Archive for Gratitude

The Last Leaving: Oneness Isn’t Just a Theory

There’s a magical quality about the Teachings of the Spiritual Heart. It’s about the perfection of timing, Spirit’s timing. John-Roger has told us that we’re never given anything by Spirit that we cannot handle. So while ALL the teachings are present in every moment of our existence, the learnings are revealed to us only as we can open our consciousness to use them for our upliftment, learning and growth. In my case after thirty-seven years of study, I am still learning and Spirit is still revealing, and if I’m lucky (stay connected) and I stay awake until I pass from this world, I will be learning right up until my last breath and beyond. And I thank my lucky stars (or should I say my good karma) that Kenny showed me the way to look forward to my own transition with joy and anticipation of the bliss that awaits me on the other side.

In all the years I have studied the teachings (more than half my life), the lessons repeat and not only have I seen them coming again and again, they also can sting a lot harder each time until it’s powerfully obvious that they can no longer be denied.

It follows then that our dying is perfectly orchestrated according to the life we have led and the teachings we have learned. Know this though, we have until that last breath to make up for eons of sleepy lifetimes and unconscious choices. I saw this when Kenny got sick. Both our lives made a bee line toward God like we’ve never experienced in this life. We had nine months to clean up our acts. For me that meant dropping ALL my judgments about how he led his life and coming into full and unconditional cooperation with the support he needed from me. For him, I saw him come into acceptance of his condition and alignment with his purpose of healing himself on every level possible and announce his mission to touch as many people’s lives as possible with his message of joy and fun. Day after day, week and month, we rushed up the levels of consciousness such that we were listening for Spirit’s direction, following it and reveling in the discoveries that only supreme sacrifice affords on a daily if not hourly basis.

John-Roger has told us in more than many seminars over the years how important it is to meditate and pray and the more we dwell upon God and his love, when we finally reach those last moments before we leave for the last time, our thoughts will be on God, and that’s where we will go, into the Heart of God. J-R encourages us to keep the mind clean, the body and the emotions also. To do everything we can to live as long and healthy as we can to complete our karma so the record will be dissolved and we go free. Where we place our consciousness there we go.

And while we are on the subject of the orchestra of angels who will be waiting for us when we leave for the last time, I’m convinced that Oneness isn’t just a theory. I still have a little trouble with time (the reality that everything’s happening right now), but I’m excited to say I have personally experienced the oneness. If I leave this world with just a glimpse of timelessness, I will be most gratified and at greater peace. But oneness is evident to me right now. I experienced it (and still do) with Kenny when we were of one mind and heart taking care of him. And I experience the oneness when I’m with someone who asked me to just listen. I experience it when I consciously activate my ministry, embracing whoever and whatever is in front of me. I heard it said in my University of Santa Monica program in Consciousness, Health and Healing, that when we utter a blessing toward another being or thing, the blessing reverberates throughout the universe as positive energy—energy that heals, energy that loves, energy that carries compassion and understanding. How remarkable is that! Thus is explained the power of prayer. And so it follows that when we utter a negative thought, the same is true. John-Roger wrote a book entitled You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought. One of the spiritual laws he talks about in this book is that it takes twenty-five positive actions to balance one negative action. Better get crackin’ doing and thinking good things before it’s too late to catch up!

So everything we do, think, feel, and speak affects every other thing. Kind of like Uri Geller bending spoons with the power of his mind. Kind of like when we intuit a next step and it proves to be the perfect next step. Or a medium who contacts the souls of the dead tells you something only you and your loved one could have known. Or how group peace walks actually do make a difference. And talking to plants telling them we love them can make a measurable difference in their wellbeing. How praying for one Soul sends a vibration of love to all Souls. How praying for the Soul of a person who has left this world can support their upliftment. In my own way, in my own timing, I know I will embrace more and more of Spirit’s understanding. The understanding that surpasses the mind and envelopes all space and time. One thing I know now is my gratitude is bigger than I can imagine.

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It’s All in How You Look at It, the Blessings

I asked Kenny what to write about to begin the process of ending this book and he said, “What if you were to look back on your life and your relationship with me and my illness and my death and all the learnings you are now aware of as blessings?”

This is for a later chapter, but that reminds me to mention here that I am convinced blessings reverberate throughout the universe. Can you embrace that! Isn’t that remarkable to contemplate? Same is true of negative thoughts. Throughout the ENTIRE universe! No wonder the title of one of John-Roger’s award-winning books is You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought.

The blessings:
As noted in the New Day Herald article earlier in this book, Kenny was as much looking for me as I was for him. Our friends thought we’d make a good match and if you believe that blessings ripple throughout all creation, then it must be true the entire universe was lined up to support the match. The blessing? We both were in the right place at the right time to do the right action—to find each other.

Our friendship grew rapidly from spending time chatting about our interests, which had proved to be similar in many ways (or so our minds construed them to be) to within a month holding hands after a sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner. The blessing? Time stood still that month while we meandered through tales of our lives together. While we found infinite ways to drink in each other’s essence. While we filled ourselves with memories of the last encounter until we would be steeped in the next one. It was as if we had known each other since before time.

And indeed as noted earlier in this book, we assisted each other in dying at least thirty-five lifetimes prior to this one and we had been together in one way or another for at least one hundred lifetimes. It was as if we had known each other since before time!

On Leap Day 1996 at Beloved Windermere Ranch, just three months after we first held hands, Kenny proposed to me. Those three months flew by dotted by a trip to my cousins’ for Christmas where he met my family for the first time, and a New Year’s celebration at home-sweet-home and many evenings pouring over projects for which he was my volunteer at the seminary. I hadn’t said yes yet. Having been married twice before and witnessing others take their vows, and the karma that went with them, it took another two months for me to finally agree. The blessing? Patience? Or is it blindly sitting on the conveyor belt of the march toward matrimony? Perhaps the blessing is the ability to see but not see. To know on one level the lessons and blessings that were to streak through the sky like Haley’s Comet racing to earth once the legal deed was done, and on another level to unconsciously ignore the star shower as each day rolled by.

I think it was the latter—for we made our bed (carved out the karma), we lay in it (met the karma with the best each of us could give to it), and what was to come was a marriage of multidimensional awareness (oblivious to solutions in the physical but willing to slog through it on every other level) that got richer with each passing day.

The marriage vows were deep, the Traveler’s blessing was profound, our purpose on earth in this lifetime was being played out, unraveling a blow-by-blow battle of wits, habits, untruths, blind furies, and pull-no-punches protective maneuvers, while our Souls were dancing with delight that we’d found each other, that someday soon, not more than fifteen years later, it would all become crystal clear why in the first place the match was made in heaven.

Yes indeed, we would culminate this agreement to go into the Heart of God together by completely abandoning our conditioned relationship for one of unconditional loving, gratitude, selfless service, single focused, tenderness, depth of understanding and oneness. As for my multidimensional abilities, all this wonderment was rolling by like a 16mm movie projection while my body and mind did the tasks at hand to care for Kenny, and my emotions tried to negate the depth we were experiencing on other levels—I kept busy doing tasks that would push my grief away. Amazing how this happens. It is a result of damaged nerve pathways which limit the types of responses one has toward traumatic or even just any powerful experiences.

The blessing: to at the very least, know one is experiencing multidimensional awareness. And to at most, have profound gratitude to God, to the Christ, to Kenny’s Soul, to my strength and endurance to emerge from the most powerful era of my life to date, whole and acutely aware of the deep and no-turning-back learning, releasing, healing, blessings that have been and continue to be bestowed upon me.

I can truly say I am more conscious of both my strengths and my weaknesses than ever before. I can truly say the lessons are more tender than ever before, mainly because I am spending more time in my observer consciousness, watching how I respond to situations and circumstances. And in midstream, I’m more willing to try on new behaviors that I could not even imagine myself doing before.

Most profound is my willingness to come into the loving, even when there may be friction, maybe an insult here and there, maybe a jealousy coming my way or projecting out from me. In the last year I have consciously brought the loving to some challenging relationships in my life. And that loving has changed these relationships dramatically. With one of them, I no longer see the other person as trying to control me. With another, I forgive their lashing out at me for unexplainable reasons. Yet another was transformed by consciously coming into the loving whenever I felt left out or jealous. Compassion works wonders also. It’s really a special kind of loving where our consciousness moves into the oneness and understands the other person’s predicament or their response or their weakness. Our heart goes out (at it were and perhaps more than figuratively) and in that oneness we embrace who they really are, who we all really are: Spiritual Beings having a human experience.

I am blessed beyond words. My husband died, my life opened up in ways heretofore unimaginably positive. I experience more joy, fulfillment and neutrality than I could have wished for before his illness and transition. Our nine months of complete and utter devotion to his living as long as he possibly could, my complete and utter surrender to my role in his life, and the prayer that emanated from our depths paved the way for miracles of awareness and enlightenment and prepared me for the greatest awakening of my life.

Kenny even found his way into my father’s consciousness. In messages since his passing, he told me my relationship with my father was getting closer. That my dad was nearby working with me like Kenny was working with me. This opened a huge space in my heart for the loving compassion that my father deserved. Having seen mortal combat in World War II, he came back a broken man. Now they would call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Then their only tool was pity. Much like my nerve pathways were blocked, I imagine his were also. So demonstrating affection toward his daughter was probably out of the question. All these decades since he died, in my own way I have abandoned my father, much like I thought he had abandoned me when he went off to war and came back two years later unrecognizable to my two-year old self.

These realizations are blessed with healing and upliftment. I think of my father today and instead of stoic resignation of my loss, I extend affection and love and softness with an embrace of acceptance and tenderness. And I feel that coming from him wherever he is today. Here’s a piece from Kenny’s messages that reflects this part of my story:

5/20/12
Kenny can you help me contact Daddy tonight?
Sweetie Carol, he’s right here blowing you kisses on your birthday. He wants you to know you can contact him directly whenever you want to and he’s loving you and the work you did this weekend. He will care for your little one. He will show you how to love her and dissolve all the misunderstandings about your body. He will bring you healing in your dreams and open up a new way of loving yourself like never before in this lifetime. He says you are loved because you are divine and oh so precious to him. You are our sweetie Baby! Together along with Cherish, we will fill you with the loving energy of your father here and in heaven such that you are so very fulfilled. God Bless You, We Love You, Peace be Still.

The blessing: I’m still here to record these miracles. I’m still here to experience more joy and more fulfillment, and even more happiness as I move forward in my life. I’m still here to keep activating my ministry every day, keep realizing more and more of its power. And when it’s my time to leave this planet for the last time, may there be a smile on my face, Light in my eyes, and a prayer in my heart to reach up into my High Form and meet those Angels Kenny told me about who will gladly welcome my Soul into the Heart of God.

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It’s been Two Years since Kenny Passed into Spirit

I wrote to his sisters on the exact second anniversary and recounted some more of Kenny’s antics trying to get my attention. Showing up on my screen saver just about every time I walked into the office after being away from my desk, either playing on the Jersey shore with his nephews or looking down at his “funny” feet. He loved to take pictures of his own feet, whether they were in those attention-getting five-finger shoes or bare, they fascinated him. Moving the little clay ducks around, souvenirs from the family’s beloved Island House. And as if that weren’t enough, that day I walked into my bedroom where the computer was on, and he was smiling and waving at me. Mind you, there are hundreds of photos on this screen saver.

They wrote back with their own family stories that made them smile. To this day they are great story-tellers and beloved by friends and extended family. Being an only child myself and missing my extended family, most of whom had long gone, when I was with them, I was warmed to be included in the fun and hilarity.

There were five kids. And there was always a lot of fun and pranks and just spontaneous occurrences that made everyone howl. I recall two they told me about Kenny; the birthday when his grandma had baked his favorite coconut cake, and when he blew out the candles, coconut was jettisoned all over the table. And the time as a little boy, he swiped some powdered sugar donuts off the bread truck, ran under the house to eat them, and when the bread man saw the donuts missing, he and their mom gathered all the kids and asked everyone present if any of them had taken the donuts. Of course Kenny said no, but the entire front of his shirt was covered in powdered sugar. He had to fess up and never really lived it down—the subject of many family story-telling sessions over the years!

We can assist a person out of their grief by curing them with joy.

Joy isn’t something where you say, “Okay, let’s have joy,” although that can work. It’s more about accessing enough joy inside so that it starts trickling out. Joy bubbles up and can make the body move and transform, and that’s extremely important. Some people can’t handle joy. It’s too electrifying and can keep them awake. It’s like a sugar rush.

You may miss someone who has departed, but you also have the joy that you knew them and were able to spend time with them. I have great joy for what my parents taught me and that they were my parents. I miss them but have no grief, because they taught me what they knew. I would have grief if I didn’t use what they gave to me, but I use it.

John-Roger
(From: Living the Spiritual Principles of Health and Well-Being by John-Roger, DSS with Paul Kaye, p. 157)

I’m beginning to experience joy. Looking back at a life full of achievement and creativity, I engaged in activities that would bring a person joy and I created things that would bring a person joy. But the nerve pathways to actually allow the experience of those things as joy were not entirely available. Therefore I misinterpreted those experiences as something like “work” or “satisfaction,” but certainly nothing like joy. And set in my expression was a deep sadness evident in my eyes and even if one doesn’t “see” auras, one would sense the eons of grief surrounding my countenance over incomplete relationships and unfulfilling experiences.

Always open to learning, always looking for the next awareness, always seeking to meld with the Creator, even when the pathways were clogged, this consciousness, this daughter of the Divine is beginning to experience joy. It’s not like joy wasn’t always present. It’s that I was not interpreting my experiences as joyful. Thank God for how the Spirit has always been ready to receive me. Thank God for the thousands of ways John-Roger has made the teachings available to us. If I couldn’t get it through a seminar, maybe I’d get it in a Discourse. If not there, one of his books, and if not that, an experience that hurtled me into the next level of awareness under the protection and guidance of the consciousness that ushers us into the Heart of God. Insight Trainings, University of Santa Monica’s Masters Program in Spiritual Psychology, Peace Theological Seminary’s Spiritual Science program. Initiations, aura balances, innerphasings, thirty years of working on the staff of the Seminary. The body of work that one man propelled into being during my lifetime such that a community of thousands of students said yes, we want to support your ministry, J-R, and we will carry out the work to the best of our abilities is no less than awesome.

The teachings of the Spiritual Heart are always available. And the learnings go on until the day we die and beyond. My life has been rich with “life-savers” in that when I could only learn the hard way, my consciousness endured and won out and continues to win. J-R has often said, look for the pony in the pile of poop. It’s got to be in there somewhere. In other words, every challenge offers a learning opportunity.

Today I heard myself saying I’ve lived a blessed life full of service and learning. Not that I was always learning, there were many and long, tedious intervals of stubbornness, inability to perceive the good, nagging judgments, and an oh-so-serious outlook on just about everything. But today the next thing I uttered was, “Lord, I’ve done so much, experienced so much grace, love, acceptance, beauty, and understanding that I’m ready to go any time now. I almost believe this and as I write, it comes clearer that since Kenny’s illness I’ve been sliding into the most uplifting era of my life, and if that means lifting off this planet, then so be it. And if it means there’s more to do here, sure as my lucky stars (nah, not luck, more like blessings), I’m once again in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.

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Kenny’s Run, More Passings, and the Beat Goes On

Tonight after I drove home from visiting my cousins in Victorville, there was a knock at my door. When I opened it, there stood Andree and Peter brandishing big heartfelt smiles and their Redondo Beach Super Bowl Kenny’s Run 2012 badges. This was their third run in Kenny’s honor, the first one being the day before we boarded Continental to Houston for that heart-stopping, telltale month of the melanoma march in February 2010.

How dear of them to honor and pray for Kenny and me. How integral they were in his care during those nine months of trying to halt that never-to-be-forgotten relentless invasion. I speculated that Kenny must have been with them on the run. He always loved training his body through sports and watching others doing their best and perhaps outrunning their last race.

And how perfect to receive of their love in this very tender way after I had been with Annabelle, whose husband of 60 years had died on December 26 of multiple myloma, a nearly always incurable form of cancer. My purpose in being there was to support my cousins, Anna and her daughter Teresa, in whatever way I could—listening, sharing my own experience, making suggestions, looking at pictures and reading articles about Nicky. To everyone else he was Nick. To me, I couldn’t call him anything else but Nicky, ever since as a child I wrote to him when he went off to the Korean War. “Dear Nicky, I miss you and I love you. Come home quick, OK?”

Teresa called me some days before Christmas to tell me her father (“Daddiola,” she called him) was bad, not expected to last much longer. Did they want me to come out, I asked. Oh yes, please can you? The next day I drove out to find them at the hospital with Nicky incoherent and in a lot of pain. They were about to send him home on hospice care. So we all trudged home where a hospice agency met us with a hospital bed and other such equipment. Nicky was worse by the minute, writhing and moaning in pain. The hospice nurse exclaimed that they were ill-equipped to manage his pain so she recommended we put him back in the hospital. This time a different one where he might receive better care. There they cleaned him up and administered some pain medication and kept him overnight until another hospice agency was arranged. This time, it was the Visiting Nurses Association.

This agency really knew what they were doing. By this time in my limited experience, I had now witnessed the workings of as many as four different hospice agencies, and I could tell the quality of care provided by VNA was outstanding. The managing nurse quieted Annabelle’s and Teresa’s fears about giving medication, she assessed the situation and Nick’s condition, and soon after a crisis nurse arrived to manage Nick’s pain levels, which were making him so uncomfortable. By this time he had not eaten in days and was not drinking, so we knew it wouldn’t be long before he took his last breath. I quickly understood my place in this family experience—I was to support them emotionally, to assist them physically as they requested, and to call upon the MSIA ministerial body worldwide to stand by spiritually to help anyone present to release anything no longer needed and to assist in ushering dear Nicky into whatever realm of Spirit was his next “grand adventure,” as Kenny coined it. So when Anna couldn’t watch and had to retreat, I held her in my arms. When courageous Teresa had to administer medications, I stood by assuring her she was doing the right thing. When everyone else was asleep, I sat by Nicky’s bed silently chanting and sending him Light and assuring him we were all there loving him and praying his journey now would be as gentle as possible.

On the morning of December 26, at about 9:30am, I had just freshened his mouth when David, Teresa’s son, noticed he had stopped breathing. That was it, his Soul had ascended, no longer inhabiting his body. The man that was their husband, father, and grandfather and my cousin was gone from this world. Today it’s only been about six weeks since Nicky passed. Anna is still very tender and going through the gamut of feelings one experiences when a spouse passes. Each one goes through grief over the loss of a loved one, their husband, their dad, their Papa, or father-in-law in their own very personal way. And in all that I witnessed, I recalled my experiences with Kenny, grateful for his extraordinary exampleship in leaving this world with dignity, grace, great love, and peace.

I was also reminded that not all hospice agencies are alike. And it’s worth shopping around while all principals are still coherent and able to assess the differences. The VNA team was competent, loving, compassionate, responsive, and seemed to love their work. We couldn’t ask for more. These are the hallmarks of the kind of people I would want around me when it’s my time to go. There’s much more to tell about my learnings and awarenesses between then (Kenny’s passing in March 2010) and now, but that’s still to come.

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His Embrace, I’m in the Right Place at the Right Time Doing the Right Thing

John Morton, Spiritual Director of MSIA and holder of the Keys to the Mystical Traveler Consciousness, recently wrote the following and sent it to his “All List.”

A very dear friend brought their deepest grieving to me this first day of the Christ Mass.  Here is what I found to say to them.

 Merry Christ Mass

 Let’s look at the Good News.

Consider that at some point in your existence not so long ago that you invited the Beloved Christ/Traveler to dwell with you and also that you requested to be of service, to serve all, even unconditionally in your loving, caring and gifts of Spirit.  Consider that now you are serving at the fount of grieving, surely your own from wherever it has become created and stored, and then in the Way that is the Light and the Truth, you are clearing and bringing the last of any grieving in the world to His Embrace.  Be Glad.  Be Joyous.  Find the Celebration of Peace to All.

In previous chapters, I wrote about the depth of grief I experienced as Kenny neared his death. It began the very day we were told of his diagnosis and escalated every day until I could hardly bear it. I found myself saying (to myself only), “This pain I’m feeling is bigger than what’s going on.” As profound and shocking as it was to witness the daily loss of a little piece of my husband’s body, what was welling up inside me was bigger than I could fathom. And I also mentioned earlier that in a spiritual reading, Michael Hayes told us we had assisted each other in dying thirty-five lifetimes previous to this one. That seemed to give me some understanding of why my grief was so big.

Today in a spiritual retreat of MSIA staff, as John Morton was sharing with one of the staff here at MSIA headquarters, I was able to reach into the higher realms just a twinkle to glimpse one of the universal truths there. Mind you, it was just a blink, but it was like a Narnia Tale. The secret door was opened into a whole new world of truth and grace. Here’s what I figured out (or saw or heard—remember my clairvoyant gift is in the mental realm so it’s hard for me to distinguish what’s one of my thoughts and what’s a truth). But here goes!

If I can, as John Morton says, bring the last of any grieving in the world to His Embrace, I can also bring the last of any karmic action or habit or addiction or pattern, situation or circumstance to His Embrace from all the eons of my existence. And with the Traveler’s help, I can stack those past experiences such that clearing one clears them all. And I don’t even have to be conscious doing this. I just need to have the intention that it’s possible. But as initiates of the Mystical Traveler I’m not even sure I need that. I just AM!

And finally I understood from my own personal revelation that grace is present. That J-R’s message of heaven here on earth while we are alive in our bodies is indeed possible. That through all the trials and tribulations of our karma, if we maintain the thread of happiness underneath it all, we emerge happy for it all, living in His Embrace!

I wish for all of us to experience His Embrace however fleeting the moment may be. I’ve stacked up a few fleeting moments in my life all adding up to “I’m in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.”

Baruch Bashan—the Blessings Already Are!

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My Life Partner is Gone–My Awakening Begins

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Remembrance Day for Kenny

Morning Observations in Peace Awareness Gardens

 

My dear Friends and Family,

March 30 marked one year since my sweet, funny, handsome, talented, mischievous and darling husband left his body to go home to God. I knew I wanted to have some kind of acknowledgment of that day, though since we had already had three memorials in 2010, it didn’t seem appropriate to have yet another memorial. As I projected in my mind what would sooth my healing heart, I realized I wanted an intimate gathering of those who seemed to make a big difference in our experience near the end of his life. I’m sure there were many others whose silent prayers and distant caring impacted us deeply, so choosing who to invite was a challenge. But the place was very clear to me. It would be Gail’s house, the site of many patio dinners and movies and Christmas Eves, and Thanksgiving dinners. The fare would be Kenny’s favorites, and the emphasis would be on acknowledging the loving and caring poured out to us at a time when every minute and every breath counted. I called it Remembrance Day.

Kenny at 23

Here’s what I wrote to Kenny’s sisters who all live on the East Coast and whom I wanted to include as much as I could.

Remembrance Day was a very dear and sweet gathering of people who assisted Kenny and me on an ongoing basis, and friends who loved him very much. We had it at Gail’s house. I purposely chose Gail’s because she has a very sweet little place on the west side. And Gail, Yvonne, Kenny and I were pals and did things together including that trip to Northern California in winter of 2008. And many of the furnishings in her house Kenny helped her assemble. I brought with me some of his favorite music and the two pictures of him in his youth that I love–the close-up on the beach at 23, and the one in the engineer’s cap in his early 30’s. Plus I brought an enlargement of the one of all of you and Kenny dressed in blue in front of the Island House. I also brought the album you all put together which everyone loved looking through. The living room was crammed full with only seventeen people—just as I imagined it would be—cozy, close, chairs all lined up like a couch.

 Kenny in his 30’s

Here’s how the day went:

I opened with a prayer and asked for Kenny’s Soul to be present.

I acknowledged each person present for their personal giving–said something personal to each one. Many brought tears and choked words, but I felt it important to acknowledge each one.

I read Kenny’s ministerial ordination blessing. In MSIA ministers have special callings that amplify their strengths and gifts. In Kenny’s case, the focus is on his “storehouse of treasures,” empathy, compassion, kindness and sensitivity–not in grand gestures, but in simple ways that show people he cares. And it encourages him to share his healing touch. I especially wanted everyone there to hear it because from my experience, he exemplified this blessing in his last few months more evidently than ever before.

You asked me to tell everyone that his family loved him very much and still does. I did that and showed everyone the family photo. There were audible sighs of empathy and appreciation in the group. Most of them had met you when you came to visit in January 2010. And they remembered the Jones sense of humor. Remember Kenny in thoseNew Jerseycrab shorts!

John Morton, our Spiritual Director, came to visit Kenny just a week or so before he passed and was so uplifted by his exuberance, he told Kenny his ministry was on fire! Kenny’s response was “If people could discover what I’m experiencing, they’d drop what they are doing and doing what I’m doing!” This visit was recorded and so at this point in the gathering, I played the recording of what Kenny said. Hearing his voice, especially with such a poignant message, brought tears to people’s eyes. They realized how much they missed him. Everyone realized he was showing us how to leave this world gracefully, in love and excitement and gratitude.

Kenny’s favorite recording artist and song writer is Mark Knopfler. At this point I played Knopfler’s Remembrance Day, which is how I came to name the gathering. Knopfler is British and inEngland, Remembrance Day is like our Veterans’ Day, commemorating the fallen Soldiers of WWI and WWII. The song is on the album “Get Lucky,” Knopfler’s latest with many poignant songs that Kenny loved and I had grown to love also. Here’s a YouTube clip of the song and a word document with the lyrics:

Remembrance Day
Music and Lyrics by Mark Knopfler
In Loving Memory of Kenny Jones
12/12/1946-03/30/2010

On your maypole green
see the winding morris men
Angry Alfie, Bill and Ken
waving hankies, sticks, and boots
all the earth and roots

 

Standing at the crease
the batsman takes a look around.
The boys are fielding on home ground.
The steeple sharp against the blue
when I think of you. 



 Sam and Andy,
Jack and John.
Charlie, Martin,
Jamie, Ron,
Harry, Stephen,
Will and Don
Matthew, Michael
on and on.  

We will remember them,
remember them,
remember them.

We will remember them,
remember them,
remember them

 

Time has slipped away
The summer sky to autumn yields,
Haze of smoke across the fields.
Let’s up and fight another round
and walk the stubbled ground.

 

When November brings
the poppies on Remembrance Day,
When the vicar comes to say,
May God bless them, every one.
Lest we forget our sons.” 

We will remember them,
remember them,
remember them. 

We will remember them,
remember them,
remember them. 

We will remember them,
remember them, remember them. 

We will remember them,
remember them,
remember them.

Then lots of people shared their fond memories of Kenny. It was very sweet and actually fun to hear it all. It reminded me of lolling in the pool at your house in Bayhead, as we all told stories the night after Kenny’s orchestration of his ashes day. (This is sited in an earlier entry called “The Funeral Train began inSpringfield.”)

I ended the formal part of the gathering with Kenny’s poem about the Prana gardens. Writing this poem was one of his moments of empathy and sensitivity. And reading it was even more so. He paused in just the right places emphasizing the description he was weaving. I’m adding it here:

Morning Observations in Peace Awareness Gardens
July 21, 2004
by Ken Jones
Photo by Ken Jones

Cool morning air,
thick with blossom smell,
caresses me inside and out.

Inside the delicate delightful green garden
sweet tendrils of tenderness
tell me I am loved.

Birds flitting, humming, and peering
sing and call their kin:
“Here I am, here I am here I am.
“Come nest with me, come nest with me.
“Let’s eat, let’s eat, let’s eat.

“Boy, I’m glad…
glad glad glad glad glad!”

The goldfish and koi and their playmates
glide in schools of silence
and rejoice….
in the suspended….
Current….
of ..the.. pond….

Every moment, the arcing sunlight brings fresh beauty,
whether illuminating lush leaves,
or reflecting ripples
that tickle tall translucent trunks.

Outside the green garden bubble,
the world rushes on,
Leaving us alone in soft splendid grace.

Once again I know gratitude.

Then we had homemade pound cake with Hagan Das vanilla ice cream. Two of Kenny’s favorites.

It was very warming and satisfying to create this gathering. For me it felt like Kenny was right there with us saying something like, “I had no idea so many people cared about me.” Well I know we all did and we all do still.

I hope you enjoyed this homage. Every holiday, birthday, and anniversary will have passed this coming Wednesday, March 30. I don’t know what the next year will hold, but I do know absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m missing Kenny and you all as well.

Lots of  love,
Carol

Please feel free to comment in the comment field below, share your story, your thoughts and feelings about losing a loved one or assisting the family. Alternatively, contact me directly at carol.jones43@yahoo.com

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