BarbetteSpitler.com

Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

ED’s RETURN TO PEARL HARBOR pt 2

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Shortly after we arrived at Pearl Harbor, I noticed a table outside the gift shop. The table was filled with books about Pearl Harbor and a special book of the 75th Anniversary Edition. At the table was a gentleman who turned out to be Allan Seiden, the author of the book.  I just had to wheel Ed over to meet the author. I knew they would have a lot to talk about! I introduced Allan to Ed. They had a lovely chat. Both seemed to be happy to meet the other!

Ed’s Guardian,Terri, gifted Ed with a Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Edition signed by the author who was so pleased to share a few moments with Ed. (Ed has since spent many hours reading the book and studying the pictures!) I also purchased a copy and asked both Allan and Ed to write something in the book for me. This book is now a sweet treasure of a beautiful memory!

Ed received so much attention it was overwhelming yet wonderful at the same time. We moved slowly through the grounds allowing visitors to have their moments with Ed. When it was time for the movie (a fantastic historical documentary), we moved toward the auditorium to wait in line. Survivors do not wait in line! They are escorted to the front of the line. The crowd parted. We could hear the whispers as we passed by those in the line.  Ed was mesmerized by the documentary. I think if they played it again, he would have stayed to watch again and see what he missed the first time. I know I would have!

As the lights came up slowly, there was an announcement. “We have a Pearl Harbor Survivor in the theatre. Please remain seated until he has left the building and is on his way to the tour boat”.  As I wheeled this gracious man toward the exit, the entire audience stood and applauded him! I couldn’t hold back the tears. He choked up a little and waved his hand to acknowledge the attention. As we motored toward the USS Arizona, here was very little conversation from anyone on the boat. And then, it was only in whispers.  Ed was scanning the shoreline in all directions. He later shared with us that he was looking for anything he could remember. He said the entire shoreline was nothing at all like he remembered. “Every inch of it is different.”  A lot can change in 75 years!

When we arrived at the USS Arizona, the mood was somber. Only the occasional whisper was heard. Ed was again escorted through first. In his Pearl Harbor Survivor hat, he commands attention everywhere he goes. Those visitors waiting for the boat to go back to the museum, quickly noticed Ed was special and the cameras were raised. Dozens of photographs were snapped before we had entered the area. I walked as slow as I could. I wanted to allow Ed the time to process what he was seeing. I knew he wasn’t coming back. It also gave visitors to the museum a Survivor to see, think about, pray for, and honor as they experienced this sacred, hallowed, historical site!

14433089_10209371841708700_1681198500092033913_nEd was quiet, but taking in everything. He doesn’t miss much. As we slowly entered the area right above the USS Arizona, bombed and sunken on that dreadful day, Ed caught sight of the small oil slick creeping across the waters… We knew this could be difficult for him. I held his wheelchair right there for just another moment. The oil seeps up from the tanks of the ship. It’s a constant reminder of the lives lost inside that ship and around the harbor. But it was inside the USS Arizona Memorial… facing the wall with the names of all those who perished in the ship that day… that literally took his breath away! The tears flowed. Though he tried several times, he was unable to speak. Visitors were so touched by his reaction they were watching him and wiping their own tears as well. He sobbed as he finally was able to say, “There’s just so many!” (looking at all the names)… long pause… “They never even knew what hit ‘em”…. long thoughtful pause…then he whispered… “We were just kids.” We stayed by his side and said nothing. We held the space for his healing. He asked our guide, Dan, a question about an area of names with more recent dates. Dan explained that those are veterans who were assigned to the USS Arizona who survived the day and requested to have their remains returned to the final resting place of their shipmates. This awareness brought more tears. With his final look at the wall, Ed took a deep breath and said… ”There was no place to go – no place!… Nowhere to run!” He shook his head a few times then he fell silent. He was silent for several minutes. I have no doubt he was praying as he again looked at those names. Then I noticed he was shifting his weight and I asked him what he needed. I could see he was going to stand up. He stood and he saluted! Everyone in sight, men and women alike, broke composure and the tears flowed.

When he was ready, Ed looked at me and I knew it was time to move on. As we headed back toward the boat, we stopped along the railing to see the actual ship through the water below us. Ed struggled to stand up again. He wanted to see everything possible. The visitors were incredibly generous and gracious to Ed. He wanted for nothing! Our Guide never left our side and gave Ed his undivided attention. He let Ed take his time at every view, at every sign, and every display. Ed read everything he saw and he asked dozens of questions of our guide. As the museum began closing, we began moving towards the exit. We weren’t ready. We were hungry and tired…but we weren’t ready to walk away. When we did, it was with the exhilaration of knowing each of us were deeply affected by this life changing day.

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Your Personal Crucifixion / Resurrection

easter from Lori
As I reflected on Easter and its meaning I realized something I found very interesting and I just need to share it with you.
The Easter season is an observance of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  On Easter Sunday, Christians around the world celebrate with sunrise church services, uplifting songs, and family gatherings.  It is a joyous and happy celebration with varying traditions of festivity.
I remember Easter Sunday being a time of new things.  New Easter dresses and hats for the girls and new suits for the boys. I remember new white shoes, too!  Easter baskets were filled with new gifts and the hard boiled eggs we colored and decorated the day before.  A true celebration!  And there was always an amazing Easter dinner with family and loved ones.   I also remember being profoundly effected by the days leading up to Easter Sunday. The crucifixion! You know the story.  It’s incredible, no matter how you hear it.
On Good Friday I always take extra time to reflect on the journey of Jesus.  His birth, his life, his teachings, his death…  And as I thought about it, I began to realize that, at some level, we all go through a “crucifixion and resurrection” of some kind.  No, I’m not talking about being nailed to a cross.  Nor am I attempting to diminish the journey of Jesus nor overstate ours.  I am simply making the parallel to common times.
Today, Jesus would not be nailed to a cross, yet his crucifixion would still be profoundly significant.  His life journey, though very different today, would still be a lesson for all humanity.  His teachings would still  positively affect many and still negatively affect others.  The manner of his crucifixion and resurrection would be very different in the world today.
Similarly, every single one of us has had a time where we had to undergo a crucifixion of our own.  Let me explain…  We have, at some point, been treated unjustly or even persecuted by another.  We have all had an extremely painful test of our faith. Whether it was the loss of a job, a terrible accident, the loss of a loved one or a relationship, financial ruin, homelessness, hopelessness, drug addiction or a difficult medical diagnosis… each of these becomes an extremely painful crucifixion/test of faith where all you hold important or valued is drastically changed or stripped away. It is a “death” of a part of you or a part of a belief system you held dear to you.  Think back…  I’m sure you can find at least one page of your life journey that fits in this narrative.  It is those times when it seems so dark and lonely you cannot see the light. Child abuse, sexual assault, violent crime, public slander, difficult divorce, wrongful accusations, … the list goes on and on,  Each of these experiences results in some level of suffering, torture or torment.    Although no two people have the same journey.  We do have similar experiences and we often have similar feelings/emotions about those life experiences.
The death of what we knew to be truth… being crucified with judgment or torment…  being left in the utter darkness of loneliness, devoid of human support or affection … this is the kind of current crucifixion we may experience in our journey of life. Yet, after the crucifixion comes resurrection!  We walk (or crawl) through the experience seeking the light of Spirit.  We learn quickly there is no value in taking that walk alone.  No human contact is required – just our conscious choice to connect to the heavens and allow our Spirit to ascend out of the pain and negative emotion.    We are truly never alone!  We may lose our connection with Spirit but Spirit never loses the connection to us!  It is often at our depth of despair that we finally realize we disconnected ourselves and it is we who need to reconnect.  The resurrection IS our re-connection to Spirit. It is our renewed sense of awakening to this awareness and connecting that brings us out of the depths of darkness and restores us to the light of love.
Take a moment to reflect about your own journey through those tests of faith.  Ponder how you walked through the darkness and found the light again.  What do you do now to keep a daily connection to Spirit.  What have you changed? And how would you handle another crucifixion event in the future.  Please share your thoughts / experiences below.
Blessings of love to you!
Barbette
(photo credit:  Lori Trunck  saw this image on her way to work today!)
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Change My Friends!?!?

84633959afc236bcad8429b8235015adChange My Friends??  But ONE friendship can change your whole world!

This weekend I heard a quote that caused me to pause a moment.  I wrote it down.  It was thought provoking.  I’ve been pondering it all weekend.  “If you can’t change your friends, it’s time to change your friends.”

I am an RN of 25 years who shifted to health & wellness advocate.  My career is health promotion and disease prevention.  I encourage people to take action to clean up their diets and learn to fuel their bodies with quality nutrition.  I educate people about nature and nurture.  I introduce people to holistic and complimentary supplements and modalities which will enhance their health and wellness.  My wish for everyone is the best physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health possible.  Yet, I recognize I am considered an odd ball in my circle of friends and family.  I am often teased and many poke fun at me for my beliefs, my suggestions and my lifestyle.  I am sometimes disappointed when I cannot affect change with/for them.  I am aware some of my friends and family ignore me,  thinking I am just sharing my opinions.  However… I am schooled in nutrition.  I have researched nutritional supplements and holistic methods.  Thirty years ago my opinion was that food only needed to taste good!  Fast forward through degree programs and research and I KNOW for certain, food is fuel!  It is the major ingredient in our physical performance, our mental capabilities and our emotional balance.  No Oreo or Dorito can provide that fuel and we are silly if we think it can or will!

I know people in my circle who don’t want to believe that food is the major player in allowing dis-ease or  promoting good health.  But change friends just because they don’t think the same as I?  Change friends because they smoke or drink or carry around an extra 50 pounds?  Change friends because I can’t influence them enough to want to enhance or improve their health?

Twice I was over 200#.  Once was while pregnant with twins.  I have carried extra weight and yo-yo dieted most of my life.  I understand the addiction to sugar because I lived it.  I attended Carbohydrates Anonymous (which I think is now known as Food Addicts Anonymous).  I was addicted to Diet Pepsi.  I totally understand the issues!  AND…I am a nurse with over 25 years experience in ER, ICU, Home Care and Hospice.  I have seen the affects of drug interactions, recreational drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and poor food choices.  We humans want to think food is about “tastes good” rather than “fuels well”.  We want to ignore the connection to what we put in our physical gas tank affects our physical, mental and emotional performance.  Egads… how do we not SEE the connection??  For a long time, I didn’t!  Yet, change my friends because they see things differently?  Wouldn’t that be like changing my friends because they have different religious or political beliefs?  I’m still pondering this….

I asked Damn-Near-Perfect (my husband of nearly 32 years) for his thoughts.  His words of wisdom….”When you surround yourself with people who don’t believe you, don’t “get” you, and don’t want to hear what you have to offer, it hurts your heart and makes you doubt your place on the planet.  When you surround yourself with people who think like you do, you will never again doubt yourself and what you do.  ”   WOW.  WOW.  WOW.

Deep Breath.  A few tears.  And now…..

Changes Ahead!!

Changes next exit

 

 

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