Yesterday evening when I watched the lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, it wasn’t dark here yet.

So I placed a candle where I could see it from where I was sitting and watched the ceremony.

“Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.” – Gary Zukav

I sat here and silently cried during the whole thing, which I think was about an hour.

Few words were spoken, which was appropriate. Because it was about the people we’ve lost that no longer have a voice.

When the lights came on my heart lifted a little.

“Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people’s souls.” – Melody Beattie

There are already over 400,000 families out there grieving.

They say by mid-February there are likely to be 500,000 dead in the US alone. In one year. In one unbelievable year.

There are so many trying to come to grips with losing a loved one. Who are torn apart inside because they could not even sit and hold their hand.

There was no one there to see them to the other side.

“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”― Marianne Williamson

And so I watched the short ceremony with a sense of hope as the lights lit up the darkening sky.

“In time, in time they tell me, I’ll not feel so bad. I don’t want time to heal me. There’s a reason I’m like this. I want time to set me ugly and knotted with loss of you, marking me. I won’t smooth you away. I can’t say goodbye.” ― China Miéville

A couple of days ago I saw this video on Twitter. It depicts a Trader Joe’s store in Oregon, where a manager is trying to keep a group of unmasked people out of the store. They fight him in every way.

You can see elderly people leaving the store, masked, and looking on in bewilderment and fear.

When I watched it I just kept thinking: Why?

Below is the video.

Video of Trader Joe’s manager telling an unmasked group they can’t go inside. It has gone viral.

“A bridge of silver wings stretches from the dead ashes of an unforgiving nightmare to the jeweled vision of a life started anew.” ― Aberjhani

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  1. I watched the Trader Joe video. I feel sorry for that manager. That lady can go somewhere else if she doesn’t like the rule. She is just self centered. In my opinion anyway.
    Here we have signs that say that you MUST wear a mask to enter. I haven’t seen anyone cause a scene yet. Not saying that it hasn’t happened. Now if everyone would wear them the right way. Over nose and mouth.

  2. Life would be so much simpler and safer if people would just wear masks and socially distance. I can’t respect a leader who does otherwise.He does not have MY best interests at heart. I do respect the scientist who offers me masking and distancing as a way to stay alive until a vaccine arrives for me. I find it difficult to feel sympathy for those who refuse to help themselves, in the name of politics. I enjoy this blog and the thinking behind it.

  3. The Trader Joe’s video is interesting. So, for what I saw the woman who took the video must have posted it trying to make a point she was refused service. Her point of “I just want to buy groceries” doesn’t hold water for me. She can buy groceries any where, not just TJ’s. I’m not a lawyer but I would think a private business can refuse service to someone based on certain rules…. remember the “no shirt, no shoes, no service”? Just add mask to that. Just me 2 cents.

  4. I cried all day long today. Was so sad to see this hardest working President in history leave on air force one. Never has there been a harder working family for the people of America. Kept more of his campaign promises than any president in history. Also first president not too get us involved in another war we dont belong in. Did more for vet’s than any president as well. We will soon see what we have now. Gas is already up 20 cents a gallon. Our dollar has also fallen.

    1. I agree, Judy. His style was not always to my liking but he was the BEST President this country has ever had for the people! God bless 45!

    2. Sorry Judy I cried happy tears to see this family depart Washington. They did not deserve to keep using their power for their own family pockets and install uninformed friends in cabinet positions who knew nothing about the job.
      He created a war on our own capital by his own fighting words and it’s his legacy he left with that ugly destruction, as well as what he never finished cause the wall he said would to be built with money from Mexico never came through and the lies are finally done. It went on and on. I can wake up tomorrow and know the horrible nightmare is gone.

      1. I am with you 100% Kathy. Never have I ever been so happy to see donnie’s clown show leave the building. I also chuckled, just a bit, watching beavis and butthead and their sister cry watching their disgraced father board Air Force One for the LAST time.
        It’s going to take a long time to undo the damage that has been done but at least we have the right people, Joe and Kamala, to clean up his mess.
        Wasn’t seeing George, Bill and Barack all together again inspiring? They all vowed to help our president with anything he needs. Absolutely inspiring.

        1. Yes. Cheryl, all the presidents together was the example of true leadership our country needed to show the world of what we do stand for…doing the right thing with honesty and working together. It was better the soon to be forgotten one who will never be thought of as a president due to his own inability to stop bullying and throwing tantrums as well as left with lowest approval ratings, didn’t have the manners to remain thru any of the ceremonies. Finally decency and integrity will reunite our elected leaders or I am sure they will be shown the door like this former one was.

          1. 100% – it warmed my heart and gave much needed hope to see this day arrive. Seeing former Presidents standing together, making a statement and giving encouragement to our country and all Americans was inspiring. So much more inspiring than watching an outgoing President and his first lady run away giving complete disrespect and disgrace to our country and our democracy.

    3. Hi Judy. I am all for bipartisan and know that it is key to our democracy in America. I saw your comment above the the president that just left office did more for vet’s than any president. I have to say I was completely taken back by that statement because it is just not true.

      I am the wife of a totally and permanently disabled Air Force veteran and that statement is just not true. Just this past December before he left office he vetoed the annual defense bill, which included annual cost of living raises for military. This bill has NEVER been vetoed by any president. This same billion authorized 740 billion for military programs and he vetoed it. And his justification for this veto was for his own personal desires of trying to get lawmakers to agree with him and include limits on social media companies he claimed are biased against him. He used an annual defense bill for our military for his own agenda. That is not a president who did more for the military than any other in history. Thankfully the House and Senate had a majority and were able to override his veto.

      His budgets always had cuts for programs that deeply affect veterans as well as other Americans. This includes a more than $900 billion cut to Medicaid, a half a trillion-dollar cut to Medicare, and more than $200 billion in cuts to other health programs that was in his budget proposal in 2020. More than half of veterans rely on Medicare. Furthermore, veterans who are enrolled in TRICARE for Life, a health insurance program administered by the Department of Defense, are required to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. He proposed half of a trillion-dollar cut to Medicare poses a risk to the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans. And he proposed all of this while giving tax cuts to millionaires and corporations. Again, not a president who has done more for veterans than any in history. Far from it.

      He proposed more than once to make cuts to SNAP -Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. More than 554,000 veterans and their families receive this benefit each month.
      While in office he put a hiring freeze for the federal government. This freeze affected veterans, who are an large part of the federal workforce. Nearly one-third of federal employees hired in 2015 were veterans, and close to half of these were veterans with disabilities. Not a president helping veterans.

      He also proposed $72 billion in deep cuts to disability which would also harm veterans. Nearly 1 million veterans received Social Security Disability but he proposed to make it harder for people with disabilities to access the benefits they have earned. His budget proposal was to completely eliminate the Individual Unemployability benefits program, which allows the VA to provide benefits at the 100 percent-disabled rate to veterans who are unable to get a job because of service-connected disabilities, even if their disability is not rated at the 100 percent level. Well guess what, this is my husband and so many others we know. If that president had his way my husband who is completely disabled from service to his country and many others would have lost this benefit. We would have lost everything. I will not go into our story but this would have completely destroyed our lives and the lives of many others. Thank God this never came to fruition because of the House and Senate but that man proposed this more than once while he was in office. That is not doing more than any other president in history for veterans.

      He also proposed more than once cuts to HUD programs which many veterans and their families use to have a place to live. Again with his veto he tried to overturn a policy that makes it tougher for students who say they were defrauded by colleges to have their federal education loans canceled. This affects veterans in a large way because they are easy prey for a lot of colleges attempting to get their GI Bill benefits for them.

      I could keep going with the list of things that president did against veterans all while bettering things for himself, his family, millionaires and corporations. This president was NOT a champion for veterans. Please research the facts and stop saying that president did more for veterans than any president in history. IT IS NOT TRUE and I know this from experience.

      What we have now is HOPE. Hope for a new day in Americans and our veterans. And it is about time.

    4. I agree. The media vilified President Trump. The hypocrisy of the media was fed to the public. The media used to uncover the truth – now they hide it.

  5. I think everyone should be able to make the choice for themselves. Personally I have researched the vaccine and I have a different view than others. I feel that the risk of taking the vaccine is not in my best interest. It is not my intention or goal to create problems for anyone……I just have a different view and as I respect what other people feel they must do….I expect the same consideration. We don’t know what everyone’s story is or their reasoning so I will not judge them….not my place!

    I also have concerns on the long range view on this vaccine….to many unknowns for me …..not to mention I worry about going down the road of life blindly following.

    Thank you Brenda for allowing us a safe place to see others opinions and views. I am always open to the possibility of changing my opinion. Thank you also for sharing your life with us!

  6. I watched the video at Trader Joe’s and it makes me so mad at how people act. Some people just want to be obstinate! Just wear a mask and stop being a bully! I hope the manger didn’t give in and let her enter the store!

  7. I had a candle on my porch last night, and several lighted on a table in front of my front window all night (battery operated). It was a very touching ceremony and I cried and cried, for all of those families and friends who have lost so many. I know what it is like to lose somebody without being there, without being able to say goodbye. It haunts you forever. This morning I watched the inauguration and it was so – liberating. I felt like a horrid weight had been lifted off of me after four long years. I really wanted to hear the poem by the young U.S. Poet Laureate. I wasn’t disappointed. I thought it was incredibly moving and so reflects the times we have been through, the struggles so many have faced in our country for so many different reasons, and which we continue to struggle and fight out way through. It won’t be easy, but now, at least, I feel there is some reason to hope we can find out way out of the darkness.

  8. Just watched the video at “Trader Joe’s”. Good Grief, what is wrong with that woman???? If you want to shop, put on a mask!!! Why make trouble, when it really doesn’t have to be?

  9. Yes, wear the mask already. But here is another question/concern I have yet seen spoken here. What are your thoughts on healthcare workers refusing the vaccine?
    My 96 year-old father-in-law lives in a senior campus setting for which 2/3 of entire campus employees have refused to take the vaccine. This includes healthcare workers, admin., etc. This campus serves skilled nursing, assisted living and independent living. And do you feel residents and family have any right to ask any employee if they got the vaccine or not? I am still trying to process this revelation as I continue advocating for my f-i-l.

    1. chris, if there is a possibility of removing your father-in-law from that setting and getting him situated elsewhere, I hope you will be able to do it. We cannot force people who refuse to be reasonable or who act – for whatever reason – out of selfishness or fear or whatever. But acting in such a manner is a hateful and very un-Christian attitude to take toward respecting the safety of other human beings, particularly when it is well known that our elderly and those with underlying health conditions are most in danger of contracting and possibly dying from COVID-19. Employers are allowed to put safety and health regulations in place and if employees don’t like it, they do, of course, have the right to leave unless they’ve signed an employment contract.

    2. Why don’t you ask those in charge why the staff doesn’t want it? Their medical decisions are no one’s business but the supervisor may give you a general idea.

    3. I checked Google…. typed in “can employers require covid vaccine”…. answer is complex. It was an interesting read and informative. I remember when I got my first passport we had a proof of vaccination paper to go along with it. The airlines are also talking about (for the future) requiring proof of vaccine for people flying. Things are going to get interesting on all these points and I see a sea of legal actions from both sides.

    4. Chris, I empathize with you. I’m a RN and I don’t understand people refusing the vaccine. I also respect their right to make that choice for themselves as long as it DOESN’T HARM ANYONE ELSE. I don’t know the law but I wonder if the administration could require an employee who refuses to get the vaccine to give proof of a negative covid test before each shift at the expense of the EMPLOYEE? #1 oath of medicine “Do No Harm”. I do think the courts are going to be busy with this for years to come. My #1 suggestion is for you to make sure your dad gets the vaccine…. it’s not 100% but pretty damn close. That way at least he’s protected. For me personally, I could never live with myself if I passed anything on to a person in my care, even if it was inadvertently. We need to protect those of us who are most vulnerable.

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