Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

My Story Ran in Newspaper (Re: A Local Hero)

Expand Messages
  • sarah_inseattle
    Dear Sharani, This is wonderful news! Congratulations. Thanks for keeping us informed on the rest of the story. Now I am excited to see whether your
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 27, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear Sharani,

      This is wonderful news! Congratulations. Thanks for keeping us
      informed on "the rest of the story."

      Now I am excited to see whether your article might inspire any
      letters to the editor!

      Beamingly yours,
      Sarah
      Seattle

      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
      <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > Guess what? I found out today that my piece on Patti ran as a guest
      > speaker article in the local weekly newspaper after all. I had
      faxed
      > it to the two papers in town - again more from an inner urging than
      > from my own volition. It's printed in the newspaper exactly as I
      wrote
      > it here on the Inspiration Group -- just minus the two poems from
      the
      > service that I had included at the beginning and the end of the
      > message. I dare say I never thought I would see the day that
      writing
      > so regularly here would translate into a local published article.
      >
      > I am really glad that this good news story about the power of faith
      > and a positive outlook was printed since as I mentioned recently
      some
      > local bad news that went national had really overshadowed her
      passing.
      > I am all gratitude for the community of support found here which
      > nourishes our ability to articulate and share the profound
      inspiration
      > that Guru offers to all of us and which we then offer to each
      other.
      >
      > Gratefully,
      > Sharani
      >
      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
      > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Sharani,
      > >
      > > you have offered a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person!
      Indeed,
      > > she must have been richly blessed to maintain such a positive
      > > attitude despite the challenges life presented her.
      > >
      > > Her attitude is admirable for many reasons, but I most admire
      her
      > > capacity to be so completely without self-pity. And not only
      that,
      > > but to be so self-transcendent and self-giving.
      > >
      > > Thank you for sharing this uplifting story. I will surely
      remember
      > > her in the coming days when I am about to complain about some
      petty
      > > nuisance ;-)
      > >
      > > Terri
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
      > > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hello all,
      > > > I felt an inner command of sorts to write the following piece
      about
      > > a
      > > > brave and beautiful woman who passed away a few days ago in
      the town
      > > > where I work. Because I work less with the public than some
      others
      > > > (you find me mostly in the back office with the books), I
      didn't
      > > know
      > > > her that well but she sincerely touched my life. She has been
      > > featured
      > > > in newspaper articles and the like over the years. Read and
      see for
      > > > yourself! I keep feeling that she is a dear daughter of God
      and that
      > > > God wants her praises to be sweetly sung...
      > > >
      > > > I like the man who faces what he must,
      > > > With step triumphant and a heart of cheer;
      > > > Who fights the daily battle without fear;
      > > > Sees his hopes fail, yet keeps unfaltering trust
      > > > That God is God,-that somehow, true and just
      > > > His plans work out for mortals; not a tear
      > > > Is shed when fortune, which the world holds dear,
      > > > Falls from his grasp-better, with love, a crust
      > > > Than living in dishonor: envies not,
      > > > Nor loses faith in man; but does his best,
      > > > Nor ever murmurs at his humbler lot;
      > > > But, with a smile and words of hope, gives zest
      > > > To every toiler: he alone is great
      > > > Who by a life heroic conquers fate.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > -Sarah Knowles Bolton (1841-1916)
      > > > this poem was read out at the service
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > I pulled up my car to park on the street and knew this must be
      the
      > > > church I was looking for because of all the cars lined up on
      both
      > > > sides of the road. The quaint and simple New England church by
      the
      > > > seaside of Padanaram was full to the rafters since people were
      even
      > > > sitting in the balcony. Not one but two guest books were being
      > > > lovingly signed as we entered the sanctuary.
      > > >
      > > > I took a seat in a pew joining some of my library co-workers.
      My
      > > heart
      > > > brimmed with gladness as my eyes took in the sweep of people
      > > > represented at this memorial service to celebrate the life of
      Patti
      > > > Swift - a true hero whose life had touched us each and every
      one. I
      > > > was truly moved as I pondered that not a single person at this
      > > funeral
      > > > was a relative of Patti. We were just the humble recipients of
      her
      > > > greatness eager to pay her tribute with ones like me traveling
      from
      > > > the next state with an inner compulsion almost beyond my ken.
      > > >
      > > > Patti was a remarkable person who left her mark on all who
      knew
      > > her -
      > > > and her presence in the town was unmistakable. Just look for
      the
      > > > motorized wheelchair driving down the local streets with the
      flags
      > > > attached to the back flapping in the breeze. Her physical life
      was
      > > > fettered with cerebral palsy but she lived a gallant life
      against
      > > all
      > > > the odds this disability presented to her.
      > > >
      > > > She was born in 1929 and in the earlier stages of the disease
      was
      > > able
      > > > to walk with braces and crutches but eventually became
      wheelchair
      > > > bound. In her youth, schools were not equipped to serve
      students
      > > with
      > > > special needs so her parents home schooled her. She was an
      only
      > > child
      > > > and maintained extraordinary independence after the death of
      her
      > > > parents. Until her passing on Feb. 1st five days ago, she
      lived on
      > > her
      > > > own with caregivers coming in to attend to her. She had a
      winter and
      > > > summer home, ran a home-based business selling magazine
      > > subscriptions,
      > > > went bowling every Sunday, took the ferry to Martha's Vineyard
      most
      > > > every day in the summer time, had two cats for pets that she
      adored,
      > > > managed to type, read books and serve on the board of
      directors of
      > > > local organizations, sew beautiful needlepoint - the list goes
      on
      > > and
      > > > on. What makes all of this so remarkable is that while her
      mind was
      > > > brilliantly clear and wise, she was completely wheelchair
      bound,
      > > could
      > > > barely move her hands and could barely be understood when
      talking.
      > > >
      > > > Despite her handicaps, Patti was known to one and all as one
      of the
      > > > friendliest, generous, loving, and happy people we have ever
      met.
      > > She
      > > > was deeply religious and a fiercely devout God lover. Her
      absolute
      > > > faith in God was the bedrock of her life and the gift that
      made her
      > > > life sing across the treetops regardless of her obstacles.
      > > >
      > > > Patti came regularly to the library where I work and while I
      did not
      > > > know her intimately she touched my life. She used to tape
      record
      > > > church sermons at the Congregational Church she belonged to
      and
      > > loved
      > > > to listen to church hymn music. She would come almost daily
      into the
      > > > library to sit and read or do needlepoint and we would get her
      set
      > > up
      > > > at one of the bigger tables near the reference desk. More
      often than
      > > > not she would have us taking all manner of goodies out of the
      > > storage
      > > > pouch on the back of her wheelchair with frequent gifts of
      food for
      > > > the library staff or food items to place in the charity food
      pantry
      > > > basket near the door.
      > > >
      > > > After we took her coat and hat off and put her book and other
      items
      > > on
      > > > the table inevitably she would put on her headphones and
      listen to
      > > her
      > > > church music which somewhat escaped through the player and
      > > headphones
      > > > and wafted through the area for neighboring ears. Although
      libraries
      > > > are stereotyped for demanding quiet atmospheres, no one ever
      stopped
      > > > Patti from listening to her church music as it leaked through
      her
      > > > headphones.
      > > >
      > > > During the memorial service for Patti, Rev. Bob Boynton chose
      > > > beautiful poems by poets such as George Eliot, Alfred Lord
      Tennyson
      > > > and even a poem another regular library patron had written in
      > > tribute
      > > > to Patti while she was still living. She was very involved
      with the
      > > > church and a much beloved parishioner. At one point Rev.
      Boynton
      > > > invited those of us sitting in the congregation to speak forth
      words
      > > > that expressed Patti best. Courageous, brave, independent,
      > > thoughtful
      > > > and many more rang out. Then individuals stood up in their
      place to
      > > > offer a remembrance. Caretakers who knew her only briefly were
      > > nearly
      > > > speechless with tears as they praised Patti. One woman who
      took her
      > > > bowling also drove her to church and she said that Patti was
      eager
      > > to
      > > > visit as many churches as possible - near or far.
      > > >
      > > > She also provided a true role model of independent living for
      others
      > > > with disabilities as well as being a teacher to those of us
      who are
      > > > able-bodied in her refusal to isolate herself from the
      mainstream of
      > > > life. She was a real pioneer and a hero. With no family at all
      after
      > > > her parents died, she created family throughout this small
      town and
      > > > first and foremost found family with God.
      > > >
      > > > Choked with emotion, Rev. Boynton described to us how Patti
      loved
      > > > hymns and that during her quick demise (a sudden onset of renal
      > > > failure that saw her death coming less than one week from
      admittance
      > > > to the hospital) a member of the church choir took a hymn book
      to
      > > St.
      > > > Luke's Hospital and sang hymns to her in her final days, not
      knowing
      > > > even if she was conscious of what was happening. The Reverend
      > > > beseeched us to think about what was it about Patti that cause
      > > someone
      > > > not even related to her to offer her the hymns as her life
      left its
      > > > mortal coil. He attributed her impact on people to her
      unfailing
      > > > good-natured self-giving, kindness and love for others.
      > > >
      > > > Patti trusted in God to take care of her despite her physical
      > > > hardships. People say she never complained about her lot in
      life.
      > > Her
      > > > impact on her community shows that God answered her faith with
      the
      > > > care that she needed. I am personally humbled to have known
      someone
      > > > whose life was such a dramatic gift to all who knew her. Never
      had I
      > > > felt with such ardor that a memorial service was first and
      foremost
      > > a
      > > > celebration of someone's life. I can only hope to dare to
      dream that
      > > > my own life can continue to learn from heroes like Patti long
      after
      > > > she's settled close to God in heaven.
      > > >
      > > > I close with an excerpt of a long poem called "O May I Join
      the
      > > Choir
      > > > Invisible" by George Eliot. This poem was one of the selected
      > > readings
      > > > fitting to Patti's life
      > > >
      > > > ...May I reach
      > > > That purest heaven, be to other souls
      > > > The cup of strength in some great agony,
      > > > Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
      > > > Beget the smiles that have no cruelty,
      > > > Be the sweet presence of a good diffus'd,
      > > > And in diffusion ever more intense!
      > > > So shall I join the choir invisible
      > > > Whose music is the gladness of the world.
      > > >
      > > > -George Eliot 1867
      > > >
      > >
      >
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.