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Category Archives: Religion
Perhaps the only bad thing about a lifelong romance is, eventually, someone has to die.
Short of an unnatural occurrence – a violent crime, a suicide pact, a plane crash – a wife or a husband will be forced to go on alone. After decades of shared life, love and happiness with her husband, Ralph, Thelma Zirkelbach says surviving “till death do us part” can be like wandering lost in a foreign wilderness.
“Ralph has been gone for 7½ years now; when I first lost him I had no idea that I’d have to get used to an entirely new lifestyle,” says Zirkelbach, author of “Stumbling Through the Dark,” (www.widowsphere.blogspot.com), a memoir about an interfaith couple facing one of life’s greatest spiritual challenges.
“When you’re grieving – whether your loved one is suffering from a terminal condition, or he or she has recently passed – practical things like funeral arrangements, short- to long-term financial issues or even what’s for dinner can seem very conceptual, abstract and far removed from what you’re feeling.”
But the biggest challenge is having no one with whom to share your life, she says.
“Family milestones, major news stories and technological changes are just a few things Ralph has not experienced with me,” says Zirkelbach, a grandmother, speech pathologist and Harlequin Romance author.
She offers five areas in which couples can prepare for both the process of dying, and life after death:
• At the hospital: We tend to take our health for granted until we don’t feel well. Sometimes, it’s something we can’t shake; for Ralph, flu-like symptoms would prove to be leukemia. At one point during her life at the hospital with Ralph, Zirkelbach kissed her husband before he was sent off to isolation as part of his treatment; it would be the last kiss for an entire month. When a spouse gets sick and requires extended hospital treatment, be ready for a shortage of parking, general uncertainty and an irregular schedule. Zirkelbach’s sanctuary during Ralph’s time at the hospital was the hospital’s café, where she “gorged on smoothies and cookies – sweets are my comfort food,” she says.
• Finances: This can be one of the most difficult areas because, too often, couples don’t prepare for the eventuality of a death well in advance. While older couples are more likely to be financially prepared for a death, younger couples are often caught blindsided by the loss of a spouse. Consider getting professional assistance from a financial expert.
• Spirituality: What is often put aside as secondary in daily life can quickly become the primary thought for someone who is grieving. Zirkelbach and her husband were an interfaith couple – he came from an evangelical Christian background and she is Jewish. Ralph was admitted to the hospital as Jewish; he had planned to convert, but as his condition worsened and his family became more involved, he stuck with Christianity. This was emotionally confusing to Zirkelbach during an already stressful period. Understanding each other’s views on matters of life and afterlife before a loss is helpful.
• Bad things can still happen: When Ralph got sick, Zirkelbach’s mother was also beginning a rapid decline, and ultimately died before Ralph. “Just because a terrible thing is happening to you doesn’t cancel out the possibility of another one happening,” she says. “There’s no credit limit for misfortune, which is all the more reason to show love, regularly, to the people you care about the most.”
• The journey of letting go: Zirkelbach quotes Mary Oliver’s poem “In Blackwater Woods”: To live in this world / You must be able … To love what is mortal … knowing / Your own life depends on it; / And when the time comes to let it go, / To let it go. “I had no idea I could survive all by myself; it seemed like I needed help with everything,” she says. “But I’ve learned a very important lesson — I’m much more resourceful, much stronger and much more independent than I ever thought I was.”
About Thelma Zirkelbach
Thelma Zirkelbach received a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from the University of Texas, a master’s in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Houston and an education doctorate in curriculum and instruction with emphasis on reading disorders from the University of Houston. She has been in private practice in speech pathology, specializing in young children with speech, language and learning disabilities, for many years. She began her writing career as a romance novelist, publishing with Harlequin, Silhouette and Kensington. Her husband’s death from leukemia in 2005 propelled her to creative non-fiction.
Yeah, talk to me about rights. What rights do we really have?
You have the right to remain silent, unless doing so pisses me off and I slap you upside of the head with my pistol.
You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? I’ll go with the last one, but as far as the first two I think that is kind of up to God.
Did the victims of baby Doc, or Hitler have the same rights? I’m not necessarily saying it’s not correct for protecting our own shores, but what rights do they have at Gitmo?
You have the right to work your ass off, be the best you can be, and hope to heck somebody doesn’t shoot you in the face. That is all.
Rights are like entitlements. They do not exist in the real world.
Have we gotten so fat and freeking Arrogant that we think the world owes us a living, and somehow is obligated to take care of us?
Let’s face it, baby boomers. We have no right to anything but to work our asses off.
There are so many of us, there is nobody left to bail us out. The days of peace love and dope in the Haight-Ashbury are over.
Face it, you are not going to be guaranteed healthcare, a sweet old peoples home with chirping birds and basket weavers, or a nurse name Consuela to come and wipe your ass when you poop your pants. Some of us are going to starve, some of us are going to croak on the streets from heart attacks, and some of us are going to stroke out.
What you have the right to do, is your best. Work your freaking ass off as hard as you can for as long as you can, treat the people you love with love, and be thankful for every breath you have the “right” to take.
And you do have the right to thank your God, however you envision that, for every good minute you’ve had.
She was the formidable force behind Bill Clinton during his presidency and she is currently the 67th United States Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton is not just a women of the world, she exudes sheer iron will and power that make many men run and hide. This is a seriously sassy lady who would make an awesome world leader.
Born to in 1947 in Chicago, Hillary Clinton showed an aptitude for success from a very early age. She was a firm favourite with the teachers are her primary school and excelled in her sports as well as winning several awards for Brown and Girl Scouts duties. She excelled all the way through school and continued to her 2012 goals. No surprise there.
Supported by parents who clearly wanted to see their daughter go far, Hillary enrolled at Yale University and graduated as a lawyer in 1973. Already showing a penchant for politics, Clinton did a stint as Congressional Legal Counsel before marring Bill Clinton in 1975.
Considering her ambition to forge ahead it should come as no surprise that Hillary Clinton was twice voted in the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America. She was also the first female partner at Rose Law Firm. Clinton sat on the board of directors of several large companies in the United States, such as Wal-Mart. She became first lady of Arkansas in 1979 when Bill Clinton was elected Governor and Hillary had a hand in the positive evolution of the Arkansas Education system.
In 1994 Hillary and Bill Clinton became the United States first couple and, in hindsight for many, were one of the highly acclaimed presidential couples in American history. Hillary has shown a keen interest in the health and safety of children from the moment she graduated, and has always made a point of trying to have bills passed that worked in the favour of families requiring assistance for children. She’s still advocating these worthy causes.
In 2000 Hillary Clinton was elected a United States Senator and has been a firm favourite with the American public. She was re-elected to the senate in 2006 and in the 2008 presidential election Hillary Clinton as the first female to run for president had achieved more primary and delegates that any other female in the presidential history. Unfortunately she lost the election to Barack Obama, but she now serves as the U.S. State Secretary for his administration. Hillary Clinton is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
The opinion and story of a Colorado Attorney: Robert Corry
It is 5:00 a.m. on a cold dark Colorado morning. Twenty-five SWAT team officers, clad in black helmets, body armor, wielding assault weapons, large clear shields, and heavy iron battering rams, surround a quiet residential home, shatter the front door, and throw flash-bang grenades and tear gas inside.
The team of 25 militarized cops stream into the house, screaming obscenities, shattering the terrified childrens’ sleep and jarring the scared parents awake. The SWAT team then literally destroys the home and the furniture within, slashing couches, overturning bookcases, throwing possessions all over the floor, carting the crying children off to Social Services or foster care, and throwing the parents to the ground at gunpoint, handcuffing them painfully before carting them off to the police station.
The SWAT team then locates its target: a couple dozen three-foot high cannabis plants in a modest indoor basement garden, and a pound or so of dried plant matter, some lights, some fertilizer, and a few books on how to grow marijuana.
This is not an extreme example. This scene literally happens every day in America, a nation that loudly professes that it is a “free” country, but that leads the globe in per capita incarceration of its own people, a rate that exceeds those of human rights leaders such as North Korea, China, and Iran, due mostly to the war on drugs.
And this scene embodies America’s war on marijuana. A government this large, this powerful, this intrusive, this belligerent, is necessary to fight this modern-day prohibition against a simple herb that approximately half of the American adult population has consumed at some point in their lives. There are so many reasons this must change:
The war on marijuana costs us money. The direct costs to local, state, and federal governments are staggering and exceed a trillion dollars. Police, prosecutors, probation officers, judges, courts, jailers, prison guards, and defense lawyers form a massive prison-industrial complex that distracts limited resources away from our failing economy and other more important priorities. The indirect costs to the economy, though more difficult to quantify, are probably higher in the form of people removed from their families and their jobs, the opportunity costs of distracted police and jammed courts too busy to adjudicate important criminal and civil cases. We also lose out on the benefits of industrial hemp, which has no recreational effect but which could be an extremely useful crop for American farmers and industry.
And all of this money has been wasted — accomplishing, like so many other heavy-handed government programs, the precise opposite result of that which was intended. Even the U.S. government’s drug czar (it is appropriate that this government position is named after an imperial Russian tyrant), Gil Kerlikowski, admits that the 40-year experiment with drug prohibition has been an abject failure.
Decades of drug prohibition has not accomplished a single of its goals. Albert Einstein’s definitionof insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As our governments at all levels pour more lawyers, guns, and money into this militarized marijuana prohibition, people still obtain it — easily — and supply and demand is totally uninterrupted on a macro scale; one dealer falls, another pops up. Under Einstein’s definition, our government is literally insane.
The war on marijuana is alien to the principles of a free nation founded on the principles of limited government and personal responsibility. The negative impact of marijuana prohibition laws far outstrip the negative impact of the substance itself, which is one of the few things on Earth that has no practical lethal dose, it is basically harmless.
Humans in all cultures have used the cannabis plant since the dawn of history for medicinal, spiritual, industrial, and recreational purposes; only in the 20th century did it occur to any government to prohibit it. Thomas Jefferson and other founders grew cannabis on their plantations. The Declaration of Independence is written on hemp paper. Even Genesis 1:29confirms that God gave man every seed-bearing plant on the Earth. God giveth, government taketh.
The history of American marijuana prohibition and “reefer madness” shows that its practical and legal basis is a house of cards. An outgrowth of alcohol prohibition which arose in roughly the same era, marijuana prohibition was born out of racially-charged fears of Mexicans and blacks.
For the American government to prohibit the cannabis plant, that government must declare war on its own principles. Such a prohibition then contributes to overall erosion in the general population’s respect for the rule of law, because the aggressive enforcement of this law touches so many people and makes the law itself — not just marijuana laws, but all laws and law enforcement officials — a joke.
The body armor-clad government stormtroopers are necessary to prosecute the war on marijuana. That level of expensive and intrusive force is necessary if cannabis, widely used and widely accepted, is to be prohibited from our private homes and lives. But perhaps the best brief against prohibition is the fact that marijuana is widely available to prisoners in America’s prisons and jails. Prisons and jails are the most tightly regulated, highly government-controlled locations in the world. If the government cannot keep marijuana outside of these places, can anyone seriously argue prohibition is enforceable in the general population?
The war on marijuana, like alcohol prohibition before it, creates and fuels the criminal underclass, organized crime, and domestic and foreign drug cartels. It is basic Economics 101: where there is a demand, a supply will be created to meet it, period. Human demand for marijuana, like alcohol, has lasted thousands of years, and will never go away. Leading economists like Milton Friedman have long seen the drug war as an economically-bankrupt policy.
If marijuana were legalized and taxed, violent drug cartels would lose the principal source of their income. Marijuana ought to be treated like a more dangerous substance: alcohol, available at the corner liquor store, and taxed and regulated. How many Mexican drug cartels smuggle beer over the border? Ban it, and you would see many. Create a regulated legal market for it, and the drug cartels are not involved.
It is literally easier for American schoolchildren to obtain marijuana than beer.
That is because the government has created the black market in marijuana, making it more accessible to children. There is no black market in beer. It is relatively cheap and easy to obtain, for adults, but difficult for children. Prohibition increases childrens’ attraction to marijuana; the “forbidden fruit” is always sweeter.
For all of these reasons and many more, Americans have now passed the critical 50 percentthreshold in support for legalization of marijuana. (These polls typically understate support, as many Americans are understandably reluctant to admit to using or supporting marijuana to an anonymous telephone surveyor.) Even conservative televangelist Pat Robertson recentlyacknowledged that marijuana ought to be legal.
It is long past time for politicians at all levels to end this bankrupt policy of Prohibition, and stop breaking down the doors of Americans who only want to possess a harmless plant in the comfort of their own homes.
Jealousy is a human vice that tends to creep into any and every relationship. It usually stems out of a feeling of inferiority from a particular person. However, if you feel jealous of your best friend, you should either check your approach to your friend’s words and actions or get a new best friend because jealousy cannot exist where love and friendship does. However, for some reason, if you do feel a rivalry or constant need to compare yourself with your best friend, you are not alone and this issue can be nipped in the bud. Here are a few tips to overcome jealousy from your best friend:
Recognize that you are jealous:
The first and foremost step in solving a problem is to recognize that the problem exists. Unless you can accept that you are harbouring feelings of jealousy against your best friend, nothing can help you to overcome it. Crazy as it may sound, if you keep comparing yourself to your best friend and if you constantly wish to be in his/her shoes, you are jealous of him/her.
Stop comparing yourself with him/her:
Once you have identified the problem, you need to start thinking about a plan of action to overcome this envious feeling. Don’t allow the green-eyed little monster inside you to get the better of you. If you keep comparing yourself and your assets with him/her, stop doing that immediately because it’s not going to get you anywhere. It is not going to be easy but just stay strong and divert your mind into other activities whenever you feel jealous.
Be content with what you have:
Learn to be satisfied with your life irrespective of what you have. There are people in this planet who would give anything to be in your shoes so don’t feel bad about yourself. If your best friend has something that you don’t, learn to appreciate it.
Admire your individuality:
Tell yourself that you are special and just as good as the next person. Feel comfortable with yourself and recognize all the good attributes and talent that you have. Instead of wasting time on envious feelings, discover your own individual characteristics. Unless you learn to appreciate your qualities, nobody else will.
Think about things you are better at:
Whenever your mind wanders into forbidden territory and you cannot help but compare yourself with her, instead of asking yourself “How can she sing so well?”, and turning green in envy, think about the things that you are better at. Everyone has something special in them and your special attribute is probably just waiting to be discovered.
Try to compliment her sincerely:
Even though this can be difficult with all the jealousy raging within you, try to be sincere when you compliment her for something. Don’t keep any feelings of ill-will when you say anything nice to her because that will make you a fake friend instead of a jealous friend.
Give it your best shot and leave no regrets:
Your best friend might be better at you than dancing or in academics but it honestly doesn’t matter as long as you have given it the best you could. If you actually concentrate on giving it your best shot instead of wasting time thinking about your best friend and distracting yourself, you might just prove to be better than him/her.
Try to talk to him/her:
If you share a very close and comfortable relationship with him/her, you can also consider talking about your feelings and do something about it together. Sharing your feelings can give the much needed outlet for your negative thoughts.
He/she is your best friend so think about their positive attributes:
Even though you are envious of him/her right now, you chose your him/her as your best friend so there has to be some positive attribute in them that you admire. Think about the qualities that brought your best friend so close to you and appreciate the good in them. Harbouring jealousy is not going to get you where your friend is but it is going to ruin your friendship with him/her sooner or later.
Be accepting and open minded:
Have a heart and accept things for what they are. Being envious of your best friend’s achievements isn’t going to get you there. He/she doesn’t have super powers. If they have achieved something, it is because of their hard work, diligence and will power and if you exhibit these qualities, you can be there too.
Is your jealousy going to help you? Think about it:
Ask this question to yourself and you will get the answer to all your questions. This is a little trick I play with myself whenever I feel anything negative towards someone and it works wonders for self-realization.
Your jealousy might be signalling something deeper:
You might be jealous on a very superficial level. If you think about it, perhaps in your sub-conscious mind, this jealousy might not be person specific at all. There can be many reasons for someone to feel jealous apart from the most obvious one of wanting to be in their shoes so if you feel jealous of others frequently, consider going to therapy.
Think about the difficulties she has dealt with or deals with on an everyday basis:
If you cannot see your qualities or just appreciate what they have without wanting to have that too, try thinking about the problems that they have dealt with in the past or are dealing with right now. Try to empathize with their situation and feel happy for their achievements.
Talk to someone about this problem:
If all else fails, talk to someone about your jealousy. It can be a parent, a friend, your sibling or even the school/college counsellor. Neither should such feelings be encouraged, nor should they be kept bottled up inside you. Get some help before it’s too late.
This post is written by Jason Gilbert who has been working with Corebloggers as a resident writer. He loves writing about career, personal development, etc. His recently published post was how to deal with loneliness.
Health Impact News Editor Comments: I spoke with Joseph Jauregui about the joy he and his brothers and sisters have after seeing their father change when he started to use coconut oil in his diet. Joe reported to me that while his father still has a ways to go to be like his former self before dementia set in, that now his mother and siblings feel like they have their father back again. Here is his story, which is a chronology of observations over several weeks.
by Joseph Jauregui
My Dad was diagnosed with Severe Dementia about 7-8 years ago. I still remember the day when he forgot my name. Ever since then I’ve been praying for him to return to whom he was, but as time passed he got worse and worse. I saw a very articulate man go from creative, comical and caring to distraught, lost and childlike.
He than started having accidents to my mothers disgust (that was 8 years ago). He was having about 5-6 accidents a day and getting up at all hours of the night. He was going back in time daily, and even losing the ability to communicate and read.
A friend of mine told me about this coconut oil and its results and I practically got tears in my eyes (and I’m a dude haha). So I bought some coconut oil and gave it to my mother as she cooks all his meals.
I visit every other Saturday, so before I went I psyched myself up to accept that there would be “no difference” as my dad is in his 80′s, and I felt he was too far gone. He had been diagnosed with severe dementia 10 years earlier. Well to my surprise my mother said he had changed quite a bit, and that he wasn’t getting up as often at night. And the best part was that she wasn’t complaining about his antics nearly as much as the past years.
Two weeks later I returned and my father was far more social, and he even began to tell jokes. He still wasn’t himself, but a glimse of his former self was there.
I missed going one week but the report from my sister was good. She called my mom on the phone and my dad answered. She was surprised that he spoke to her in a way he hadn’t spoken to her in YEARS. I’m very hopeful, and I gotta say Coconut Oil is now a part of my routine. It is great in eggs and steamed veggies (yum!).
I visited the folks this past week and was hoping for more changes, and yes there were.
First off I need to tell you all that my sister, her husband and child moved in with my folks due to the job situation. My mother doesn’t like it as the house is small, and she still gets embarrassed about my dad’s situation, but my dad who has always been an extrovert loves having more people at home. He was telling jokes and laughing, giggling…oh what a mess haha! My mother was telling me that he’s been like that for a couple of days, which is great, as he really never laughed all that much after the disease hit him.
I left there feeling very appreciative of the changes in his life. Those prayers are being answered, and I’m feeling great. The next day my brother went down to my folks house and told me that dad did something he hasn’t done in years – he combed his hair! He is doing things he had not done before. The coconut oil is working and is having great results in him.
One day I believe he will return to the person whom he was. The change in him over the 7 weeks has been far better than I would of hoped for. This diet of coconut oil in everything he eats has done wonders for him. And my mother didn’t even complain to me once this week – WAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
You can follow Joseph’s chronicles at alzheimersweekly.com.
Virgin Coconut Oil:
How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours!