2011 TOUCHED BY THE EXTRAORDINARY™ NEWSLETTER...
STORIES OF HOPE, LOVE AND MIRACLES
FOR THE NEW YEAR AND ALWAYS
--A Susan Apollon
Publication, Issue #26
Guidelines, Recommendations and Tips for
Creating an Abundance of Blessings in Your Life
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IN THIS ISSUE
The Power of Stories
Of Hope and Love
1. The Clock
2. Kerry's Gift
3. No Pain, No Suffering
4. Ryan's Angel
5. Joey's Stories
6. A Mom's Messages
Quotes That Touch The Heart
A Special Offer and A Special Request
A WARM WELCOME
Welcome Dear Reader,Hello and a warm welcome! It is December 26th, as I write you this letter. The snow is falling, steadily, covering everything with an exquisite blanket of glistening, jeweled snowflakes, creating a world of blissful peace – much like Heaven, I would like to think.
We have a fire burning and have been listening to sounds of the holidays, as well as watching the holiday classics, and feeling grateful for our health and blessings. Wherever you are as you read these words, may you have blessings in your life of peace, good health, laughter and much, much love.
INTRODUCTION: THE POWER OF STORIES AND HOPE
As a psychologist who works with those dealing with cancer and other life-challenging illnesses, along with, grief, depression and trauma, I have tools I have learned and created to expedite the healing of my patients. However, quite honestly, I have found that stories carry powerful weight in creating hope and healing the body, mind and soul.
The holidays are filled with great excitement, wonderful sounds and images and memories of joyful holidays shared with loved ones during better times or with those who are no longer here. The paradox of life is that as we recall with affection and love the childhood memories of times spent with parents, grandparents and friends, we are confronted with the realization that they are no longer here or that our lives have taken significant turns. It is this awareness that often fills us with sadness. Holidays also bring up disappointments and losses we have had professionally, as well as personally, be it a home, dream or job. It is in these moments that we most need Hope and it is stories of Hope and Love which seem to soothe our broken hearts.
And, so, in this issue, I share with you heartwarming, healing stories of Love, Loss and Hope from friends and patients who, in the midst of dealing with hardship and loss, have experienced
extraordinary connections in the form of signs and synchronicities with their angels, God or deceased loved ones.
Some of these stories are follow-ups to stories shared in my newly released
Touched by the Extraordinary Book Two, Healing Stories of Love, Loss and Hope. (See
"Special Offer" for ordering information.) The overall message is that in tough times, when dealing with various life challenges, it helps to know that Love does not die and that your angels and loved ones will find whatever way, often via signs and synchronicities, to let you know they are with you – especially on holidays and anniversaries. The key is to open your heart and allow in the possibility of possibilities! So, here we go and may you enjoy!
STORIES OF HOPE AND LOVE
The following story took place over this past Thanksgiving holiday, providing an entire family with the message of the eternal nature of both Love and Hope. Rosalie’s stories appear in both
Touched by the Extraordinary books. Her heart always remains open to miracles and to Love. Thus, she is blessed with numerous wonderful encounters with the extraordinary.
THE CLOCK by Rosalie Schack
Thanksgiving is usually spent here at our home in Yardley, Pa. My cousin and family from Pittsburgh come with their two grown children as does my cousin Rich and family from Hopewell Jct., New York. It's the ten of us and it is a really fun time.
This year we went to Rich's home in New York. We had planned it this way because Rich had placed his sister, Gerri, for whom he had been lovingly caring, in a nursing home in Poughkeepsie, New York. Sadly, Gerri passed away at the end of September. However, Rich insisted on having Thanksgiving at his home.
After helping ourselves to the most delicious Thanksgiving feast, so beautifully placed on servers in the kitchen, we made our way to the dining room where we could all be seated. I was in charge of saying grace and began my prayer with the traditional,
Bless Us Oh Lord. After finishing, my cousin Rich, Gerri's brother, stood up and gave a lovely toast to his deceased sister. He made a point of saying that we had all come together for Thanksgiving and that we knew she was there as well. We all raised our glasses and thought of Gerri.
Suddenly, Rich exclaimed, "What the Heck (Hell)! "All of us noticed and heard a clock chiming that sat on a nearby buffet server. We thought nothing of it, but Rich and his wife, Chris, were flabbergasted. Rich asked Chris, "When did that clock start working?" She explained that it hadn't worked at all until that very minute. She also indicated that she had tried putting in new batteries and it still had not worked! The darn thing was chiming and ticking away, after not having worked or made a sound for more than a year!
I guess it was Gerri's way of telling us all the she was not going to miss being with us for Thanksgiving; she was, in fact, right there! Needless to say, we were all smiling and extremely happy. Furthermore, it has been more than a month since Thanksgiving, and the clock is still working.
2. KERRY’S GIFT OF HOPE AND LOVE
In Healing Stories of Love, Loss and Hope, Dr. Beth DuPree offers several stories about her good friend Kerry and
Kerry's intention of finding a home for her two loves - her dogs. The following story is a natural follow-up to the original, provided by both Beth and Kerry.
According to Beth, her dear friend, Kerry, who had died several years before, had again found a unique way to communicate her pleasure about the manner in which Beth had shared with me Kerry’s stories regarding the placement of her precious dogs.
It had been less than a year since Beth had told me the story of Kerry’s creative shenanigans to secure Beth’s attention and help finding a home for her beloved dogs. Beth explained to me that she would find dog food (definitely not the kind she feeds her own dogs) in her shoes, dress and coat pockets and in her file cabinets. She and her family originally thought mice were the culprits, but they were not finding the customary droppings that would indicate mice. Beth learned from a friend of Kerry’s that the discovery of dog food was Kerry’s way of asking Beth for help in caring for her dogs, who were like her children. Once a home was found for both dogs, the finding of dog food completely stopped.
When Beth recently met me for coffee, she presented me with a small freezer plastic bag that contained one red, heart shaped piece of dog food. She told me that earlier that morning, while having her usual cup of coffee, she began rereading the stories of Kerry and the dog food. This led to her thinking about and missing Kerry.
Beth explained that It was after she had finished her coffee and was getting dressed that she noticed something unusual when she slipped her foot into her Uggs boot. An object seemed to be stuck in the boot. When she slid her hand down and inside the boot, she said that she was stunned to pull out a piece of dog food– in the shape of a heart! She smiled as she told me this.
Oh, the power of love! Beth gave me this heart shaped dog food and I treasure it – because it comes from Kerry and because the meaning it has for me is that she is happy with the stories that Beth wrote and which I included in
Healing Stories of Love, Loss and Hope.
Once again, Kerry’s actions provided me with hope, as well as evidence that our loved ones are so aware of our thoughts, feelings and actions, and are looking for ways to speak to us. Bravo, Kerry!
In Healing Stories of Love, Loss and Hope, you will find the story of how David and Joanne Kane have maintained communication with their son, Nicky, who had died in a fire in a nightclub in Rhode Island a few years ago. Using the number 41, Nicky continues to provide his parents and all of us with evidence that loving communication continues, despite the death of the body. Whoever thought that a number could convey so much hope?
NO PAIN, NO SUFFERING…A STORY OF HOPE & LOVE by David Kane
Although, my wife, Joanne, and I cherish the many signs and messages we get from Nick, there are still times when we need to be reassured. In the beginning, we asked every
medium we saw if Nicky had suffered before he passed. The answer was always no pain. Even when we didn’t ask the question during these sessions, Nicky would find a way to bring it up, himself. We were always assured that there was no pain.
Still, every now and then, Joanne would find herself worrying about
Nick’s final moments. She would say to me: “Are you really convinced
that Nick didn’t suffer?” Each time I would remind her of what Nicky
had told us over and over again: "no pain." But, like any other mother, the very thought of her child having even one moment of discomfort was too much to endure. As much as she wanted to believe what she had been told, Joanne needed to be sure. The last time we had a conversation about this was just that, the last time.
It was the Christmas season of 2005. Joanne and I had gone to tag a Christmas tree.
This was something that Nicky loved doing. After we finished we got in the car to leave. It was then that Jo brought up the subject again. My reaction was both frustration and sadness. I felt frustrated because I couldn’t seem to comfort her on this issue. I felt sadness because the truth is that deep down, I still worried about this too.
My response was to say what I had said many times before. “Why do you keep asking that question? Nicky has told us time after time that he had no pain. You are driving him nuts. He knows how important this is to you. He loves you and wants you to know that he is just fine. What do you want him to do, put it in writing?” It was just then that we saw the vanity license plate on the car coming toward us. The plate had only two words: “NO PAIN”
4. RYAN’S ANGEL: A GIFT OF HOPE by Jill Carr
Almost 25 years ago, my mother was going through chemotherapy. She had completed her first session and had a three-week hiatus before beginning her second round of chemo. It was summer time and we all needed a change of scenery. My cousin graciously offered us a house that she had on her property on Squam Lake in New Hampshire. Filled with gratitude for a chance to escape, my mom and I traveled there with my then three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter.
It was an idyllic location and we were enjoying being with family and having the opportunity to put what my mother was going through temporarily out of the forefront of our minds. Soon, though, our happiness was replaced with concern for my young son, Ryan. He had begun having violent diarrhea and could not seem to keep anything down. My cousin and I took him to her local pediatrician who ordered clear liquids and Jello. His condition continued to worsen, and the following day I called the pediatrician. He said that if Ryan did not improve by the next evening, he would need to be hospitalized in order to be given fluids.
I was so afraid. Since my mother had been diagnosed, I had become a bit of a hypochondriac and I magnified every little thing in my mind. I went to bed that night praying to God. I had been struggling with my faith since my mother was ill. However, this night I found myself bargaining with God to please cure my son. I assured Him that if he did, my faith would never falter again.
The following morning my son was still ill. I was to call the pediatrician later that afternoon. It was approximately 10:30 in the morning when there was a knock at the door. We opened the door to find a very kind older woman. She asked if she could come in, stating that she had grown up in the house and hadn’t been back in years. I don’t recall whether she told us her name, but her overwhelming warmth led us to welcome her into our home.
As we chatted, we told her about Ryan. She listened to our story and surprised us by telling us she was sure she knew the source of our problem.. She asked about the water with which we were making the Jello and soup.. When we stated that we were using water from the faucet, she explained that her brother had had similar problems because the water came from the well and was so full of minerals. She suggested we immediately purchase bottled water and try using that.
We immediately took her advice, and Ryan was able to keep down the very the first bit of broth which had been made with the bottled water. I was in shock and so grateful.
Not long after this, my cousin stopped by to see how Ryan was doing. We told her he was much better and then talked about the woman who came by and who had said that she had grown up in the house. Hearing this, my cousin looked extremely puzzled and then explained to us that the only family that had ever lived in that house was her husband’s family and there were no daughters.
In that moment, I realized that God had sent me an angel. This kind woman was God’s answer to my prayer. With this event, I began my journey of knowing that my prayers are heard and that I am always in communication with my angels and God.
JOEY’S STORIES OF WHISPERS OF HOPE AND LOVE
Mary shared the two following extraordinary stories of healing connections with her recently deceased son.
According to Mary, when she left my office one evening, she found herself sitting in her car, in my office parking lot, listening to a CD of an old Mario Lanza song,
Addio Alla Madre. The melody and the words both moved her and touched the very core of her being. You see, the CD had been a gift she had received several months before from her son, Joey, who had died in a car accident just a few weeks before.
Mary shared with me that, when he gave her the CD, she really was not interested in listening to it. In fact, she recalled saying to Joey, when he offered her the CD, “Why? I’m not really a fan of Mario Lanza.” But, she remembered that he persisted, saying “ I want you to have this CD and emphasized his wish by putting it into her car CD player.
Now, she found herself listening so intensely to the words that she could not bring herself to remove it from the car CD player. The few words she heard with which she could identify were “mamma,” “Madre a Santa” and “soldato.” It was these words which motivated her to research the translation of the song.
When she did this, she was moved even more deeply because the boy in the song was a soldier who was going off to war (Joey had been born on Veteran’s Day) and, being unsure that he would return, was asking his mama for a kiss and to pray for him. The last words of the song are: “Pray to God for me! A kiss, Mama... farewell!” Mary felt that Joey, on some level, was saying goodbye and asking for her prayers, knowing that he would be leaving. The words of this song had become extremely meaningful and precious to Mary, providing her with the gift of hope, easing her deep grief.
A Secret Message
One of Mary’s treasured possessions is a sliding picture frame which Joey had purchased for her the first Christmas he was able to work. He had wanted to buy something special to hold a beautiful necklace that he had bought for his mom.
Mary told me that on one side of the frame it presented the faces of The Three Kings (as children). When she slid the frame to the opposite side, it revealed a message from Joey with the words “I love you.” Additionally, when she removed the back of the frame, she found a beautiful necklace with three diamonds that Joey had,
also, bought for her. The note he wrote also indicated that there was a secret message on the other side of the note, but Mary thought that “I love you” was the secret message.
In the midst of her grief and just a few days before we had met, the frame fell off the piano and, consequently, broke. Though her husband had been able to fix the frame by clamping it, she felt that in order to repair it properly, she had to take the frame apart.
Imagine her amazement when she discovered the real Secret Message! According to Mary, upon opening up the frame, her heart melted as she discovered and read Joey’s words of sincere gratitude and appreciation. His words were: “Thank you for teaching me to learn enough to be smart enough to get enough insight to understand that the best gifts in life aren’t hard to get; they’re just hidden!!! Love you! Joey”
Mary knew that in the moments of her grief, Joey had given her words of comfort– and all because the frame had fallen and broken! Mary did not feel that it was an accident that the frame broke and that she had received this powerful message in the moments she most needed it. She filled with unexpected hope as she felt his presence once again.
MOM’S MESSAGES OF HOPE AND LOVE by Terry Kovalchick
It was fourteen years ago that we celebrated our first Christmas without my mom. I was thirty eight years-old at the time. Mom had died of Cancer on July 30th of that year. I had a very difficult time dealing with the loss because we had been so very close.
This year, we moved into a ranch- style home, and I wasn’t quite sure if it was the right thing to do. However, I later learned from my mom that we had made a good decision. The reason I write this is that Mom has presented herself to me in a variety of ways since we moved. One special way is via the scent of coffee, which only I seem to be able to notice. What makes this unusual is that we don’t drink coffee. In fact, we no longer even have a coffee pot in our home. Mom was the only one who drank coffee whenever she came to visit. When she died, I threw out the coffee pot. Thus, after moving in and noticing the strong scent of coffee, I knew that it could only mean one thing; Mom approved of the move and was telling me we had made the right decision.
Recently, while listening to my favorite Christmas CD, I began feeling extremely sad and tearful. The music was reminding me of Christmas holidays shared with my mom and I was deeply missing her. I recall that through my tears, I asked mom for an embrace or hug, or if she could run her fingers through my hair, as she so often would do when, as a child, I would sit with her in church, listening to the sermon (I was never really good at listening to sermons.)
I waited for some response to my request, and when it appeared that there was not going to be any, I let it go, feeling that she might be preoccupied with something else. Five minutes later, my husband came into the room. Noticing that I appeared to be upset, he asked what was troubling me; I explained that I had been thinking about my mom and that this Christmas would be the 14th without her.
At that point, he ran his fingers through my hair, something he never does. I felt this was a special gift from Mom – a gift of love and hope. The message of hope is that she will always be there when I need her, be it Christmas or any time of the year.
Terry has also shared with me that there have been numerous times when she would smell cigarette smoke – which nobody else in her family would notice. Her thinking is that these incidents usually occur at times when she is missing her mom.
Along the same line of thinking, my friend, Michel, has frequently been awakened by the smell of cigarette smoke. He has recently told me that he grew up in Lebanon and that he and his grandfather shared a small bedroom. His grandfather was a smoker and the first thing he would do upon awakening was light up a cigarette. Though this was not pleasant for Michel in the past, when it occurs now, it is a gentle, loving and comforting reminder of his grandfather’s presence.
QUOTES THAT TOUCH THE HEART
Quotes That Move & Inspire Me….
"We are nearest the angels when we love"
~Joan Walsh Anglund
"Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around"
"To wonder at an animal is to begin to understand God..."
"The family is one of nature’s masterpieces"
"If you seek an angel with an open heart…You shall always find one"
Quote Especially For The New Year...
"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going
to be dead by mighnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness
and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought
of any reward. Your life will never be the same again..."
From a beautiful Hallmark card sent to me this holiday by a gal whose son died many years ago. My thanks to Hallmark and the author of these words that ring so true, especially for those of you who are dealing with any kind of challenge:
When you’ve had a tough year,
It’s probably hard to celebrate the holidays with a truly happy heart.
But maybe you can at least take some time for yourself,
enjoy simple comforts,
and light a candle of hope for the new year to come.
A SPECIAL OFFER AND A SPECIAL REQUEST
Touched by the Extraordinary Book Two, Healing Stories of Love, Loss and Hope is now available as a book, a 4 CD audiobook and as an MP3!
Finally, Book Two Healing Stories of Love, Loss and Hope
has arrived and is being extremely well received. If you or a loved one are dealing with any kind of challenge, be it the loss of a job, dream, home or loved one, which has led you to feelings of despair, you are very much in need of Hope. Consider reading this book. Readers have written to me, indicating that the
Healing Stories of Love, Loss and Hope has inspired them to feel they can make it through some of the most difficult times in their lives.
www.HealingStoriesOfLoveLossAndHope.com to check out what others have been saying about the book, as well as to learn about how to order the book at a 25% savings.
A REQUEST, PLEASE…
After you have read
Book Two, Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope, if you feel it has helped you in some way and feel it has the power to help others dealing with any kind of loss or challenge, please,
would you write a few words of endorsement at
www.amazon.com. This, I am told, is a powerful way of enabling the book to reach readers who can be helped by the healing stories. For this, you have my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation.
As we begin the new year, let us remember that we can achieve so much more when we choose to live in cooperation with one another and always with the loving compassion and respect with which we would want to be treated. Consider, also, that your life’s purpose may have more to do with what you can lovingly do for others than for yourself. When you remember to love and honor the being next to you, you, too, shall receive gifts which have the power to transform and heal your body, mind and soul. May your new year be filled with the magic of miracles and mystery and much, much love!
"As long as there is life, there is the possibility of Love.
And where there is Love, there is the always Hope.
No matter what the mirror says, no matter what your doctor says,
no matter what the establishment says, there is always HOPE!"
Susan Barbara Apollon
With All My Love,
Please forward a copy of this newsletter to your friends and family, suggesting that they might want to sign up for their own copy at:
"Sometimes a scientist – often a very great scientist – realizes
that miracles pervade everything. Einstein was such a person. As he put it,
‘There are only two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing is a miracle;
the other is as though everything is a miracle. I choose the latter."
~Larry Dossey, MD, The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things
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