Monday, November 23, 2009


Mary Labyak
(my Hero, friend and founder of The Hospice of The Florida Suncoast)

It's almost Thanksgiving and this morning finds me with my trusty four-leggeds' barking, running around the pool (getting my exercise for me), and me with my coffee reflecting on my blessings.
This morning I am thankful for so many things: my family, friends; my continued improving red heart and health, and the on-going positive support I am receiving for Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life!

And as I dig a little deeper in my well of gratitude which doesn't seem to take much effort these wonderful and blissful days, I am going to share with you today my gratitude today that I have walked with for too many years to count; I actually think it might be in my DNA!  That blessing is for HOSPICE!  Yep, you read that right... Hospice.  And, what makes it even better?  You can dig a little deeper by going to websites and learning of the great work that is done through hospices all over the world yourself.   or,

There you will be able to find a local hospice in your area; see what they are up to; find ways you can help, volunteer, find support if you should need it or if you know someone who is in need.  AND NO, hospice is NOT a place to go and die.  AND NO  hospice is NOT GONNA kill ya, or, Is NOT FOR WHEN YOU WANNA GIVE UP..... Those are all myths; born out of fear and sometimes ignorance.  Hospice is a concept of care; staffed by trained people; nurses, social workers, volunteers, home health aides, chaplains of different faiths and trained hearts of hospice like my friend Laura that take your phone calls, triage and knows more than many with degrees about most things and will assist people and make you feel as good as she can all, in a heart-beat... Hospice is about life; about helping you and those you love, to  live the best life possible, even if diagnosed with a life threatening disease and are facing the hardest decisions of  life or having to now face end of life decisions. 
In other words friends, hospice is and has been doing for over 30 years what communities and Native Americans have done since the beginning of time... they are caring for their own in their own communities. Not only in the good times, but in the bad.
Now, don't get me wrong... I can't speak for all hospices nor all people within all hospices!  But what I can tell you is this! 

Now... here in the USA... another Grand Dame of Hospice is in that picture you see today...
Mary Labyak, "my hero" and friend. Mary and I go back too many years to write about here. She has a magnificent voice one that usually speaks a powerful message; a presence that fills a room with an aura that touches my heart both back in the day and now.
 And today...with my coffee and the sun rising... I am she has had a walk through my mind! I am thankful for her;  her vision, commitment and perseverance. I hear she is a very busy woman these days ... So.. Thank-you Mary for your vision so long ago; thank you for your life's work and your that Hospice thing in your DNA, guess we both are like that! Mary started what is now known as the largest hospice in the world  in a garage running from the North county line of Pinellas to the Sky way Bridge in  Pinellas County over 30 years (bet US 19 was interesting back then),  you have served and held people to the hospice standard of enhancing lives while telling and showing by example, "Every Days A Gift".  Hospices locally and all over the world continue to build on the standards, visions, creed  and mission that you created and hold as a standard all over the world to ensure communities, patients and families in allowing them have the best hospice experience possible. Happy Thanksgiving my friend to you and yours; the blessings continue to flow from your beginnings and your work today! You Mary Labyak have had a walk through my mind today~ whew, what a walk through my mind and heart it was!

For the lesson~ #1 Paper and pen in hand?  Write your blessing for today! Add that One thing that you are grateful for (I am grateful that you are taking the time to read this and find your piece of paper and your pen! haha) Feel free to share your list on the comments with each other or on the fan page on Facebook if you like... better yet post them where YOU can see them! After all  they are for you...

Now, since you have met one of my hero's this morning, I will tell you of the totem that I think she should carry and that she reminds me of!

Hawk Totem is wonderful: it a a majestic winged one to be sure as it soars!  Sometimes though it does not have the keen eyesight that the Eagle has, and that makes Hawk have to work a bit harder at times! Hawk is a fierce protector to be sure.
This totem represents Protection; a visionary, it has power, magic and is a messenger (Mary has been a pioneer in hospice; a visionary, a messenger and warrior of Hospice for 30+ years now! interesting isn't it) 
Hawk  gives us higher levels of consciousness into self and into intentions of others. This totem awakens our vision while inspiring creative life purpose; often giving us impetus to re-charge, renew, rest before taking flight again! Awakening our vision differently than before and renewing our energy and passion and truth. The totem and the little hawk that we may find to carry with us in our pocket, reminds us that Hawk is filled with responsibility; hawk people have an "over-all view of things. They have to be careful as those with that type of responsibility are often shielded by others skewing their true view or shielding the view as Hawk people want the real view of the world and their responsibility in the world. Hawk people are like that! Strong protective spirits who find ways to receive spirit, special messages, to help in awareness of work and life purpose. This totem reflects greater intensity of energy within one's life; physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual forces are strong within. Red-Tail Hawk spirit is a permanent totem for people; always with you. People with this totem will work intensely, love intensely and make a difference globally. They will not always be understood by others, but respected by many. They will need a strong significant other in their lives for balance. They will also need to "get away" from it all often; really get away! To fly freely and to laugh with wild abandon and just "be still" soothing their weary feather, while resting, restoring, and preening. In doing this ... they will return, ready to resume as the protector, making magic with their message. Sometimes they will beat their wings and use their sharp beak to speak softly and other times speak strong as they discover truths. They are the Hawk People and they are fierce.

Walk In Beauty.

Please use the moccasin telegraph (aka, word of mouth) and tell all who will listen about these blogs and to visit the site for their autographed copies of Healing Heartaches!


Anonymous said...

Everyday's a gift my friend, and you know it in your head and heart! I'm thankful for you! And, I'm glad I'm not a turkey! :-}

Linda Ann Ricci, Flower Essence Practitioner said...

I am grateful for stumbling upon these blogs and easily "leapt" into learning how to blog.
I'm thanking the dolphin for helping me take that plunge.
Hope your book will clear up the animal totems. Keep hearing you can only have one power animal...yet it just "feels" that each one has something to tell me.
And I am even grateful the doctor says I need to rest...more time to write.