The One Less Traveled
by Forest Rain, Lionheart
January 2, 2006
“I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood and I –
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference”.
~Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”
For a while now I have seen a divergence coming up in the road, I knew that something about the Healing Teddies Project would have to change. The place I was in was affecting me negatively, not allowing me to achieve my goals in a smooth or efficient way. One result of this imbalance was an extreme difficulty with writing. A block disconnected the thoughts and emotions I experienced from my ability to formulate and place them on the page. To me this was a disturbing experience and it went on far too long.
Finally the divergence was in front of me. A big change. Not what I had hoped but still the solution to my difficulty. The Healing Teddies Project has been discontinued; it’s ending my opportunity to choose a new path. The one commonly traveled is pleasant option. I will soon receive my degree. I have already begun working as an administrative secretary at my mother’s clinic. There is much to be done there. Work, relaxation and the maintenance of the two is a universal, respectable direction to take in life. Even so, no matter how good, decent or comfortable that path is, there is something inside me, a tiny voice, that pulls at me, insisting I choose the road less traveled…
I speak often of creating a different world, a place more pleasant to live in. Many might feel those to be the sentiments of an overly idealistic or naive young person. My mother taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to and I choose to believe her. She also said: “If you don’t like what you see around you don’t just sit there being angry or complaining. DO something about it!”
For a few years the Healing Teddies Project has given me a way to “do something about it”. That has been very important to me. Now that the project has come to a close I choose to find a new method to create the world I would like to live in or at least bring our world closer to that ideal.
The road less traveled by has my name on it. The wind in the trees whispers: “Do it your own way.” To this I must listen. I want that better, brighter world. I believe we can have it! When I get to the end of my road, at the very least, I’ll know that I tried.
I’m still undecided as to exactly what vehicle I will now use to create change, to be useful. I don’t know yet but I think that at the moment not knowing is ok. What I do know for sure is that I would like to preserve the things that sparked the magic in the Healing Teddies Project, the things that made the project useful and effective – the personal touch, reaching directly to assist and support people in pain, creating bridges, a network of kindness and understanding between people in Israel and people around the world… There are many elements that I wish to preserve. The teddy bears are gone as is the healing energy that was infused in them. This does not prevent me from finding an alternative, to do what I can to lessen suffering and create healing!
This is a transition period where I tie up the loose ends left over from the Healing Teddies Project and move on to my new work. I have three Healing Teddies left and plan to give them away in the coming week or so. When this is completed the work done under the name “Healing Teddies Project” will be put to rest and all further efforts will be done under the name I have chosen – Lionheart. I have committed to reaching out to certain people and fulfilling specific tasks and I intend to keep these promises. That is very important to me! Afterwards there will be new things to do!
On Friday I mailed four Healing Teddies I still had in my possession. Two went to cancer patients, one to bereaved parents (their son died fighting in Lebanon) and one went to an American soldier whose sister tragically died in a car accident shortly after he returned from Iraq. I have much appreciation for the soldiers in Iraq. The Middle East is changing for the better because of the work they are doing there. It is possible to see some of the benefits already and when the situation becomes more stable it will be much easier to see the positive results of America’s “War on Terror”. That specific Healing Teddy was a hug given to promote healing after experiencing such difficult events but also as way to say “thank you” for the service done.
I will have to think on how best to fulfill the commitments previously made. I do not intend to allow anything or anyone fall by the wayside!
A Breath of Fresh Air
On a completely different note – all too often those who care about Israel are bombarded by the difficult and traumatic things that occur here, so much so that many associate Israel only with conflict and religion, feeling nothing but pity and possibly hope for redemption. In this section I give to you a breath of fresh air, a reminder of one of the areas that makes Israel so special – the brilliant minds of her people. This link will take you to the abstract of a paper recently published, describing research done in Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16339305&query_hl=1
D. Netanely, one of the writers of this paper is the cousin of Shiri Negari who was murdered in the 18.6.02 Jerusalem suicide bombing. He created and maintains the website in Shiri’s honor: http://www.shiri.us
Being shown a gesture of love is like receiving a gift from God
In this section I have listed two easy actions you can take to spread warmth and healing. Even simple actions can be profoundly meaningful!
Help Itay and Keren Halevi – Itay has cancer and needs support to help him on the road to recovery. This young couple is fighting to live a happy and healthy life together. Whatever action you can take to help them is a blessing. Please visit this website and choose one way to help: http://www.ntt.co.il/sites/itay/page7.html (the link is for the English web page about Itay). Maybe you could help by passing the site on to friends or involving people in your community. You could simply email Itay and Keren a note of support. Knowing that other people care is very meaningful and can infuse positive energy into a very draining situation! Please take the time to let these special people know that they are cared for and that we all wish them health and happiness!
Itay and Keren received one of the last Healing Teddies. May it be beneficial to them!
Send a card for Shlomo
My mother recently gave a relaxation workshop for people traumatized by terrorism and war. That is where we met Shlomo. Shlomo founded and runs the memorial center for the families of Karmiel and the area bereaved by war and terrorism. For about 30 years Shlomo has worked to bring some measure of comfort to these families. He understands them well as he and his wife Fela lost their son Daniel in an army training accident in 1969. At the workshop Shlomo told us a bit about Daniel, how he was such a promising young man, Daniel wished to be a doctor, to help others. Shlomo told of being given the news that his son had died. His description was all the more moving because of his straightforward, subdued method of delivery. His final words evoked such deep pain, I felt like my bones were about to shatter. He said: “understand that I am a survivor of the Holocaust and then my son died and I haven’t been able to cry. I haven’t cried since then [the Holocaust]”. This man who has worked so hard to help others deserves to be honored. Shlomo will receive one of the last Healing Teddies I still have in my possession. With the teddy I would love to pass on messages from you, the people who care. A few lines can make a big difference!
Email your message for Shlomo to my new yahoo account (email@example.com ) and I will print it out and add it to the package for Shlomo.
In closing – thank you, all of you!
I would like to take this opportunity to honor all the good people who have helped and cared.
An action, whether large or small is a tangible step towards healing the world. The kindness and empathy, the gestures of love truly are like receiving a gift from God! All who have joined me on my road, all who have found some benefit in my path have made the going easier. I wish you could know how much good you have enabled, how much comfort you have created. Every once in a while I receive something that signifies the importance of reaching out to people in pain. The poem below is just such an example. It was written by a woman whose husband recently died of an illness. Friends of hers requested a Healing Teddy be sent to her, to hug her when they are not there to do so themselves. I was notified when the package was received and passed on and I felt pleased to be able to do something to help. I never imagined I would receive these touching words. For me there could be no better “thank you” then receiving a message such as the one sent by this widow.
Safta’s Teddy Bear
Note: Safta means grandmother in Hebrew. This poem was written for this woman’s grandchildren and she kindly agreed to share it with me and with all the project supporters.
Safta has a teddy bear
Do you really think that’s true?
They say she hugs him very tightly
When she’s feeling blue.
Did you ever see him sitting
In the middle of her bed?
He’s very soft and cuddly
With a ribbon that is red.
He came to her by mail one day
Contented in a box
A note said “Healing Teddies”
For you – not just for tots.
“Healing Teddies are good companions”
Explained the tiny note.
He comes to you with love from friends,
Is what the lady wrote.
A very personal letter
Said that Susan W., Fran & Bernie
Sent this teddy bear to you
(It seems instead of Bert & Ernie)
This very special Teddy Bear
Will hug you when you need
To feel his warmth and comfort
As you’re lonely and bereaved.
You may think that this is silly
Even strange – and very rare.
But Safta (=Grandma) says “Good Night” – each night.
To her “Healing Teddy Bear”.
The road less traveled by lies in front of me. I choose to walk it and make it my own. Please join me for the journey. I truly believe that together we can make wonderful things happen! Ages hence we will know that it was walking together that made all the difference!
From now on I will be using the address: firstname.lastname@example.org Please update me in your address book!
This link will bring you to a blessing for hope. Even though you may have seen it before I thought you might like to see it, even if it’s for the second time! http://i.euniverse.com/funpages/cms_content/2529/4candles.swf
Wishing you all very happy holidays and a wonderful year to come!