General

The tragic news of the destruction of the World Trade Centers made in indelible impression on the world.

Tragedy after tragedy reminds us of what is important

The tragic news from Sandy Hook Elementary has galvanized the nation in support of dozens of grieving families. Blame will be cast and speeches made, urging reforms on gun ownership and mental health treatments. We can only speculate on whether our government takes action on any promises.  It’s easy to talk when tragedy overcomes our nation.

I’m at an age that I can look back at several tragedies in American history.

November 22, 1963 

A Friday. School officials let us out early. Only after we arrived home did we learn an assassin had taken the life of our president, JFK. Before the birth of CNN and FoxNew and a hundred other cable stations, we had three local stations. All weekend, our family was glued to the television, watching NBC’s coverage of the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I was eight years old.

January 28, 1986

I watched in horror and a sick fascination as the Challenger exploded over and over and over again, as we tried to make sense of a senseless act. I watched the launch because of the novelty of having a teacher on board. If not for this anomaly, coverage wouldn’t have taken place.

I was home on maternity leave. My daughter was six days old.

October 14-16, 1987 

The nation was glued to the developing story of Jessica McClure, an eighteen-month old girl who fell down a well. It took rescuers fifty-eight hours to pull her out alive. I was six-months pregnant with my son.

September 11, 2001

A man I worked with received a call from his wife, and he informed us of the hit on the first tower. We listened in horror on the radio as the plane flew into the second tower. I heard Jim Miklaszewski report live from the Pentagon as the third plane slammed into it. Someone turned on the television in the cafeteria, and we watched as both towers collapsed. Numb, the events too surreal to comprehend, we tried to stay focused on work. I was to attend a five-year anniversary dinner for my investment club that night. Instead, I spent the afternoon scrambling for emails and phone numbers (this was before yahoo groups) to tell the members the easiest decision I’d ever had to make: Go home to your families.

The World Trade Centers before the tragedy of their destruction.

Columbine, Waco, Oklahoma City and now Newtown, CT. The names run together in a sea of senselessness and grief.

It’s sad that we need a tragedy to remind of us of what is important – our families. Your character’s angst isn’t important. Deadlines can wait. Forget the little things that keep you apart from the ones you love. Pick up the phone, email a note, Skype, do whatever it takes to breach that gulf. Hug them, hold them, show them how much you love them. Do you want to go to bed tomorrow with their names on a list circulating the globe?

Hug your family today. Never forget what is truly important.

 

 

 

 

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I can help!  As of today, I passed the national and state real estate exams.  The national wasn’t any different than what we’d been taught in real estate school, but the state?  Man, I was sweating silver bullets.  For example, the first question was something along the lines of “HRS (Hawaii Real Estate Statue) 405B has implications on one of the following:”

Okay, we didn’t learn that.  There are over 30 pages of HRS, and we highlighted the good parts.  No way did we memorize each individual number.

But it’s over, my hitting the books every day for 3-4 hours counted for something, not to mention vocabulary words stuck on post-it notes in the bathroom and countless retaking of quizzes.  I will never, ever have to take the test again.

Bonus!  If you’ve read “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” I cannot emphasize enough for you to get a copy.  It’s all about envisioning the end results as reality and cutting out the negativity.  (thinking “I want” or I need” sends out the message that you are in a perpetual mode of wanting and needing and you’ll never get ahead).

Anyway, last night I envisioned the words “You Passed”, and, for good measure, “Wealth”.  Today we received a very nice check from our old mortgage company.  Seems we overpaid our property taxed at closing and they reimbursed us for the overage.  Sweet!

Dinner tonight is on Citimortgage.

Blessings,

Cheryl

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I wake at 4 a.m.-ish with a migraine, an old enemy who has lately decided on random drive-by shootings after a long absence.  I know to the exact millimeter on my forehead where he stabs me with a hot knife, jagged spears of pain shooting into each eye, the bridge of my nose and across my skull to its base.

I blame the sushi from last night.  I block out that he’s returned because yesterday I retired after 32 years.  I’m an official retiree.  Retiree, what a strange word, as if I’d once been in the pit at Daytona and have now been regaled to pulling out nails and patching bald tires, puttering around an abandoned racetrack.  Retired.  Impossible. I still have a mortgage and a condo, empty as it might be.  I still have financial obligations.  And now, no paycheck.  We have no closing date, which means no arrival date in Hawaii, which means no starting date on a new job.

It must be the sushi.  Note to self – sushi causes migraines.

I stagger to the kitchen and tentatively click on the light on the refrigerator door.  Brilliance swings toward me like a spotlight on the Academy Awards stage.  “The Oscar goes to Front Temporal Lobe for its portrayal of Jack the Ripper.”  I reach for a bottle of generic migraine pills and brace myself to open the refrigerator for a cold drink.

The eye of Sauron blinds me in the three seconds it takes to grab the grape juice and pour some into a plastic cup.  I swallow the pills and juice, entrusting in four ounces of anti-oxidants to do its job.

After a trip to the bathroom, I dissolve onto my pathetic air mattress, the only bedroom “furniture” left, if you don’t count the nightstand constructed of cardboard boxes.  I don’t move my head.  It’s the tip of a nuclear missile, loosely wired, ready to detonate at the slightest offset.

I awake again at 5:54. “L” is up, I don’t mention the pain.  He knows I’m not a morning person and will not get up.

Somewhere around 9:00 I’m awake again, the victim of a full bladder.   Note to self – migraines are diuretics.  I want to crawl, but make it upright and walk the Green Mile to the next room.  I wish I had the stamina or courage to take a shower and wash away the pain.  I move, oh so carefully, back to the kitchen, each step measured, like my feet have fallen asleep and I’m trying to make them work without falling over.

This time I go for the big guns – Excedrin migraine relief.  Three magical pills.  So what if I overdose?  It can’t get worse.  This time, I chose Vitamin water, trusting in electrolytes to dull the ache, knowing it won’t.  “A” and “H” are up, I’m supposed to go with them to the post office this morning.  I apologize in advance, I think.  My memory is fuzzy.

Back on the bed, I experiment with a cold washcloth over my eyes and forehead, but the pressure is too great.  I drop it on the floor.  I’ve opened the window, needing fresh air and oxygen.  The road noise outside doesn’t bother me, only the northern sunlight.  I try to fashion a tent with a spare blanket, but give up on the attempt.  It’s too much work.

My head is a crater. I’ve never experienced migraine auras, but red and white blobs move across my eyelids like a twisted lava lamp.  I pretend to breathe in through the bottom of my lungs, steering the air from my upper sinuses, where it might bump into my brain and send off a firestorm of lightning.  Each breath is exactly the same, no deviation.  To move my head at all sends a new knife through my skull.  I worry about brain tumors.

My body is perfectly still.  I worry about bedsores.  I’ll be trapped in this position for weeks.  I wait for the Excedrin to kick in.  It’s never failed before.

I breathe some more, using a trick that’s come in handy with occasional insomnia.  Pull good energy from the air and earth, circulate it through my body to pick up the toxins, then exhale.  Usually, I breathe though the top of my head, but today, it would be suicide, so I breathe through my feet, as far away from ground zero as possible.  The good air stretches to brush against the pain in my head.  I feel it start work, slowly,  like millennium of sandstorms covering the Sphinx in a picture I once saw.

My stomach growls.  Hunger or the pills dissolving?  Not hunger, I decide, not wanting to get up yet again.

I move my hand to my chest, and nothing hurts.  I don’t sleep, it’s always easier if I can sleep and wake up without pain, but it’s not in the cards today.  After awhile, I turn my head five degrees, a brave endeavor.  I feel like I’ve run a marathon.  The continual stabbing has stopped and morphed to an ache I think I can contain.  I build a wall around it, a two-centimeter barricade starting at the corner of my right eyebrow.  I wait awhile to see if the enemy breaches it, but it holds.

I turn to my other side without preplanning the move.  Other parts of my body take precedence over my forehead.  I scratch an itch on my arm.  My stomach rumbles again.  I start to notice the noise from outside.  The alarm clock, always twenty minutes fast, reads 11:50.  I decide the worst is over.

In the bathroom again, and I feel brave enough to take a shower.  I find the sweet spot where the shower spray hits the base of my skull, and I try to wash without moving from it.

Excedrin is my new BFF.  What company owns it? I have money in with Scottrade that should be used.

I dress and emerge into the living room.  It’s almost noon.  The pain is at DEFCON 5, lowest state of readiness.  I’m ready to face the day.

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