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Remembering the Departed

Written by MJ Reporter Willow LaMunyon

Medicare Jet-Setters give remembering loved ones a groovy review.

One year my husband Larry gave himself a surprise birthday party. The invitations read, "Remember not to tell me because I want to surprise myself."

The party went well, and everyone got a laugh out of my husband, giving himself a surprise birthday celebration. From that first revelry on, Larry gave himself surprise parties for several more years. Each following year, the parties became even bigger and better than the preceding one. Although Larry is gone now, people will sometimes talk about those gatherings and his many other antics. His humor is something he has passed down to his sons, and the love he had for us remains in our hearts. The retelling of those stories gives us the warm feeling that his spirit continues to watch over us.

It would have been easy to call me a problematic child, and you would not get an argument about that from my mother. She was too often on the receiving end of handling my stubborn misbehavior. Despite causing her so much trouble, she was always there for me during my times of sadness or pain. She had every right to say I deserved it since I was often the cause of my own misery. It took many years for me to appreciate all she did for me. When I reached an age when we were no longer battling, mother and child became friends. We finally got to enjoy each other's company. Now when I show compassion for the pain of someone who does not deserve it, I feel her watching over me and maybe getting a little revenge giggle.

My grandmother loved me unconditionally, and I loved her with the same kind of love. She was always encouraging me to try new things, which occasionally got both of us in trouble with my parents. When I was young, I asked her if there had ever been any woman presidents. She told me that job was being saved for me. I don't remember ever having a desire to be president, but I tried harder in school because she thought I could do it. There have been many times in my life when I believed I had gotten in over my head. At those overwhelming times, I wanted nothing more than to give up. However, my grandmother's faith in me gave me the courage to keep trying. The times I went past, my limitations successfully gave me confidence. When I try something new despite personal doubt, I feel her spirit cheering me on.

Sometimes a pet becomes more than a fur-baby and is part of the family. Amber was such a dog. She was full of love and always gleefully greeted visitors to our home. If a small child pulled her ears or tail, she didn't move, growl, or bark. Something in her knew the innocence of small children. My family learned from her to love beyond reason and to protect the innocent.

October 31st, is believed to be the time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is thin. Thus, many people choose this time to pay tribute to those who have passed before them. If you would like to honor your loved ones who are no longer here, I will share a simple but meaningful way to do so. For each person and pet, you want to honor, place a new unlit tea light candle on a table, and maybe something that reminds you of them. Those items can be something that once belonged to them or their favorite flower. Hold the first candle and say something from the heart about the loved one you are honoring; light the candle and do the same with each candle. When they are all lit, turn out the lights, and spend a few minutes of gratitude for the time you had with those you honored. Let the candles burn down, which is why tea lights work best. Treat yourself to some candy and then share it with any ghosts or goblins who ring your doorbell. Turn the lights back on and allow the candles to burn themselves out.

Take a moment this week to remember all those who have passed, even pets, that shaped your life.

Medicare Jet-Setters give remembering loved ones a groovy review.

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