Sons and Mothers and Others: Retired Into Bullying!


Since I retired to Florida I’ve been shocked to see the level of antagonism portrayed by seniors who bully–especially when working as a group. The “social” bullying described in the recent article is truly bad, yet when loyal friends bully in concert together it is more akin to the Mafia than to even the worst playground behavior. The group dynamics of several people bullying together intensifies the effect, and can cause them to show more aggression when their bravado is bolstered by buddies.

We live in a wonderful place, but the coop’s “politics” could use some revamping, since there is a board-approved pattern of clear, intense, and repeated rejection of anyone who suggest changes. In this case, several owners are only wanting the coop to be run in compliance with the law! Our coop is managed by Board President who is acting as a Community Association Manager, but as he is unlicensed the State has ordered him to Cease & Desist, but with full support of many owners he continues this illegal practice.

There is great concern about looking the other way while a few seniors bully both younger and older residents who are part of the minority voice seeking change toward becoming legal. This involves yelling slurs, screaming at owners who express differing opinions, hate notes on residents’ doors and official bulletin boards, as well as making the laundry room into an unsafe place for these individuals.

Even the parking lot has been a background for bullying. Yelling epithets, standing behind cars trying to pull out, and one senior even biked circles in front of a gay couple trying to park their car in order to enter their home while several people watched and did nothing to help. One of the main bullies even told a dissenting former board member she’d “sure better sleep with one eye open”!

This pattern over several years has caused some to tiptoe around quietly, avoiding conflict or even taking abuse at times, while some others have decided to band together to work for change. According to public records, Broward county found our president guilty of claiming homestead in two states, and the State of Florida has sent the case about defying the Cease and Resist order to the General Counsel for possible criminal prosecution. (DPBR case # 20013032379). Other investigations are ongoing.

There is a vital need for programs to be developed to help with prevention and awareness of Senior Bullying. It is my hope as a teacher that the program also will include the possibility of criminal prosecution since some who bully are not concerned with the feelings of others. Some who bully don’t realize their loyalty to each other could become criminal. Perhaps a good training target for the prevention programs would be to work with the Boards in an effort to help them see the possible roles they might play in either discouraging such bullying, or by overlooking, enabling mistreatment of certain residents.

Such intimidation not only affects the emotions and health of those being bullied, but when the seniors doing the bullying have power over their victims as in condos or coops, it can destroy the feeling of being welcome and safe in your own home! Since a Board of Directors has the power to threaten residents with fines and can enter homes at will, their actions can bring life-changing fear which takes a heart-rending toll on the very lives of their victims. When Board members turn from advocates for the owners into adversaries, they can wield frightening control of large sums of money and the quality of lives of others.

I loved the place I live when I moved in, and I still love it, but how much better it could be if the bullying becomes a thing of the past.  There has been some improvement but more is still needed in terms of transparency, etc. in order to make this a place where people feel safe to be themselves. Our goal is to live together as neighbors in peace.

My retirement has been a joy for me each and every day. I’ve had time to do things I value, like write, join interest groups, care for my disabled husband, spend more time with family, etc. It has been wonderful living near family in order to have support when I need help in health and other matters. The only thing I don’t really want is for me or anyone in my family or friends to be bullied. That doesn’t seem too much to ask of my retirement years.

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Of These My Children: An Election Brings Conflict Revolution

My job as a teacher, or chief thought catcher, in this small private school brings sunshine to my soul.

As the day starts the students begin the process of settling down. A gal noticed my efforts at taming the crowd and she hollered, “Guys, she’s trying to attack someone’s attention.” Her shrill voice attracted everyone’s attention for sure.

Children are so insatiably sensible. Often their ideas make much more sense than the way things are.

Just after I admonished the students to show responsibility, one budding scholar told us his mom was laughing at a Saturday afternoon broadcast she likes to watch. “That Garrison guy was talking about a church called Our Lady of Perceptual Responsibility. Just tell me what’s funny about that!” I imagined Mr. Keillor had said “perpetual” but this kid was telling it according to his perception.  No doubt, such perception is a responsibility for teachers and students alike!

Social Studies class covers both history and current events. The election year brought lots for the children’s brains to process.

One young lady arrived to class saying her mom was upset about the Stress Conference with all the back and forth between candidates. It’s a sure thing reporters with the press certainly felt a lot of stress! 

There was the day when a guy mentioned that CNN had a brown table discussion. He wondered why the color of the table really mattered. That afternoon we spoke of ‘almost rhymes’ like round and brown. 

Then when the fall election finally came, students had to learn about the President Erect. There was so much information overload on TV and in the air that the children found themselves perplexed at times. It was enough to make all of us suffercate just trying to sort it all out. 

A year like this causes our Social Studies class to last a bit longer since the kiddoes are so full of relevant questions. The week of the general election was that kind of time. A child claimed, “The President got neglected yesterday.”  I realize that some folks thought he should be neglected, but I had to clarify that he got elected! 

One day we worked with oranges, using plastic knives to cut them in half to show the hemispheres of the earth. The object was to learn that we live in the Northern Hemisphere. However, before I was able to solidify that concept, an argument started when a gal swore she “was a southerner so it’s obvious we live in the Southern Hemisphere!”  Who among you want to take a turn at clearing that one up?

Part of following the election in a classroom is learning about the states. One guy was shocked as he was working a United States puzzle. He yelled out, “Hey, I found a state named Vomit! Who would want to live there?” I have a strange feeling the Chamber of Commerce folks in Vermont would want me to clarify that in a hurry.

Students never completely forget that they will have grades, so one gal mentioned that her grandma lived right by “The Evergrades over in Florida where she retired.” That day we learned all about The Everglades. 

A child walked in the room and said, “Last night on the news they talked a lot about Medicine, Wisconsin.” Instead of passing out pills, I wrote Madison, Wisconsin on the board and we had a chat.

The puzzles had landmarks and symbols to show special points of interest for each state. My ears perked up when I heard, “Hey lookee here, I found Old Fateful, see it?” I know the election process may have seemed to be sealing our fate, but I still thought it necessary to take time out to explain the word faithful. The students really enjoyed setting a timer for every few minutes so they could get the hang of Old Faithful doing its geyser thing on a regular, or faithful, schedule.

Speaking of fate and such, a young man said his dad likes to read history stories about the Revelation. (I know it’s been a tough year, but I sincerely hope we are not looking at the End of Times!) So we had a short lesson about The American Revolution. I’m a bit tired, so I think we’ll study conflict resolution another day.

Well, it’s been a long election. Some people are happy, and some are dismayed. A girl in my class has just the right answer to folks who are weary of the election year. She confided, “Since Mom says I’m too old to play with my dolls, I play with my Invincible Friend.” Some of us who are really tired of politics might just decide to play with our Invisible Friend  too.


Copyright 2017 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.

Posted in Of These My Children: Infamous Sayings of Insidious Intellects – Humor | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Old Age May Bring Memory Problems

Why did I go into this room? What am I doing here?

Must I once again retrace my steps to find my way?

I’ll stand here just a bit.  I feel like having a fit.

But it won’t help me reach my goal, so I’ll start over from whence I came.

Now, I’ll try again. Focus, don’t stop along the way.

Get it done, the battle’s won.  I hope I don’t get lost any more today.


Copyright 2017 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.

Posted in Savor Our Seniors to Grow Bold Along With Me – The Rest is Yet to Come | Leave a comment

A Slice of Happy: Holding the High Note

Caregivers risk the danger of being on guard 24/7.  There are times when that is necessary.

However, in order to sustain the role effectively, it becomes urgent for a caregiver to carve out some time in the daily routine.  Having been such a caregiver for my husband for over a dozen years, my body recently forced me to attend to my health. So I began to utilize Adult Day Care for him, a hard but important decision toward sharing the duties of caregiving.

This allowed me to save my sight with several vital procedures as well as starting the long and arduous process of “catching up” on a decade of neglecting much of my self care.

Yes, I had made efforts in that direction a couple of years ago when I joined a monthly caregiver support group nearby. I even attended a couple of Caregiver Conferences. Yet hearing the need for self-care and actually weaving those skills into my daily life presented a long term challenge.

In recent months I took a proactive step in starting to make myself coffee each and every day. Just that simple act has forced me to stop and spend some time in contemplation. (Ha, it has also gone far toward correcting my chronic constipation, arggh!)

Close ties with friends and family has been a great help since it lets me feel less alone and gives me a much-needed support system. I also find inspiration in the words of others, like the Carrie Fisher words which Meryl Streep quoted: “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

Suddenly at the turn of the year I happened to hear a singer and noticed how I smiled and breathed deeper as she held the high note with such gusto and a seeming lack of purpose. The whole audience was caught up in the joy as the note seemed to go on forever. I realized the only goal was to relish this passing moment.

That aha moment literally screamed at my soul, my very task-oriented soul, ha. It seemed to be time for me to breathe–like I tell my hubby but don’t practice enough myself–and just enjoy the moments in my life without keeping the “do list” in front of my eyes every living moment.

So now, my New Year’s gift will be to not just my usual habit of smiling when I awaken and having coffee, but to allow myself to hold the high notes life presents to me.

Today I am starting to add to my habit structure of feeding myself better (did that last year) or exercising (which I handle by averaging 60 minutes of walking daily). My new endeavor will be to add a slice of happy intentionally each day. It’s like a vitamin for my soul.

I’m good at courage; I can get things done. What I now need is breathing without intent or goal, just cherishing the moment. This refreshes my life as a caregiver and clears my mind to return to necessary tasks with new insight.

This burst of insight has been gently creeping up on me. I’ve noticed I break into dance and song even with some commercials. Sometimes I make my own music by humming in the spirit of my old friend Winnie The Pooh.

My plan is to hold the high note for the pure joy of another day of living my chance at another day of hope, however imperfect it may be. Yes, bad things may be happening all around me. But I still have a choice to be an island of peace. This will allow me to be more helpful when needed by those I love.

Problems and challenges haven’t gotten smaller or gone away. I’m just making an evolving and conscious decision to enjoy the ride even when its bumpy and seasoned with tears. There will continue to be noise in the background, but I will put peace in the foreground of my  life.

So if you don’t see me around, I might be busy holding the high note of life. 


Copyright by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.






Posted in Deep Breathing Moments: Meditations for the Unpremeditated, Honeysuckle Air - Memoirs, Savor Our Seniors to Grow Bold Along With Me – The Rest is Yet to Come | 1 Comment

Honeysuckle Air: In the Dental Chair

I’d call this recollection tongue in cheek–but there was a lot more than a mere tongue in my cheek yesterday. . .

She said, “Don’t close your mouth!”  I wondered, how long, forever, or would she tell me when I could close it???!

Things were poking out of me. I resigned myself to associating with all that strange stuff for the duration.

When she came back, metal clicked, liquid swished, and my lips got rearranged and enlarged.  Whose lips were they anyway?

Right when I decided to do the only thing I could do breathe. I felt dozens of fingers in my now-cavernous mouth. Some were pushing on lips and some were wielding metal gadgets.

I almost got used to it. It wasn’t so bad till I thought I felt not only a fist but a foot threshing around in there. I just wished she’d take off those boots. . .

After a year or so, it was time for another X-ray. Root canals like to have their picture taken. My mouth wasn’t big enough for the X-ray thingamajig! The dentist finally rescued me by doing it another way after several bouts of gagging.

I can’t even seem to remember why I’m putting myself through this misadventure of allowing someone to torture me, then paying big dollars for it. Oh, that’s right, to chew food. I think I’d rather not eat ever again!

There must be better ways to usher in the New Year! First, an eye procedure, then 2 hours in the dentist chair. But that was just “prep” for the hilarious yet hellacious harangue of today.

I vowed to relax during this root canal. I’m not sure when I started pawing my tummy. I self-corrected and told my fingers to behave. Before long I found myself holding hands with myself! I squeezed two fingers till they were about to say ouch!

Just when I was remembering to breathe, the dentist asked me how I was doing. Being unable to tell her I was choking, uncomfortable, and generally feeling harangued, I gave a feeble thumbs up. (God knows I wanted her to finish so I wouldn’t have to come back for a replay, arggh!)

Next week I go back to see if it was successful. But for now, I’m planning other activities for my cheek: soft food, soft pillow, maybe even a kiss.


Copyright by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission from author for use online or in print.




Posted in Honeysuckle Air - Memoirs, Savor Our Seniors to Grow Bold Along With Me – The Rest is Yet to Come | Leave a comment

Honeysuckle Air: Tears for My Country

This started as a short presentation at a public gathering to process the 2016 election.

Wearing red, white and blue, I stood by a container of water, removed my red, white and blue necklace, then dipped it into the water. As I slowly lifted it and watched it dripping, I said: “These are tears for my country.”  I held the necklace up to drop for a few moments. Then I added, “We must cry, then we must get up and make things happen.”

Yup, it all started in church that day. Or maybe at the polls where I went with my family to cast my ballot–historic, I hoped! Also, the many months of constant study, observation, conversation with people on all sides, and efforts toward campaigning for my beliefs.

That God made all colors, all types, all religions, LGBTQ, etc. I always told my students if God made them, He must have loved them. So I will too.  Yes, it is just that simple. (Love God, love His handiwork.)

I endured several years of active bullying, then was the object of witness intimidation for another year. Then one day I decided I must do something to make a difference. All is not simple sunshine yet, but those efforts paid off, and my little corner of the world is a bit better.

Maybe I am not up to doing too much since I am now the caregiver for my disabled hubby with 2 kinds of cancer and memory issues. That means I am always 24/7 on duty or on call since he cannot be left alone for medical reasons.

However, as a retired teacher who helped at-risk kids, I know there is always something each and every person can do!

So I can’t run for office, but I’m right beside you as you do. Go ahead and rise to the occasion. Many are with you.

I weep with you — and then I have a pat on the back especially for you.

Running for local office, volunteering to help others, getting involved in your community, all improve the view and inspires others around you. Wipe those tears, feel my virtual hug, then get started.

Just don’t fall into the pit of only “preaching to the choir” in person, FB, etc. Commiserating is necessary but does not move us forward. Many of us continue to shed tears for our country yet that is only the starting gate. Let’s get movin’!

Carry on. My heart and those tears for my country urge you on. Carry on. Please do:-)

Make a plan; we’re long overdue. Yes, you may need to stop, fuss, and cry once in a while, but even with that, we must rise together!


Copyright 2017 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.

Posted in Deep Breathing Moments: Meditations for the Unpremeditated, Honeysuckle Air - Memoirs, Matters of the Heart: Grief and Other Feelings | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

From Grief to Growth: A Choose Your Own Ending Adventure

Gathering Music: Come Into This Place by William Schulz and Betsy Pusey

  Come into this place of peace, and let its silence heal your spirit.

  Come into this place of memory, and let its history heal your soul.

  Come into this place of peace, and let its vision change your heart.


Wishing for Safety in Disasters

Living on the Gulf Coast of Texas,I began to wonder where one could find safety. It reminded me of when we dealt with Hurricane Alicia to Ike in south Texas with no electricity for days on end and food and water ran low to the point  of hunger. We finally made peace with planning what we could and then sheltering in place. (By the way, I truly experienced all of these choices):

Disasters Here, Disasters There, Oh Disasters Everywhere!

Where can I go to escape hurricanes likeIke?

Drive way out west or up the turnpike?

If I head to the west will there be an earthquake?

Will my car and my family become afraid and then shake?

Or should I go up toward Kansas, or just head north?

And let a tornado whip us back and forth?

Where ere I go there are no safe places.

So let’s just stay home with hope on our faces.


Welcoming Words 

A Child’s View — Tadpoles, Hospitals, and Teddy Bears

The Terrible Tadpole Tail

As an elementary school teacher, I tried to make learning fun and interesting. I obtained a frog habitat and found a local source for tadpoles. The students were cited to check on it each day as they arrived.

One Saturday I worked in my class to catch up on some paperwork, and gleefully noticed one had made the transition into a frog. I knew the kiddoes would be thrilled.

When Monday came, I eagerly went to my class after morning duty with a sense of anticipation. But as I walked in, I immediately checked on our new frog—only to find it missing!

Right about then my aide opened the door and informed me she had found a frog in our room and put it outside. She sounded so pleased with her action. It seems the frog had somehow pushed its way out by raising the lid a bit, and the teaching assistant didn’t realize it was our tadpole who magically had escaped.

Needless to say, the class and I were devastated. So I had to come up with a Plan B in a hurry!

We wrote and drew about The Frog That Left in an effort to put a positive spin on the day’s mishap. The children brainstormed about how it pushed the lid, then wrote about its adventures on the table, and how it liked the playground for its new home. Some even drew a map of a possible path the ex-tadpole probably took on its way outside. One made a funny face of how it felt when it made its wild escape from the tadpole pond. One even said the tadpoles tail was lost as he escaped the lid and the others rushed to look for it.

I saw no reason to tall them the frog had some help making it to the school yard. Their imagination created much more interesting adventures.

From this I learned to look for the blessing when life seems to betray you.

A Child’s View of Sickness and Death in a Hospital

Then another day life reminded me that a little child shall lead us.

We were visiting my best friend Ann in the hospital. Things didn’t look good. It showed in all our eyes.

Then we heard the elevator ding and a cherubic voice flowing down the hallway. A good friend and her face year old daughter had come to visit our patient.

After a short visit with Ann, her mom sat on the bed to chat, leaving the child a bit at loose ends. She and I took a walk back and forth in the hospital hallway. At one point some orderlies wheeled a gurney into the hall, leaving it there while they attended to other tasks.

As is usual in a hospital, we passed the time with small talk. I knew the strange smells and excessive quiet might be overpowering to her, and tried to carry on with normal chitchat. Then she seemed to wake up to the moment, noticing an empty bed in the room they had just left.

She said, “I hope no one  died in that empty bed. I hope it’s just ready to help someone new.” I assured her it was, while musing myself about what might have ju8st happened before we arrived.

But even a young child knows people sometimes do die, and I knew she had already experienced losses in her short life.

Fortunately we both had several weeks of processing time before hospice was indicated. By then, she was involved elsewhere i her life, and the time put a bit of distance between her and Ann’s passing.

This sweet gal helped me see the reality coming even before I was ready to face it, reminding me that children are often attuned to feelings and realities even sooner than adults. We can learn from our children to pay attention to the moment instead of the wall we all build to help us avoid impending realities.

I will always cherish the chance to see my friend’s coming transition through the eyes of this lovely child.

The Teddy Bears are all on Fire!

2 bus loads of students where I taught had only what they brought to school that day. I was used to seeing them daily to smile, hug, etc. They were my friends.

Friday afternoon we teachers heard the news during school—sketchy at first, then confirmed to be worse than we could ever imagine—the apartments where these students lived were caught up in a raging fire. At that time there were more than ten fire departments involved. We continued the last period of the day in shock.

Toward the end of the day, the principal rounded up some of the older students and took them to the library. Then bus time came and we teachers who were on bus duty were instructed to take each and every student from those two buses to the library too.

Parents who could be reached were being called, and the adults tried to keep some degree of calmness as the students watched a video instead of being loaded onto buses. They weren’t sure what to think, but some suspected a bus breakdown.

Too bad it wasn’t just that. There was no way of knowing which students at that very time were losing their home and all of their possessions.

Then it hit me like thunder: these little kids’ teddy bears were in flames — bringing the depth of the loss home to me. How do you tell a child their teddy bear, and other toys just burned up?

Somehow that day finally ended, but not the needs. I sent an email to a number of friends asking for help. I had a particular concern for the children who not only had no home, but no toys. Many in the community rallied to the cause and brought needed items. I helped deliver my friend Ann’s twin beds to one apartment, a TV to another along with many toys.

I can never forget the day the teddy bears were on fire.


Reading: The White Trees—a poem by Bob Smith

Sunshine Interlude: Sunshine on my Shoulder played by Stephanie Nixdorf

(May we use these moments to reflect, with deep gratitude, on nature and its healing which has been given us.)


In the 80s, before computers were everywhere, there was an interactive series of books called Choose Your Own Ending Adventure.You could read the same book many times, making different choices at select junctures in their adventure. Readers would discover that their decisions affected the outcome. Once a grief has hit, we can each choose our own ending even though we may not want the adventure. We will now explore grief, faith and high hopes.

A Date with Grief: Sad Stories with Not so Sad Endings      

We all must have our date with grief—at times it seems beyond belief.

You cannot put off or run from grief.

Be with the pain, and seek relief.

 My Grief Tearbook reflects a variety of poetry and stories. I found the process was a surprising metamorphosis from pain to growth. 

If you haven’t had it yet, you’re gonna get it. It’s kinda like the measles, only you can get this more than once.  Mourning and its trail of tears can be evoked by a variety of life losses including divorce, death, handicap, illness, disaster, or even life’s transitions and passages like reaching a certain birthday. It could even involve loss of a pet, a job, a physical ability, or even bring able to drive, etc.  

Recently the TV told me I needed to make my skin bounce back like it used to. Hmm, I can’t seem to remember or appreciate my former bounciness. However, a couple of diagnoses did give me an unwelcome opportunity to renew my subscription to reality recently. A number of you provided the hugs, help and comfort to help me move on. 

The path through pain is necessary but it does not have to be a permanent outcome. It is only a temporary but crucial   station on our journey.

There is even a Kleenex portion of my Grief Tearbook, when sadness can overtake us but hang on, better times are a coming! 

Sometimes it helps to learn about others’ experiences with grief. Than you can plug your own situations into a recovery plan. I share these poems to let you know it is OK to have feelings. So fasten your seat belts and take a journey through the grotto of the soul, a panorama from pain to peace.

Feeling Wrenched

We all have dreams, expectations; perhaps it tempts us toward exaggerations. 

When hurt, and looking for placation, I wonder where in the grotto is my mental vacation.

I wrote this Tearbook for those moments after the darkness yet before the stars come out, perchance to help in getting past the scars to see the stars. Maybe my talking thusly to myself can be like a scream of pain in a grotto—the echo returning to me from the cave may feel like I was heard.

Then after such respite I can continue on my sometimes foggy path toward an unknown dream quest, with self-nurturing skills increased, and my hurt somewhat released.

I even dedicated this Tearbook:

For the dark and weary moments of my soul, when the hard and mixed up feelings seem to roll.

I will write in the Hobbit’s lonely grotto, and healing—with real fears dealing—is this cave’s motto.

Tears don’t help, nor will they stop.

Ya know, someone said Sorrow is the rust of the soul, but activity can eventually cleanse and brighten it.

     TODAY, we will be traveling from grief to growth in the hope that you can use some of this as a road map the next time you find yourself in the grotto of grief.

We’ve all heard poems and songs of broken hearts which present two extremes: the desolation of depression, and that sparkle that sprouts from the psychiatry of friendship as new horizons as they enter our lives.

  Before we wander into the Grotto of Grief it may help to note that it can come from many causes. Cause doesn’t matter—the process seems similar in all paths of grief. Recognizing the commonality of all such experiences is important.

So, even if some of these poems may not be about your particular events, grief isn’t about only one kind of pain. It’s about a process, and the hereafter (after grief that is).

When my children were young my father-in-law’s health was failing. I had majored in psychology so I purposely planned to prepare my two sons and comfort my husband. This search for a nurturing approach was the start of my personal experiences with grief.

A few years later Hurricane Alicia gave me a refresher course. I had just moved into  a building for a private school I was starting. We saw many thousands of dollars worth of damage the first week there. At home, four cars were smashed, trees attacked every room, and both yards became a house-high monument to debris. People said it looked like a war zone! Especially when fires were lit to burn debris in the big holes in the ground where huge trees used to live. 

One of the main reasons to talk about grief is to help oneself or others when it comes to call. I know because the hurricane prepared me for the horrendous impact of a mid-life divorce. In that situation I read voraciously and learned about stages. Whatever way you feel is just right, as some days will be better, or worse, than others. 

There is no schedule or timetable for these “stages.”  My only guide for myself is to hold onto hope with full intention of healing, not just festering forever. The poems are poetic photographs of particular points in the process as my soul passed through grief’s journey.

Shock-Denial may include a last ditch attempt to stay busy, display false smiles, stare, or even choose martyrdom. We are recognizing there is a problem and sadness, yet trying to avoid and maybe even bargain with it.

Hope Dream

I chase a dream    to make it seem    that someone still loves me.

But he ere must go,    seems it must be so.    What I get doesn’t flatter me.

I shed a tear.    I wish for beer, but none of it will help.

From   my   dream   I   must   wean,   rough   realities   do   seem   mean.

Oh, to be a puppy with hope for a yelp.

Anger-Depression is the time to be with the sadness and pain, be honest, perhaps making it the worst phase, or Kleenex time! Realizing it will never be the same, yet not being able to answer the all-encompassing WHY. The danger is getting stuck here with bitterness and destructiveness to oneself or others. Be with that  pain, suffer deeply as you brush yourself off and look for a way out.


Why?     Why live or die?      Why try?

I know I need positive but I can’t find anything festive in this time of year  .  . 

Not even can recreation be restive to qualm my fear.

That I might ought to take charge of my future (no matter what that means?)

And not let myself be hurt anymore. 


How am I to know?     How is the pain to go?

Down we all slowly go (or have we been there all along?)

On and on goes the dirge, and the silent sad song.

This depression usually gets better, and the next stage of acceptance will eventually show up around the corner. 

Holding On

(the in-between stage, where one knows it is real, yet still reverberates between gnawing on the rope of moving on while at times hanging on for dear life to a past already gone and just out   of   reach.)

I’m clinging to a hope.      Acting like a dope.  

Gnawing on the rope.   .   .       Yet yearning still to cope.

Understanding-Acceptance is the gradual willingness to search for healing and the will to forgive yourself and others,     and life itself.

Giving UpThis stage lets one recognize the gravity of the sadness, yet consider that holding on to the grief forever serves no purpose. With this comes the realization that, to move on, we must first let go—just like when one swings out on a rope over water. To enter the clear water  one must let go of the rope. This is the hint of moving on with one’s life. This is when I tell myself it’s time to stay mostly in the cognitive, taking time to think things through .

Giving Up is not all bad. One thing’s for sure; it’s so very sad.

Stay Sad? Among my friends that’s not the fad. Someday my aim is to again be glad.

     Things can never be like they were. Cause ‘were’ is gone and it’s just a mere blur.  .  .  


Am I on the tracks of a solution, or just stirring up some mental pollution?

Perhaps writing and the study of philosophy would help when I’m hit with my reality?

Philosophy, religiousity, uncertainty—good materials for a faith of reality.

For real is all there is     and dreams fly away

To disappoint some else’s future day.

Yet in the sacred sanctums of my heart, with my own dreams I’ll never wholly part.

For they’re where I’m going, and where I’ve been, and my only chance for peace within.

Alas, and yet     amen.

In grief the process is the product. Moving through the stages is the key.   Yet remember there is no obligatory schedule as one moves, sometimes back and forth, along the stages. However, when people become stuck in a stage for too long, like anger or bitterness, it can color their future days or even years.

When Barbara Walters once interviewed Priscella Presley, some listeners were surprised to hear her say she still loved Elvis, but in a different way, and with clear-eyed empathy for him.

Love doesn’t always end. It can change. When life changes, good memories can still be good. They just have to be accepted for what they are—gone.

This year I had to deal with the passing of my sister, then a few months later, my brother. My only sister and my only brother.

Joe Biden recently said, “There will come a day when the thought of the one who passed will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye.”

Lately we’ve all grown weary of politics, yet I did hear two helpful quotes: Obama speaks of “the audacity of hope” and North Carolina’s motto is “While I breathe, I hope.” Life does have one thing in common with politics—not always winning. Sometimes we must compromise with life, still moving on… following the breadcrumbs of hope.

The challenges of this year made me realize that my life is a series of seasons. Although I do not pick what happens to me, I can choose my own endings to each of life’s adventures I am handed.

Bless us all in all of our seasons. Go in peace.

Sing-Along Hymn:

SONG Sheet:

 The Church In the Wildwood—UUFBR

to the tune of Little Brown Church in the Vale by William S. Pitts

Verse 1

There’s a church in the middle of the wildwood

No lovelier spot in the dale.

It stands as a beacon to our freedom

Our little brown church in the vale.


Oh come, come, come, come

Come to the church in the wildwood

Oh, come to UUFBR

A haven for liberal religion,

One that puts its faith squarely in you.

Verse 2

Oh, come to the church in the wildwood.

Where the trees and the wildflowers bloom.

Where the freedom to think is cherished,

And for reason there’s plenty of room.

Repeat Chorus

Verse 3

How sweet on a clear Sunday morning

To be where our friends gather ’round.

Everyone is welcome at our doorstep.

Here we celebrate the faith that we’ve found.

Repeat Chorus

Words adapted by Hildra Tague and Ray McLain



Faith of Our Uncertainty

Come, Faith of our Uncertainty. When life deals with us impertinently.

We’ll never know what may hail tomorrow.

So calm yourself, don’t more trouble borrow.

Think of the future. Live in the now.

Learn from the past. Go on somehow.

So we don’t know what may come—Write the script, and beat the drum!

Real faith comes from forging ahead, by faith of one’s uncertainty led.


Postlude:  High Hopes in ukulele, song, and then rousing piano.


Copyright by Hildra Tague 2016.  Obtain permission for use online or in print.


Order of Service for UUFBR August 21, 2016

Gathering Music

Come Into This Place       Fritz Auchencampp and the UU Ukuleles

Centering Moment

Chalice Lighting

Safety in Disasters and Dedication

Welcome                      Board Member

Reading: A Child’s View: Tadpoles, hospitals and Teddy Bears

Milestones                    Board Member

Reading:  The White Trees by Bob Smith

Sunshine Interlude:   Sunshine on my Shoulder piano by Stephanie Nixdorf

Affirmation: fill it in

Sermon:  A Time to Grow: A Seek Your Own Adventure

Sharing of Responsibility  Hymn    Church in the Wildwood  from song sheet

Circle of Care               Board Member

Announcements           Board Member

Hymn    This Little Light of Mine   p. 118

Closing Words:  Faith of Our Uncertainty

Postlude:  High Hopes – Feel free to sing along, greet others and even dance in the aisles as you leave.

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