In this edition, I talk about an ugly subject. Suicide. Yes it’s an ugly title. Suicide is ugly, leaving a wake of sorrow, confusion, and loss in its path like a tsunami, tornado or hurricane. I hurt when I read about people thinking it’s the only way out of the pit of depression and despair. It hurts me to read about people in that much pain, knowing how they feel, wishing I could have reached out and helped them. I hurt for the people they leave behind wondering “why”, wishing I could ease their pain and give them answers.
A demon whispers dark thoughts, perches on your shoulders like a perverted monkey. It’s cold claws stroking your hair cementing the dark deed until you give in to it. Don’t listen to it. Tell it to go away. Reach out and get help. Eventually you WILL WIN against this demon. Eventually, you will look back and be thankful you didn’t give into it!
Suicide is the 10 th leading cause of death in the US
Each year 44,193 Americans die by suicide
For every suicide, 25 attempt
The annual age-adjusted suicide rate is 13.26 per 100,000 individuals.
Men die by suicide 3.5x more often than women.
On average, there are 121 suicides per day.
White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2015.
Firearms account for almost 50% of all suicides.
“When you feel like giving up, just remember the reason why you held on for so long.” – Unknown
“Anyone desperate enough for suicide should be desperate enough to go to creative extremes to solve problems: elope at midnight, stow away on the boat to New Zealand and start over, do what they always wanted to do but were afraid to try.” – Richard Bach
“Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.” – Unknown
“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” – Phil Donahue
“If your heart is still beating, God is not done with you yet.” – Dillon Burroughs
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. –Albus Dumbledore
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
“No, you aren’t alone. Yes, we all feel this way sometimes. No, you won’t always feel like this. Yes, the world is a better place with you in it.” – Unknown
“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin D Roosevelt
“If you are hurting, know this. You are not forgotten,” President Barack Obama
“The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming. ” – from the move The Dark Knight
“Please let me take you
Out of the darkness and into the light
‘Cause I have faith in you
That you’re gonna make it through another night.
Stop thinking about the easy way out
There’s no need to go and blow the candle out
Because you’re not done.
You’re far too young
And the best is yet to come ” – Lullaby lyrics by Nickelback
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens. Don’t give up.” – Unknown
It was a very long time ago, and the pain I felt grew every day. Something deep inside told me to reach out. The beautiful woman who brought me into this world, helped me stay in it. I’m grateful to her, and to this day, I look for all the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful, enjoying life in its splendor. Never give up, no matter how much you think you can’t win. I know you can do it. Why? Because I did.
My one regret is when I was in High School. My friend called me one night to say goodbye. He told me he was going away. When I asked him when he was coming back, he told me didn’t know. His voice was ‘off’, like he was high on drugs or pot. I was too young to know. I was too naïve to understand. I asked him where he was going, and he told me, “far away”. I found out a few weeks later, by chance, that he hung himself by a tie in his closet. He killed himself.
The friends I was with said to get over it. I kept it in until I reached home when it ripped out of me. I was throwing a tantrum in my room, crying and wailing in sorrow. My little sister came in to ask me what was wrong. She consoled me, helping through the pain.
I felt a hole in my heart for many years, and I miss his gentle soul and our long conversations. I still miss Keith to this day. He was a good man and had many things he was wanting to do. That’s why I didn’t understand the sudden change in his heart. He never told me. If I knew then what I know now, maybe I could have prevented it. It’s too late for him, but others can be saved. I made a promise to myself to always help someone in need. I promised myself not to judge, but to help in any way I can.
Today’s Sunday’s Quotes is about dreams and dreamers. I’ve hand-picked the ones below because each of these speak to me on some level. As a Fantasy writer, I won’t deny that I am a believer in chasing dreams.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
I completely agree with his first sentence. I am always saying to people how important it is to be true to yourself. Never give in to others opinions of you. Don’t be weighed down by the Dogma of others, but be open to grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not clichés but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path.
The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.
This particular quote I added to the Dedication section in my first book, The Stone of Acumen. Each book I write has something for my readers.
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
This quote reminds me of a conversation I had with my father before he passed.
“Live life, don’t let it live you. Take Chances, walk the unbeaten path. Quiet your inner critic. Do something new once in a while. Love, Laugh, live, breathe, discover. Life is precious, don’t take it for granted.
M. J. Natali”
Make treating yourself a priority and always remember your life is happening now. Don’t put off all your dreams and pleasures to another day. In any balanced personal definition of success there has to be a powerful element of living life in the present.
Dreams are the guiding words of the soul. Why should I henceforth not love my dreams and not make their riddling images into objects of my daily consideration?
My role as a novelist is to explore ideas and imagination, and hopefully that will inspire people from my world to continue dreaming and to believe in dreams.
Do you have a quote about dreams? Leave your favorite or personal quote about dreams in the comments section, I’d love to see them.
It’s that time when years ago this day I received a late night call from my step-mother that my father passed. It’s with bitter sweet memories filled with tears and joy that I recall a parent, one of four wonderful parent’s I was given. My mother, Barbara Cooper who along with him gave me life. My step-parents Donald Cooper, and Barbara Natali who treated me as if I were their own.
In a sense, his passing was a blessing because it means he was no longer struggling with his health. On the other hand, it was a bad day because I would no longer be able to see his smile, listen to him laugh, and witness the love he had with my step-mother Barbara Natali. They were best friends as well as lovers, and growing up to witness that love and friendship was inspirational.
My father had the patience of a saint with us children. He always gave even when he had nothing left to give, he gave more. He was quiet, didn’t wear shorts, and funny. Boy was he a funny man. His humor can be seen in me and my siblings. His kindness and love lives in us all.
Funny that you don’t realize all you have until it’s gone. I can recall all the times growing up with him. My first sip of beer when I was a toddler, going to the baseball games he and my Uncle Bob coached. Dressing up for Halloween as Super Wop, and all the other times in between.
I love you dad, I miss you, but I know you’re watching over us. I know I have Angels with me today to help me get through it. I know they are with me every day and have seen and experienced their guidance and help. The most recent Angelic guidance was last week when my truck needed servicing. When I pulled into the mechanic, he pointed out a problem which if gone unfixed, would have resulted in a fatal accident. Want to learn more? Check out this great article that talks about Angels: http://www.angeltherapy.com/blog/3-types-angels-are-you
I will never say goodbye to you my Father
because I know this is not the end for us to see each other.
You will only be going to a… place where there’s no pain nor suffering.
I am happy for you, for you will be with God.
For now we need to go in separate ways.
I remember how your arms hold me and give me strength.
You were always there to listen, love, and defend me in everything.
You were my very best friend.
In my triumphs you were always proud.
I’m very grateful and proud to call you my dad.
Here deep inside my heart you’ll always be.
I would give up everything I have just to hug you one more time.
I remember the last time I held your hand and how you looked at me in the eyes.
If only I could turn back the time I would have never let you go.
I felt the world stop and my heart stop beating when they told me you were gone…….
How I wish I was only dreaming.
Just like the rain; tears fell down from my eyes, I couldn’t speak for awhile.
Thank you Dad….
For always understanding, listening, caring, and loving me your whole life.
The greatest gift God gave me was YOU…….. my Dad…
It’s difficult to let you go but I must…
I must return the gift God gave me…
See you in Heaven………
Valentines Day is approaching, so I thought I’d share with you the patron saint of lovers: Valentine and how it all began.
Let’s travel back to around 269 AD. Here we find a priest who died for what he believed in. Society in that time is not like it is today. Young Roman soldiers were not allowed to marry by the Emperor of the time, as he thought unmarried soldiers fought better, and attachment to wives was a hindrance in battle.
You see, Valentine was a Roman Priest who married these young Christian couples in secret. On February 14th, he was persecuted by stoning, beheading and a beating for this crime. The last words he wrote was “from your Valentine.”
Did you know there were two men named Valentine and both were executed by the Emperor Claudius?
Naturally, the people were upset, outraged and Valentine became a martyr, therefore becoming the patron saint of lovers.
It wasn’t until the 5th century that February fourteenth was marked Saint Valentines Day by the Pope to Christianize the holiday from its Pagan roots.
“What Valentine means to me as a priest,” explains Father O’Gara, “is that there comes a time where you have to lay your life upon the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that —even to the point of death.”
That is the tender beginnings of Valentines Day, but it took some time to be known for what it is today.
Chaucer wrote a poem in 1382 “Parlement of Foules” where he describes “every bird cometh to choose his mate.”
Chocolate became vogue in the early 1600’s in Europe. This was the Victorian Era.
American’s probably exchanged handmade cards in the 1700’s
In the late 1800’s, decorative cards came into fashion in the United Kingdom
In 1861, Richard Cadbury began putting cupids and roses on heart shaped boxes.
Milton Hershey created Hershey’s Kisses in 1907
Hallmark produced the first Valentines Day card in 1913.
Russell Stover didn’t start making heart shaped boxes until around 1923
Valentines Day, a celebration of romance and love, is now a far cry from the Pagan fertility festivals of the Middle Ages (Roman festival of Lupercala).
So while nobody can positively say on what exact date and year it became known for what Valentines Day is what we know it to be today, it can surely be said it was centuries in the making.
Valentines Day may appear to have lost is early meaning of love into the commercial enterprise it is today. But deep down, we hold its true meaning to heart.
If you find yourself alone this day, don’t fret. Celebrate the love of self. Plan a night only for you. I’ve written this and say this many times: Love yourself for who you are, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. You are perfect just the way you are. Celebrate your uniqueness, let your inner light shine. There is only one person just like you, so look at Valentines Day to celebrate your beautiful soul.
We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light. ~Mary Dunbar