The FealGood Foundation

by John Feal
Founder and President
FealGood Foundation
Director of the Zadroga Bill (HR 847)

John Feal
John Feal

In slightly more than an hour eleven years ago, nearly three thousand lives were tragically cut far too short. More than three thousand families were instantly re-directed; mourning the loss of their loved ones while wondering how they would navigate their futures without them.

The reaches of September 11th went well past the East and Hudson Rivers. The same terribly historic hour also propelled our nation’s armed forces into battle in two separate countries, causing the loss of hundreds more of this country’s youth and future leaders. Today’s eighteen-year-old servicemen were merely seven-years-old when the fate of their service was determined.

During that same summer hour, thousands of firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, correction officers and emergency personnel converged onto the World Trade Center site in order to save their fellow Americans, hoping their skills and training could save the life of even one person. Soon after, the Twin Towers collapsed. First Responders realized that they would not save their peers, but that their skills would be needed in an entirely different mission, recovery. They would be joined in this mission during the hours, days, weeks and months following the attacks by tens-of-thousands of their brothers and sisters in the construction trades, communication industry and volunteers. The goal of recovery was not limited to the recovery of the personal effects of those lost, but the recovery of this country from one of its darkest moments. Over the next year, the combined efforts of First Responders enabled families to find closure in the burials of their loved ones. They removed the debris from the World Trade Center Site and provided these services with an unmatched dignity, professionalism and heroism. Continue reading “The FealGood Foundation”

I Am

by Brenda McBride

Written for my beloved dad

I am in the cool breeze that forever blows so softly in the wind that passes by you,
feeling at peace, where pain is no more,

I am in a timeless paradise full of love that’s so true.

I am in the melody of your favorite songs, gently swaying to the tune to the music
with harmony in my soul.

Feeling free with ease to soar far away into paradise, engulfed in bliss and joy,
dancing like never before, completely whole.

john morgan

I am the warmth that radiates from the heat of the sun, sending you comfort and compassion to dry your tears as they fall, to add a smile to your day.

Feeling happy not sad, helping you get through your grief,
trying to let you know I’m fine, more alive than words can say.

I am in the rainfall, as it falls briskly beneath the sky,
refreshing the land with a cool, crisp start, feeling so fresh as the rain falls down.

Don’t cry for me, I’m happy now, we’ll meet again, so carry on without a frown.

I am very much alive, please watch for the signs I send to you as you continue your
life here on earth, I’ll be close by.

Think of me each day, and please don’t cry.

Read more by Brenda here.

Choices

by Jim Tucker

1028“Each time we encounter a painful experience, we get to know ourselves a little better . . . Pain prompts us to face who we are and where we are. What we do with that experience defines who we become.” John Maxwell

 “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” (Nah. 1:7 New King James Version)

 A Clear Crisp Morning in Tucson

 The plan for January 8, 2011, seemed simple enough: I would get a haircut before we attended the Congress on Your Corner meet-and-greet sponsored by Representative Gabrielle Giffords in front of the Safeway grocery store, and then go to the Home Improvement Show at the Tucson Convention Center. We arrived early, met several of the congresswoman’s staff, and signed the registration list. My wife, Doris, was number two and I was number three, so we would speak with the congresswoman and then be on our way.

We had just started talking with Giffords when there were some loud bangs and a whirlwind of air. The first two shots were a blink of an eye apart, then a flurry of shots began and I found myself lying flat on my back, looking up at the roof under which we had been standing.

After hearing about our involvement at the incident, a friend of over 50 years commented by e-mail: “It is truly amazing and a miracle that at three feet away you weren’t killed. You obviously had a guardian angel standing between the shooter and you and Doris. Although from the way things turned out, it looks like he was standing a little closer to Doris.” Continue reading “Choices”

A Call to Service

by Tami Frye

Tami and girlsThose of us in grief counseling find ourselves spending considerable parts of our days with people who are grieving significant losses in their lives in one way or another. Many, if not most, of our clients entered treatment, in large part, due to the fact that they felt so isolated in their grief.

For centuries, ours has been a culture that has not condoned discussion of death, loss or grief. Not so many years ago the dead were brought into the home of the family for a period of time immediately prior to the funeral. In another era, widows were not accepted and were expected to wear only black for the year following the death of their spouses. Not so terribly long ago, the public acknowledgement got even smaller in the form of a black ribbon adorning one’s clothing.

Today, most of the general population is more comfortable if we do not discuss grief or loss at all. This occurs simultaneous with a time in history where people are losing jobs they have held for twenty, thirty, forty years or more, homes are being foreclosed on, the divorce rate remains elevated, the marriage rate declines, and newscasts are full of incidents of mass casualties in our country. Continue reading “A Call to Service”

Underage Driver

by Barbara McFadden, M.Ed., LPC

Barbara McFaddenWaiting, impatiently, for the day when she can get her driver’s license is positively unbearable for the high school sophomore. She seizes the moment, when her parents are out-of-town, to take a little test drive. She will be careful, very careful.

She follows all her parents’ rules: seat belt buckled, radio off (to avoid distraction), no passengers, no eating, look right-left-right before crossing intersections, and watch the speed limits. All the rules but one–“drive only with us until you get your license”.

The young boy on the bright blue bicycle swerves in front of her! She slams on the brake and jerks the steering wheel sharply to the right. “No, oh no.” The car starts to slide towards the curb. She jerks the wheel back to the left. “What’s the matter with this car?” She can’t believe it’s so hard to control. It whips back towards the curb.

The end of the test drive is announced by the sound of tires squealing, brakes screaming, metal crunching, glass shattering, and young wood bending (in its resilience, not breaking) as the mid-sized red, four-door car left the roadway, jumped the curb, and landed broadside coming to rest against the tree.

“911–What is the nature of your emergency?”

About the Author: Being a Licensed Professional Counselor is a later-in-life professional goal. I returned to school in 2003 and received an Associate of Arts degree in Communications in 2005; Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Psychology in 2007; and my Master in Education in Counseling in May, 2010 from Sul Ross State University-Rio Grande College. I have recently completed a 3,000 hour internship and am awaiting receipt of my new Licensed Professional Counselor license from the State of Texas. I currently serve as President-elect for Texas Hill Country Counselor’s Association, a chapter of the Texas Counseling Association. I provide counseling services at New Hope Counseling Center, BCFS Health and Human Services, and Peterson Hospice/Bridging the Gap bereavement group for children and adults. I believe everyone has within them the knowledge and ability to make changes that will result in living a more fulfilling and satisfying life and that my role as a counselor is to help facilitate those changes.

My husband Jerry and I moved to Kerrville in July 2010. We are the parents of 9 adult children, grandparents to 24 children and young adults and great-grandparents to 15 babies and children.

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