ESSAYS

 

This page is for the thoughts I have had over the years that became essays.
I hope you enjoy reading them!

 

 

"Thoughts On Forgiving" 

By Jacqueline Ann Piech
2006

It has taken years for me to try and understand about forgiving and the healing that can come from it. Even if the one you forgive does not return, repent or even accept it. Perhaps you will never see a change in that person but it does change things, always. But rather instead of hating that person, fearing them or hiding from them, you forgive them and it helps lift the wounds off your own soul. You no longer have to believe you are at fault for their anger or the way they treat you, but that it is their beliefs and behaviors that make them strike out in anger, fear, cruelty or a need to get even, being abusive or a need to have power or control. Once you forgive them for their weaknesses, it empowers you to see the truth about the relationship and helps you become stronger. The greatness of forgiveness is the ability to let go and even forgive yourself.

We are all human,  prone to emotional outbursts, setting up walls to protect ourselves from more hurt and thinking of our own survival. Sometimes this makes us become selfish and in that way we end up hurting ourselves as well as others. I have read books as well as articles about the role parents play in developing our own self-beliefs and how it effects us all our lives for better or worse.

I guess the reason I am writing this is because of the feelings I had stir up in me as I reflect on my father's life/death and how many parents including myself are at a real loss to know how to reach our children with only our goodness and not our darkness.

I am starting to understand what Jesus meant by turning the other cheek and how God never intends for us to keep having those cheeks struck in anger or fear or hopelessness again and again. But maybe turning the other cheek means we put up our hand and in love and forgiveness we stop the hand that strikes by encouraging counseling, kindness and with God's guidance knowing when to walk away from the abuse and learning to love our own goodness and pray for those who have harden their hearts. I know it seems simple enough but it takes a lot of effort to forgive and then peace and enlightenment and courage come from that very act.

My father was someone I feared as a child, I tried to reach out to for acceptance, then gave into hopelessness and resented as I became a teenager. Through the years God helped me see my dad as the person he really was and in time I began to understand why he responded the way he did to certain things. The man had a lot of fear in him and hopelessness too. He stayed married to my mom for over 50 years and took care of her as her health failed. In the last years of his life, he watched her slowly die and then he himself became sick and was so lost without my mom that he saw no real reason to try and fight back and go on living. He died in April of 2006 and after all my years of feeling afraid of him and that he at times tried to control my life, I saw him in a very different light.

I saw him lose weight, easily become confused and soon saw an elderly man who was lonely and scared and I could no longer be angry with him for past wounds and mistakes. I learned how much I did really love him and what love he could give even under all his fear. I was with him on the day he died and as I held his hand I prayed that God would take him and forgive both of us for all the unkindness we had done to each other over the years. I was at peace when my dad breathed his last, as God had blessed me with being able to be with both my parents in the last years of their lives. We had learned to ask forgiveness and be forgiven even if we did not hold the same beliefs or approaches to life.

So I was doubled blessed as I grew in the knowledge that I was not a bad person, nor were my parents but I did not have to blame myself for their actions nor follow in their footsteps in the way they handled the problems that life sends. Nor see them as the cause of my problems anymore either. God taught me to let go and learn to love them on a different level without all the emotional turmoil that once filled our lives.

Forgiveness comes from God and in it we learn to love not only others but ourselves. Forgiveness frees us from all fear, anger and doubt and gives hope and inner strength.

 

 

 

"Time"

By Jacqueline Ann Piech
08/2010

I was sitting here thinking how quickly this year is going by. Hard to believe we are into the last month of summer already! Whether we watch the world on the nightly news or talk to friends or family, everyone has had changes in their lives through the year. Some changes are good, some not so good and all changes make us realize if we are to grow within, change must happen.
 

I have had many changes in over the past four years. My father died in April 2006 and after being divorced for over fourteen years, I got married in November 2006. I became a home owner with my new husband in 2008, got laid off in March 2009 and am now working part time in 2010.

When I look back at the past few years, I know in my heart God carried me through it all. I had many doubts and lonely weeks and months with both my parents having passed away. I even started to accept my life would not be as full human-wise and I would need to find ways to fill that void. During it all friends, family and mostly God kept me going as I searched for the means to spend whatever time I am granted on this earth in worthwhile ventures.

Now one of those ventures is writing and my poetry web site here. It has given me a place to share myself through poetry, stories and more. It has been a blessing to me to write poems to praise God, encourage and inspire, and maybe bring a smile or two to others.

And of course the other venture has been my marriage to Tony, we are coming off the newlywed phase and now getting into the married homeowner phase. When I once looked at the holidays with some dread after my parents died, instead now I have joy and hope. Since we are both over fifty years old and starting a new life together, it is exciting to know life doesn't have to pass you by even if you have gray hair...LOL! If you read my poem here, "The Unicorn And The Tiger", it will give you an idea of our developing relationship.

I guess I just wanted to say to anyone out there, that even though you may have doubts and lonely times or worry about change or even getting older...never give up hope, feel totally alone or doubt you are worth love, because you are. Just let time and changes happen for there is a reason for everything that has taken place in your life. No, we never understand it all but in reflecting, we may begin to see how these changes enhanced our lives, whether making us stronger, more flexible or wiser.

Time is a gift and a blessing. My mother use to tell me as a child," You can't save the whole world." She was correct, that is God's job. But we can help by touching one soul at a time with kindness and love. And if we use the time we are given wisely, we may be able to do just that! I close with a wish for you, dear reader. It was something I found written by someone anonymously years ago.

May you always have...
Enough happiness to make you joyful.
Enough trials to make you strong.
Enough sorrow to keep you human.
Enough hope to make you blessed.

 

 

"One Wiggly, One Whiny And Wrestle Mania"

Since getting married three years ago, I have introduced my husband to several new experiences. One being the wonderful world of dog versus vet! If you read my essay, "Mr. Jingles," you would know what a very brave dog he is protecting his human, but take Jingles to the groomers or the vet and he becomes a totally different creature.

Tony, my husband, drove us all to the Animal Clinic. Even though he had music playing on the way, it just could not drown out the yelps and wailing of one small, nineteen pound mixed terrier! My husband was very impressed at how long Jingles could hold a howl and whimper combo. While Sparky, Tony's dog, sat happily on the back seat enjoying the ride,

Then when we actually went inside the vet's office, Jingles became a part of the chair and floor by burying himself under the seat of the chair I was sitting on. I had hoped Mr. Jingles would be brave and try to set a good example for Sparky, the first timer. Sparky wagged her tail non stop, begged anyone and everyone there for a pat or two. She did not even yelp when having blood drawn or given her shots. She did squirm a bit to get another pet from the vet, she was such an angel! And of course she wanted to be first in the examining room to sniff and check everything out.

Then it took Tony and I, both, to lift Mr. Jingles on to the exam table. Tony had to hold down Mr. Jingles so the aide could muzzle the dog. He growled while getting his ears and eyes looked at, started struggling to get off the exam table when having his heart listened to. Then came the drawing of blood and the shots and two people plus the vet holding a growling, snapping, wetting and drooling dog down to finish the check-up. Happily it was over soon and Mr. Jingles didn't even snap at the aide when he was finally unmuzzled.

We had to listen to Jingles whine and complain while paying for the bill in the outer office and then all the way home. The animal doctor at the clinic is great and has stopped asking me why I have a heavy corded leash for so little a dog. The vet knows Mr. Jingles as nineteen pounds of muscle, especially when getting shots!

Tony fell asleep as soon as we got home worn out from the experience as well as both Jingles and Sparky. Or perhaps I should call the dogs by their names given to them by the staff at the Animal Clinic. Sparky is known as "Wiggly"...I am sure by now you can guess who is "Whiny."  

Thankfully it is only an annual event and both dogs are in good shape health wise. It did take a day or two for the humans to recover from the dogs yearly check-up. And my husband thought it was fun just watching wrestling on TV, he never knew what he was missing by actually participating in the sport!

By Jacqueline Ann Piech
2009

 

 

" Ode To Orby"

In June 2007, my husband was playing a game on my computer as I was getting ready for work. He called to me to come quick. When I got there the computer screen was black and the computer was making strange clicking sounds. I couldn't even turn it off, so I had to unplug it from the power surge protector. I let the computer rest for ten minutes and then plugged it back in. It never came back on, sadly my very first computer I owned had died!

I took it in for repair but the cost was so high, buying a new computer made more sense. The computer tech downloaded a disc from my broken computer's hard drive to save as much memory as he could but I had forever lost emails and chats I had saved from family and friends. This included everything my husband and I sent back and forth while we were dating.

Now I do not believe in forming attachments to machines but there is a part of me that will always remember my first computer, whom I called Orby. My son shocked me the Christmas of 2000 with the gift of Orby. Since he was living on the west coast at that time and I on the east, it was a great way to keep in touch by chat and email. I really knew nothing about computers but I learned  through trail and error. As my computer knowledge grew, I started submitting my poems to different web sites, joined a few on-line dating services and even got brave enough to use Verizon's great web builder and launched my own poetry website, Poetry Prism!

So there were a lot of firsts for me with Orby, I even met and married my hubby, Tony, through a dating web site. We both lived in the same state but would never have met otherwise! I also made Internet friends, found good poetry sites, downloaded dozens of photos, bought and learned games and much more. So Orby brought a lot of goodness into my life, the following is a tribute to my first computer!

 

***********************************************************************************

When you arrived into my life I was very scared to put you together as I was afraid of hooking up the wrong connection and blowing you up! But I followed the instructions and you came to electric life and so we started our relationship. I found out more about myself because of you, like finding solutions and learning to be more patient. You heard me laugh, you heard me cry and your keyboard echoed my pain, joy or thoughts so many hours of the day.

You gave me courage to learn more skills and to improve my spelling and typing.  You helped bring people I would have never known existed into my life. You sat quietly on my desk as I wrote dozens of poems, emails and forwards to family and friends. I learned how to play many a game on you and you never complained no matter how late I kept you up as I played Scrabble with people around the world! Nor begged for help from a computer tech when I learned all those automatic downloads and fixes were not necessary and you needed to be restored.

You sat there as I pounded out my anger or sorrow over broken relationships and my parents deaths on your keyboard. You even helped me find prayer sites and held my many letters and notes to God, my poems and pictures, saved chats, emails, photos, forwards, games, drawings...so many parts of my life in your circuits and memory.

You were a tool, machine and an instrument to reach out to others and you brought much more to my life then I ever thought possible. Some people bond with their cars, collections, sports...you Orby were a mere computer. But you served me well and I will miss you and remember all the things I learned through you. Goodbye Orby and thank-you!

{My new computer's name is Zambini Orby! : ) }

By Jacqueline Ann Piech
06/2007

 

"Fear Of"

I recently had a friend of mine ask me why a woman he cared deeply for acts the way she does. I told him it was probably due to her fear. I know what fear can do and how it makes people think. Example, fear of being hurt once again can make one put things or even people on hold...call it caution or keeping a safe distance.

    But it all stems from an inner fear of being rejected or being set-up. Fear plays tricks on the heart and mind and soul. If one experiences real love it can become a ray of hope and lights up the heart! With the ray of light also comes the ability to see all the sludge or pain still in the heart. It can make all the other pain inside
one, less hidden to their own awareness and force them to deal with it when one
would much rather pretend it doesn't even bother them.

   That feeling of love is wanted and welcomed and needed but also terrifies, because one can always lose that love. It makes people afraid to commit or to leave go. I know how that feels to have someone you love deeply, keep you balanced on a fence never knowing which side they will decide on, thus making for a stressful time!

    No one is comfortable looking at their old wounds and the light of love shows the person their own goodness as well as the pain they carry. And that fear can ruin so many things for good people.

   Some people have been abandoned so much in their past, they learn to abandon themselves. The very thing they desire, they fear the most. Because they either have to chance abandonment again or look at all the wounds they failed to tend to over the years and learn to deal with the cause of those wounds. Thus keeping the one who loves them at a very safe distance but never fully letting go because they don't want to lose the love.

   I believe God has to be the center of any relationship because we are all too wounded in one form or another to continue loving...being loved and giving love, without Divine help and healing. I don't know if this makes sense to you, the reader, but it is how my poem, "Bits And Pieces" was born.

By Jacqueline Ann Piech
08/2005

 

 

 

"Mr. Jingles"

By Jacqueline Ann Piech
05/07/2021

    Mr. Jingles arrived in to my life about twenty years ago by way of the Humane Society. He was a mix of terriers, the vet said part Jack Russell, part Fox and part Boston. He told me terriers have attitude and in Jingles case, he had three times the attitude of a normal terrier. If not barking when he heard a car pull up or a knock at the door, he loved to try and chase bunnies, ducks, raccoons, cats and anything with in leash length. He thought he was a Doberman and not nineteen pounds of terrier. He was the only dog I ever had that actually barked at the phone when it rang! So into my life he pounced and bounced and grew on me as time went by.

    I worked night shifts at that time when I was still single. I was sleeping around 11 AM and Jingles began bouncing on my bed and started barking. I woke up and told him, we would get up when the alarm clock went off. But he kept whining, barking and pouncing on me and then went into a non-stop barking frenzy! I figured something was wrong so I got up and looked around my little apartment, didn't see anything out of place but Jingles kept barking. So I peeked out of my bedroom window and to my horror there in the parking lot were several tenants and a big red fire truck!

     I threw on my day clothes, grabbed my pet hamsters and their cages, put the leash on Mr. Jingles and went to my front door. When I carefully opened it the smell of smoke hit me. We all got safely out to the back parking lot. One of the tenants I knew kindly allowed me to put the hamsters in her car as it was winter and cold out. The other tenants were watching as the fire department continued putting out a fire on the top floor of the building.

    Flames and smoke poured out of the balcony door and yet no one thought to check door to door to make sure everyone was out of the building! The building was home to twenty-one families and luckily the fire got stopped before spreading to the roof or to the other apartments. The fire started do to a dinner cooking on a stove unattended.

    If it wasn't for Mr. Jingles non-stop barking I don't know how well I would have fared as the whole building was full of smoke. And because I lived in the basement, the smoke detector never went off until after I had left my apartment. So Mr. Jingles got much praise, many hugs and pets and a big rawhide chew bone from me for being my hero!

    God protected me through Mr. Jingles and the volunteer fire department that put out the fire, so I was very blessed to still have my little apartment home and good health! Mr.Jingles was my faithful friend for fourteen years, he even went through my marriage which brought, not only my husband, but another dog into our lives, Sparky! And then a few years later we moved from our little apartment to our house with a fenced in yard. Jingles loved  to run free in the backyard, chasing birds, insects and even Sparky!

   Sadly he had heart failure when he was a ripe old 14! He waited the day he died until I got home from work so I could pet and hold him and say goodbye. That was on August 26, 2015. He now rests in the backyard under a tree he loved. (If you are ever blessed enough to have a four legged friend, remember it is God's way of letting us be really in touch with nature through the warmth and love of an animal.) 

Mr. Jingles

Goodbye my dear furry friend, your paw prints and love are always in my heart!