A Good Name

My growing up years were not always a bed of roses.  Neither were they for my seven other siblings.  We are all connected by blood, by the thread of a  woman and man who tried to make their love work.  We are all family….but we are also individuals as well.  The memories of one may be tweaked slightly differently….depending on the years you had collected at the point of a particular memory.  We all, have survived countless violent onslaughts to who God intended us to be from the very beginning.  We all have been faced with the kinds of trauma intended to steal, kill and destroy all memory of the love that was truly God’s Heart for each one of us.   We have all been faced with circumstances beyond our control and each of us has walked away from our collective beginnings within the nucleus of our blood family, to our individual stories of starting over in a society not necessarily on our “side”.

Our stories are REAL……our stories are FULL OF PAIN…….our stories are FULL OF LONGING FOR THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE EVERY CHILD DESIRES….EVERY CHILD DESERVES.  There were some bright moments along the way…..like stomping down the tall grass in a field in the hills of Missouri….like drinking Kool-Aid and saltines crackers and thinking what a wonderful treat it was…like climbing a tree and doing all my writing up there….like loading up in the spacious Buick and going to a big park in Detroit….like the simple pleasures you find because your creativity has not successfully been stifled…like  when we think we can’t take one more hit, and then we tap into a hidden reserve that keeps us afloat.   Each of us have found ways to express our hearts in a world that has tried to silence us.  We each had memories that carried us while we ever hoped for more…because the hunger of our hearts could not….would not, be silenced!  We each learned how to be satisfied with little, never knowing how poor we truly were.  That being said, the world never had a clue how rich we really were!

So, in honor of my siblings, and in honor of the parents who gave us life; who have climbed steep mountains in their lives, who have waded through many a raging river and crossed many  a desert, where they (and I) thought surely we would die…..I submit this Memorial to the fighting warriors of the family known as the HANSENS.  WE ARE FAMILY!!!!  WE ARE SURVIVORS AND HAVE NOT BEEN DESTROYED FROM WITHIN OR WITHOUT!

Our Mom, Mary Clara Vandervort…..and our Dad, Harold Bronniche Hansen Sr., gave us a gift that stands the tests of time.  They gave each of us very good names.  The Bible says:  Proverbs 22:1-2…”A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold. The rich and the poor have this in common,The Lord is the maker of them all.”

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for giving us such rich names…..such names of meaning and purpose….that when any of us questions our worth or our value…..any one of us can draw from that “reservoir” that bore the seeds of our beginnings and of our worth.  Thank you, Mom and Dad for doing the best you could, given your own pain levels in a life that wasn’t always “fair”…..a life that didn’t always give what you needed to be whole and healed and complete.  We love, accept, forgive shortcomings,  and give honor and respect to you both.  You may have failed in some areas…..but so have we.

In the names you have given each of us….lie our heritage and our worth.  May we step up and into those names!  May we forgive, accept and honor our humble beginnings.  And I dare say, that you both (Mom & Dad) wanted way more for us than the hand you were dealt…..and I for one…..accept and step into…..the more!

What I present in writing…..I pray, will not only bring you (my beloved siblings) hope….but will also bring you rest over your weary souls.  In the deepest part of you, my beloved brothers and sisters….may you be healed and restored to the status of the royal sons and daughters of the King that you are, and always have been!!!  Each of our names are inlaid with precious jewels.  Each of our names speak into us, and call us to rise up into a greater blessing than any of us has ever known! And each of our names is written on the palm of the ONE (Isaiah 49:15-18) who first loved us, has loved us at our worst, and who loves us with a love that WILL NOT let go.

Eight children…….Eight blessings!!!

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1.  Candace Lee:  (went by Candy)

Candace: Language origin:  Greek.  Inherent meaning:  Unblemished.   Spiritual meaning:  Shining brightly, glittering.             Isaiah 62:3 – You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Lee:  Language origin:  German.  Inherent meaning:  From the Sheltered Place.  Spiritual meaning:  Gracious                Romans 8:16 – The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

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2.  Harold Bronniche (Junior) – (went by the nickname of Chris)

Harold:  Language origin:  Old English.  Inherent meaning:  Army Leader.  Spiritual meaning:  Born of God                Acts 17:28 – For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, for we are also His offspring.

Bronniche: Surname from Grandmother’s maiden name

Chris (Christopher):  Nickname from early childhood.  (given by Danish grandparents from fathers side)   Language origin:  Greek.  Inherent meaning:  Bearer/Carrier of Christ.  Spiritual meaning: Anointed.                   Galatians 6:17 –  Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

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3.  Don Allen:

Don:  Language origin:  Gaelic.  Inherent meaning:  World Leader.  Spiritual meaning: Faithful.                James 2:22  Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

Allen:  Language origin:  Irish.  Inherent meaning:  Harmonious.  Spiritual meaning:  At One With Creation.                  II Corinthians 13:11 – Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

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4.  Victoria Lynn:  (went by Vicky)

Victoria:  Language origin:  Latin.  Inherent meaning:  Conqueror.  Spiritual meaning:  Triumphant Spirit.                   Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Lynn:  Language origin:  English.  Inherent meaning:  Crystal Clear Pool.    Spiritual meaning:  Holy.                   Proverbs 9:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

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5.  Tamara Kay:  (went by Tammy)

Tamara:  Language origin:  Hebrew.  Inherent meaning:  Palm Tree.  Spiritual meaning:  Victorious Spirit.                         Micah 5:0 – Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off.

Kay:  Language origin:  Latin.  Inherent meaning:  Rejoicer.  Spiritual meaning:  Joyful.                            Proverbs 15:23 – To make an apt answer is a joy to anyone, and a word in season, how good it is!

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6.  Linda Darlene:

Linda:  Language origin:  Spanish.    Inherent meaning:  Beautiful   Spiritual meaning:  Excellent Virtue.                  James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.  The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

Darlene:  Language origin:  French.    Inherent meaning:  Darling.  Spiritual meaning:  Magnificent, Loving.                      I Peter 4:8 – Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.

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7. James Wesley:  (went by Jimmy…..now goes by Jim)

James:  Language origin:  Hebrew.       Inherent meaning:  Supplanter; takes the place, or moves into the position of another….alternative, replacement, substitute.   Spiritual meaning:  Nurtured.             Psalm 23:4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil:  for thou art with me; and thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

Wesley:  Language origin:  English.   Inherent meaning:  From the Wheat Field.  Spiritual meaning:  Witness.                    John 4:35 – Look around you!  Vast fields are ripening all around us and are now ready for harvest.

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8.  Carol Sue:

Carol:  Language origin:  French.  Inherent meaning:  Song of Joy.   Spiritual meaning:  Joy of God.                            John 15:11 – These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Sue:  Language of origin:  Hebrew.  Inherent meaning:  Graceful Lily.  Spiritual meaning:  Purity.                      Proverbs 4:18 – But the path of the righteous is like the light of the dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

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I love and am proud of each and every one of my brothers and sisters, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what the enemy has all along intended for evil against us, has been turned around for our GOOD, by the heart of our loving “Heavenly Papa”….who not only has a purpose and plan for each of us, but has also proved His love to each of us….not just in words (which have proven empty and lacking by all of our life experiences), but with action, that we desperately needed to see.  An action that stretched out his arms on a rugged cross, paying a price we could not pay for ourselves!     (Romans 8:28, John 3:16)


[If anyone would like a name looked up for it’s origins and meanings……I would be most happy to provide that information for you.  My sources were the Bible, and The Name Book, by Dorothy Astoria.]

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What If?

I write this after an especially hard day.  I am bone weary.  I realize that if I don’t get some of the stress off of me before closing my eyes, the rest I so desperately need will elude me.  And not only will rest elude me, but stress will have an accumulative effect on my body and rob me of health; of balance.

So I quiet myself before One who is greater….and I listen.  As my mind stops spinning it’s wheels….as my tense muscles relax a little…as I resist the “enemy of my soul”….and simply listen, instead of doing all the talking…..I hear from His Heart.  A favorite Psalm (46:10a)  rises up in my spirit….”Be still, and know that I am God…”  My “what if?”, starts to slowly morph into God’s “WHAT IF?”

Then I start to sing this song that has changed my perspective….causing desert mirages to dissipate while something more solid and real takes it’s place….and I gently and freely enter into His Rest.

And so….I wake this morning….RESTED!  I feel invigorated.  I don’t have the driving need to have everything figured out.  I move without being paralyzed.  Thank you, Papa!

A simple yet profound truth lies in the words of this song.  I hope you enjoy it!

Pull Me Closer

 

On this “Thankful Thursday”, as I have reflected on His goodness, His Holiness, His Might, His Sovereign Power, His Tenderness, His Capacity to Love, His Faithfulness, His Promise Keeping….I am humbled before My Maker.

This post is dedicated to the Lover of my soul.  My Papa, My Savior, My Redeemer, My Husband, My Provider, My Comforter, My Convictor, My Sustainer, My Healer, My EVERYTHING!

Please inhabit my praises to YOU, oh LOVER OF MY SOUL!

 

 

 

 

 

Worth More Than Gold

In my attempt to find my own identity and worth APART from the standards of this world…..I have had to wade through a mountain of crappy, false paradigms to end up with what is real, what trumpets the TRUTH, what loudly echoes His Heart for me, and for what in the end affirms and confirms His Song over me.

The following video (clickable link in purple below) was made by a brave young woman, LIZZIE [Girl Voted The Ugliest Woman on YouTube],  She made a heartfelt and inspiring video full of compassion and one that silences her accusers at the same time. Lizzie has a disease that only 3 people in the entire world have. She has faced unimaginable cruelty that no one should ever go through. She rises above her circumstances in a truly inspirational way, choosing not to believe the opinions and/or taunts of those around her.

http://www.godvine.com/Girl-Voted-The-Ugliest-Woman-on-YouTube-Makes-a-Heartfelt-Video-1464.html

This next video  is a song called Gold, by Ehija Vega (Britt Nicole, Unplugged).  In the message of this song, the world’s sub-standards are replaced with God’s  ‘Kingdom’ value system.

So……don’t ever let the standard of this world hand you a yard stick to measure your worth with.  Beauty comes from within…..and that is exactly where God looks when assigning worth or value.

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I Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel (when faced with the evaluations of those around him), “Do not look on his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him [the choice of the people].  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”


“These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”~ 1 Peter 1:7

Do You REALLY Know?

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I have always been a “Romantic/Realist”….some would call that an oxy-moron.  I call it balanced by the presence of His Holy Spirit in my life.

See…the little girl in me, wants to believe that there really is a “prince among men” around the corner.  One that God has been preparing….one that knows the same “Papa” as I do…..one that loves Him more than life itself, more than he loves himself, more even than he would love me…and because of that, is then capable of loving me as God originally intended. Not perfect by any means, any more than I am perfect….but one who is accountable to One greater than himself.  Ahhhhhh, my soul-mate!

In trying to come to terms with my more romantic side….I have had to press in as tightly as possible to my Papa’s Heart.  Before pressing in……my romantic side felt silly….discredited even.  The realist side to me always kept me grounded in the TRUTH…..no matter how easy or how hard it was to assimilate.  But it took me much longer to trust the romantic side of me.  Hence, I pressed into Papa’s Heart for His take on who I was at my core.

This is what He showed me.  “It is I, who have put in you the very desires of your heart.  When you are connected to Me, you can trust your romantic side.  I made you to be ALL woman.  In other words, able to be sweet, loving, nurturing, tender, jealous, strong, tough, wise, intelligent, crafty, hard working, long suffering, forgiving AND sexy.  [Sexy is not something you put on display for all men to see, but something that is between you and your beloved alone.] There are as many facets to who you are as there are facets to Who created you. ”

“The romantic side of you, is capable of hoping for all things, believing for all things, fully engaged in fighting for what is worth holding out for, and fully able to enjoy 100% being a woman who is captivating and beautiful in ways that go beyond your outward beauty and adornments.  The realist side of you is able to face disappointments and keep going, as well as capable of being discerning and wise in your choices.  The realist side of you, keeps your head out of the clouds and your wits about you, when you are swimming with sharks.  The realist side of you also enables you to bounce back time and again, because you draw your strength from Me.”

That being said, I have learned to embrace both sides of what makes me, ME!  He has long ago given me permission to be who He created me to be, and now I have given myself permission to be who HE created me to be, with no apologies.  I have become pretty comfortable in my own skin, so to speak.

What follows in the poem I write below is an out-pouring of my more romantic side.  I have totally accepted my more romantic side…..while my realist side keeps my “flights of fancy” in check.  Now mind you, I said “in check”, not obliterated.

The following poem was written to my future soul-mate.  You are out there somewhere, I know.  I have prayed for you, and entrusted you to my Papa who knows me intimately and longs to give me the desires of my Heart, because He put them there.  He also knows you intimately, and is just as excited about giving you the desires of your heart.  I have prayed for you, longed for you, ached for you, cried for you, delighted in you…long before our eyes have beheld and hearts have touched.  You are worth holding out for……

DO YOU REALLY KNOW?

When you look deep into my eyes and see and value what others have missed…do you know how my heart leaps?

When you reach for my hand with full assurance of our tomorrows..do you know the confidence it instills?

When you speak my name as if it were a fine wine caressing your tongue…do you know I get a sense of my worth?

When you gently touch my cheek after speaking sweet words of endearment…do you know it warms me to my core?

When by your actions, you make me aware that my heart has a home in yours…do you know how SAFE that makes me feel?

When you lay your head next to my heart and just settle in…do you feel the swelling of my heart as my love enfolds you?

When I lean toward you and you draw me in with your heart as well as your embrace…do you know how undone I become?

When your lips gently touch mine in a moment of tenderness…do you sense my abandon as I lean into your kiss?

When you gently place your hand on the small of my back…do you know how absolutely protected I feel?

When you softly whisper in my ear, “I love you”…do you know there is no one I’d rather hear it from,  apart from Jesus?

When we together,  pour our hearts out to our Papa, and become transparent before Him…do you know it is His desire to give us what will delight our hearts?

So tell me, my love…..do you REALLY know the power you possess to bring out the woman of your dreams,  in me?

Do you REALLY know???

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Song of Solomon 5:16b, 6:3a, 8:6-7a – This is my beloved, and this is my friend. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.  Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; it’s flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.  Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it.

Clawing My Way Out of the Pit I Find Myself In

I will make an attempt to blog again and re-join the group.  Maybe someone knows of a way to ‘break through’…..but I feel paralyzed, and every time I make an attempt (at writing about it)…..I back up about 10 steps, frozen.  Seems to be more than “writer’s block”…..maybe it could be labeled a ‘depression’ of sorts?

I am alone and my only companion is a high energy, sweet natured dog named, Tegan Aylon……which means attractive, faithful one.  And she is exactly that!  She has known something is up with me…..and thinks a good rousing game of frisbee, or perhaps, “treeing a squirrel”,  will bring me back to myself again.  Alas, even with me praising her efforts, she knows it has not.

I feel as though I have nothing of VALUE to write right now.  My heart is not in ANYTHING!

To bring you up to date on this downward spiraling of my heart, mind and spirit….I returned from a mission trip to Kandaria, Kenya,  Africa at the end of November.  The mission part of it was life changing to my core.  I have yet to write about it….and it needs to be told!  So it is on my TO DO list and this one “must get checked off the list!”  However while on this trip, the realization that the direction I thought my life might “happily ever after” go…abruptly changed gears.

Then, the  day after I returned home I learned of the passing away of the 96 yr. old woman I cared for (an Alzheimer’s patient).  As I learned of her life, from family and friends, I loved who she WAS before the disease….and I grew to love and respect her immensely!  It was her time, but it was still a loss and shock.   I need to be out of the place where I have been living….been given ‘grace’ for a bit. The economy has taken a nose dive and it doesn’t look promising.  Without a job….finding a place  to live is not even in the “mix.”  I keep landing ‘near misses’ on the job force, or work that is offering hours no one else will take and if you did your health would fail trying to do it and at minimum pay, no less. My funds are depleted.  So now, without a job, and hence no insurance, I couldn’t do whatever they might even suggest for meds, even if it IS depression.

Not trying to do a ‘pity party’ here, just the facts.   (Although there are some who think me self-absorbed because I can’t, “snap-out-of-it.”)  I have appreciated the encouraging words from you, Sis – (Vicky)….and from Laurie, who knows me through the blog world and has checked on me periodically to offer encouragement and unconditional love with the promise prayers <3); but otherwise, I feel like a dingy whose rope has been cut and I am drifting out to sea.

I love God, with as much as I’ve learned so far of my mind, heart & soul.  I lovingly refer to  Him as “Papa”, and I try to press in as close as I can to Him.  He has assured me that this is not “all for naught”….and that He is working behind the scenes where no one sees…..least of all ME!  I am trusting with all that is within this “Daughter of the King’s” heart.  But I confess…I falter,  I grow weary and I lose heart, until I wonder if there is anything left to lose.  I find out very quickly…..there is always more!  The only thing I know to do is to NOT pretend I know anything, much less have any answers……

Lately, every effort feels like I have lead feet…..every attempt met with failure…..every cry sent to Papa, met with, “Trust Me…..I am doing something you cannot see……but it will be worth the wait!” And NO answers pending. I cry more than I laugh right now. So to say that much …is to feel stripped naked before you all!

I want to keep this light and fluffy, and it just won’t stay there as the tears stream down my face…..even as I type. And of course, there are lots of things I have just chosen to leave out for the sake of space.  I feel as though I am at the edge of a precipice, and the fear of falling into a bottom-less pit has never felt so strong! So……you will just all have to agree to get ‘crap’ splashed on you, for the writing of this blog will be real, stark, honest and from a person in so much pain that there seems to be a constant lump in my throat as I am fighting to LIVE and NOT DIE!!!

This is the kind of thing that most of us AVOID writing about…..we don’t just walk away, we RUN away!  Who wants to read a depressing pile of something that makes you feel like you just got slimed?  How do you talk to or encourage a person…who is beyond “pious platitudes?”  That is not a judgement of the one desperately wanting to say something of worth that will captivate a heart that is paralyzed.  No, it is just where any of us can get when we’ve heard it all, maybe even said it all…..and no one has an answer.  It’s a waiting game, and everyone is watching to see what you will do next.  “Where is your faith?”….”Has God REALLY said?”….”You must’ve done something wrong…”

But alas, this is where I am.  I have walked with God for so many years that they (the years) feel a blur. To pinpoint when it really began is to try to narrow down where His draw on my heart turned into a casting of myself onto His Love and Mercy.  It feels like it has always been!  And yet, here I am paralyzed….frozen at the edge of a precipice that looks as daunting as if I were a baby screaming for it’s mother…..with no one to hear the sound.

Do you maybe see why it has been hard to grapple with all of this, and to write even one intelligible sentence and it be REAL and not plastic?

I don’t know where this will end…..but this I DO know…..HE has been the lifter of my head!  And no matter what my circumstances or emotions try to convince me of….I am not forsaken!  I am the “Apple of His Eye!”  I sense I am in the 11th hour of this shadowy maze…..so it’s not over……quite intense even……yet coming to a close.  This is where His Name, His Kingdom purposes, His Love will be written (as if engraved in stone), on my heart! It will be in a way that will comfort, surprise and delight, and make even stronger the roots of an old Oak Tree that has stood the ‘tests’ of time….anchored to THE ROCK!

Brave words for someone who is paralyzed at the rock’s edge?  Maybe…..but if you knew how I was quivering you wouldn’t think me brave…..and yet those words force their way up and out until they are heard!  Maybe…..I was the one who was supposed to hear them.

Top 10 Regrets of the Dying

It has been said that when asking the ‘Dying’ if they had any regrets, that NOT ONE PERSON has ever said they wished they had spent more time at work, or more time in a bar, or more time watching television, or more time cleaning.  Because I have been in the position of caretaking some who were dying, I decided to ask those who were in my care, as well as nurses who were in direct contact with those who knew they were dying, if they had any regrets, and if so, what they would do differently if given another chance.  I wrote down what they said, as did the other caretakers and nurses, so that I could have a first-hand account instead of some email forward that was floating around.  And those that were ‘floating around’ usually named 5.

But because I was actually involved in caregiving and knew others who were as well…it kinda became a ‘thing’ with me for a few years.  And after summarizing everything I collected and what others (my friends – so they knew how important this was to me), this was the outcome:

1.  I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.  I missed being a part of my children’s lives and I missed my wife’s/husband’s friendship and companionship. A few said that spending so much time away from home cost them their family and they would be going to their grave with that pain as well as the loss of what could’ve been.

2.  I wish I’d have had the courage to live a life TRUE TO MYSELF, instead of living the life that others expected of me.

3.  I wish I would have had the courage to express my feelings honestly instead of thinking they didn’t matter or they weren’t popular.

4.  I wish I would’ve stayed in touch with my friends.

5.  I wish that I would’ve allowed myself to be happier, smiling more and complaining less.

6.  I wish I would’ve gotten to know God better. I’m realizing now, just HOW MUCH He’s always been there.

7.  (Women) I wish I had just let the dust sit a little longer, and gone out to play with my children when they pleaded.  (Men) I wish I had just let the phone ring, and chosen to stay home with my family more, or gone to that ballgame or that play.

8.  I wish I would’ve known NOT to sweat the small stuff.  It wasn’t all that important in the end when you are looking at the ‘big picture’.  I wouldn’t have even had to be on so much medicine.

9.  I wish I would’ve had the attitude of celebrating life instead of enduring it.

10. I wish I would’ve taken a class or two to learn some of the things I gave up when I got married and had a family.

Many times as I conducted my little personal interviews, the tears ran down my own cheeks, and I found myself creating in my mind a kind of ‘bucket list’ even though I wasn’t yet dying.  It changed some of my thinking, and some of my priorities to see these sweet people lying in their beds or forever sitting in a recliner, knowing their days were numbered.  To hear from their hearts with all pretenses and facades removed, and with the pain of their ‘realizations’ showing in their eyes…it kinda made me put myself in their place and imagine what I would be saying my regrets were.  Talk about an ‘aha’ moment!

So I leave you with this.  Life is a choice.  It is YOUR life….it is YOUR choice.  Choose consciously…choose wisely…choose honestly.  Don’t forever forget the things you’ve placed on the back burner for a more opportune time.  Choose NOW…so when your days (that are every bit as numbered as those I interviewed) are up, you will be able to smile with fewer regrets and more peace.