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Prayer Is Not A Bad Word

 Is it popular now to end a conversation with “Prayers and love”?

I’ve noticed it happening a lot. Facebook has tons of people sending prayers for other people, or asking for prayers for themselves.

General conversation might well include the phrase, “praying for you (or the family, or a particular person.)”

I think it’s a wonderful thing. Others think it’s a superficial, trendy, empty phrase, like “See ya,” or “Have a good day.”

Thinking back to my Catholic upbringing, I believe prayer was part of my DNA in both its casual and formal way. I don’t remember whether my mother and father taught me and my eight brothers and sisters to think of God as accessible, but we did. I do remember that the nuns who taught us in school made sure we had the formal Catechetical knowledge about God’s place in our universe. Prayer seemed more private then. We prayed, but didn’t announce it.

So, where am I going with this?

Well, it seems a lot of us have learned some things about prayer.

First, it isn’t a dirty word. We feel pretty good about letting others know we care about them and saying so out loud or in writing.

Then, we feel secure enough in our beliefs to acknowledge there is A Supreme God who listens to us. (Or maybe we feel so insecure in a disintegrating world that we desperately need to believe in a God who listens and works miracles.)

You know what? It doesn’t matter. It only matters that we have faith; that we know there are things we can’t control and that there is a far greater Someone who can help if we ask.

Do I believe God answers every prayer?

Yes. I do.  But I believe He answers in ways we don’t always understand, which is why we have to trust. It isn’t always easy.

I know absolutely that asking God to take care of others makes us better people. I know that asking God for counsel can open us to new ways of thinking.

I know that right now, when I say, whoever you are, whatever your need, I pray for you, it is meant to be a blessing.

Prayer. A good thing.

 

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It’s Never Too Late — And We’re NEVER Too Old!

I’ve  been a writer for most of my eighty-some years. If I had a portfolio, it would include samples of radio and television commercials, TV scripts, grants, public television stories, published fiction and feature articles.

Being a “hired” writer never bothered me. I got paid for playing with words and having them seen and heard by a lot of people. When I left public television to join my already retired husband, the words kept coming and I wrote a book. When the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease locked its sights on him, and our children and I could only watch as it took him away bit by bit, keeping a journal helped relieve the frustration, the anxiety, and the stress of trying to be all that he needed.

When he died, words locked themselves in my head and I couldn’t find a key to unlock them. It was as if all the words I wanted to write left when he left.

I might have accepted it, rationalizing that getting older must mean that the creative part of my brain was done, but the need to play with words remained.

It helped to make lists – to do lists, Christmas giving lists, menus, grocery lists. Working the daily puzzles in the newspaper helped, too, and, while playing word games with my daughter didn’t quite erase the block, it was so satisfying, especially when I won.

It was when my last sibling died that I knew my days as a writer weren’t over. I had started a family history years before, making notes, asking my eight brothers and sisters about their memories of growing up in a first generation Italian family, visiting Ponza, birthplace of our parents, even exploring Ancestry.com.

The first draft of “Following The Past” is complete. Revision is taking time. At eighty-three, I feel much as I used to, polishing words right up to air time, back in the days of Everything Live TV. It’s the rush every writer gets, that of finding the right words. That never goes away, no matter how many years we’ve lived.

 I used to think getting older meant giving up things, but I don’t think that now. I know a ninety year old yoga teacher who is more limber than I was in my teens. I know a seventy-five year old who still does landscaping and has his own business and I have a friend who travels the world at eighty-one and only last year stopped working  full time.

So, yes, if we’ve a mind to keep doing what we love, we ought to try, no matter how old we are.

I’ll let you know when my book is ready to read.