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Thanks, Gratitude and Remembrance!

Today, September 30th is a wonderful day for me!  It was 9 years ago today that I received my double lung transplant.  I am joyful and so very grateful for the chance I was given to live on.  It is a day of deep gratitude for the family of my lung donor and my lung donor himself!  It is also a day of thought and sadness that a family lost their loved one.  How do you thank someone who has given you the chance to live???

It reminds me of a Psalm:  How can I make a return to the Lord, for all the good he has done for me?

I think of my donor ~ what did he look like, what did he love and not love, did he have a wife or children???  Did he laugh lots and love more? Who were his favorite sports teams and what did he do for fun???  These are all questions that perhaps one day I will find the answer to.  But, if I don’t I can be sure that when I pass from this world I will meet him and give him my great thanks!

All I know about my donor is that he was a 29 year old male.  I received the lungs from the Charleston West Virginia Hospital.  I will be sending another letter to the donor family after a bit time has passed since the date of his death to let them know that the lungs I breathe with were his lungs and that I share a love for him.

I will be thinking and praying for him in a very special way today.

May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed rest in Peace!!!

 

Transplant Date:  September 30, 2005

Sandy Ozanich (c) September 30, 2014

 

 

The Best Time of My Life

I was just looking outside to my backyard and there was my Festival of Birds!!!  Well that’s what I call them!!!  I have 4 bird feeders and there were so many birds singing and chirping, eating and playing.  What a scene.  I love this stuff.  I love watching the birds play and eat and argue, feed their babies and others trying to mate with whoever will have him.

It reminds me of the days I used to sit on my back porch and watch the birds, the butterflies, the flowers and loving every minute of it.  This was during the time that I literally was dying from Emphysema.  Here I was in my early 50’s wearing oxygen all the time. . .my only activity then was sitting and watching the birds.  I could not do anything else.  My job was to just breathe.  That was job enough because my lungs were only functioning at 20%.  So I took my job seriously by breathing and witnessing this glory called nature.

This back porch sitting was the best time of my life!  I became what God calls us to be ~ alive, aware, and witness to this beautiful world we are given to enjoy.  It was a time for reflection for sure.  It was also a time to just sit quietly, breathe and soak in God’s love.  It was a time for deep prayer, for wondering what the future held, but more than that it was a time to be fully alive even though my life was slipping away at that moment.  I had no idea whether I would survive this illness, but I was content in knowing that God had me no matter how it evolved.

My wish for my friends is that they get to experience what I experienced during that time and it is my prayer that I will be able to stay there.  I am so grateful for the life I have been  given a second chance ~ and now that I had been given a second chance I want to live that life to the fullest.

Truth be told, I have to say that I seem to have fallen back into being too busy to sit on that porch and witness God’s creation, so as soon as I place the last period on this piece I am going out to my beloved back porch to just breathe!!!

 

Sandy Ozanich (c) August 6, 2014

The Night Before Christmas – different version

Nativity Coptic Style

This image is from the Christian Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.

Pray for them as we celebrate what they cannot.

~ ~ ~

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

By: Sister St. Thomas, B.N.D. de N.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town,

St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down;

Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild,

While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child;

The children were nestled, each snug in their beds,

The grown-ups wouldn’t bother, “There’s no room!” they said;

When even the innkeeper sent them away,

Joseph did wonder, now where could they stay?;

He thought of the caves on the side of the hill,

“Let’s go there,” said Mary, “It’s silent and still;”

The moon on the crests of the new fallen snow,

Made pathways of light for their tired feet to go;

And there in a cave, in a cradle of hay,

Our Saviour was born on that first Christmas Day!

The Father was watching in heaven above,

He sent forth His angels, His couriers of love;

More rapid than eagles, God’s bright angels came;

Rejoicing and eager as each heard his name;

“Come Power, Come Cherubs, Come Virtues, Come Raphael,

Come Thrones and Dominions, come Michael and Gabriel;”

“Now fly to the Earth, where My poor people live,

Announce the glad tidings My Son comes to give;”

The Shepherds were watching their flocks on this night,

And saw in the heavens an unearthly light;

The Angels assured them, they’d nothing to fear,

“It’s Christmas,” they said, “The Saviour is here!”

They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door,

Till Mary invited them in to adore;

He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet,

Never did the Shepherds see a baby so sweet!

He spoke not a word, but the shepherds all knew,

He was telling them secrets and blessing them too;

Then softly they left Him, the Babe in the hay,

And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day;

Mary heard them exclaim as they walked up the hill,

“Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to men of good will!”

 

 Merry Christmas to all!!!  

May the Infinite who became an infant bless you now and always and my our Good God bless you with the desires of your heart. . .

Sandy Ozanich (c) December 24, 2013

Jesus Walks on the Water. . .

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my good friend, Fr. Donald Ware, C.P., of St. Paul of the Cross Monastery in Pittsburgh PA about the Gospel story of Jesus walking on the water.
 
As the story goes, the disciples were on their fishing boat and a storm blew in and was tossing the boat about and they were very afraid. . .
 
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. 27At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I;* do not be afraid.” 28Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 30j But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith,* why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:26-31 – New American Bible)
 
This is what I learned from my discussion with Fr. Don moving the story to this time in our lives. . .I had these reflections. . .
 
Just as Jesus called Peter out of the boat to walk to him, Jesus is calling me to get out of the boat of my  comfort and walk on the water of my fears, my failures, my sinfulness and walk to Jesus.
 
Can I walk to him trusting that He will uphold me in the storm of life circumstances ~ my health situation, my relationships, my judgmental attitude toward others. . .and on and on and on.
 
Each day is a new challenge to get out of that boat and walk in faith to the outstretched arms of Jesus, calling me and you to fulness, to great love of others and blessings galore, to FREEDOM!!!
 
I pray for Jesus’ abundant blessings on you as you climb out of your boat of comfort and walk on the water of your life to Jesus!
 
Sandy Ozanich (c)
December 10, 2013
 
 
 
 

Enter the Advent Womb

We’ve honored the doorways of Lazarus,

paid homage to Kaufmanns and Sears.

The Season of Sparkle has grabbed us

and filled us with gift shopping fears.

 We’ve decked all our halls with good wishes

and shopped every Mall —  one more time!

Has the Spirit of Christmas come down to

the jingle of nickels and dimes?

 But, it’s lovely and lively and thrilling . . . . . !

 

                                 the merchants

                                                 are making

                                                                a killing!

 

Let us ever so gently enter the Advent Womb,

like a little drummer, bringing all we have. . .

our joy and our pain,

our sin and our goodness,

our questions and our searching,

our longing for something.

 for someone . . . . .

 We surrender to the Love that calls,

bringing all we are

and all we think we are.

 Surrounded by this sacred, fluid darkness

we yearn for birth,

for wholeness,

 for courage to stand for those who are afraid,

for words to speak for those who can’t,

for the simple pleasures

of a life fully lived,

a love fully given,

for Light in the darkness,

for peace

for Christ.

  Deep within our hearts we prepare a place

A manger of acceptance – – –

A Place of hope

A Place of healing,

a Refuge.

 Gently, ever so gently, enter the Advent Womb

and together we will give birth

to our dreams

our Christ

our selves.

                                                                      Hand Drawn Stable and Camel                                  

Sandy Ozanich ©

Advent-1995

Author’s Note:  I am a Lay Passionist Associate with the Province of St. Paul of the Cross.  I would like to suggest that you visit our monastery at:

http://www.saintpaulofthecrossmonastery.com