From: William Gibbons
Sent: Thursday, July 4, 2019
To: 'william's email list 2018'
Subject: Independence Day & Death In Family
Greetings to each of you,
Independence Day (July 4th)
is actually the holiday most dear to my heart. As I have mentioned often,
it was no accident the day was chosen as the renewal date for all T&SC
memberships, and three year trustee terms. While I celebrate that our
country was founded with freedom as one of our core rights, I marvel
even more at the truth that God gifted us with freedom of choice, and
action, eons before the United States of America was even a thought
in a patriot's mind.
I had started a full newsletter
a few weeks ago. I intended on assembling it, and refining it, in the
days just prior to today. However, Tuesday morning, as we were just
starting to drive off "the hill" up north (Donna's family's property),
we received a call informing us that Donna's son had died suddenly.
Chad (Williams) was 44 years old. Life has a way of changing your plans.
Normally, a newsletter email
introduction goes only to my 2018 mailing list. However, at Donna's
request, you might be receiving this even though you have never asked
to be placed on my email list. Because of the nature of this news, I
am adding names she would like it sent to. This will not put you on
the list. I only add names when people tell me themselves they wish
to be on it.
As is now my practice, in order
to avoid lengthy emails in your inbox, and to save me the time necessary
to do two separate layouts, first as an email, then as a webpage, I
am doing the content primarily as a webpage. This email is your introduction
to the newsletter online. If you want to continue, all you have to do
is click . . .
John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth
will set you free.”
Freedom can be a tricky business. Just because you
are free to choose any path you wish, not every path you choose is beneficial
to your wellbeing in the bigger picture. Donna's son Chad was very physically
strong. He was quite possibly the hardest working male I have ever met.
He was fiercely independent, and adamant about his freedom to choose
for himself. He was highly opinionated.
As with most of us, Chad's freedom allowed him to
make a lot of poor choices in life. Still, he always seemed to manage
to bounce back from them, and start an ascent until something would
grab hold of his emotions. Then, if he gave free reign to them, a downward
spiral would ensue.
Many in the family suspected he had mental issues
which needed addressing. As a person who has been hospitalized twice
in my life for mental conditions, and deals with on again off again
basic depression, I would think he might have benefited from some professional
assistance. Friends have recently shared how they helped Chad through
troubled times. As freedom allows, he chose not to seek medical help.
Both meager resources, and a lack of trust, made such a decision easier.
In the past weeks, the accumulation of the free will
choices we all get to make, caught up with Chad. After his death, we
learned he had some weeks back received a head injury while coming off
a job on Mackinac Island. A friend, and co-worker, tried to get him
to seek treatment, but Chad freely chose not too, in spite of severe
headaches. In the ensuing few weeks, a conservative religious perspective
blended into the process spilling out in texts, phone calls, and signs
on his property, both worrying, and frightening, family members, and
Tuesday morning, Chad's freedom to choose started
working big time against him. When county deputies tried to serve a
court order for psychological evaluation, Chad refused to come out.
When more officers returned later with a warrant, after learning of
a threat he had made to a neighbor that morning, Chad refused to surrender
himself. Freedom of choice was now working against him. Things escalated.
When officers finally broke down the door, things got worse. When a
taser did not stop Chad, even his own physical strength was now working
against him. In the end, Chad was shot to death. There is no way to
know how Chad was perceiving what was going on. But, freedom is a tricky
business. Everybody's freedom. More people than Chad were exercising
their God given right to choose on his final day. All of
us choose every day. Choices come with consequences.
"If you recognize that all of your inner hurts are
caused by your own wrong actions
or your own wrong reactions or your own wrong inaction,
then you will stop hurting yourself."
- Peace Pilgrim
I believe that quote holds true for individuals,
but also in groups, and as a country. We have a lot of inner hurts in
this land of inalienable rights. The freedom to choose to do nothing
is still a choice. One for which we must hold ourselves accountable.
A counselor told me that most law enforcement personnel get virtually
no special training in dealing with mental issues. We can, of course,
point fingers at them, but we, as a culture, are free to choose priorities,
take positive action, or make inaction our choice. This newsletter was
originally intended to discuss a number of issues we face in our culture.
I have been reemphasizing to our board that teaching Christians to focus
on the question "what would Jesus do if He were me?" would have an amazing
effect on our culture. And, our Peace Pilgrim materials can do the same
for anyone, regardless of their beliefs.
"This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with
good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love. The Golden Rule
would do as well. Please don't say lightly that these are just
religious concepts and not practical. These are laws governing
human conduct, which apply as rigidly as the law of gravity. When
we disregard these laws in any walk of life, chaos results. Through
obedience to these laws this frightened, war-weary world of ours
could enter into a period of peace and richness of life beyond
our fondest dreams."
- Peace Pilgrim
Freedom. Free will. Pro-choice. Individual rights. They all have a nice
sound to them. Chad's son, Jakob, is 19 years old. Fresh into adulthood,
as the closest living heir, he has received the legal authority to make
all decisions regarding his dad's body and possessions. He has enlisted
help, as he learns that freedom to make choices come with great responsibility
attached to it. I pray we all learn this. For I believe there is truly
a much bigger picture of reality than most of us care to take seriously,
and consequences for how well we choose to exercise our God given freedom.
I am going to leave three images and poems from the last Independence
Day newsletter in this one. I am including only one email. Elaine Desing,
sister of Paul Pretzlaff, also died recently. Paul was one of the three
founders of the Teaching & Sharing Centers. He put me on Elaine's email
list, and I have been ever grateful for it. Her wisdom and insights
made her one of a handful of emails that I always tried to find time
to open and read. Two more notes. The first image of this newsletter
is my picture of the week I uploaded this morning. If you would like
a copy without the text, you can find it there until July 10, 2019.
Also, I did not go into a great amount of detail regarding Chad's death
as it is online in many places. Since the incident involved a law enforcement
officer killing someone, the State Police were called in to investigate,
and they have now released the details to the press. It was a very long
day for us in Gaylord on Tuesday, awaiting information.
"Tolerance has become militantly intolerant."
- Kevin DeYoung
From: Elaine Holistic [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2019 10:12 PM
Subject: In Memoriam
Hello, this is Elaine's son, Chris. I'm writing to the list because
I know a number of you are friends with my mom and frequent readers
of her writings over the past 15 years.
I have some sad news to report.
My mother, Elaine Desing, passed away peacefully Monday, June 24th 2019,
after a long battle with Benzodiazepines.
The irony is not lost on me that a reiki master who championed alternative
and holistic healing could have a moment of weakness and start taking
a prescribed pharmaceutical drug she didn't know about nor understand
the consequences of, merely because she trusted her doctor. But that's
what happened. It goes to show that benzos can hurt anyone, even someone
as spiritually fit and connected as my mom.
I want everyone to know that, all throughout her struggle, she remained
courageous and battled each and every day with grace and dignity.
She continued to contribute to her blog with writings even when she
wasn't feeling well enough to be the inspiration she wanted to be for
all of you. And when she just couldn't do it anymore, I helped by finding
older material of hers to keep the weekly list and website going, hoping
that one day she could return to form and be the person she wanted to
be for all of you.
While going through some of her things, I saw just how much material
she had created - hundreds upon hundreds of writings - all offering
messages of hope and support. Hundreds of meditations. Plans and ideas
for more and bigger ways to share her passion for connecting with spirit.
Messages pointing towards the hope of finding a better, more serene,
and joyful way to live on this earth.
Mom was overjoyed when she could help someone else. She was overjoyed
when a reiki session changed someone's life for the better. She was
overjoyed when one of her messages made a difference and altered the
course of someone's day for the better. She lived for her work. She
wanted it to be her contribution to the world. She knew in her heart
that it was her purpose. And I was her biggest fan.
Mom was wonderful to her family. She was our rock. She was our champion.
And we miss her dearly. But I believe what Mom believed, and I know
she is still here, just in another form. I feel her presence with me
even as I write this. I believe in my heart that, now, she's free to
continue her work on a higher level and no longer in pain.
I'm going to keep elaineholistic.com active as a memorial website dedicated
to her work. I welcome anyone to reply who wants to stay in contact
and share their memories of my mom, either for me to post or just for
private conversation. It would mean the world to me to hear from you.
You can reply to this email to get in touch.
I'm also going to make it my own personal mission to help educate others
about the permanent damage that benzos can have on the mind, body, and
spirit. I implore each of you to educate yourself about benzo addiction
and help keep a loved one from filling that first prescription. You
can check out www.benzoinfo.com for more information.
Thank you for reading.
Blessings, and Namaste,
I have had the below graphic
in several newsletters as well. But it is an eternal fit regardless
of what the subject of my newsletter might be.