Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Saying Good-Bye to Loved Ones

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Tuesday, April 25 2017, in my corner of blog land. It has been a rather sobering month for my immediate family, as my 92-year-old father has been in and out of the hospital in another US state. He had cardiac issues which turned out to be gastrointestinal in nature. Presently, he is home, but talking with him on the phone, one can tell the stress is taking its toll even though he is strong and has a strong faith in G-d. Now his focus is learning how to "hang in there." What does that mean to any of us?

I am going to take a segue from our Jewish Heritage discussion, and return to the Mayo Clinic HouseCall newsletter of this week. There is an excellent article about caring for a loved one who is approaching the end of life. I cannot highlight all the tips given here. I'll give the starters though.

Our role, not easy, is to provide comfort and relief. Hopefully, some discussion has occurred to plan for that.
- Is care going to be at home by family, friends, or an agency or hospice?
- If inpatient care is chosen, will a holistic approach be considered? This provides symptom and pain relief, some spiritual/psychological care, focus on symptom control if supports are not to be used. This would be like respirators, ventilators, dialysis, etc.

Saying Good-bye
"You can help your loved one communicate their final wishes to family and friends. Encourage him or her to share their feelings, thanks or forgiveness, and give others a chance to say good-bye. This may stimulate discussion about important, unsaid thoughts, which can be meaningful for everyone."

The article suggests having the loved one leave a legacy albeit some letters, recording, or communication that conveys who they are and what is important to them that others recall. My mom before her passing, urged us to think of her when looking at the stars in the night sky. Her name was Stella, which means star.

Again, these are some things we can do to make the end of life for our loved ones a bit more graceful for them and perhaps for us too. It is by no means an exhaustive list.

I sent my dad an email this week. On the phone, I told him the email contains the current book I am working on, Waiting for Messiah, and it is the draft form. I don't know how much time he has left, but wanted him to have something of me in his life. If he reads any of it or not, that is strictly up to him. Right now, when we talk, my goal is to have each conversation be respectful and treat him with dignity. Honor your father and mother that it may be well with you. Very, very true!

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Today is April 18, 2017 in my corner of blog land.

In previous posts, I mentioned working with other writers on an anthology on the topic of forgiveness. Well, I am pleased to tell you that work in progress is now reality! Last Friday, The Power of Forgiveness: A Collection of Short Stories was published on Amazon and CreateSpace. Some of the stories are based on true life events, while others are speculative fiction from the group Writers 750 on goodreads.com.
The link is rather lengthy and pasted below for your possible interest and perhaps purchase.
The Power of Forgiveness: A Collection of Short Stories
Hot off the press!  #AmWriting flash #Fiction - some stories based on true life events.

From the authors of Writes 750 at Goodreads comes an anthology that is now published at Amazon in time for Easter: The Power of Forgiveness

Edited & published by Stephanie Baskerville; edited and cover art by Glenda Reynolds; edited and conception by David Russell. We would appreciate some book reviews for this and if you could share with your friends, family, and church groups.



- I have two stories in the anthology. One is titled Released; the account of a personal friend's struggle with acquaintance, and, Forgiveness Takes Time, a speculative fiction piece on the Bible story of Joseph and his family from the Tanakh or Older Testament.

In my own life, forgiveness is a process ongoing with a person near to me. I don't know how it's going to conclude so names are left out. I can say it hurts not having contact with this person, but that's the way they want it!

- I keep working on my current anthology, Waiting For Messiah, playing piano gigs at a local restaurant and feeling somewhat young again in doing that. I'm glad younger folks are still singing I'll Be Watching You and Stand By Me for example.

Until we chat again, thanks for stopping by. If you care to drop me a note visit david.sonofhashem@gmail.com

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with us daily.

David Russell
Mellow Rock

Friday, April 14, 2017

New Anthology, Count the Days, David and Others

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Friday, April 14 in my corner of blog land. We find ourselves in the forty-nine-day period between the Festival of Passover and Pentecost known in Hebrew as Shavuot, and we will then celebrate G-d giving his Word, Torah (instruction) to Moses, the children of Israel and Hebrews of all time to aid our daily living empowered by the Spirit of G-d. We may count each day in preparation for receiving His word as direction to us. May our beings, souls, minds and hearts be clean and ready to hear what G-d wants to say to us. At evening some observe a custom called counting the omer. The following may be recited each evening.
"Blessed are you Adonai our G-d, Sovereign of the universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments, and commanded us to count the omer."

After reciting the blessing, one states the "appropriate" day of the count: This year counting began on Wednesday evening, so as of this post, tonight will be day three. After the first six days, one includes the number of weeks one counted. Example, Today is one week one day of the omer. You can read more about this by doing a Google search on "counting the omer" and suggest either My Jewish Learning, or hebrew4christians.com.

***** Announcement:::::

I am very, very pleased to let you know the "Forgiveness Anthology" has been sent to CreateSpace.com for publication and is reportedly available for purchase now. The title is "The Power Of Forgiveness" authors: Glenda Reynolds, David Russell and Stephanie Baskerville. There are twenty-one stories in this volume that focus on forgiving or being forgiven. They are well-written, genuine, and suggest the process is not necessarily an easy one for many of us. A Kindle edition and paperback edition are available at market prices. It would make a good reflective read! I am pleased to have two stories included. One is an adaptation based on the Bible story of Joseph and his brothers, and another, is the story of a personal acquaintance and the struggle to forgive her parent for childhood abuse.

Until next visit, may the presence of Adonai be ever near us as we lie down, wake, go about our day, ponder, piddle, play, or plow ahead at what tasks face us. I am glad for our visits!

David Russell
Mellow Rock