The incredible thing about trying to be a communicator and tossing out words is that sometimes they do touch and impact the lives of folks, and publishing and the Internet are good vehicles.
Two things …
The first is a bit of unabashed self-promotion, the comments which Ernie Garcia, about my book THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE …
Informative, thorough, well organized and personal, I like it a lot. Mr. Detrich weaves very pertinent information about Panamá with his personal life experience that is both eye opening and entertaining, as well as self-reflective and sobering on occasion. It forces you to look inward and outward to make a decision about the rest of your life, whether you move to Panamá, elsewhere, or stay where you are. His delivery is sophisticated yet not stuffy and also down to earth; what a combo? It is worth reading and keeping as a guide to Panama and life, especially for us of a certain age.
Richard (I feel like I know you already), thank you for such a great book, THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE.
The second is from a blog nicely entitled Trading Paradises: From Aloha to Hola! written by John Henry who, at this very moment as I write this is on his way to Panama. Here’s his post that reminds me that that words flung into cyberspace are read and do have an impact.
I want to thank all of you who have told me or Sharon that you have enjoyed what you’ve read so far in this blog. I always wonder if there is anybody beside me and Sharon reading this!
With that said, here comes my second post. Richard Detrich sent out a blogpost in his blog at Richard Detrich.com. His post is entitled It is well, where he talks about a good friend and seminary roommate, Jack White who was dying at a very early age. Jack said that the thing that gave him the most comfort was not all the Scripture that they had studied, memorized, and could quote from memory, but the great hymns of the faith, the traditional music of the church, and some of the songs that he grew up with in church, like this one, “It Is Well With My Soul.”
Richard’s post really affected me at a very deep level. I was raised in a Plymouth Brethren church, a very fundamental christian church. I was very involved back in the 60’s with Youth For Christ in Denver and Littleton Colorado during my high school years. One of the hymns that I remember from the Billy Graham crusades and church was the hymn “How Great Thou Art”. I could and would really belt out the chorus on that one!
So, you are probably saying, what does this have to do with retiring to Panama? Good question! One of life’s mysteries to me is where thoughts, ideas and aha moments come from, including both Sharon and my experiences that led us to live here on Maui. This carries through to our decision to investigate Panama as a place for our next adventure in life. Richard’s post took me back to an experience that I had in Phoenix just before I left to live in Maui.
My friend Barb and I were talking one day and she mentioned in passing that a friend of hers, Kay, was dying of cancer. I had met Kay a couple of years before and was impressed with her passion for life and struggle with cancer. I had also just finished Reiki training, so I asked if she thought Kay would like to have a session using Reiki with me. I found out a couple of days later that Kay thought that would be nice. She was at home in the care of hospice and had been making tapes to her as yet unborn or even conceived grandchildren. She had planned her funeral and said goodbye to her family.
Barb and I arrived at Kay’s home and were met by her husband who looked like he had been put through the wringer. He said that neither he nor Kay had slept in 48 hours. Kay was all prepared to go, but would always fight and come back. They were both exhausted from the struggle.
Kay was barely conscious when we arrived. I said hello and made sure that she was OK with me being there. It took me about an hour to work with her using the Reiki techniques that I had learned and by just listening to what I was hearing through my hands. At the end of the treatment I gave her a kiss on the forehead, expressed my gratitude in her allowing me to work with her and went to look for Barb and Kay’s husband. Both were sound asleep–as was Kay. (not uncommon with Reiki) I woke Barb up and we went to leave. As I crossed the threshold of the front door the song “How Great Thou Art” blasted into my brain. I was shocked, I hadn’t thought of that song in probably 30 years! I could not get it out of my head for two days.
I heard from Barb that Kay had died the next day. Barb told me that Kay had planned her funeral within an inch of it’s life and the family was going to follow the plan exactly!
I spoke with Barb after the funeral to see how it went. Well everything was beautiful she said, especially the music. She said that all the music was very moving, but none more so than the last song, Kay’s favorite—–you guessed it “How Great Thou Art”! So THAT’S why it blasted into my consciousness after working with Kay!
So finally we get to what this missive is all about—-Where do those thoughts, feelings etc. come from that affect us so deeply? What was the voice in the back seat that said “Go to Hawaii” 13 years ago in Scottsdale? What caused Kay’s favorite song to blast into my brain when leaving her home? What was it that put the word MAUI in the air in front of Sharon while on a hike? What is drawing us to Panama for the next adventurous chapter in our lives??! I’m sure that there are as many thoughts as there are readers of this post and maybe, just maybe, they are all the same thing, just known by a different name.
As Sharon and I both (thankfully not at the same time) alternate between excitement for the adventure in Panama and the fear of the adventure in Panama, we are thankful that we have had the opportunity to create a paradise within paradise here in Kapalua. We look forward to creating another paradise in the country called Panama! We can’t help but wonder though, why Panama!? Neither of us have any idea, we are just listening to whatever it is that has spoken to both of us in the past and present and has never led us astray!
For any of you who did not click on the link to Richard Dietrich’s blog post, you can click here to see it. If you would like to see the YouTube video about “It Is Well With My Soul” that Richard has in the post telling us the rest of the story of the hymn that was so helpful to his friend Jack White in his last days, I have embedded it below. It is beautiful! Link to video
In closing, thank you for reading and don’t ever forget to listen to whatever it is that speaks to you, you will not be led wrong!
John and Ernie, I look forward to meeting you when you get to Panama!