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An Open Letter to Everyone About Joy and Love

Updated on November 3, 2017
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Patricia is a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a daughter whose passion is to put into writing things she feels and experiences .

Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It's the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.

— Sharon Draper

As I compose this, the sun is just beginning to set after a refreshing rain to cool off a very warm day here in Hawthorne, Florida..

It has been another gorgeous day and reminds me why I am blessed to live here. Not to say that I do not enjoy the vast beauty that I find in many many of the other states that run from "sea to shining sea."

Enjoying the mild climate we have in our winters and having learned to adapt to the heat at other times has become how I live.

So that is one reason I am joyful today.

Another is that my daughter, her husband, and my grandsons live nearby. How loved they make me feel and how filled I am with joy each time I speak with them either on the phone, via social media, or in person.

The day I began composing this was a special day--- the first Bone Marrow Drive was being held in honor of Heston Wayne, my youngest grandson. But it was also for ALL who may one day need a bone marrow transplant. I joined my family and many of Heston's Heroes in Ocala (Florida) about 45 minutes from my home and helped my family and many volunteers. I set up a table with Hearts for Heston and cups of candy decorated as elves, santas, or snowpeople....a nominal donation was asked for those.

Much time passed before I sat down to finish this epistle.

My grandson, profoundly ill, but does not realize it...He has made a choice to find JOY and to share LOVE

Source

And so let us begin the letter....

Dear Friends and Family,

Although most of you I have not met in real time, I call you friend as you walk this planet with me...the same earth is our home for a brief time.

We face struggles and challenges on a daily basis, some of us much more serious ones than others.

We hear much that we would be much better off NOT knowing no matter where we live.

Most of us in our country, not all, but most of us have a home, clothing, food, and feel safe on a daily basis.

As a nation of individuals who share the United States of America, we have reason to feel joy and love from for those we know and those we have not yet met.

Our brothers and sisters to our far north in Canada were pinned on our map as well. Many of you come to our country to visit and some to stay...and we are joyful because of that.


Time together with those we love

Daddy and baby Heston ....sharing special moments together
Daddy and baby Heston ....sharing special moments together | Source

How can I speak of JOY and Love?

What is all this talk about love and joy? Certainly some who are reading this are thinking just that.

"I just lost my job, our family is about to be evicted, my baby has cancer, can barely put food on the table, my car broke down and I cannot afford to fix it."

" Are you kidding me? What do I have to be joyful about? How can you speak to me about love?"

I get it, dear friends and family. I have been you. My daughter and eldest grandson have been you. And we have been you at Christmas time, a time when having so many negatives in our lap was difficult.

But, dear friends and family, it is about choice.

No matter where you are in the U.S., Canada, or somewhere else on this magnificent planet, WE ARE FAMILY ....Sharing our love and joy with each other crosses al

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We learned to (TRY) to live this way

Been there, more times than I care to share

And dear friends and family ....having experienced homelessness, I do understand what it feels like.

I know ...

  • What it feels like to slog along for 8 miles on a busy highway (when we had no car) to buy milk and bread.
  • To drag a discarded ramshackle Adirondack chair from a heap of trash so there would be a chair to sit on outside.

I know what it is ---

  • To be forced to turn to a dear friend for money so that I could buy a car that would transport us to the nearby flea market each Sunday to sell whatever we could find to sell in order to collect enough coinage to buy the bread and milk needed for the week.

I know what it feels like---

  • To cook all of our meals on a wood fire in the cold and to live in a van in winter with daughter and (now) eldest grandson.
  • To find humor in a dire situation even with others may not---whenever we trekked to the bath house we were chased by a very territorial rooster we dubbed Chanticleer who kept reminding us that we were encroaching on his domain.

So yes I know.

And I also know how it feels to be treated less than worthy because we were in such dire straights. God forgive me if I ever treated anyone the way we were treated.

Having endured, we came out on the other side, wiser, smarter, more compassionate and filled with a new resolve. The resolve to find joy in everything we possibly could and to express our love for each other and to others more freely and more frequently.

Hugging my eldest sister

My eldest sister is in a nursing home and is thrilled when visitors come. It is always good to hug her.
My eldest sister is in a nursing home and is thrilled when visitors come. It is always good to hug her. | Source

It costs nothing

Feeling love and giving love does not cost...at least in a financial way (unless giving material gifts is part of our plan.) And, even as I say those words I realize what next is said may seem contradictory--- because yes, it does cost in some sense of the word because we are putting our hearts out there when we feel and give love and share our joy.

It seems, however, that by and large loving others by giving of our time and concern for others costs naught. Being available to:

  • drive someone to church or to the store or to go to the store for them
  • clean their house if they cannot
  • rake yards and pick up yard debris
  • walk a pup
  • take a meal to an elderly or ill neighbor or family member
  • make time to visit and sit and chat and LISTEN to someone who may be lonely

brings joy to someone who may otherwise feel forgotten at times.

The Blues Brothers make me smile at Mojo's Grill in Ocala FL

How can I not smile....having lunch with my grandson in a great eatery.
How can I not smile....having lunch with my grandson in a great eatery. | Source

One of my favorite photos of my grandboys

Taking these two out with me that I love so much so we can enjoy  time together and so their Momma can have a bit of time to herself.
Taking these two out with me that I love so much so we can enjoy time together and so their Momma can have a bit of time to herself. | Source

Angels...

Many of you know that I sign my hubs and my email and snail mail correspondence by saying----Angels are on the way to you.

The reason for that is that Angels have come to me and my family and continue to do so when we least expected it. Many of them are earth Angels....dear precious individuals who give us support and uplift us when our joy has waned for a time.

Celestial Angels come to us as well...even today. The messengers of God come and lift us up and over the most tumultuous times that we face...

Be aware....and watchful. Angels are there waiting to comfort and uplift...earth Angels and Celestial Angels.

Little Man ....filled with awe

Heston Wayne could not contain his excitement as the train pulled into the station....he was going on a train ride this day
Heston Wayne could not contain his excitement as the train pulled into the station....he was going on a train ride this day | Source

Feel your joy and share your love

There are so many times during the day to feel joy:

  • When our faces are kissed by a warm or crisp breeze....
  • feeling warm rays of sun wash over our bodies....
  • seeing the smile on the faces of little ones at play....
  • observing an elderly couple sharing time together...
  • walking out in nature enjoying the bounty that awaits our senses...
  • connecting with our God through prayers....
  • and a myriad of other ways allow joy to fill our souls.

Sharing our love with others gives them a sense of worth they may question from time to time.

And so to each of you.....although it may seem corny to some....find your joy and then share both your joy and your love with others.

Angels are on the way to you, dear friends and family.........joyfully, patricia scott

Brother and sister....both brought so much joy to one another

These two precious ones have both left the planet too soon.
These two precious ones have both left the planet too soon. | Source

Do not miss today

It is easy to find joy and express love when all is well in our world. In each life stuff happens. Unwanted and unwelcome horrid events that can turn our lives upside down.

It is at these times that we learn to make choices. We learn to live in the good times and not to live in sadness and darkness.

My daughter, grandsons, and I have chosen as our mantra--

Do not miss one moment of any day trying to second guess the future and for the most part, we (try very hard) to live in the now.

My closest friends who knew me before my great awakening know that I thought I needed to control and fix everything. But I found that was and is not possible and as a result I am much happier.

When you are feeling sad and down and lonely and lost, find your greater Power And believe that today is your reality and no amount of maneuvering on your part can change that.

LIVING, truly living and embracing every minute of every day is energizing and fills you with the hope that difficult journeys require.


Have you found a way to find joy and share love even when your life was not at its best?

See results

This song is played at least once a day as I drive along in my car...

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.

— Henri Nouwen

His smile radiates...

In spite of it all a smile is almost always present on my Heston Wayne's face.
In spite of it all a smile is almost always present on my Heston Wayne's face. | Source

What has been your experience ?

In the comment section please share how sharing yourself with others has been life-changing.

Or how the kindness of someone else changed you.

Have you not had any experience in this area? Be patient....you will.

Lesson Learned

The real reason I chose to publish these ramblings is this---

While everything I have stated within this article is how I really feel and believe, I admit honestly and freely that I do not achieve all that I have vowed to adhere to every single day.

Because I am human, there are days that I DO try to control things that are out of my control .....I DO try to second guess the future....and I DO crash and burn.

And sometimes I DO ask why? Why do little children have really awful maladies? I have found no one who can answer that satisfactorily for me. I try not to get stuck there...and I think questioning helps me to grow...

It is for these reasons that I wrote this letter just as much for myself and for others to read. I needed to remind myself of my family's mantra.

I needed to step back, reassess, and remember that no amount of worry or fretting or stewing will change any thing, ever. When I worry I realize that I am wasting precious moments ....moments that I cannot allow to slip away in such a wasteful manner.

Embracing with vigor all that is good and loving and joyful every single day is how to make the most of the infinitesimal amount of time we have on this planet.

It is a process.

It is a continuous journey.

I am so blessed as is my family to have precious Earth Angels who carry me along, who listen when I ramble on, who care enough to help lift me up and my precious family members up....this is so trite and I say it so very often....every single minute of every day is a gift....and for each minute I am truly thankful.

© 2017 Patricia Scott

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    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 15 hours ago from sunny Florida

      What a kind thing for you to say, Frank. My connection to others is not in whether they are or are not religious or spiritual, by the way. It is the goodness that they exude through the reaching out to others. Know that Angels are on the way to you....many of them walk among you on a daily basis. ps--

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 40 hours ago from Shelton

      Patricia, truth be told.. I am not a spiritual or religious person.. but if I were allowed one blessing.. it would be for you and your family... so God bless you

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 13 days ago from sunny Florida

      Thank you so much for your kind words Jo. It is a journey that we walk with many who love and uplift us. We are unlike so many others who have challenges but truly love and joy abound.

      Sending Angels your way this morning ps

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      Jo Miller 2 weeks ago from Tennessee

      What courage and bravery and love you show, Patricia. Sending best wishes for you and your family.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 2 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      thank you Manatita for your heartfelt comment. I do know, we do know that God does not give us more than we can handle. I wish sometimes He did not think I can handle so much :D

      We just keep on keeping on and hoping and believing that today will bring joy and peace. Angels are once again on the way....and thank you for stopping by to read and comment. ps

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 weeks ago from london

      Perhaps God wants you to share, Patricia, to inspire others. You do this so well! Those cute smiles from your young ones in dire straights, seem to say that acceptance is a great virtue.

      Yes, it's hard and never easy. In the last 35 years on this Path of sweet sacrifice, I have fell so many times! The secret is to keep rising, to refuse to be beaten... I suspect you know all this, Patricia.

      Your Hub is a most inspirational one and the music is cool too. You ask why all this happen in your weak moments, but what I can say for certain is that our Lord is preparing you; preparing us all for a greater harvest; that He never gives us more than we can bear; that there is always a higher reason, even if we cannot see it; that whatever happens in Divine providence, is always fruitful of good and Light..

      My prayer is that God will continue to bless you and family and that you will meet all your needs, according to His Will and Consciousness. Glory be!!

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 3 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      Sadly some never learn to live that maxim...that laughter is truly the best way to navigate troubled waters. We joke about things that many would NOT find humorous but it is how we make the difficult something we can put in its place. Thank you for your meaningful comment Dennis. Hoping all is good with you and yours. Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps

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      Dennis L. Page 4 weeks ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      Thank you, for writing this wonderful, heartfelt and candid article. I couldn't help but notice how much your two handsome grandsons look alike. Smile and the world smiles with you is my philosophy. I start each day being thankful I am above ground. I love to joke and make those around me smile and laugh. Of course, every now and then I run into a "Debbie Downer." Once, while attending a family dinner, my wife's nephew's wife (now an ex-wife) coldly said, "Oh, Dennis, you think everything is a joke!" For a brief moment I got serious, but with a smile replied, "Cheryl, I would rather laugh than cry." She abruptly and rudely stormed out of the room. That was the last time I ever saw or spoke to her again. She, unfortunately, has never learned the basic lessons of simply loving life and and living with an attitude of gratitude. I wish nothing but the best for your grandson.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 4 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      O yes he is...and of course I would say that. But he does make my heart sing just as his brother does....how lucky I am to be their grandmama...or Nini Nanan Padi

      Angels once again on the way ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 4 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      I thought I responded to this but am not seeing it so am replying again. Thank you for stopping to read. We are indeed blessed Catherine despite the challenges that come our way. Thank you for the healing wishes....each bit of positive energy is valued and so important. ps

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 4 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      He's a beautiful little boy who was lucky enough to be born into a wonderful family. I wish the very best for him on his life's journey.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 4 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      Thank you for stopping Catherine. We are so blessed to have so many who care about us which helps keep our lives easier. Living the life we have is not always easy but it is again about choice...choosing to see the silver lining keeps us soldiering on.

      Angels are once again on the way ps

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 5 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      You have had, and continue to have, so many reasons to feel despair, yet you open your heart to joy and love. You remind us that there is always a reason for the joy. I send wishes for healing to your beautiful grandson.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 5 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      We found that things were of little importance to us during those time and we are thankful for that. We do try every day to revel in love and joy. Angels are once again on the way ps

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      Kari Poulsen 5 weeks ago from Ohio

      I am with you Patricia. I know what it is like to have nothing. We need to find our joy in little every day occurrences. And, if we look, we will find. My love is going out to you and yours. :)

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      Patricia Scott 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      O thank you Linda. We have had lots of soul searching moments over the years. And we have found that being positive is how we face each new obstacle. We know that God is in the house and that He carries us up and over every mountain that comes.

      Thank you for your kind words. Know that Angels are headed your way. ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      Yes I do believe that is so. And truly this walk would not have been possible without God....of that I am positive. Thank you so much for your prayer. Know they are returned and Angels are headed your way ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      You are absolutely correct Audrey. Worry and desperation help us not at all. I have lost other family members to this dread disease. It is a tough journey indeed. My heart goes out to you in the loss of your son....no words can ever make it better.

      Thank you for stopping to read.

      Once again Angels are on the way ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      Thank you Peggy. I really wrote this as much for me as to send out to others. I am sometimes weak and slip into not sharing my joy and love as I must.

      I am so thankful to have a friend like you. Angels are many hugs and blessings are headed your way ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      Thank you for stopping to read, Devika. Life is so precious and each moment we spend loving and embracing our friends and family serves to make everyone happier.

      Angels are headed your way. ps

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      Linda Lum 6 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      I know that you and your family have gone through so many struggles. Nevertheless, you remain positive. I think it might help the rest of us put a bit of perspective on what is really important in our lives.

      Your messages are so uplifting and full of love. God bless you and thank you for sharing your journey of love with us.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 6 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

      Those who have been there are the ones who help and give back in most cases. Because they do understand life is not always perfect and there can be so many trials. God is always there, though, to deliver in so many ways, through us. God bless you and your family, ps. May God make your cup runneth over, I pray this minute.

      Amen

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      Audrey Hunt 6 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      I lost my precious son to cancer. It's been a tough journey. Good health is the most priceless gift we have. Live everyday as if it were your last.

      Blessings to you

      Audrey

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Your words are always uplifting Patricia. Sending virtual hugs and many, many smiles your way!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 6 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      People like who share such experiences are courageous. Without love and joy no one can move on the days are bleaker and depressing. You make me think how precious life is and how often we take this special gift for granted.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      It is amazing how leveling a catastrophe be it a medical one or an environmental one can be. It makes us take stock and reassess what really matters. You are so right...that smile can make a huge difference in the life of someone --it may be their high point for the day. I am sorry to hear of your friend but hope that something positive comes from the trial if she decides to participate. My daughter has been in more than I care to count...not sure how much good any of them did or whether she got the real thing. But we continue to be thankful every single day. and thank you for your kind words Peggy...they really do mean a LOT. Once again Angels are winging their way to you ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      We definitely are Eric...keep on keeping on You are most welcome ps

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      I just spent the day with a dear friend whose cancer treatments are not working. Monday she and her husband meet with her doctor to discuss the possibility of entering a trial treatment. Big decision to make because in those trials...some of the people get placebos.

      As you have mentioned many times, life is a gift and no matter how many days we have been granted we should be appreciative.

      When I was a volunteer counselor at an assistance ministry it was actually uplifting for me. That was because no matter how dire the situation was...many people had such faith and endurance. I heard so many heartbreaking stories! It made me think that my problems were nothing in comparison and made me appreciate even more what we had.

      I think that if you really get to know people...most of them have trials of one sort or another. What seem like mountains may seem like mole hills to others.

      Hurricane Harvey in our area has been so devastating to so many people. It has also brought out the best in people and given them chances to help and aid one another. Few people can get through this life without help of one kind or another from others. It may be as simple as a friendly smile that might make the difference to someone.

      Bless you and your family! Always good to hear from you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great Patricia. We are all connected through love. Thank you.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      I so understand Eric. what if you had given up with your first diagnosis?? You would be gone. My daughter was diagnosed with her first cancer about 1o years ago now and has been told many times it is time to make peace with her wordly life as she is on the way out. Thankfully God has chosen to keep her here. She continues her fight...her body is tired and she is tired but she gets up every day and LIVES because of her boys....Thank you Eric for sharing your words with me...with us....and know that healing Angels are on the way...God is in the house. ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      No need to apologize....I have not been here as much as I would like myself. But I find so much here that I miss it when I do not come. Thank you for taking time to respond....our Little Heston Wayne is an amazing little boy...he keeps us believing that goodness does prevail. we hope to get him all of the care he deserves. Angels are once again on the way to you ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
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      Patricia Scott 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      YOU are so right ...Bill. Tired to the bone of the nnnnaaaaaahhhh every day. It is time for us to share our joy and our love. thank you my dear friend for taking time from your busy schedule to respond. Angels are once again on the way ps

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I think this is very well done and important. I had a strange one back in '95. Maybe two months to live. A nasty cancer. I am very Christian in my beliefs. About an hour after being told I just gave up the struggle and thanked my God every day. One more hour here with my sister or children. What joy?!

      Two decades later and another different cancer. Holding hand brings both comfort.

      Thanks again for a wonderful piece.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 6 weeks ago from SW England

      Patricia, you are always so full of love, joy and an appreciation of beauty and this piece fills us with hope and joy for all those people and things around us that inspire and lift us.

      It is hard to go through tough times but it certainly helps when there are others who are willing to understand and give us a hug.

      I have many good friends and family and I try my best to treat others as I wish to be treated. It works most of the time and I can't bear it if I've hurt or offended someone (fortunately, I don't think I've done that often).

      You inspire us all, as does your little grandson. I pray he gets the treatment he needs.

      It's good to read your words again, after a while away from your hubs - apologies, life has been busy, but I'm going to catch up on as many as I can.

      With hugs to you and all your family.

      Ann

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      Bill Holland 6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That's really what it all comes down to, isn't it? Love and joy! PS, I have tears in my eyes, and I thank you for them. I am so tired of the constant bickering on social media....in the grand scheme of things, it all amounts to a pile of doo doo. How did you live your life? How many people were you kind to? How many people felt your love? These are the things that truly matter.

      Peace, love, and hugs coming your way.