pictures. He asked "is this your wall of memories?" I said no. Those pictures came with the frames. I thought a display of pictures and frames were needed to accent the table below.

Because I carry my grief with me everywhere --- I guess someone would have thought I had done something with it by now. I have not. It is on my todo list. I follow a blog written by Gina Webb, a sweet and wonderful lady. She is processing her grief in a beautiful and couragous way. I admire her strenghth and envy her courage to put it out there. I also have a dear friend that when I "need" to do something I call her and through my tears ask her to take care of the "business" at hand.

I still think about doing things to process my grief. My family and friends (other than the one mentioned) steer far away from my grief. I have gone for professional help on learning to grief. For some reason that has been a series of incrediable misses and folly. If we believe that Spirit moves things along --- I would not claim a series of unprofessionalism but that Spirit had another plan to help me process my grief.

Spirit will lead me.

In my quest to heal----I read about grief, self helps etc. But I guess for some of us slow learners or healers. The wounds heal slowly. Just another hurdle in life. But when I do get "it". I might learn something to help others. Others as stubborn to work with as me!!

Some of my resources:

It is important to recognize that funerals are for the living - for those who will suffer the trauma of losing a loved one. It is through the funeral process that emotional needs are served for those who grieve. A Funeral Overview
by Jeffrey Wolowiec, Parkside Chapels, Chicago, Illinois

also found at:

Questions about Cemetery, Funeral Service,Burial,Cremation,MemorialsHome » » Funerals

What purpose does a funeral serve?The funeral and the ceremony that accompanies it are indeed very important. For those who are left behind, a funeral provides a place for family and friends to gather for support and to reminisce; an opportunity to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a loved one; a chance to say goodbye; and the focal point from which the healing process can begin. The funeral identifies that a person's life has been lived, not that a death has occurred. It is also important to notify the community that this person has died. There are people beyond the immediate family who have the right to grieve a death. For instance, what would have happened in the United States if there had not been a funeral for President John F. Kennedy?
The Purpose of the Funeral
Once we see and understand how we deal with death, it is time to consider how the funeral enters into this process. The funeral serves many purposes but is best expressed in the following statements.

The funeral:

Helps confirm the reality and finality of death.

Provides a climate of mourning and the expression of grief.

Allows the sorrows of one to become the sorrows of all.

Is the only time when love is given and not expected in return.

Is a vehicle for the community to pay its respects.

Encourages the affirmation of religious faith.

Is a declaration that a life has been lived, as well as a sociological statement that a death has occurred.
The funeral allows people to remember and honor their loved one in a special way.

It serves as a central gathering place for family and friends to give emotional support to one another.

It encourages mourners to face the pain of their loss and express their thoughts and feelings.

It helps the survivors to better cope with their grief and enables them to move forward in their lives.

It initiates the grief process while bringing closure to the death.

When we speak of the funeral we should define it in the terms of today. Many picture the funeral as an exclusively religious event with the body present in the casket followed by earth interment.

By funeral we mean the post-death activities that may include any type of meaningful ceremony to commemorate the life of the deceased.

While affirming the comfort and solace many find in the rites of their church, we also acknowledge that religious services may be inappropriate for those who do not have a religious affiliation.

The funeral should meet the needs of the family. The service, whether religious in nature or not, may include personal reading, stories, or anecdotes about the deceased, eulogies by family members, and musical numbers of meaning to the family.

While we affirm the value of the viewing of the remains as a means to confirm the reality of death, we also acknowledge that the family has the right to arrange whatever type of services they feel would be meaningful to them.

At the same time, we would encourage the family to consider other relatives and friends in the planning of post-death activities.

We believe that death is both a private and a public matter. While the death of a family member is a very personal loss, that death also effects distant family, friends, and the community at large.

Families who might not see the value in a service or desire "private" services should be urged to consider the needs of others to express their own grief at the loss of this person.

While the immediate family may or may not wish to view the body, they should be encouraged to make reasonable accommodation for others.
This might include leaving the casket closed at times when those who do not wish to view are present as well as arranging a period of viewing for others even if the immediate family does not wish to view the remains.

While some would view the visitation and funeral as a painful experience and would thus want to avoid it, it is in reality a first step towards healing.

It has been illustrated by comparison to having an aching tooth (With due recognition of the much more serious nature of death). Going to the dentist can be as painful as the toothache, but once the dental procedure is completed, healing takes place and pain subsides.
Rather than a pain to be avoided, the visitation and funeral should be looked at as a first step towards healing with the comfort and support of family and friends.

Even the very act of arranging for funeral services can be thought of as therapeutic in that the grieving person is engaged in meaningful activities that forces them to communicate, make decisions, and interact with others.

We acknowledge that cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment as a form of disposition of the body. It does not and should not be thought of as an alternative to having a funeral service.

We must not allow our own preferences concerning viewing, services, or disposition to become communicated to the family to influence them in their decision making.

While it is a part of our service to a family to advise them in such matters, our advice should consist of factual information free of our personal prejudices.

Finally, we believe that the funeral has a dual role. The funeral serves both the living and the dead.

The funeral is for the living. It provides a means of saying farewell.
The funeral is for the respectful disposition of the dead. No successful civilization has ever existed that simply discarded their dead.

"Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals."
Sir William Gladstone

Monday, May 23, 2011


When I was in my forties, I belonged to a women's group at church. I looked around me.

There were actually very beautiful women around me. Their eyes shone when they spoke to me. They were gentle and had such a peace about them.

I remember one woman in particular was a well known portrait artist. She had just finished a portrait of a young man severely handicapped with cerebral palsy. The young gentleman shook and jerked all the time. A photographer could never get a photo of the young man that represented the truly loving spirit of the young man. Well, my friend painted the young man's portrait on a large canvas that hung in the family foyer. She was able to capture the young man's continence between the involuntary shaking and jerks. The family was thrilled with the portrait. The young man was also very pleased with the portrait. This was truly a work of love, patience and skill.

But also attending these women meetings was a lady living just a couple doors down from this lady even younger in age but who was grouchy and angry. She had lots of pains and physical complaints. She spoke with a raspy voice while always puffing on a cigarette. It was true her life had been filled with tragedy and sadness. Her husband had been depressed and tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. But all he managed to do was make himself go blind. So he became a more difficult burden for her. Her daughter had arrived home to see her father's head splattered on the wall and never recovered from the shock. So the woman cared for the blind husband and the now dependent daughter for another 30 years.

So I asked this group of women........what is the secret to ageing gracefully. I really wanted to know.

and they told me this secret ----which so far I think is very true. The secret to Ageing Gracefully is to learn to deal with loss. Loss of eyesight, loss of short term memory, loss of loved ones, loss of youth, loss of ability to move up the corporate ladder, loss, loss,,,,,,

You learn it over the years. You lose small things, then with each loss you practice how to release and let go, You no longer can hike the hills or do the sports you once did, your eyes need reading glasses, you say good-bye to a dear friend, your get up and go---just one day gets up and leaves. Everything slows down.

So here I am releasing and letting go------- I still do lots but just a little slower. My son has moved to New York where he moves even faster than he use to move ---which was remarkably fast. But it had been over 10 years since he had taken me to a grocery store. He could not believe how slow I moved. But when you do not have to move as fast as you once did ---- you do slow down.

I am so blessed to be surrounded by some very awesome aunts who at very advance years still work, exercise regularly and are very engaged with their families and friends. They are truly gracious ladies. So I am learning.......

So I am moving slower and releasing the loss. But it is okay. I do not know what tomorrow will bring but I do know WHO will be there with me all the way.

So now you know the secret---- and for 20 years it has truly rang true for me.

The secret to Ageing Gracefully is to learn to deal with loss.

Another Ruth Truth......

Letting Go and Letting God

If you have read this poem before ---It is still worth repeating. I have been known to do it myself. Just get myself so involved in a matter and think I can solve the issue. And the more I try the worse the situation would become.

I see my friends around me going to "fix" their families or friends. They work themselves into a freezy to make it "right". And all we need to do is give it to God......


As children bring their broken toys
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God,
because He was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him,
in peace, to work alone;
I hung around and tried to help,
with ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them back and cried,
"How can you be so slow?"
"My child," He said,
"What could I do?
You never did let go."

- Author: Lauretta P. Burns - 1957

another good analogy regarding letting go and Letting God is the poem about the ship at sea.......

Again I would imagine myself at the helm of a boat going along and then a terrible storm would come up. I would get so afraid until I finally let go of the wheel and Let God.

My Father's at the Helm

The curling waves, with awful roar, a little bark assailed,
And pallid Fear's distracting power o'er all on board prevailed--
Save one, the captain's darling child, who fearless viewed the storm,
And, cheerful, with composure smiled at danger's threatening form.

"And can you smile," a seaman cried, "while terrors overwhelm?"
"Why should I fear?" the boy replied; "my father's at the helm!"
So, when our worldly hopes are crushed, our earthly comforts gone,
We still have one sure anchor left -- God helps, and He alone.

He to our prayers will lend his ear, he gives our pangs relief;
He turns to smiles each trembling fear, to joy each torturing grief.
Then turn to him, mid terrors wild, when wants and woes o'erwhelm,
Remembering, like the fearless child, our Father's at the helm!

~Author Unknown~

and the message continues to even today with the now popular song sang by Carrie Underwood.....

It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder
And the car came to a stop
She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat sleeping like a rock
And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way
I've been living my life
I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on

and surprising enough each and every time we let go of the wheel. The path smoothes out and

It astounds my finite mind to realize that this sovereign God of the universe is also my loving Father who watches and cares for me moment by moment. He is interested in every detail of my life, and not a word or action slips by Him unnoticed. Even my unspoken thoughts and motives lie bare to my holy Father. Yet He continues to love and lead me, cleanse and forgive me!

Nothing I do surprises God. He who made me knows me inside and out, recognizes all my weaknesses, and sees all my needs. He loves, nurtures, guards and trains me as His precious child. Most earthly fathers do their best to make their children mature and happy, yet my heavenly Father does infinitely more. "See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us - that we should be called children of God, and such we are!"

Thank you God for loving me, first.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Doing It Right................

Doing It Right................ How did I learn how to do "it" right? Like all things---doing it right.......... is taught. Rather it is a sport, meal etiquette, running a machine. We learn by observation, trail and error, and research.

Doing It Right ---- looks so simple. BUT if you do not understand the purpose of the excercise --- you will never DO IT RIGHT.

Every culture, family, have unique and practiced traditions. Why then in weddings, funerals, burials are those practices so important?

Continuity, Respect, and Teaching. With the breaking up of families, America is losing the meaning of "family continuity". Weddings, Funerals, Birthday Parties bring that continuity back.

We never had "pinatas" at our birthday parties. But birthday parties with pinatas are a staple now at our birthday parties--- it honors, gives continuity to the Hispanics in our extended families.

Family gatherings can expand and adopt new ways. But imagine if our family could not have embraced the tradition of the pinatas. But how did we learn to add pinatas --- by listening-- not insisting on our way. And a openness to learn.

But so is true to our parents--- I watched, I asked, I learnt family tradition from my aunts and grandmothers. I remember at my aunt Bessie's funeral-- we were at her daughter's home and I was assisting with the preparations, Several relatives were impressed with my knowledge of "what to do". They asked me how I learnt that --- I answered my mother taught me----my mom said "No I didn't" and I quipped "I know but I wanted to give you credit anyway."

So how do you DO IT RIGHT? as mentioned by understanding the purpose. Weddings are not to get drunk and pick up bridesmaids. Birthday Parties are not competition of material things. And funerals are not Bar B Qs.

Weddings are to witness a bond by two people and to "agree" to what God has joined to let no man put asounder. Not to bad mouth one or both of the couple.

Birthdays are to wish well for the milestone of the "guest of honor".

Funerals are to offer solace, support, respect to the entire immediate family. Example you go to the funeral to support your best friend but you are snotty to her alcohlic sister, You are WRONG! That sister had a lot more right to be there than you did and you should just stay home if you can not be civil!!! Not only be civil but to truly love, honor, and respect that person's grief and loss.

Weddings, Birthdays, Funerals are not a time for judgement, criticizm, or hatred.

So go to Weddings to honor the couple and vow to protect this union of God, go to Birthdays that allows you to honor the milestone of the guest of honor. Attend funerals to show respect, support and love all of the "grieving" ones. Or go as a guest of someone (but as a guest---you get to have NO OPINION about others) ---- but if you have to "judge: the couple, birthday person, or griefing family --- then stay away.

to honor others

Bragfest, obligation, or doing someone else a favor.

Do it with all your heart--- or do not do it at all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Walking Someone to the Pearly Gates.......

Wow! What an honor when God, family and friends, and the loved one involved allows you to walk someone to the Pearly gates. It can be an honor or a horror. To be able to say I love you, I ask forgiveness for anything I did that offended you, I forgive you for anything you did or did not do that offended me, have a peaceful and well deserved sleep in God's hands and until we meet again, I will miss you.

I have had the honor of walking people up to the Pearly Gates. It can and should be a beautiful, healing, loving, spiritual experience.
Going with the Peace and Love of Knowing you have a Wonderful Merciful Grace giving God has been key to many people's experiences of accepting one's life and being able to go in Peace ---- RIP. No matter the faith that peaceful understanding that one did serve a purpose in life and is loved is so important. Tony's sisters had not received communion for several years in their lives. They thought they were "unworthy" "unforgiven" not deserving of God's Grace and Mercy. Having been raised in a very devout Catholic home we knew this bothered them.

Each sister, in her turn, allowed the family to bring in a Priest to deliver communion on a regular basis. The priest would reassure Tony's sisters that they were indeed loved, cherished and God's child. In each woman; I saw a change in their contenence. My Mother had a simiular experience of coming to grips with her life. Mother also found Peace.

Finding the PEACE. My Aunt Doris is spending time with my father in prayer. My Aunt Doris loves and understands the religion as taught by their mother. Dad can feel the love and acceptance of a truly loving God as Aunt Doris prays with him. My Dad needs and deserves more time with Aunt Doris.

Yes, all religions are good, but in death, the religion of your childhood is what you need and deserve. I dare say, although there could be some comfort, someone other than a priest could not have brought Tony's sisters the Peace. As no one that does not understand the Conventional Hell and Stones Religion could bring the Peace and Understanding that Dad finds so comforting.

The "I Love You".
Ut Oh --- A Ruth Truth ---- We are only 33333% good and 666% bad. and that other .0000000001 is a powerful Holy Spirit and only as powerful as you make it. When you embrace Bible Study the way I do, you hear and read many messages received their the Bible. And somewhere and somehow I interrupted the evil 666 number as 66.666%. So for now that is my hypothesis until or unless I learn more. It works like this. You mind, soul, body is always 666.66% involved with desires of the "flesh". Whereas only 33.33% desires the spiritual path. So:

in a group of 999 people, only 333 are engaged, the other 666 people are not engaged.

Your "luck" is 66% negative and 33% good.

Your family and friends are 66.6% against you and only 33.3% "gets you".

Out of 365 days in a year ---- you can call your marriage successful if 123 of those days you husband and you remembered to show each other true appreciative love! That is 2-3 times a week! But that is the norm--- to make a better marriage we would need to work/honor to make it more than 123 days.

Your desires, if left alone, on this earth is 66% satisfing the flesh and 33% the Spirit.

Therefore we are smart to develope the 33% of our lives. Hang around the 33% of people that "gets you". Develope and feed the 33% of your works that honors and feeds your Sprit.

There is an Indian tale about the fact that there are two wolves that live inside a person. The wolves fight all the time. This causes you mind, body and soul to be at unrest all the time. Headaches, upset stomach, aches and pains. The Indian tale continues to explain that one wolfe loves you and wants you to succeed and be kind and prosperous. Whereas the other wolf can never have enough, is constantly wanting more, wastes what he does have, always grabbing and destroying things, people and places. This battle continues always -- within your mind, soul and body. To encourage a wolfe to do better in battle--- it is important to feed the wolf you want to win and starve the other wolf.

Feed the people and things that keep you on the narrow path. Ignore, avoid the people and things that constantly takes you off your path. If you have ever been in battle for the soul of a teenager; sometimes you can really experience the 66% angry, ravishing wolf, while trying to feed the 33% wolf to make it stronger.

Which brings me back to walking one to Pearly Gates.
Honor cherish the 33% of good times, nice memories

The 3.3 years out of a 10 year relationship that enriched and brought happiness to your life.
....... because the 66% will and does take people off their path to peace, love, understanding and forgiveness. You loved and engaged with me 33% of your time, energy and being, 33% of the time you took care of yourself and 33% of your time was spent with family/friends/earthly things. I am going to resent you for not giving me more than 33% of you. But if you did not nuture yourself, family, friends, interest and spiritual life ---- I am not going to have my own time to nuture myself and bring a healthy relationship to us.

FORGIVNESSHolding a secret since childhood does you nor anyone else any good if you throw it in a person's face on their death bed. In psychology that is called "Hit and Run".

Wow wow Hit and Runs are seemingly very satisifing to the accuser. They get to be the "only witness of the event", they get to place blame whereever they want to, they get to set up the jury of right and wrong, they get to be the judge and set punishment, and they get to be the jail warden!!!

When dealing with big ugly secrets the mature attitude is to bring light to the issue so it can be washed and cleaned away.

The Healing

Wow Forgivness Big word, big concept. There are many people who have wrote books, studied this subject because FORGIVNESS is a very personal and difficult subject but for me the Ruth's Truths regarding FORGIVNESS starts something like this:

Before you can forgive anyone --- you must learn to forgive yourself first!

You have to accept that part of yourself that is blind, stubborn and ignorant to your own "FLESH" AND NOT SPIRIT.

You must acknowdledge the other person as blind, stubborn and ignorant to their own "FLESH".

You have to be willing to let go of the wound. People that cut themselves want the attention and distraction the wound will cause. They are hurt and want people to know they are hurt. Their preception is; I am hurt and because I have no open wounds, you do not realize I am wounded. So I will cut myself, I will irritate the wound to keep it open and when it begins to heal I will add salt to the wound to irritate it more. LOOK AT ME I AM HURT I am blind, stubborn and ignorant as to how to heal myself.

You have to desire a healing for yourself for this pain, injury, damage. But if the
pain, injury, damage is serving a purpose in your life --- you may not want to release the wound/the forgivness/the pain.

Ways unforgivness of others can serve you (and the flesh)include but are not limited to:
I was abused so I can not function,
I accept that no one cares about my injury so therefore I can be a failure,
I have nothing to give because I am disabled by my injury,
my life is not my fault---it is theirs,
I need to remind that person and everyone else because I do not feel that person has been punished enough for their transgression against me.

Ways unforgivness of yourself can serve your flesh:
I am unworthy
I have no self control
I am powerless to change
No one cares anyway.

Ways FORGIVENESS could enrich your life;
I love myself enough to pick myself up and try again
I can express myself with honesty and compassion
I can connect with myself and others to learn and become a better person
I can mature and grow up
I can take charge of my life and not be a victim.
I can help others heal from pain, injury, damage
I can ask for forgiveness
I can forgive others
I am a part of this world that is healing the pain, injury, damage

and until we meet again, I will miss you

You have been a BIG piece of my life rather for several years or just a short time.

You "got me".

I will be thinking and remembering the "good times" with love and affection.

Thank you.

I heard the wisdom you gave me at times and I will remember.

I will talk about you and sometimes I will talk to you.

Sometimes I will forget I will not be able to pick up a phone and talk to you.

I will want you to be there with me when I must face more challenges in life.

I will keep my eyes on the stars.

I will be good because I want to see you in heaven-----save me some "dutch quarters".

I wish we could talk more ----- listen---- because I will be talking to you.

Thank you.

I love you
I forgive you
I ask for forgiveness
I will miss you

I wish you PEACE and REST

My niece facebooked the other day "I am from a dysfunctional family but I would not like to be in any other family"

I disagree. I wish we could honor, love, cherish, forgive and respect each other. I honor, love, cherish, forgive and respect all of you.