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A Stick 'Em Up Wake Up

A friend of mine was in a local Marie Callendar restaurant recently with some friends. It was around 9:00 p.m. Suddenly, two robbers with masks and guns came in the restaurant. They demanded everyone get on the floor, take off their jewelry, turn over their wallets, and of course, for the cash register to be emptied.

One person in my friend's party was female with a young baby. Her husband was in the bathroom when the two assailants came in the door. They were startled when he walked out the bathroom. Fortunately, not startled enough that they shot him immediatedly. He was allowed to join his family on the floor.

Everyone is the restaurant escaped with their lives and physical health. However, I can't even begin to think of the emotional strain and fear that still remains in their minds and hearts.

I have seen a gun in real life once. It was a hunting rifle. My grandfather lives in the country in Virginia and would go and hunt possum and deer on his property. I remember seeing his gun once, and that is the only time I recall seeing a gun face-to-face, in real life.

As much as I watch TV, which is more than I like to admit, I've seen many a gun battle. But, on TV things don't seem real. What my friends experienced was frighteningly real and my heart goes out to them for the memories that will remain with them because of going through such a horrifying experience.

When my friend told me about his experience, I told him how happy I was that he is okay. I told his wife to give him a hug from me, and that I'm so happy I don't have to attend anyone's funeral.

Speaking of funerals, however, a longtime friend of the family died this month. She was 66. Cancer.

When she got sick and had treatments, she decided she was going to do all the things she wanted to do in life, but held back from doing. She went to Europe with her daughter and she played alot of card games. She knew her time was limited and she deliberately made the best of the time she had left.

You have to admire her attitude. But, it makes me think how often do we hold off from doing something for ourselves or others because it is not practical, or reasonable, or just because we figure we can do it tomorrow. What tomorrow is promised to any of us?

My spiritual sister and friend once said to me that I keep things in a good balance, I maintain a seriousness about important things and have fun with equal vigilance. I'll try something new or different, even if it is not the most agreeable thing with all.

It's a constant endeavor, but reflecting on my friend with his stick 'em up experience and then another friend using her last moments to the ultimate full, why should I wait to laugh a little louder, love a little harder, and as the country song says, "live like I was dying." Life experiences can be a wake up call. May we all keep alert.

Writing and Publishing Tip:

At my last writing and publishing seminar, a person asked me, what happens when persons expect you to give your books away, meaning the books that you self-publish. When you publish through a publishing company, generally written in the contract is the agreement for them to provide you 20-25 complimentary books, with the option to buy more at a discounted rate. However, when you self-publish, you are responsible for footing the bill personally for publishing your books, which can be an expensive endeavor. It is important to get across to others, graciously, that there are expenses to be met. Also, being that you as a self-publisher you do not receive an advance from a publishing company and that your expenses are ongoing, in additon to the fact you may still need to meet the balance you spent to get your books out there. Also, keep your books close to you, keep good track of them, that way you won't find yourself having to backtrack in retrieving monies owed to you by others.

Inspirational thought of the day:

Dancing is great exercise and enjoyment of music is international. Many times people hold back from bopping their heads to a groovy beat or clapping their hands to a funky melody, because another may notice they are off beat or something similar. Dance anyways, clap anyways, bop anyways, just pretend no one is watching because even if they are, because they are too busy looking at you, they are the ones missing out in the end. So, dance like no one is watching.

Copyright 2005 Paula Lonergan.
All rights reserved.