Hi Friends, What did you implement last week? On Saturday we held a memorial just in the circle of our family. It was a tough day for me for sure. Marcel, I hope you enjoyed it, watching from above. I did my best to honor you and give my family a chance to say good-bye. Today, I want to share 4 more things we can learn from my brother. Just for those who are new here…my brother Marcel had schizophrenia for over 30 years and this past December, left this earth, because the burden was just too much. All the people I met with in Germany that were involved in his life somehow, shared the sentiment, that he was loved, because he was a kind soul. 1) He gave gifts I learned that he brought his coworkers little gifts, because he thought they would enjoy a particular thing he saw and he thought of them. I also know he brought homemade cookies, made with raw sugar and whole wheat, of course. Every time he visited, he brought gifts for all of us. Now mind you, he had very little income, but he bought a gift for each of my children, all 6 of them, my husband and myself! He was considerate and would ask what they wanted and try to find something they would enjoy. While in his apartment I saw his homemade meditation fountain. I gifted it to his workplace, so they would have something to remember him by. When I dropped it off, one supervisor said his colleagues will like it, since they had asked about his burial place. He is not buried. This is a better way for him to be remembered. 2) He loved food! Cooking and eating brought him much joy. He would even make childlike noises when he loved something. He helped me cook when he was visiting. He was picky, but he truly enjoyed each meal. And it made him happy when others enjoyed what he had made. I even got to eat 2 of his homemade rolls (all grain) that he had frozen. Very filling and yummy indeed. I also brought home his silicone chocolate molds. Yes, he experimented with making his own chocolate! 3) He participated He always participated in the activities and trips I had planned with him and the children. He tried throwing and catching a football, which is not a German past time at all. In the picture you see him participating in a ropes course. It was 2010. He tried and was a good sport, even though he was afraid of heights and only went through the first obstacle. But he did it. He participated at celebrations at work. I know he would play his recorder for example and play Christmas songs. He was so tired from the medication, but boy, once he had 2 cups of coffee it was like, "What are we doing today?" One year he visited in Florida, and it was the day after he arrived, but we got a great deal on tickets to Seaworld, so we went. It was a lot of walking and he got tired. But again, he was a good sport. 4) He kept fighting He struggled for most of his life but every time a new obstacle showed up, he would find a way. He fought what he perceived as injustice at his workplace, for example. He fought for his rights to listen to his music because what was played got on his nerves. He had many conversations about the food being tossed out at the end of the day at his workplace and could not understand why this couldn’t be given to those in need. He did not shy away from talking to his boss and his boss’s boss. He also fought for his friendships. He defended his beliefs when in conversation with a cousin who held different beliefs. Actually, he fought to defend his knowledge of what he had learned and experienced. He probably fought to just get up every morning. He had a hard time sleeping and as I said, the meds made him tired. So getting up early and going to work for the morning shift was hard. He chose the morning shift so he would still have some hours in the day and energy left when he came home. He was a fighter for sure. So, my friend, be present and enjoy your next meal. Be a gift giver and a thankful gift receiver. Show your support by participating. And keep fighting.
"Don't wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don't wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom." Jim Rohn
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