Wishing You Well

Archive for the ‘Wishes’ Category

Nancy Lower. Photo: heraldextra

Nancy Lower fell from a rooftop in Mauritania while working as a medical director for the Peace Corps in 1999. As she lay on the ground looking up at her husband, George, she knew she was seriously injured and that she had to stay conscious.

“I knew immediately that my neck was broken,” Lower said. “I felt all the energy draining from the lower part of my body. I knew I had to keep my eyes open to avoid a coma and to make myself breathe.”

Forty-eight hours later she arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, for neck surgery. Although her spinal cord had not been severed the scarring from her accident left her a reverse quadriplegic. She cannot move her upper body and has very little movement in her lower body. She spends most of her day in a wheelchair.

Members of the Springville Community Presbyterian Church decided to raise money for Lower with a dinner on Oct. 27. The funds will be used to help pay for the caregivers Nancy and George need to stay together in their home and help with medical costs not covered by insurance.

“After my illnesses of the past few months I have had some setbacks. I actually was able to move four steps today for the first time using a walker,” Lower said with a smile. “Last winter I had pneumonia, several strokes, seizures and cardiac arrest but I am finding joy in my life and I still enjoy many things. I love to read especially books about joy. I love to read the New Testament. I love Romans 8:28, which tells us that we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. Now at age 76 I am rejoicing and remembering and sorting.”

The Lowers enjoy going to plays throughout the valley and attend sporting events and search out local ethnic restaurants. They are looking forward to going to the BYU-Oregon State game with tickets they received because of George’s service as a pastor at the Orem Community Church. Reverend Lower is now 81, and before his wife’s accident he had retired as the pastor at the Springville Presbyterian Church.

The Lowers changed their retirement plans and came back to Springville to a renovated home prepared by the Presbyterian congregation and the LDS ward in the area. While George Lower is busy with his congregation in Orem, Nancy continues to lift everyone around her with her gifts and notes of encouragement. Although she is unable to use her hands, she paints with watercolors using her mouth. She is the choir director for her congregation and coordinates the music for their services.

“We have been married for 51 years,” George Lower said. “We enjoy doing many things together and yes, I do spend a lot time caring for Nancy. Without the caregivers we have it would be impossible for her to live at home with me. They are my right arm.”

“My caretakers are extensions of my hands,” Nancy Lower said. “My husband, George, feeds me, puts me to bed every night and even helps me garden by lifting me up so I can be a part of the planning and planting. My daughter Emily now lives with us and helps care for me and takes care of the house. I also have three part-time caregivers who come in and they are wonderful.”

Rocio Rivas comes three days a week to cook and help Lower shower and dress. She was hoping to find a position caring for just one person after working in a large assisted living facility.

“Nancy is always happy — every morning I ask her how she is doing and every morning she says good and smiles her happy smile,” Rivas said. “I love her and she inspires me to do many things. I am writing my childhood stories because of her example. I have my own garden here because I live in a small apartment. That is how kind the Lowers are to me and to everyone.”

Carol Day is part of the committee of friends from the Springville Community Presbyterian Church who decided to raise money for Lower.

“Nancy is such an inspiring woman. She has done so much for so many people and now it is our chance to do something for her,” Day said. “We are having a delicious dinner and great entertainment at the Springville Senior Center on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Jonah Hadlock is a very talented composer and performer and he will provide some of the entertainment along with the Lower’s granddaughters.”

Tickets for the fundraiser are $15 for the dinner and entertainment. To purchase tickets or make a donation, call the Days at (801) 489-5168, the church offices at (801) 489-4309, or emailscpcoffice@gmail.com.

Friends raising funds for quadriplegic woman.

10 Tough Truths that Help Us Grow

As you look back on your life, you will often realize that many of the times you thought you were being rejected from something good, you were in fact being redirected to something better.  You can’t control everything.  Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out.  Let go a little and just let life happen.  Because sometimes the truths you can’t change, end up changing you and helping you grow.

Here are twelve such truths…

  1. Everything is as it should be.  It’s crazy how you always end up where you’re meant to be – how even the most tragic and stressful situations eventually teach you important lessons that you never dreamed you were going to learn.  Remember, oftentimes when things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place.
  2. Not until you are lost in this world can you begin to find your true self.  Realizing you are lost is the first step to living the life you want.  The second step is leaving the life you don’t want.  Making a big life change is pretty scary.  But you know what’s even scarier?  Regret.  Vision without action is a daydream, and action without vision is a nightmare.  Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it.  Read Awaken the Giant Within.
  3. It’s usually the deepest pain which empowers you to grow to your full potential.  It’s the scary, stressful choices that end up beingthe most worthwhile.  Without pain, there would be no change.  But remember, pain, just like everything in life, is meant to be learned from and then released.
  4. One of the hardest decisions you will ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or take another step forward.  If you catch yourself in a cycle of trying to change someone, or defending yourself again someone who is trying to change you, walk away.  But if you are pursuing a dream, take another step.  And don’t forget that sometimes this step will involve modifying your dream, or planning a new one – it’s OK to change your mind or have more than one dream.
  5. You have to take care of yourself first.  Before befriending others, you have to be your own friend.  Before correcting others, you have to correct yourself.  Before making others happy, you have to make yourself happy.  It’s not called selfishness, it’s called personal development.  Once you balance yourself, only then can you balance the world around you. Read Psycho-Cybernetics.
  6. One of the greatest freedoms is truly not caring what everyone else thinks of you.  As long as you are worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them.  Only when you require no approval from outside yourself, can you own yourself.
  7. You may need to be single for awhile before you realize that, although the co-owned belongings from your failed relationships might not have been divided equally, the issues that destroyed the relationships likely were.  For how can you stand confidently alone, or see the same issues arising in your newest relationship, and not realize which broken pieces belong to you?  Owning your issues, and dealing with them, will make you far happier in the long run, than owning anything else in this world.
  8. The only thing you can absolutely control is how you react to things out of your control.  The more you can adapt to the situations in life, the more powerful your highs will be, and the more quickly you’ll be able to bounce back from the lows in your life.  Put most simply: being at peace means being in a state of complete acceptance of all that is, right here, right now.
  9. Some people will lie to you.  Remember, an honest enemy is better than a friend who lies.  Pay less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do.  Their actions will show you the truth, which will help you measure the true quality of your relationship in the long-term.
  10. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.  If you are thankful for what you do have, you will end up having even more.  Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold; happiness dwells in the soul.  Abundance is not about how much you have, it’s how you feel about what you have.  When you take things for granted, your happiness gets taken away.  Read The Happiness Project.
  11. Yes, you have failed in the past.  But don’t judge yourself by your past, you don’t live there anymore.  Just because you’re not where you want to be today doesn’t mean you won’t be there someday.  You can turn it all around in the blink of an eye by making a simple choice to stand back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again.
  12. Everything is going to be alright; maybe not today, but eventually.  There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.  And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t.  Sure the sun stops shining sometimes, and you may get a huge thunderstorm or two, but eventually the sun will come out to shine.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of us staying as positive as possible in order to make it to see the sunshine break through the clouds again.

12 Tough Truths that Help You Grow.

  • In: Hopes | Wishes
  • Comments Off on PostSecret Update: Frank Warren Discusses the iPhone App’s Closure

The PostSecret team was unable to protect the app’s users from a deluge of negative content.

By Sophie Gilbert

One of the hundreds of anonymous postcards that appear weekly on the PostSecret blog. Image courtesy of PostSecret.com.

Frank Warren might have been forced to shut down the PostSecret app this week after less than four months, but despite everything, he’s still an Internet romantic at heart. “I will be till the end,” he says. “I have this idealized vision of how the Web is not just about cynicism and negativity, but also about hope and support, and, in many ways, empathy.”

It was that kind of thinking that inspired PostSecret, which launched seven years ago as an art project that handed out postcards and asked people to anonymously write down a secret on them and mail them back. Since then, PostSecret has spawned five books and now gets millions of hits a week at PostSecret.com; the iPhone app alone generated more than 2 million shared secrets during its short lifetime.

Although 99 percent of the secrets posted to the app were in keeping with Warren’s ideal, there were some he described in a blog post as “not just pornographic, but also gruesome, and sometimes threatening.” After receiving threats through the app, some users contacted the FBI. “What really forced us to take action were the threats against users, moderators, and even me,” Warren says. “In the end it was comments and messages that were in violation of US law.”

Warren says when the app initially launched, its creators were aware that people might upload unsavory content, but they were unprepared for the scale of secrets that would be posted. “At one point we were pre-screening 40,000 secrets a day, which is about one every two or three seconds,” he says. “We tried several strategies to save the community, but they just proved to be untenable in the end.”

The app’s closure is a blow for its quarter of a million users, many of whom had found within it an empowering and positive community. “I truly believe this app is a prime example that we cannot govern ourselves,” read one of the app’s secrets, which Warren posted at PostSecret.com. “Occupy PostSecret,” said another. “Overall, we were very pleased with the app,” says Warren. “But it’s very difficult sometimes to protect a large community from a small, determined group who might want to harm it.”

If he could do it all over again, Warren says he’d try to find ways to empower users to identify bad content themselves, and give them more power over the community. Unfortunately, despite a team of people on two continents moderating secrets 24 hours a day, they couldn’t find a way to make it work this time around. “Even though it cost us in many ways, we felt it was right to shut down the app rather than continue to let it devolve into something we didn’t want to see,” Warren says.

Still, he was ultimately inspired by the community he saw grow during the app’s lifetime, and the way in which he saw people communicate with each other. Shortly after the app was shut down, he received the following e-mail, which to him encapsulates PostSecret’s success:

“Dear Frank: I just want to say thank you. What you’ve done is nothing short of amazing. It’s sad that you had to close the app, but before you did I was able to meet someone—a beautiful woman from Australia. I’m currently at the airport in Dublin, Ireland, waiting for my flight to Australia. Because of you, I’ve found love on the other side of the world. I hope you find a way to reopen the app, because it really does reach and touch people all over the world. Thank you, Frank—you’ve made my life better.

Sincerely, No Longer Lonely in Ireland.”

View a trailer for the PostSecret app here:

via PostSecret Update: Frank Warren Discusses the iPhone App’s Closure – After Hours Blog (washingtonian.com).

Today I faced a monster

Who bared his sharp teeth and claws at me

Who ripped the flesh of my brother

And drained the blood of my sister in the street

I faced his loud roar

A putrid stench of hatred drenched me

My eyes burned tears of blood

My skin crackled and blistered

I faced his blank gaze of a thousand malevolent eyes

As he tried to pierce his way into my soul

I felt fear I had never known envelope me

A cold the depth of which can only exist in the darkest farthest reaches space and time

Where consciousness absolves into blissful oblivion

The abyss beckoned me

“You do not have to face this monster”

“Submit to him and I will keep you safe”

“Submit to him and I will free you”

A sudden flash of light renders me momentarily blind

A thunderous boom jars and dislocates my bones

My vision returns

And I return to my body to find that I have taken my eyes away from the monster

He has unraveled his pronged tongue and wrapped it around me

It was his voice that had beckoned me

Lulled me to sleep

I AM THE SCION OF KUROSH! LION-HEARTED DAUGHTER OF IRAN!

With the fingers of my bare hands I tear his tongue off of my body

I lift my eyes to look back into the thousand blank holes before me

I realize that the fear that enveloped me was not mine but the monster’s

It is HE who is afraid

It is HE who is weak

I have allowed myself to be shackled by you

I have allowed you to consume my children

Through my fear of you I empowered you

I look down next to my shoe

Where the little monster with sharp teeth and claws and thousand blank eyes

Tries to bite my toe.

I bend down and flick this insect out the window.

Today I faced a monster

That monster was

My own fear

via Today I faced a monster | Iran News Now.

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Help the Iranian people gain access to uncensored Internet:  send your old USB stick to the Haystack Network. Austin Heap created the Haystack program to outsmart Iran government internet traffic filters. Send your old USB sticks (min 128 MB) to Haystack and they’ll be given a new and heroic life in Iran.

Haystack

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Azadi Monument, Tehran, IRAN

Azadi Monument, Tehran, IRAN

World Wide Window

One day I discovered I could see Iran through my window
An awesome sight, throngs of people
old and determined, young and defiant
So many, they dwarfed the capital’s grand monuments
Filling the streets, the squares, the parks
Jewel bright flashes of green everywhere

I had never really looked at Iran before
Now I found it mesmerising: I couldn’t look away
The scenes changed, peaceful green scorched by fiery orange,
stained with bloody red. Surrounded by dark shadows
Strong, noble green prevailed
Day by day it became the colour of Iran

Around the world, people were drawn to the window
Day after day we watched
We wrote tiny messages of support
Maybe they would realise they were not alone
We bore witness. We watched and waited

Life away from the window began to lose its colour
I sat in my grey world and stared at Iran,
hungry for any glimpse of green
Time goes by, still we watch and wait
Infinite confetti of hope and friendship, sympathy and love
rains onto Iran from a million windows

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  • In: Wishes
  • Comments Off on Members Projects

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