Annie Kirkwood, Author
Rte 1 Box 100
Bunch, OK 74931-9705
December/January 2002/2003 — Issue #67
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This is Annie's section
It has been six weeks since Byron went home. Mother Mary has always called it "the real world." So I guess that is where he is, in the real world. He can see clearly, while I stumble in the dimness of earth light. I never feel alone because I feel his presence with me. I'm doing okay. I've been living one day at a time. People ask, what are you going to do? To tell the truth, I don't know what I'm going to do today. I simply get up, take care of Byron's business and that takes all my time and energy. Through this whole experience I've felt such a close connection to so many that I would like to tell you how much I appreciate you.
I begin with Byron, who gave me twenty-one of the best years of my life, seventeen as man and wife. My sweet man, I appreciate your love which still keeps me warm, and the humor and good times we had together. You supported me from the very beginning. I will always love you, death doesn't stop that. Truly your love is the one real thing on earth. I hope that our sons, especially the two born to you, feel your love because it is here.
David, thank you for coming when I needed you most. You said, "I'll be there as fast as I can, Mom." I appreciate your support and attention during Byron's last four days of life. I appreciate Felicia's understanding and for calling me "Mom." You two don't know what it has meant to know that if I need you, you will come. You have been my life-saver during this difficult time.
Brian, you came to me through marriage, but are as much my son as the three who were born to me. I could not ask for a more loving son. I really appreciate your help with the computers; not once have you been anything but loving. You have taken on some of your father's responsibilities for which I'm very grateful. You are a caring person like your dad. Stephanie, thank you for being gracious when Brian spent time with me, even though you needed him too. You are a darling daughter whom I appreciate. Byron was so proud of Robert.
Ed, Donna, and Lindsea, our wonderful children who are loving, caring and most of all supportive. I don't know how to tell you what you mean to me. I love each of you dearly. When I look at you, Ed, I see Byron. You are a gentle man like him. I love you. Donna, thank you for being a spark of joy in our lives. No one loved or was more proud of Lindsea than Byron.
James, you came when I needed you the most. You were here to do what needed to be done and I felt your love even if it was not expressed. I love you for being you, and really appreciate you being with me during my darkest hours. I thank you, Amy, for holding down the home fires so James could be with me. I appreciate you both.
Mark, I love you, son, and thank you for being in life. I am never alone as long as you live. We are a team.
Elaine and Vic, despite your own grief you offered to help anyway you could. Elaine, how do I express my appreciation for all you are doing and all you plan to do in the near future? Thank you, sister-in-law.
Wayne and Trish, thank you for being you. It helped to share our grief. I know you loved him as much as I do. He was always proud of you.
Dorothy, you have been such a tower of strength. You lost not only a husband this year, but a son. Yet you are concerned for me, when you have been just as grief-stricken. You're teaching me how one continues to live after such a loss. You are the best mother-in-law a person could have. I love you, dear heart.
My good friends, Peggy, Roger, Anita, Connie, Maria, Jean and Norman. How you expressed your love is simply amazing. Peggy, you helped me through the first tough hours. You were the voice of reason when I had lost all reason. Thank you.
Roger, Anita, Connie, and Sidney, your friendship knows no bounds; you drove hundreds of miles to be with me without delay. Your love and support during this time went over the top. Thank you. Maria, Jean, Norm, thank you for just sitting with me, for doing the dishes and for all the love and support. Paul, you are not only my publisher, but my friend. Your quiet presence helped me to remember that Byron made a difference, that his work was appreciated. You and Nancy have been in our corner for many years. Thank you, friend.
My neighbors, thank you for the food, the condolences, and the offer to pitch in and help do Byron's chores.
Last but certainly not least, to you, my newsletter friends, I have received so many emails, cards, flowers that the show of support has been overwhelming. I didn't think I could continue, in truth I didn't want to continue. I wanted to go with Byron, but God has left me here and so I continue with our work. I've heard your words, felt your love as you shared in my shock, loss, and pain. Through the many ways you have sent your love, believe me, it has been received. Thank you for your prayers, they are helping me do the impossible.
I don't know what I'm learning except for the very first time to depend completely on God. One of the first mornings after Byron's death, I heard, "You relied on Byron for everything, NOW-you will rely on me." Now was stressed. So every morning I get up and pray that God help me make it through the day. Help me make the right decisions and make the business work. I found out there is a difference between reading and talking about relying on God and doing it. How you do it is-you simply do it. There are no alternatives; the person I trusted and relied on the most has been taken from me. This is my lesson-to simply depend and trust God for everything. God is blessing me in so many ways, first with good friends and a loving family. Then with good employees who are helping me with the business. I guess it works if you get the first step right.
In the 12-step program, the first step is to admit that you can't do it alone. I have. I can't live without help from my Higher Power, and God is my Higher Power. He is the one who helped me live, even when I didn't want to, but now I want to live and to live well. God is worthy of our trust. I thank God for Himself, His help, and His love.
This is Mother Mary's section
My dear children,
It is with great joy that I remind you of the eternalness of life and that in reality there is no death. There is only life. Life has many phases and many different patterns which take you through many different areas of God's Creation. You live in God's Creation at all times. No matter where you are, or how you feel, or what you look like, you are always in God's Creation.
At all times you are free to choose how you live. To improve your life all you need is to ask God to help improve your life. You get to define choice, to define improve, and to define your belief. It will always be done according to your belief. Through the choices you make, you get to determine how you live. Many of you have experienced the passing away, as you term it, of loved ones. You can no longer see them in the flesh, you cannot touch them or interact with them as you once did. You think they have died when all that has happened is they have gone on to other mansions in God's Creation. Life, my dear children, is continuous, it is wonderfully active and gloriously full.
Do not despair, or feel alone; your loved ones remember you and send you love; the love you have one for the other is alive as long as there is life. And . . . life is eternal. The love you share is also eternal. Love flows through all of God's creations and carries the good thoughts, the memories, the sweetness of your shared union. Whether that union is of parent and child, or husband and wife, or good friends, or however you were connected in life, the love you share lives on for all time. It is enforced with God's love for each of you. Remember those loved ones whom you cannot see in flesh any longer with joy. Remind yourself that you are connected through your love.
Life, my children, is to be lived to the fullest. Life is activity, growth, being, exciting. Life is what you are always a part of, you are life and life is you. You cannot get away from life. You can hide, you can ignore it, you can even neglect your life, but through all these conditions, you continue to live. Many of my children are still hiding in their addictions. I pray that each person who is still in an addiction, be healed. Mankind can overcome the deterioration of addiction, one by one. Many others give their life away to other people, or organizations, religions, careers, either because of belief, or fear, or violence. These conditions seem to shun life, yet people live whole lifetimes in these situations. I ask each of you to pray that every person on earth today be healed of fear, anger, addiction, violent tendencies, and abusive situations. Through the healing of each person, the world may be healed of violence, wars, addiction, and abuse.
When you understand the beauty of life, you will want to share life with others, you want others to be happy, to have goodness all the days of their earthly life. Life is joyful in its purest form. Watch small children, who are so intrigued by nature and their own bodies. Small children live to the fullest. They embrace each day and have no preconceived ideas of what will happen unless given preconceived ideas by the adults in their life. Watch the young animals, how they play and enjoy themselves. They too embrace the beauty of life, the joy of life.
During this time when you celebrate Jesus' birth, remember that one of the reasons he came to earth was to demonstrate the eternalness of life. Through his life, he demonstrated how to rely on God for everything. His death was a lesson on life, eternal life. So celebrate life by becoming as trusting of God as a loved child is trusting his own father. How you live life is up to you. I would have each of you, my children, to live it well and fully.
Many merely survive and surviving is good. At this point you prevail, endure, but there is more than mere survival. There is thriving, growing, flourishing. In order to take an interest in your life and the lives of others, become active in your own life, do not sit and await life to happen to you. Get up in the morning and become active in prayer, in your meditations, and in your daily work. Let life become exciting, vital, and filled with spirit. Make the effort to embrace life and become more active in it.
My children, I would have each of you to be of good cheer, to have good-will to all people and to set aside prejudices and biases. See the good in each person, and understand that even those who seem most lost are worthy of your prayers. Even the most hardened, most disagreeable, the most wicked are worthy of your prayers. Your prayers are helping to turn the tide of events in your world. Pray that life become more vibrant in all lands, the life of each person on earth be honored and celebrated with respect. Pray that all governments appreciate the life of each individual in their realms. Pray for every human on earth to receive humane treatment, no matter the circumstances in which they find themselves.
Each day pray for the Spirit of Life to flow through you, to heal, adjust, and fill you with light. I would have each of you become ablaze with life and the understanding of how precious, how wonderful it is to live eternally. Add something to the life you live through your prayers and meditation, but also through your interest, enthusiasm, and expectancy of only good.
When you worry, you pray; are you in this way praying for what you desire? Let go of worry; instead concentrate on how to improve your life, how to bring more joy into your life, and on how to bring more spirit into your life. Through everything it is up to you-how you live, how you approach life, and how you use your life force in helping yourself and others. Remember to always help others in such a way that it is truly a gift. Give a man a fish and he will return, teach him to fish and he will care for himself. Also when you teach him to fish, you give him confidence, self-respect, and a sense of worth. Help others to become respecting of themselves and let them know you find them worthy. Then you will be honoring life as God does. Interaction is the exchanging of the life which is an honoring of life. Support your loved ones in their endeavors to improve, no matter how they improve. Give of yourself and you give of your life force and of your love.
I love you, my children. Live and live well.
Mary, Mother of Jesus
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Original date: Dec 31, 2002
Last updated: Jan 1, 2003