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Katlin Profile
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Adventure


With his permission, I am posting something my friend Herman recently wrote and read to the writing group we both attend:

Adventure

I am about to embark on the greatest adventure of my life. You might think it irreverent of me to describe it this way, but I ask you to hear me out.

Actively seeking out adventures is a large part of my personality. All my life I have been interested in learning something new, and having a mind open to fresh concepts and new ideas. Whether it was learning a new language, an in depth study of black tea, or making wine, writing, photography or sailing it was all so much fun. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I have always been exited to find out what lies over the next horizon.

So when I was recently diagnosed with my 3rd Cancer, Mesotheleoma, it became obvious that like in baseball this was my third strike, and that I was probably going to be called out! And so it turned out to be.

Now I am getting ready for the next stage of my existence, the stage without a body. Some wise man, once said, "We are not our bodies." And I believe that. The energy that is US does not just disappear. Science tells us energy can not be created or destroyed it can only be changed from one form into an other. What form it may take, I will find out. But be that as it may, I want to thank my old body. It has accompanied me on many a great journey. I have been happy with it. I didn't always feel this way. There was a time when I thought it was too thin, too scrawny but after a while it became as comfortable to wear as well broken-in shoes. The old bod has served me well, it allowed me to meet many wonderful people on my adventurous journey through life. It has given me much pleasure, and continues to do so.

What will I do after I lay my body aside? Who knows. Will I meet all the friends and relatives who have preceded me, including our good friend Diana, all at once? That seems as impossible as all those people sitting on right hand of the Father. But what do I know? Maybe it will be as Ruth Montgomery stated in her book. We will see exactly what we expect to see, whether it be a green meadows, or a white sailing sloop on an azure sea, or a loving Jesus.

Or perhaps they veil of forgetfulness will be lifted and I'll be shown my whole earthly life in review, the bad with the good. Whatever it is I am ready to learn and go to work.

I have always tried to put my ego aside. Nothing is ever gained by arguing. If we have dispute, I'll agree with you. You see I would rather be kind than right.

I have tried to be helpful to my fellow travelers. And they have returned their kindnesses to me many times over. I have no regrets. I have had a HELL OF A RIDE—

So, dear friends, do not be sad. My mantra has been: When you change the way you look at things -- the things you look at will change!

Let us look at it from a positive perspective: I will not get Alzheimer or dementia, I will not waste away in a Nursing home. I will not be burden to my family or society. I will not run out of money. These are all good things.

So wish me well on my greatest adventure yet to come. And, if things work out, sometime in your far distant future we may meet again!

Thank you all for your love and your friendship and especially for your hugs—

You guys are the best!

Herman
Jun/30/2010, 10:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


Note: Diana, who Herman mentions in his piece, is the woman I wrote the poem "Breathing Space" about:

http://bdelectablemnts.runboard.com/t699
Jun/30/2010, 10:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Adventure


Thanks for posting this, Kat. I'm hoping more of Herman's writing will show up here from time to time.

Chris
Jul/1/2010, 9:44 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


Chris,

Thanks for your interest. Yes, I hope to post excerpts from Herman's memoir once he publishes his book, hopefully sometime this summer.
Jul/1/2010, 7:43 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Adventure


Feeling a little speechless. These are not the thoughts of an old man. These are the peregrinations of a beautiful child. I am envious. Wish I could speak with as much childish authority.

Tere
Jul/3/2010, 4:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


I had lunch with Herman yesterday. When I spoke to him earlier in the week, he advised me to come sooner rather than later. He is down to 100 pounds and can only walk a few steps before needing to sit down and rest. Although his body is failing, his spirit is still strong and young at heart. He gave me several books and CDs, then promised to visit me in a dream after he's gone to let me know he's okay on the other side. In response to something I said about love, he read me a few quotes from Emmanuel's Book: A Manual for Living Comfortably in the Cosmos. A friend gave him the copy, which he is reading in between vistis and phone calls from family and friends, watching "Bones" and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" on Roku, napping with Minnie, his dachusund, and welcoming birds to the feeders outside the kitchen window.

And truth can live beyond its age...
beyond its time and space.
Limitless possibility exists
in exactly every moment of creation.
Wherever the voice of Love calls you, follow it.
However Truth knocks upon your door, open to it.
 
"Eternity in an hour" and 'spirit' on the Internet.
These two concepts are not so far apart.

 -Emmanuel

http://www.emmanuelandfriends.org/archives.html

Last edited by Katlin, Mar/17/2011, 3:07 pm
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Adventure


Thank you for posting this Kat, for introducing me to this human treasure. All of our loss, huh?

Chris
Mar/17/2011, 3:36 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Adventure


Katlin,

This is a good piece. I'm glad you posted it. We're all going to have to make that journey, like your friend Herman. I found myself wondering if he had made arrangements for Minnie's care. I hope so. We've got two dogs now, one who had lost his mother, an the other one who had a very bad home life. Now, there's another beautiful white Husky that is going to loose her home. We're at our limit, and yet, there are other pets out there. I hope he's got a home for Minnie. Worrying about Minnie because Herman seems to me to have figured it out, the big secret. He's reconciled himself to letting it go. This was a very good piece. Thanks for posting it. Zak
Mar/17/2011, 4:37 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


Hi Chris,

For seventeen years Herman did a weekly Sunday German Hour at a local radio station. With the help of one of his sons, he did his last show a few weeks ago. Herman signed off every show by saying, "Be very kind to each other, and remember who loves you." That's the motto he tried to live by and is the main reason, I believe, he has so many friends today.

Hi Zak,

Thank you for concern for Minne, who, btw, is very friendly. One thing I neglected to mention is that Herman has been married for over 50 years, so his wife, Trudy, will be caring for Minnie. Herman is very glad they will have each other for company and comfort when he is gone.

Letting go, yes, I think you are right that is key. I told a friend recently that I'm not good at letting go, but I'm going to have to learn how to be.

If anyone is interested, here is a link to Herman's book, Helmut - One Boy's War: Growing Up Under Hitler:

http://www.amazon.com/Helmut-Boys-Growing-Under-Hitler/dp/1449998577

He self-published it last fall and gave a reading and book signing last November. About 110 people showed up, and he has sold/given away around 250 copies. He wrote the book for his grandchildren, some of whom have yet to be born, and it was one of the projects he wanted to complete before he died. He has told me that if it wasn't for me, he never would have finished it, and although it is not a book many will read, I am happy to have played a part in helping Herman fulfill one of his dreams in this lifetime.
Mar/18/2011, 9:27 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Adventure


Katfriend, you are very lucky. Please remember that when it is most time you need to.

Tere
Mar/18/2011, 6:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


Thanks, Tere, I know and I will. Here is a joke Herman sent me via email today:

Something we should all consider as we age...

My Living Will

Last night, my kids and I were sitting in the living room, and I said to them, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, pull the plug.

They got up, unplugged the computer and threw out my wine!!

The little bastards.

 emoticon
 

Mar/18/2011, 7:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Adventure


Good one. Note to self: forego the living will and stay with the willing live.

Tere
Mar/18/2011, 10:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


I wrote a poem based on something Herman said to me last week and wanted to include it in this thread.

Tennessee Waltz
      (for HB)

“It’s taking too long to suit me,”
he says as Death sits, an old maid
at the dance whose favor he must
curry at last with a nod
and an outstretched hand.
He preferred a foxtrot
or polka, not a Tennessee
waltz of surrender when
Dame Fortune struck up the band.

Apr/5/2011, 8:30 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


I received this email yesterday from Herman's son, Andrew:

Greetings All,
 
My father has asked me to send the attached file as he wants to share it with you.

Here is the attachment:

CRY

Cry for me a little but not too often

Think of me sometimes but not a lot

Life is for the living

In the spring when soft breezes rustle through the new leaves

when the raindrops hit your windshield

On checkout lane in the supermarket

I'll be with you wherever you want me to be

wishing you love and peace


Dear friends and family

My days on the net from now on are limited so I want you all to know how much you mean to me and thank you having been such an important part of my life.

I have taken an old American Indian piece and modified it.

Love you
Herman
Jun/1/2011, 8:45 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Adventure


Kat,

I was afraid to read this. Beautiful thoughts and fair warning.

Chris
Jun/1/2011, 8:56 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


Hi Chris,

Those were my sentiments too. I called Herman this morning and spoke to his wife. She said he has taken a turn for the worse and that it is just a matter of time. She asked if I had gotten his email and what I thought of it. I said, "It was beautiful. Please tell him that and give him my love." She said, "Don't cry. I'll keep in touch."
Jun/1/2011, 9:26 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Adventure


Understood.

Tere
Jun/1/2011, 6:38 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


Here is the email I received today from Herman's son:

Hello All,
 
It is with a great sadness that I inform you of Herman's passing this morning (June 3th, 2011) due to his complications from mesothelioma. My father wanted me to let you all know via an email and I have honored that request.

The entire family thanks all his friends and relatives for spending time with him, either in person, on the phone or by email. As you all know he loved being around people and you've made his remaining days a little more tolerable by distracting him from his illness and we truly appreciate everyone's willingness and effort.
 
Much Peace & Love,

 
RIP, my friend, RIP.

Last edited by Katlin, Jun/4/2011, 12:39 am
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Adventure


Kat,

This is too sad. It doesn't help much to have known in advance. I'm very sorry for your loss
and ours.

Chris
Jun/3/2011, 10:03 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Adventure


Funny how you can suddenly miss someone you didn't get to know. Heart felt thoughts to you and all of Herman's people.

Tere
Jun/4/2011, 1:41 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


Chris and Tere,

Thank you both for your kind thoughts. The fact that you both feel the loss of someone you never met is a testament to the power of words, don't you think?
Jun/5/2011, 7:31 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


I wrote this piece in April and posted it in my NaPoMo thread, but I want to include it here. Just want to say: Herman, I started reading those Montgomery books you gave me. I'll meet you there.

Twenty Questions

When the Hereafter is here, where will I be?
What will I see? Will I be me?

When the Hereafter is here, will there be a there?
Will you, dearly beloveds, be somewhere, too?

Oh fiddle-dee-dee! Can I think about this tomorrow?
Will there be a tomorrow or only eternity forever&ever&ever?

Will I be in hell, or just so full frontal with the truth
it feels like hell? Or heaven?

Will I get an answer to all of my questions without exception?

What will I lose? What will I gain? What can I keep?

*

My friend Herman is dying. Yes, we are all dying, as they say, but he really is and knows it. On a recent visit, he gave me some books. “Funny story,” he said, “about these books. Many years ago, I was in a used bookstore, the kind that only sells paperbacks. You know, like that place we used to go to—?”

“The Bookworm?”

“That’s right, the Bookworm. And I was looking for a book by Ruth Montgomery, but I couldn’t find it. I was about to leave, and as I was walking down the aisle, all of a sudden a hardcover book fell down off the top shelf and landed at my feet. I picked it up, and it was a book by Ruth Montgomery. I looked up and saw a few more of her books up there. I thought, I guess these are meant for me, and I bought ‘em all.”

I laughed. “Did that really happen?”

“Yes, it really happened, and now I want you to have them.”

“Are you sure?

“Yes, I’m sure.”

When I got home, I looked more closely at my gifts. Inside one of them, Herman had written: “To my dear friend and a fellow seeker on the path.” I noticed he had embossed them with the seal, “Library of HHB” and written in the date “June 1986.” I randomly opened the inscribed book and began reading:

“We are the cocreators with God of what we find for ourselves here,” he insisted. “Ruth, we want you to wake the people up to the importance of this towering truth. They, with their thoughts, are not only creating the patterns of their future lives, but their own heaven or hell.”

He, it turns out, was Arthur Ford, a friend of Montgomery’s in life and one of her spirit guides after his death. It seems Art “came back” to dictate some top priority information for her book.

Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either, but there you have it.

*

When the Hereafter is here, will I finally learn
the art of letting go? Of love? And forgiveness?

Think twice, I say to myself. Think carefully.

“I’ll meet you there.” Rumi

“Beyond the horizon, across the divide
‘Round about midnight, we’ll be on the same side.” Dylan




Last edited by Katlin, Jun/5/2011, 8:08 am
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


I'm missing Herman today. Here is a quote his granddaughter found on his desk after his death; she read it at the celebration of life gathering his family had for him in July:
 
"Do everything with a mind that lets go. Do not expect any praise or reward. If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will have complete peace and freedom--your struggles with the world will have come to an end." Achaan Chah

Sep/26/2011, 9:47 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Adventure


Good thought, Kat. I'm sorry you're missing Herman but how could you not miss him? What a beautiful guy.

Chris
Sep/26/2011, 11:00 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Adventure


Man, this works for me today especially. I learned Herman's trick maybe 30 years ago, both in the work place and in relationships. Just let go, disengage, is what I learned.

Kat, you are a lucky person to have Herman in your life adventures.

Tere
Oct/2/2011, 11:52 am Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


Thanks, Chris. Yeah, everyone should have at least one Herman in his/her life.

Tere,

I think Herman continued to learn the trick of letting go right up until his death. He often said, "You can be right, or you can be happy." After arguing with someone, especially about religion or politics, he'd reach a point where he'd just drop the topic. He knew he wasn't going to change the other person's mind and they weren't going to change his, so he'd let them have the last word and walk away. When there was someone in his life he kept butting heads with, he'd say, "X is in my life for a reason. There must be some lesson I'm supposed to learn." And then he'd set out trying to find out what that lesson was.

I discovered something about Herman as I listened to all the testimonials during his celebration of life gathering. As I said to his son Andrew afterwards, "Your father's special gift was that he made everyone feel special." Andrew agreed that was the case.
Oct/6/2011, 4:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


A few weeks ago I had lunch with an elderly friend, JD. JD was a close friend of Herman's, and we had all met years ago at a local writers group. Over our garden salads and decaf coffee, JD remarked, "I want to go out knowing who I am."

I told him, "I think Herman did that. I called him the day before he died, and although I didn't speak to him, his wife said he was still conscious."

JD said, "I called him two days before he died."

"Did you talk to him?"

"Yes, and I had no clue."

"How did he sound?"

"Like himself."
Apr/1/2012, 7:31 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Adventure


Dear friends, thank you for your indulgence. I posted this poem here earlier, then took it down. Now I'm reposting it. It's not a good poem, but it is part of an ongoing conversation I've been having with Herman in my head. When I first posted the poem here, I wrote: "Thanks, Herman, wherever you are." Then I went back to an article I had been reading and picked up where I'd left off:

"Then there is another possibility, more wonderful and awe-full than anything we can imagine. What if the wall were destroyed from the other side, by the energy of light itself, and by the beings that are in service to the light?" *

It came to me then with an unexpected conviction: "Herman is with the light now." Belief is not really my strong suit, but I hold out hope he is. JD would disagree. He says, "When you're dead, you're dead."

spirit talk
(for HB, 1931-2011)

what a neurotic mess
such a mood slave
old trances triggered
old spells recast
     
familiar ancestral voices
hard not to heed them
difficult to ignore as a close
companion’s snore

can't befriend them
or upend them
gotta transcend them
somehow

wish to call my friend
but he's gone now
his words hover on:

Be very kind to each other,
and remember who loves you.


thank you my friend
but not today's ill
isn't it time really time
you knew what to do:
 
Be very kind to yourself,
and remember to love you.


* http://www.sevenpillarshouse.org/article/the_wall/

Last edited by Katlin, Apr/3/2012, 9:32 am
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Adventure


Good poem or not, Katfriend, the love is what comes through. I mean your love as much as H.B.'s.

Tere
Apr/8/2012, 11:04 am Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Adventure


Katlin,

Did you write that poem? It's actually quite good. I had problem with the last stanza, "but not today's ills" but with nothing else.

For some reason I got far behind on this thread. That was a special relationship you had with that man. I'm sure it continues on a spiritual level.

Is that poetry or writers' group still active? I think you alluded to it.

Zak
Apr/10/2012, 12:41 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 


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