How Can You Reduce Your 1 in 3 Cancer Risk by Melissa Stockman


Fight for Our Own Empowerment

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This article was sparked by our unexpected trip through Gettysburg, Pennsylvania yesterday. We actually were in Pennsylvania “playing” at the York Fairgrounds Jeep show and passed a sign for Gettysburg National Park and Cemetery. Jim thought it would be a great opportunity to visit Gettysburg, as we were so close, so we went.

For anyone who does not know about Gettysburg, it is a place of tremendous honor. It is a place where thousands of soldiers died fighting to support what they believed to be right. For me, it was a place where I felt a tremendous sadness; I had many thoughts running through my mind while we were there. The Civil War divided our great Nation and families within. In five years of fighting there are estimates that 620,000 soldiers died in the Civil War, with new estimates of that bring the number of dead closer to 820,000. This number of loss was staggering to me, especially as it was our families fighting ourselves.

In reality, this article really is not about war, at all, but about a concept. This article is not about slavery nor does it have anything to do with the civil rights movement or movements of other people who fought for their rights throughout history – or about those in other countries still fighting for what they believe is the right way to live.

It is more about how I can’t understand how one person feels it is appropriate to gain power over another. This is a struggle that is apparent throughout history and continues today from what may be a simple relationship to, perhaps, a leader of a group, to, perhaps a leader of a country. The concept is more that of oppression and the creation of fear.

I, certainly, am not one who has any ability to figure out why anyone would think they are better than another, why people think certain groups, for example, women (as I am one of them), are not equal – even in today’s world. However, it is not up to me to determine how a person could feel superior to another and how they can feel good about themselves to do whatever is in their power to create obstacles to assure they stay that way. I believe people are people – living and breathing — and that everyone has the same right to enjoy life. I believe in people helping people and collaboration = success; that we can get so much further working together to make things better for us all.

With that hopefully explained, this really has more to do with concepts, awareness, and OUR OWN feelings, inside of OURSELVES, which hold us back. It is about tolerating our current situation or becoming aware to change our own environment, to the best of our ability. It is intended to spark an idea that could re-empower ourselves to move forward in life, and to stop being prisoners in our own lives. To begin an awareness to find and to learn what we, ourselves, need so we can enjoy life.

History repeats itself if we let it. This concept is more fully discussed in our book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life ( I believe there are no “these people” or “those people”. I believe we are all people. I believe that if you are currently in a situation where you feel violated, abused or bad, you have to find a way to make a change to make your life better. I’m speaking about any situation here – whether a living situation, a health situation, a work situation, a financial situation, a friendship, a family relationship – anything that makes you feel bad or inferior. The first step is awareness. The next is to come up with ideas or ways that you can make the situation change – to weigh your options, to seek assistance, to make things better.

It pains me that there are situations out there where the benefit of the few creates negative situations for the many. I was going to go into some examples, but I thought it would become too political, and that is absolutely not where I wanted to go here. It is more about individual capabilities and individual choice. NO ONE says we have to stay in whatever present situation where we currently are. I believe we can choose to let things happen to us, or we can, individually, create the living situation(s) we desire. No one says implementing a change is going to be easy, but I hold to the belief that it is possible. We might start and fail, but we can try again. If we think it is impossible to make anything change, we are holding our own selves back.

 If you don’t think “it’s time” to do so, ask yourself, “If not now, when”? Life is short. Every day that passes is a potential missed opportunity. After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life. I believe it is “time to play”. = Resources for a Better Life.  It’s Time to be Happy, Healthy, Have Money and a Work Life Balance.  It’s Time to Enjoy Life.


Happy Holidays to Our Troops

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I attended a packing evening for Jacob’s Light Foundation Tuesday night.  Dorine Kenny is the founder of the foundation.  She lost her son 7 years ago in Iraq.  Before he was killed she would send him care packages.  She continued to send them to other soldiers after he died.  After all these years the whole operation has grown.  Eleven months a year she sends 285 care packages per month and has so far sent over 400,000 pounds  of supplies and goodies to the troops overseas. 

How did I find her?  The residents in a skilled nursing facility I work for wanted to do a fundraiser for our troops overseas.  I had heard of Jacob’s Light a few years ago during a news broadcast and searched her out.  Jacob’s Light is truly a grass roots organization run on private donations, fundraisers and some grants.  One grant will expire next year so she does need a funding source to keep this amazing organization going.

From socks to lotion, baby powder, to chapstick, pasta, peanut butter, and more, the volunteers — there must have been over 100 people there to help — pick and pack with love.  Tonight I brought 1,387 letters that had been collected as part of the fundraiser we did at the nursing home.  The letters were heartfelt expressions of thanks from some of our local school children.  A letter will be placed in each box that is shipped.

While there I met a gentleman who raises money to buy phone cards.  It is his goal to put a $5 phone card in each box shipped every month throughout the year, which will require $14,000 in donations.  A $5 phone card gives a soldier 2 hours of talk time to call home.

This was a wonderful event where people who could otherwise do nothing to help our soldiers came together to make our troops feel like they are not forgotten.  We do hear so little of what is going on overseas unless something happens to one of our men or women — our sons and daughters. 

It was amazing to be part of an organization that remembers our people — and, whether our soldiers are stationed here or oversees, to recognize the freedoms they help protect and allow us to enjoy.

It was noted that support for our troops shouldn’t only come at holiday time.  They need to know we support them year round.

Maybe one day there will be peace.

For more info on Jacob’s Light Foundation: