Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Responding to your inner 'circle'

How can one have a circle that is deemed theirs to be concerned? Sure there are those who are selfish and narcissistic enough to live withing their own little circle that is “ME”, but mostly people are good, caring and benevolent souls. We all have encountered situations where we feel, and then act, responsible. There is just something in us, even men, that makes us respond because our hearts will allow us not to respond.
Years ago, I would admonish myself for always doing for others. Why, to make them like me or, in some cases, to quell the situation? Then, one day, I decided I did not need to justify what or how I did for others. It is in me and it makes me happy. So, on that day, I chose to make myself happy. I am a caretaker, like many of you are, and I am happy ironing the seam in my (now ex-) husband’s shirts and pants and I can iron his work clothes too.
Outside of my ‘circle’, I worked in the health care field. In the mornings, for first medication rounds, instead of walking into the patient’s hospital room and flipping on the lights, I would turn on the bathroom light so there was just enough to see. And I would then bring them a warm washcloth for their hands and face, and go get a coffee/tea for them. Little considerations that make one’s day start a little nicer.
In the nursing homes/extended care facilities, as many of you may know, the patient’s often get taken out of bed, put in a wheel chair and lined up around the halls, many are still in their thin hospital gowns. My mother attitude kicked in and I would go to the Salvation Army and buy sweaters and sweat shirts/pants and socks and haul them back to bed. Can you imagine being on several medications that make you drowsy and being stuck in a wheelchair in a flimsy nightgown, under flourscent lights.
I was happy doing what my instincts told me and I didn’t feel guilty about ‘doing too much for my husband’ or ‘kissing up to the hospital administration’…okay, that didn’t happen, actually I got in trouble for a nondescript reason. But, the moral to the story is to do what your heart tells you, what makes your soul happy. Be good to yourself and it will enhance your inner ‘circle’ relationships

Monday, December 2, 2013

Heart For Rent

By: Karla Brandenberg

Michelle is a ghostwriter who has spent most of her life supporting her selfish sister, Hope, since the day Col. “Uncle Ted” Stratton came to them, alone…no priest even, to tell them their father died in a military operation. Then, after the unrequited, thankless act of love for her barren sister, she finds herself recovering from complications, when she donated her eggs, in France. Her literary agent, Nancy, has arranged for an author to let her home and act as his blog/social media ghostwriter. Although her return is sooner than planned, she allows her tenant to remain so he may be close to his dying mother, in a nursing facility close by. He is quite appealing and, although he does not seem to appreciate her literary talent, she cannot turn him away. Michelle and Rose Schumaker have a cosmic relationship as she appears to Michelle, encouraging her to accept love.

Keith Schumaker, the on-the-tight-leash-deadline author is not happy with relinquishing his identity to a ghostwriter but it is necessary what with deadlines and going to be with his dying mother in the Extended Care Facility close by each day. He worries about his mother’s stories of visiting France. His landlady is enticing and they are drawn to one another, so why does she keep pushing him away?

Rose Schumaker, a young fifty-nine year old cancer victim does not seem confused by her cosmic travels to France, and her transatlantic airplane ride with Michelle. She thinks she will be perfect for her son. But she will make sure by getting to know her a little better. She makes periodic visits to Michelle.

So why should these two sisters be in danger? The dynamics of these stories comes to a crescendo as the charming characters fight through lies, meddling outsiders and relatives, misinterpretation and misrepresentation to save and love one another. This is a well written, exciting story. I read it twice consecutively, and it will be a book I read every year. You can always expect a great story from Karla.