Posts Tagged With: John F. Kennedy’s assassination

Day 2188: Today is …

Today is …

  • the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination,
  • the anniversary of my first heart surgery and my first pacemaker, at age 10,
  • the birthday of a wonderful woman named Jean who reads this blog (Happy Birthday, Jean!), and
  • Thanksgiving in the USA!

Today is a great day to give thanks and to share these photos, taken yesterday.

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Today is a day to share this: we may rant and rave at the passage of time, but it’s good to be in the moment — today and every day!

Today is the day I discovered Today is master-class:  how to paint a cat.

 

Today is a day for giving thanks to all who help me create these blog posts and to you — of course! — for reading them.

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Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1422: For the birds

My late father, seen in this photograph of my family which was taken the week before November 22, 1963 …

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… used the expression “for the birds” to mean “bad, lousy, unfortunate.”

As my family posed for that picture, we were unaware of some bad, lousy, and unfortunate events that were looming in the future — the assassination of John F. Kennedy and my emergency heart surgery on November 22, 1963.

On this 53rd anniversary of that day, it occurs to me that:

  • the U.S. is dealing with many things, right now, that my father would characterize as “for the birds,”
  • I like birds, and
  • I coincidentally took several photos of birds yesterday.

 

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So we could  say that this blog post is for the birds.

Here‘s what I found on YouTube, for the birds:

 

Do you think “For the Birds” is relevant today?

Please leave a comment for the bird who created this blog post.

It would be for the birds, according to my father, if I did not express gratitude to all the birds and humans who helped me create this for-the-birds post and  to my wonderful flock of readers, including you!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 323: Grieving old losses

After an initial therapy session, I need to write a treatment formulation. This includes  a brief description of the person seeking therapy  and my best guess at what might help.

When I write a formulation, I tend to include certain therapeutic themes.

One of them is this:

Grieving old losses.

I do believe that most people have losses, from the past, that could be attended to, in a new way.

I know that I do.

I know that I still am grieving the loss of both my parents.  That is a work in progress.

I am especially aware of losses, where the grieving has barely begun.

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This week, as I prepare for the 50th anniversary of November 22, 1963, I am becoming aware of a loss I have not yet grieved.

The loss of President John F. Kennedy.

As I have blogged about, several times this year (and especially lately), I was 10 years old when President Kennedy was killed.

However, I wasn’t awake, during that time.  I was undergoing my first heart surgery, for the implantation of my first cardiac pacemaker.

So I’ve always felt different, that way.  When people of my generation discuss where they were when JFK was killed, my story is …. weird, I guess.

This is the way I found out that President Kennedy was dead:

They had gotten me out of bed, days after my surgery, and somebody was taking me around in a wheelchair, down the corridor of the Children’s Hospital ward.  As we passed by each patient room, I saw the TVs, mounted up high,  on the wall.

On each TV, I saw the same image.  The same image, over and over again, as somebody wheeled me by.

A coffin.

I had never seen anything like that before, on TV.  And it was on every TV.

Days before, I had asked a question, twice, and received a world-shifting answer.  The question had been, “What’s that?” when I saw a large pacemaker, implanted under my skin.

When I saw the coffin, I MUST have been afraid to ask that same question.

I don’t remember the fear. But I do remember asking the question.

“What’s that?”

And that’s when I found out that my beloved president, John F. Kennedy, had been shot.

Killed.  Murdered.

By whom?

By a man named Lee Harvey Oswald.

I couldn’t take in that unfamiliar name, I’m sure.

Why did he kill the President?

Nobody knew. And he was dead, too. He had been killed, by another stranger.

How was all this possible?

HOW WAS ANY OF IT POSSIBLE?

I couldn’t answer that.  I was only 10.

I wonder if anybody, awake during that time, could answer that.

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This week, as Friday — the 50th anniversary of 11/22/63  — approaches, I have resolved to grieve old losses, as well as I can.

I am taking Friday off from work.  I have committed to be especially kind to myself, that day.

One way to be kind to myself is this: To remember that I am not alone in my grief.  Even though my experience of that loss was very different, I share the trauma of that loss with millions of people.

I am not alone.

Also, since I was 10, I’ve avoided details about what happened during that time.

I resolve to open up to the details, now.  And to turn away, if I choose.

And more importantly, I resolve to open up to the grief of that loss, of the president we loved.

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I think I’m ready for that, now.

Thanks to picsofwisdom.com (for the image of JFK), to those who are grieving losses everywhere, and to you — especially — for visiting today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 305: What November means to me.

As I explained,  way back on Day 105 of this year,  everything makes sense on some level(s).

The main point of that old blog post was this:

You will relate to my (or anybody else’s) experience in some ways, but not in others, because my experience (like yours) has been unique.

But I’m going to let go of the past (that 200-day-old blog post) and be more in the moment, right now.

It’s the first day of November.  I have lots of reactions to the month of November.

And they all make sense, on some level.

You may relate to some of my reactions but not to others, because of where you are.

Some of my reactions to November:

  1. It’s autumn in New England, and I’m a wuss about the coming cold, so I’m still not happy about that.
  2. At this point, though, I’ve let go of denial and am working on acceptance.  That includes embracing the beauty of what is. For example, this past week, all the mindfulness exercises I did in therapy groups focused on leaves I gathered outside of work.autumn20leafJust one leaf01 copy (None of those leaf photos are mine, but those images remind me of the leaves we used, in mindfulness.)
  3. November, to me, means November 22nd.  November 22nd, 1963, was the day President John F. Kennedy was shot.  For people who were conscious and aware on that day, that was a life-changing experience.
  4. I was unconscious, on that day, because I was having my first heart surgery, at age 10, to get my first cardiac pacemaker.

That’s the punchline, for me, people.

This year, I am planning on experiencing November differently.

How?  I’m making one conscious change.

I am taking November 22nd off from work, and spending that day in a way that’s helpful for me.

I haven’t figured out how I’ll be spending that day. I’ll be working on that, this November.

And already, this November is different.

Thanks to Divinipotent Daily and the town of Bedford, Massachusetts (for the leaf photos, from Google Images Roulette) and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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