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Twin Flame

You are a light

That splits the air

You shine on me

In moments fair

 

I breathe you in

You breathe me out

I hear your song

When tides roll out

 

I sing the words

You sing the tune

When tides roll in

Beneath the moon

 

A thousand years

A moments time

It matters not

Your light is mine

 

The days affairs

And life’s desires

All melt away

Within our eyes

 

My essence is

Your essence true

Twin flames are we

For I am you

 

By JLE, 6/30/17

 

Grief

I head over to her house to share in her excitement over a new thing being accomplished in her new home.

I just left her smiling with excitement in a text.

I walk in her door and my smile quickly fadeds finding her crumpled on the living room floor in tears.

A box half unpacked and his frequently used shoes spread out in front of her.

There are no words, only arms that hold and tears that flow.

She tied those shoes for him frequently in those last days when his legs were swollen with edema and he couldn’t tie them himself.

Grief is a monster.

By: JLE

Written June 2017

Loss

 

Jerry,

We want you to know that we have your loves safely and securely wrapped in our loving arms. We are looking out for them and we are doing our best to comfort them over losing you. We will never be able to fill the hole that your absence has left in their hearts but we hope that being here to cry tears along with them helps them to feel a little less alone. You would be so proud of Tyler. He has been such a man through all of this. In the midst of his own personal grief that he keeps pretty private, he has shown such support and loyalty to his young brother and his Mom. His integrity is a testament to the Father you were to him. And Jay is a little mini you in so many ways. We see you in everything he does and says. He is your legacy. Danielle looks for you in every sunset and listens for your voice in the wind. She longs for you to visit her in her dreams. Her pain is great but we believe in time she will be able to feel you comforting her from where you are and reassuring her that you have not left her , really. Though she cannot see, touch or hear you,we know your spirit, all that made you who you are, lives on, in the hearts and minds of the ones you loved, those that loved you and were impacted by your life here on earth. I just wanted you to know we are taking care of them for you. Rest In Sweet Peace, Jerry. In God’s loving care.

Janet and Keith (Mom and Dad)

Written April 7, 2017

 

If I accomplish one thing in this life I want it to be that I have left a positive message behind for my Grandchildren to take into the future world. Then I will not have learned the things I have learned in this life in vain. And hopefully your children and Grandchildren will grow up in a world that is a better place. So here are some things I think your generation needs to hear.

Don’t dismiss the wisdom of your elders, as irrelevant for the current times. They have much to teach your generation about lost virtues such as gratefulness, humility, and kindheartedness. Before you take a stand on something , educate yourself fully on what you are standing against or for lest you follow the path of fools. Your generation has limitless voices at your fingertips, telling you what to think and believe.  Most of them have an agenda. Blindly trust no one. Look at an issue from all sides, look behind the curtain and in every nook and cranny in your search for the truth. Stay of off the bandwagons of others. Travel your own journey and never follow mobs.  Do you feel you have a message for the world ?   Write a book, or make music, paint your message, but ultimately live your message before the eyes of others. Actions speak louder than words. It’s a lie that you must always yell to be heard. Sometimes the loudest voices are ones that are ignored because they deafen the hearer.  Look in the face of injustices and ask yourself how you may have contributed to it before you point fingers at others, then seek to be the first to turn it around in a better direction.  Take responsibility for your own mistakes, and never blame them on others or make excuses for them. Remember no one owes you anything.  Avoid victim mentality like the plague. It’s a prison. You will feel trapped  your entire life. Forgive, Forgive, Forgive. It frees your soul. Don’t allow yourself to become bitter or angry over the mistakes of past generations. Seek to learn lessons from your history and become a part of the solution, not part of the problem. Always spread love, not hate. Even when it is hate itself you are opposing. For returning hate with hate always multiplies it. Reject destruction of people and things, rather be a builder. Remember the world needs more peacemakers. Be a peacemaker, a helper, to the weak, the child and the animal world.

Finally do not neglect your spirit and your attention to spiritual things. You are more than a body and intellect. Every day, look up at the sky. Open your eyes and really look, you won’t regret it.  Look closer at the animals.  Don’t just take for granted that you live among them. There is a reason. Observe their behaviors. There is much to learn from them.  Live in Harmony with Nature, breathe it in, spent time observing and studying it, for there lies all the beauty and the secrets of your existence. You will never feel lost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving 2016

I am Thankful:
For life. That I get to open my eyes every morning and see the sun rise and set on another day.
For beauty. That is all around me in both visible ways, and in ways that can only be felt with the soul.
For love, That redeems, that heals, that binds and conquers, in a world that is not always good.
For people: Who support me, who share my life, who teach me, who inspire me. My husband, My children and Grandchildren, My parents and extended family. My Friends and fellow travelers on this Journey that is my life.
For hope, that has been with me for as long as I can remember. That no matter what dark clouds envelope me, the crack of light can always be seen in the distance, and rainbows exist somewhere beyond the fear and pain.
For my creator, who gave and sustains my life, who has numbered my days and knows my destiny, who assures me with every breathe I take that I am not, and will never be alone, and that I am loved unconditionally.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone !

Inner Peace

The snow fell quietly on the little hill with the softness of swan feathers, blanketing the ground around the tiny log cabin. Wispy drifts cascaded down the roof and gathered around the windowsills as if to cradle the tiny abode in tender winter love. The stillness was almost deafening, and it brought a peace that would calm even the most restless of souls. The chilly air was so unblemished that nothing could linger in it that was not pure and fresh and new. As I began approaching the cabin, every crunching step a stark contrast to the silence echoed into the night air. I sensed a heightened awareness of the contradiction of the cold snowy night outside, and the warm glow radiating from the windows. The impression was rivaled in its brilliance only by the stars that studded the inky black sky above me, and the immense full moon that hovered above it all, making everything else in the scene seem small. I lingered, taking in the symmetry. Dark and light, quiet and sound, cold and warm, exposure and shelter, immense and small. There in the balance, was inner peace.

Janet Lynn Egan

Winter 2015

A Christmas Tale

Christmas has always been a very special time for me. I am so inspired by the idea of looking inward to the good that dwells in us as a human race and finding it there even in the most unexpected places. The idea of love, kindness, and good will toward others awakens something in me that burns deep, but sometimes needs its flames fanned. But when those fires are stoked, I am happiest and most fulfilled. I feel this deeply at Christmastime.

I have accumulated many memories over the years of this fulfillment during the season. I would like to tell a tale of one of those years, an experience I will cherish always.

Keith and I were working for Community Service Foundation in Bucks County Pennsylvania. We were employed as House Parents for a Group Home of 6 teen boys. Categorized as Youth in Crisis, these boys were placed by the court in these Group Homes across the county as an alternative to Juvenile incarceration. The situations that landed them there were varied. For some it was drugs, others anger issues, criminal activity, theft, acting out in school or just plain unmanageable behavior. Many of these boys were merely a product of their upbringing and environments. Some had been abused or neglected. Many came from broken homes and the most impoverished areas of Philadelphia where crime and drugs were a way of life. And then there were the occasional situations where a boy would come in from an intact middle class family. But for whatever reason, he was not on a good path. We even had a Minister’s son placed with us. In the two years we worked there we functioned as House Parents to more than a dozen boys, since some only stayed for a few months and new boys were placed with us. We experienced drug addiction, alcoholism, bipolar disorder, ADHD, mentally handicapped, and the like. I definitely believe we did a good job making a difference in the young men’s lives while we were there but I don’t take credit for it. I do believe that we were divinely inspired every step of the way, otherwise we could not have done it. In addition,  we had tons of support and training. Each boy had a counselor, a probation officer and school support through the organization run school they attended.

It was Christmastime in our second year on the job. I had begun the season feeling a bit depressed since this time of year was so special to me and I felt so stifled in my ability to do all the things that brought me so much joy around the holidays. We lived in the home we worked so I did not have my own home to decorate the way I wanted to. There were some decorations available for the home but not like I was accustomed to decking the halls of my own abode. Our time off was limited so I could not look forward to much time visiting family. I missed my kids and Grandkids who all lived in another state. I couldn’t entertain for the holidays. I started off feeling bleak and I was wondering how much longer we could continue doing this. The daily grind of dealing with constant issues with the boys was not setting the stage for a very merry season.

Being the resilient person that I am, I came to the decision eventually that I was going to make the season the best it could be with the resources I had. I decorated as best I could, played my Christmas music, baked cookies and began showering the spirit of Christmas onto the members of our household. At an after school meeting around the dining table, a daily event, I talked to the boys about Christmas and how we could make the best of it even amid their problems. We talked about the spirit of giving, and presented ideas of how we could do something fulfilling for someone else, that would enrich our lives in the process. The younger ones were more excited, still having hearts that were tender enough to ignite hope, the more hardened boys reluctantly agreed to go along. One thing I had going for me in influencing them was that they liked and respected me. Keith and I made every effort to make them feel like ours was a real home with loving and encouraging houseparent’s that truly cared about them. Yes, they were on lockdown, they did not have freedom to come and go, there were rules, rules, rules. But they were safe and cared for. The Boundaries paired with reward and kindness made them feel loved.

I presented to them, a needy family that we were going to adopt for the holidays. I had gotten the contact from a local church we attended. Likely some of these boys came from more needy families than the one we were adopting. Some never knew what it was like to get a load of Christmas presents under the tree or have a refrigerator full of holiday foods. Some of them had very little material things of their own. But I convinced them that helping a needy family would be fun.

The weeks to follow were an experience I will never forget. Of Course Keith and I had the means to go out and buy food and gifts for this family and I could involve the boys in the delivery, but I wanted to have them do more. Our household had a limited recreation budget, that was to be used for just that, recreation for the boys. As the spirit began to ignite in their hearts they decided to donate their monthly budget to purchase gifts for the needy family. We baked cookies, made tree ornaments, took trips to the dollar store. I will never forget how I watched the miracle unfold as the spirit of Christmas, and acts of kindness melted these young men’s hearts and healed their wounds in the process, even if for only a few weeks. One memory that stands out most was of one of our most hardened young men. I had given them each a name of a member of that family and asked them to come up with something they could give, material or not, to that person. He came to me one afternoon. He was around 16, towered over me at 6 feet tall. He had adopted one of the family members, a young boy age 12. He humbly said to me, I want to do something for that boy because I remember being his age. He proceeded to remove a cross, on a chain, from his neck and handed it me. I held back a lump in my throat. It was imitation and not much material value but I knew it had sentimental value to him and he cherished it. I also understood that despite all the wrong he had done and bad choices he had made, this gesture made him feel good about himself. I handed it back and told him he would give it to the boy himself, when we delivered the packages.

When the time came to deliver, we piled into the company provided van, and headed into the worst and most impoverished area of Philadelphia. It was nighttime, and as we drove through the streets, Christmas music softly playing in the Van, there was a hush that overcame us as we witness out the frosted windows on that very cold winter night, dozens of homeless people, teenagers buying drugs on street corners and some even shouting to us as we drove by. A few of the boys who had been from this area were telling us to lock the doors and be careful. When we arrived at our destination there was some confusion as to exactly where the residence was and as Keith and a few of the older boys got out of the van with Santa like Sacks over their shoulders, a few people shouted from their balconies, over here Santa !! Finally safely in the apartment, a grateful family was blessed that night, and again I held back the lump in my throat as I watched our broken boys, administer kindness, although awkward, they did their best. It was a Christmas memory I will forever cherish in my heart. I think of these boys often. There were many hard times during the 2 years we spent working for community Service Foundation, it was not easy, but when I think of the boys, I remember this first and foremost. I truly hope that experience was a stepping stone toward a better path in each and every one of their lives.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Janet Lynn Egan , Dec 2015.

The Jack Chronicles

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The Jack Chronicles Dec 7, 2015

Last night Daddy came home. I knew he was coming for a while before he did because I could feel Mommy waiting for him. I am so glad he is here again to pet me and let me sit on his lap and take naps with him. But I am nervous that something is up again. These crazy big boxes with wheels and handles are still around. They were out before we went on that scary long ride in the sky. And then we lived with Danielle and Jerry and Tyler and Jay for a while. I was happy to see them but then the boxes came out when Mommy and Daddy went away and left me there. Then they came back with the boxes and they moved them around again putting things in and out of them. Then we went on another long scary ride in the sky. When we came home I thought it was over. But then Daddy moved the boxes around and put things in and out of them and HE went away for a really long time. I still see those boxes. Tonight Daddy showed me that he was putting them away in the closet one by one. I will feel better once I don’t see them anymore.

Jack

 

 

The Jack Chronicles

10863984_10204502039343909_8944894851557678598_oThe Jack Chronicles: November 1, 2015.

Last night was very strange. All the humans that live on my turf were outside. Mom and Dad took me out and I was very excited to see some of my favorite Humans. Everyone fussed over me in the silly outfit that seemed to make Mommy so happy to have me wear. Some of my favorite humans let me come on their lap. The humans that are close to the ground, made me a little nervous when they all wanted to touch me, it was still ok . It was a nice night until something very sketchy happened. A large band of strangers that I never saw before started coming down the street toward our turf. I could not tell if they were humans or animals.They just came and came. I growled but Mommy held me and would not let me go to defend us. They were frightening. They had scary clothes and strange faces and many of them carried big sticks in their hands. Mommy brought me in the house when she saw I was upset but when she was not looking for a second the door was open a crack and I ran out that door as fast as I could into the Culdesac to chase them all away.I barked and barked at them. Some stopped and stared me down and I just kept barking, get out of here ! Mommy and Daddy did not understand. They kept calling me and trying to catch me but I knew they didn’t understand we were all in danger. They kept saying it was ok and it was hard to trust them, but finally when mommy called from the open front door promising me a treat I decided I’d better listen. I ran back into the house. Mommy told me I was being a bad boy. I didn’t understand why, but she gave me a treat anyway. I think it was for coming back in. I hope those sketchy strangers don’t ever come here again with their sticks and hoods and scary faces and clothes.
Jack

Never Forget

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I was just settling down to start my workday as a property manager for a Long Island Rental Community. The Office manager was standing in her office with the TV on when my coworkers began wandering in to see what was going on. We shuffled around in shock over the next few hours, solemnly trying to do our work for the day and at the same time absorb what was happening. Needing to connect with those closest to me, as others did, I called them one by one, even though I knew they were not near the Twin Towers, nevertheless I needed to talk to them. First Keith at work , who was in Queens and was able to tell me what he and his coworkers could see from the rooftop of their building. Then my children and extended family and friends, checking to see if anyone had been in the vicinity and in danger. This was happening in My city. I was a New Yorker. A native, born and raised. I worked at that location in my younger years. I remember watching the towers being built. Later that day I hosted a coworker of Keith’s in my home overnight who could not get home to his own family. Delayed, stuck somewhere and displaced as so many were that day. I remember being glued to the TV all evening. And the next day and the next. But as things like this often are, it was surreal and it took time for the full impact of what had happened to sink in. Every year since then, I watch the documentaries, the factual accounts of that fateful day, the personal stories of the first responders who survived and of those who perished, those who saw the towers fall first hand right in front of their eyes, those who heard a few desperate last words from loved ones on the highjacked flights , and on and on. Every year I learn more about that day. Every year I try to understand why we live in a world where human life is worthless to some people. Every year I cry, and every year I remember, to “NEVER FORGET”.