INSPIRATIONAL: Refugees survive due to a few gold coins

Gold and Money in Extremis… One Man’s Story
By Daily Reckoning Contributor

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I was ordered to get my coat and accompany them. I was taken to a station and asked many questions. It was a stroke of luck for me that the Russian soldier to whom I had spoken in the past was here among them. After conferring with the others, he said: “Because you were born in Siberia, speak Russian, and you’re an uneducated worker — much like us — we will not detain you further. You may go for now.” He then gently grabbed my elbow and said very quietly, “Go back to your family, Marion. Get prepared for deportation to Siberia.” I ran home.

At dawn, I retrieved the gold and jewelry. I found my largest boots and heaviest jacket. I lined the bottom of my boots carefully with small coins and put leather over the insoles. I slit the heels, carefully hollowed out what I could and stuffed larger gold coins inside the cavities. Finally, I opened up various parts of my jacket and distributed more gold chain and coins in it — with great care so they did not rattle and were hard to detect.

Several days later, we were awakened by a knock at 4 a.m. and told we were being deported to Siberia. We were given 15 minutes to gather any personal belongings needed for immediate use. Our land, homes, and possessions were now property of the Russian state. My wife, my three-year-old daughter, and I were put into a truck with a group of others and taken to a railroad station.

We would never see our parents, our siblings, nor set foot on Polish soil, again. I was greatly relieved that they did not check my jacket or my shoes. My small cache of gold was going with me.

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Like the Christmas story, where Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem to “register” and eventually flee, here’s a powerful lesson. It can happen to you!

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INSPIRATIONAL: Hopefully it induces you to action

How Doctors Die
It’s Not Like the Rest of Us, But It Should Be
by Ken Murray

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Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds—from 5 percent to 15 percent—albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice, and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with family and feeling as good as possible. Several months later, he died at home. He got no chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical treatment. Medicare didn’t spend much on him.

It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently.

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I hope, that when we finally find out “the right answers” at the Final Judgement, my decisions about my wife’s end of life care will be the “correct” ones. The handwriting was on the wall when her kidney’s shut down. I asked her if she understood that meant? Her last words were “when will this all be over?” My tearful reply was “Soon, hon, real soon.” It was.

No pain. Peace.

Not for those left behind.

But the race had been run. And Death won.

As it always does.

My paperworks been updated because when my time comes as it does to all of us, I’m hoping for the “Good Death”.

Luckily, in my case, there’ll be no spouse left behind.

“And I’ve lost her … . I’m so sad that I don’t have … . But I’m so grateful that she was with me … . And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?” — Chuck Noland ala Tom Hanks in Cast Away (2000)

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INSPIRATIONAL: Vets Day “Understanding the true price”


Here’s my reaction.

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Thanks, but there are others far more worthy than I to receive such a message. All I did was “defend” Maryland. Unfortunately, the US’s political leadership hasn’t measured up to the worth of the girls and boys who served. Argh! That’s why I’m for Ron “bring the troops home” Paul. Ten years in AfPak, two sessions in the sandbox, and open ended wars in six countries in Africa only highlights the absurdity of bases in Korea, Japan, and Germany. Time for a return to a good old American tradition of MYOB. Yeah, I know, grumpy fat old white guy injineer. But, “old soldiers” see things a lot more clearly in their dotage. That’s why we shouldn’t be allowing non-vets “chicken hawks” to send those young girls and boys out to fight. Not that vets are any smarter, braver, or stronger. Just that they understand what the price is. That’s what Vet’s Day is all about. Understanding the true price.

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INSPIRATIONAL: Coach Summitt, one tough lady

Summitt’s diagnosis raises Alzheimer’s awareness

By BETH RUCKER, AP Sports Writer

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Tennessee coach Pat Summitt hopes her public battle with dementia raises awareness about the disease and inspires people to do more.

Kentucky associate head coach Kyra Elzy is one of many whom Summitt has already touched.

After making a New Year’s resolution to do more volunteer work in 2011, when the 59-year-old Summitt made her announcement in August, Elzy saw a perfect opportunity to honor her former coach and her grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s.

Elzy volunteers at Best Friends Day Care in Lexington, Ky., an adult day care for people who require supervision.

“My coach, Coach Summitt, she is very courageous, very strong and a very giving person, so for her to come out in public with the type of platform she brings, everybody takes notice, everybody listens,” Elzy said. “It was so courageous of her to want to help others. She’s a face and a voice that people respect. It’s just breathtaking.”

Summitt, who revealed in August that she’d been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, isn’t the only famous person fighting dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Many public figures who have faced Alzheimer’s, such as former president Ronald Reagan and actor Charlton Heston, were diagnosed late in life and privately faced the disease.

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One can only pray that a cure is found for this disease that robs one of their memories and takes their dignity.

Donna Nobis Pacem

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INSPIRATIONAL: Dyno gal that is worth 20 minutes

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Ten things I know for sure:

1. Change is never good; it’s unstoppable, relentless, and often silent.

2. Cherish every moment; even the bad times. You may view them as better than where you are now.

3. Often your paradigms and memes are wrong; you have to keep questioning your assumptions.

4. You should have children so that, hopefully, some one cares.

5. “Run out” all your ideas; hindsight is 20-20. “I could a been a contender!”

6. Figure out your personal “success for your generation”.

7. Advice, no matter how well intentioned, is often wrong. What’s right for the advisor can be completely wrong for you.

8. Time is a unique thing. Everyone has this moment. What you do with it may matter? Carpe diem us an understatement.

9. All of the world’s problems are rooted in “fiat money”.

10. A marketplace is an election in which everyone’s needs are “equally” dissatisfied.

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INSPIRATIONAL: The death of somebody close to you

5 Ways to Cope During a Life Crisis
Written by Paul Browning
Categories: self improvement

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One of the great things about a life crisis is you get to find out what works. When life is easy and no major challenges are on the horizon, you can read all about affirmations, pray, meditate, firewalk or just read self-help manuals written by big-name gurus. Then life throws you a major health challenge, the end of a relationship, the death of somebody close to you and an unexpected job loss. Now what?

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The center is the core of YOU, where you sense all your feelings and experience your emotions.

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I’m not so sure that these tactics work for me.

Can’t hurt to try them.

I’ve never had a unique center in forty years. Hard to figure out where it is.

It’s easier to go back to bed. :-) Or blog, That’s the same thing.

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INSPIRATIONAL: Imagining what might have been

My Life in Key West
Posted by Key West Lou at 7:54 AM

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Williams was a pianist. The best! Popular tunes.

He came upon the musical scene in 1955. Autumn Leaves. Outstanding! To listen to, to dance to, to make love to. I was 19. She was 19. Her name was Terri Hoffman. I was at Manhattan College at the time. She at New Rochelle.

Terri was a day hop. She lived in Larchmont with her family and daily commuted to New Rochelle.

Terri and her family lived in a large apartment complex on the Boston Post Road. An apartment high up. Her Dad was an attorney working with a not for profit in New York. Terri had twin brothers. If my recollection is correct, they also were attorneys.

One evening, Terri and I were sitting about 500 feet from a country club in her home area. The club was located on the ocean near her home. We were sitting on some rocks by the water. There was a party at the nearby club. We could hear Autumn Leaves being played.

It was a night of passion for us. We necked. Period! Nothing more. Not even touching. This was more than 50 years ago and any more was unheard of.

Some evenings, Terri and I would dance in her living room to Autumn Leaves. Lights out. Her family gone.

I have thought of Terri periodically over the years. I have no idea what happened to her or where she is. Each time I think of her, Autumn Leaves is in the background.

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I guess it’s common for old men to think back to old times. Happier times.

In Lou’s case, triggered by a song, he remembers a girl long lost in time.

In my case, I too think of two two girls. Now both long lost. One in time; the other in death. One, not chosen; the other of forty years plus.

Makes me sad.

For what might have been. What shoulda been. What coulda been.

If we could but rewind the VCR of time and play it over and over again.

Like “Groundhog’s Day”.

Yup, those … Shouldas, couldas, and wouldas! … they will really kill your soul.

“And I’ve lost her … . I’m so sad that I don’t have … . But I’m so grateful that she was with me … . And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?” — Chuck Noland ala Tom Hanks in Cast Away (2000)

But still we return to the old days. Imagining what might have been.

Donna Nobis Pacem

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