Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Reiki and Other Blessings

Sunrise on March 8th, 2015
Thank you for your kind thoughts and words around Katie's 20th birthday. We had a lovely day - which is in itself a kind of miracle, considering the circumstances - including a beach walk, delicious brunch at Alchemy Bistro and Wine Bar in Port Townsend, and a movie, with popcorn for dinner. A truly "Katie" kind of day.
Toasting Katie at brunch
Last week, I had the pleasure of accompanying our friend Charlotte on a tour of Building Hope at Seattle Children's Hospital. You may recall that David and I had a brief tour of the building in November for the purpose of a photo shoot, featuring Katie's Comforters Guild in the Guild News.
A patient receiving her blanket from Katie's Comforters Guild, represented by yours truly
On Thursday, Charlotte and I toured the Emergency Department, Cancer Ward and the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. This new building is a great advancement upon what was available to us during Katie's treatment eight years ago. It is absolutely state-of-the-art, in every way.

There were wonderful surprises for me on this day, as we were met by several staff members who had taken care of Katie at her most fragile: during chemotherapy, and after her 18-hour surgery. It was a pleasure to be able to introduce these gifted caregivers to our friend, and to have them explain to her what they do, and how the facilities in this new building make it possible to make patients and families even more comfortable during the most stressful time in their lives.
We ran into one of Katie's dear oncology nurses
I am grateful to Drs. Baden, Brogan, Jeffries and Mazur for their generosity with their time on Thursday. I'm also thankful for all that they and their colleagues have done (and are doing) to save children's lives, as well as to the nurses and technicians who support their work - and to the donors who made this building possible! It truly is a team effort.

Since taking first-degree (Shoden) Reiki in November, I have been practicing daily, and looking forward to taking the next class (Okuden, or second-degree). I was able to do this a couple of weekends ago through Emerald City Reiki in Seattle.
My certificate of completion, with gratitude to Reiki Master Claire O'Shea.

Reiki brings peace, balance, calmness and relief from physical problems such as pain, digestive upset, stress, insomnia and much more. The potential for healing seems unlimited. The more I read about it, the more I enjoy learning from its practice, for Reiki isn't something that one learns from reading; practice is the most important way to learn. I find it has given me a new way to pray for myself, and others; it has restored a language of prayer which I had lost, and enhanced it, by keeping it free from "dogma." This freedom leads to pure joy and love when practicing Reiki. I think of it as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, or healing power of God. [If you have questions about it, one of the best books I've read is called "Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide" by Pamela Miles.]

Update on Grandma:  we now have a routine in place for supporting Gregg's parents. We all take turns bringing Grandpa Ed to see Grandma Elaine, sit beside her bed with him until he gets tired, and then take him back to his home in assisted living (we are still waiting for a bed to open for Elaine in the same facility where she and Ed have been living). Gregg visits his mother nearly every day after work.

I am thoroughly enjoying serving on the board of the Bainbridge Public Library. What an interesting and generous group of people! At each meeting, I learn new things, and am grateful for the kindness and sense of community spirit among the members. Last Friday was my first time helping to host an artist's exhibit during the "First Friday" Art Walk. We host a different artist in the Community Room of the library each month. This month, I'll take a class to qualify for a certificate which will allow me to serve wine at these events.
Field's End (a committee of the Bainbridge Public Library) continues to offer opportunities for growth and stimulation for writers in our community. This week, we're hosting a Story Slam at Treehouse Cafe on Bainbridge Island, and on March 20th, there will be an Open Mic at the Poulsbo branch of Kitsap Regional Library. A Travel Writing Workshop will be taught by Perry Garfinkel in May through Field's End. If any of these events sound like fun to you, please visit for more information.


Busy Bee Suz said...

You have a lot of things in the're a busy bee!
Love that you had a Katie kind of day on her birthday; what a testament to your love for her. {hugs}
So glad that Elaine has such a wonderful support system; I'm sure this is really tough for Gregg to see his Mom in this state. Love and prayers to you all.

jandi said...

Dear Karen, you are really busy! I heard this song ( on the radio this week + it reminded me of your Katie and another friend who also lost a daughter (+also celebrated her birthday) this week. X

Kim Andersen said...

You are amazing - no moss grows under your feet! Your Katie Day sounds very laid back in contrast :)

Maggie May said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your Katie, I'm sending love to her spirit, and your family.

Daisy said...

Congratulations Karen!!! Reiki sounds like a good thing to experience.