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Make Your Own Pickles & Chutneys

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Original price £12.99
Original price £12.99 - Original price £12.99
Original price £12.99
Current price £7.79
£7.79 - £7.79
Current price £7.79

Product Overview

  • ISBN: 9780753723937
  • Author(s):
  • Publisher: Octopus Publishing Group
  • Pages: 64
  • Format:
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. A Gift of Hope How We Survive Our Tragedies By Robert L. Veninga Random House Publishing GroupCopyright © 1996 Robert L. Veninga All rights reserved. ISBN: 978-0-345-41036-8 ONE Straight from the Heart In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. — ALBERT CAMUS My friendship with Jim Spradley was relatively brief. But in the span of five years we became like trusted brothers. We would meet for breakfast and talk about work and new projects. We would share dreams and sometimes disappointments. Frequently we would plan weekend vacations for our families. We kept few secrets from one another. I would trust him with my life. And he would trust me with his. But he died after a fifteen-month illness. The day after the funeral I met my students at the University of Minnesota. I started to lecture but suddenly felt overwhelmed with emotion. All the events of the past twenty-four hours flooded my mind. I couldn’t continue. I told the students what had happened. To my surprise at least half of them stayed after class to talk. Reassurances were given. Even a few hugs. Heartaches, I have learned, bring people together. I sat down weary, exhausted by all that had happened. But then I noticed a graduate student waiting for me in the back of the classroom. When our eyes met, he said, “It will take time, but you will recover.” I was a bit offended by the quick reassurance and the tone of certainty. After all, what did he know about my heartbreak? How did he know that I would recover? What were his credentials to speak so boldly? I quickly learned. His wife had died in a car accident thirteen months earlier. They had been looking forward to the birth of their first child. I asked how it happened. He said it was a head-on crash. The driver of the other car was drunk. “I thought my life was over,” he commented. “I loved her. I still can’t imagine living without her.” He talked about the gentleness of his wife and the anticipation of being a father. But then he vented his anger. Much of the anger was directed toward the drunk driver. But some was directed toward friends and relatives who kept telling him to cheer up and move on with life. “But you can’t move on,” he commented. “There’s no button to push that cheers you up. You have to absorb all that has happened.” He paused, reflecting on every word. “Sometimes I think you need to feel hopeless before you feel a shred of optimism.” As I drove home, I recalled his parting words: “It will be difficult. But in time you will get over your heartbreak. And you may discover a beauty about life that you have never known.” Under any other circumstance I might have dismissed the reassurance. But not after hearing his experience. For everything he shared came straight from the heart. The following weeks were not easy as I struggled with my feelings of aloneness. I missed my friend’s telephone calls and the exchange of ideas. But most of all I missed the encouragement that he gave to me and so many other people. Fortunately I had good colleagues who expressed kind thoughts. But I have to tell you this. Deep down inside I wondered whether anybody understood what I was going through. I frankly doubted that anyone could understand in their soul my sense of loss and estrangement. Months passed and I found myself changing. I became more contemplative, less urgent. And I found myself thinking about other people facing similar heartbreaks. One day I walked through a large hospital not too far from my home. I saw a man who had lost most of his hair standing by a nursing station. I knew that he had been on chemotherapy. Then I went by the surgery suite and saw the apprehension in a young man’s eyes as he was being led through the big green doors. I went by the neonatal unit and saw a two-day-old youngster hooked up to a life-support system. The parents were looking at their child through a glass w