Be Well Be Happy

Be Well Be Happy

As you read this column, I will be in Portugal traveling with my best friend and daughter, Kayla. We planned this trip months ago when she was working very hard in school towards her nursing degree. Anyone who has a BS in Nursing knows how difficult and time consuming it can be to receive this degree. She has one more year to go and, God willing, she will be of service in the health industry. She is a kind, compassionate and brilliant woman. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I am so very proud to be her Mom. I am her biggest cheerleader. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her happiness and success. This mother/daughter trip is a gift for both of us. Blessed to have this time with her.

As I travel throughout Portugal from north to south, I feel fortunate to spend Mother’s Day with Kayla in Fatima. Our Lady of Fatima is a big celebration on May 13 in Portugal. It is the day when the Blessed Mother appeared to three young children. I did not intentionally plan this stop, but it just so happens we are passing through on Mother’s Day. So, I will say a prayer for all mothers who have passed and for those who are still with us. 

Having lost my Mom when I was 26 years old, I try to carry all my memories of her with me. A mother’s love is your first true love and forever stays with you.  May you be blessed with beautiful memories and always be happy in good times and bad times. Choose to be happy. Choose to be healthy in mind, body and spirit. You are blessed and rich in the love you received from your Mom when you were born. 

Traveling is so interesting and fascinating to me. Experiencing the culture of the country, seeing the people, walking through history and truly immersing yourself in their way of life. It is a journey into a world much different than ours. We will meet new strangers and see places for the first time. You become very aware of your surroundings and are on guard for any intruders. Here at home, you are safe in your community. Living in Rockaway we know everyone and get to smile at each other. In another country, you are the stranger, the visitor, the DFD. You become more cautious and non-trusting. Born and raised in Brooklyn, I am confident I can handle almost anything. I also believe in the power of prayer so I will pray every day for our safety.

The following is part of a beautiful poem from John O’Donohue:

“When you travel, a new silence goes with you and if you listen, you will hear what your heart would love to say. A journey becomes a sacred thing: Make sure, before you go to take the time to bless your going forth, to free your heart of ballast so that the compass of your soul might direct you toward the territories of spirit where you will discover more of your hidden life, and the urgencies that deserve to claim you. May you travel in an awakened way, gathered wisely into your ground; that you may not waste the invitations which wait along the way to transform you. May you travel safely, arrive refreshed, and live your time away to its fullest; Return home more enriched, and free to balance the gift of days which call you.”

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