Monthly Archives: November 2015

Santa’s Elf — Ever Lasting Friend

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
Steve Jobs

With Christmas a short month away, this video comes to mind.  Its creator is Coby Persin, wearing a “money suit” on the sidewalks of New York City.  Persin’s video shows people who have much taking more, and one homeless man who has next to nothing taking very little. I can only hope and believe that we residents of the Heartland would behave much differently.

I can envision someone here in the metro area of Kansas City putting bills on Coby’s jacket.  I can imagine someone inspired to walk beside him, holding his or her own dollar bills in hand, to give away.

So many heroes do in fact live around here, and illumine my life. I know Ed and Chuck visited an abandoned dog once a week to share food and water. My own sister in Denver, Nancy, fixed a basket for an employee who was working on Christmas and took it back to her at Quik Trip. My daughter, Merrie Kate, works hard for low wages, but I saw her pour all her change into the Salvation Army’s red kettle—and her brothers are generous, too. I am, indeed, blessed to know and love people who freely give of themselves.

The following event may have taken place in Yorba Linda, California, but the result is, I believe, more consistent with the greater number of people living on this planet. The video shows how a homeless man spends a hundred dollars…at a liquor store—not on liquor, but on food that he then passed out to other homeless souls.

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:48)

While some of those prosperous New Yorkers took food out of the mouths of those who were starving, back in the Hearland (and across the country), Larry Stewart, Kansas City’s Secret Santa, behaved quite responsibly for twenty-seven years. Upon Stewart’s death, a friend took up the reins of “Secret Santa.” From KMBC’s “Blessed: The Story of Secret Santa”:

“You never know what one little act of kindness will do for somebody. It can change their whole life. It changed mine,” said Stewart, speaking of a diner owner who helped him when he was hungry, broke, and out of gas. Stewart asks only that the recipients of his gifts pass on the kindness when they can—and many do, immediately.

The current Secret Santa has “Elf” stitched on the back of his red cap. Elf, he says, stands for “Ever Lasting Friend.”

From one Elf to another,
love, chelle

TwoHandsClasped copy

Keeping in Touch

Pam&M 7-2-14Although my Alzheimer client, Pam, has been in a nursing home for sixteen months, something new happened this week.  CNA Jackie touched my shoulder as she walked past Pam and me.  She had never done this before, and I smiled with delight.

A touch in passing — was she showing respect?  Affection?  Acceptance?  Caring? No matter how Jackie intended the gesture, I welcomed it.  As a child, I used to lie in bed at night, weeping over the seeming separateness of humankind.  To that lonely little girl, everything in the universe felt so isolated, so alone.  (The feeling may have stemmed from weighing less than two and three-quarters pounds at birth and spending the first two months of my life in an incubator.)  At any rate, no touch is insignificant to me.

In this week before Thanksgiving, I simply wish to thank everyone who has touched my life, and I leave you with a video of Teddy Pendergrass, who was left paralyzed from the chest down after a car accident, yet he went on to establish a foundation that helps people with spinal cord injuries — besides, of course, sharing his gifts of song.

with gratitude and great love,



800,000 - BANNER

Royal Crown: Black and White and Blue  

Banner Photo by Tammy Ljungblad

While I admit I’m not a fan of baseball, I think what happened in Kansas City after the 2015 World Series is fan-tastic. When the triumphant Royals returned from New York, 800,000 Kansas Citians gathered to watch the team parade through downtown.

What made this gathering remarkable is that in spite of the diverse crowd, there were no race riots, no road rage, no lootings or shootings. No black or white — just a lot of people sporting blue. From cops to kids to admiring adults, in adulation forty percent of the entire metropolitan area squeezed into two and a half miles near Union Station, and there was peace.

800,000 for Royals - David Eulitt, KC Star

Photo by David Eulitt

KCMO Police Chief Darryl Forte stated, “With hundreds of thousands of people piling into just a few square miles of our city, we made very few arrests, and those were for very minor incidents.” Three arrests, to be exact. A miracle, you think?

800,000 for Royals - Roy Inman

Photo by Roy Inman

If we can believe, all things are possible. People living 2,000 years ago didn’t even regard miracles as miraculous; the Jews didn’t have a word for “miracle” because they expected miracles to happen. So, if we can believe, then all things are possible . . . Like moving enormous stones to build the pyramids [and] effecting world peace. (Quantum God, Chapter Four, “Anything Goes”)

Dear heart, like 800,000 crown jewels, we showed that peace aplenty is possible. We were peace.

800,000 - Royal Crown - Tammy Ljungblad

Photo by Tammy Ljungblad

With blessings for a peaceful new week, I send you love—


The Story of Our Journey, Part Two

This week a friend died suddenly; all who knew him were left in shock. Kent Press was the first person to invest in Quantum God back in 2005, when I’d finished the working copy after 15 months of seven-days-a-week labor, much of which Kent witnessed. At 55, it seems way too soon for us to lose Kent, that amiable, always smiling, always cheerful man.

Kent and Julie and Four-eyed Friend
Kent and Julie and Four-eyed Friend

Part One of The Story of Our Journey asked us to focus on the happy times across our life, to help us feel better about ourselves in the present. In Part Two, I had intended to say that I was no longer going to base who I am in this moment on the crummy moments of my life story long gone by. That I’d decided to stop defining myself past labels by like “failure” or even “survivor.”

But that change in point of view is not enough. As this week has shown, the present is all we have that we can count on, and as ever-cheerful Kent Press demonstrated, a fun-loving attitude makes for a good tale. In most of the photographs at his memorial, that goofy guy had a grin on his face, a funny hat on his head, or an arm around a loved one—and there were more than a hundred people at the church, all come to honor the man who had brought good cheer into their lives.

Whether we’re feeling happy or angry, peaceful or fearful, in the likeness of Quantum God we create what we experience individually and in groups, so we want to strive for the best feeling we can manage at any given moment. (Quantum God, Chapter Two)

After the service, I brought home a bouquet of sunflowers, for it’s always seemed to me that sunflowers are happy flowers with their yellow, sunshiny faces. And since all of Kent’s fingers amounted to ten green thumbs, these flowers are fitting. They shall remind me to feel optimistic this week, and to try to make every day Funday.

Now to you, dear heart, while I still have the chance to do it, I send you…

love and good cheer,