Gems 5.149

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Gems 5.148

Photo by Free-Photos, Pixabay.

“Grief changes shape, but it never ends. People have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, ‘It’s gone, and I’m better.’ They’re wrong. When the people you love are gone, you’re alone. I miss being a part of their lives and them being a part of mine. I wonder what the present would be like if they were here — what we might have done together. I miss all the great things that will never be.”

-Keanu Reeves


Gems 5.118

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤


Photo by jclk8888, Pixabay

Special thanks to Brad2 for sharing the poem on

If I Had Known

Mary Carolyn Davies

If I had known what trouble you were bearing;
What griefs were in the silence of your face;
I would have been more gentle and more caring,
And tried to give you gladness for a space.
I would have brought more warmth into the place,
If I had known.

If I had known what thoughts despairing drew you;
(Why do we never try to understand?)
I would have lent a little friendship to you,
And slipped my hand within your hand,
And made your stay more pleasant in the land,
If I had known.


Gems 5.19

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤


Photo by Antonio Doumas, Pixabay

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Movement Memorial

This is a special post today with a special announcement.  Our under1000skies on Facebook page is now linked on Facebook to our other page there, Running-for-Joy5k.  This year marks the 9th year since we began.  The story of Joy is here, “Joy” as well as on the Facebook page.

running for joy collage

The 9th Annual Running-for-Joy5k
Saturday and Sunday, December 28-29, 2019
Barnegat Light, NJ / USA -and- Worldwide

☼ New This Year ☼
This year we’ll be carrying the names of friends who lost loved ones and the names of those they lost. We’re posting the event early this year to give everyone a chance to write their name, and the name(s) of the loved one(s) they want to celebrate, in the comments below.

☼ Date Is Tentative ☼
The date is tentative. We still need to hear from other Team Members. We hope to stay again at Minerva’s By the Sea in Barnegat Light. If you plan to travel to Barnegat Light, we highly recommend their establishment. (Link in comments) We set the time for 9AM on Saturday, December 28th until 3PM Sunday, December 29th. That way, if you are able to get down the shore that weekend, we can join you any time during those two days.

☼ Run/Walk/Movement Memorial Anywhere. ☼
It’s not necessary to be in Barnegat Light to join this event. As in past years, anyone anywhere can honor Joy where you are. We’re so incredibly grateful to all the friends who have made the time to do that over the years.

☼ You don’t have to walk or run a 5k or a mile to participate. ☼
We do this because Joy was the athlete and runner. We aren’t, at least not yet. But, we live in hope and train in hope again this year too. In the past few years due to illness and injury, Micky hasn’t been able to walk even the 1 mile. Being there, however, on the beach close to where Joy’s ashes were scattered, was enough to feel close to her. So walking/running isn’t necessary to join us. There are so many ways to honor Joy, and the joy of someone you loved and lost — lighting a candle, saying a prayer — anything that you feel moved to do is a gift to us and a path toward healing the grief.

☼ Your Movement Memorial ☼
You are very welcome to submit your name and a loved one’s name to be carried during this event. You can come back as often as you think of someone or hear a story perhaps that touches your heart. Just post your first name and theirs in the comments below with a picture if you like. Or, you can send us a message if you wish to keep it anonymous. We’ll carry those names privately.

☼ Birthday Memorials ☼
So many of us have had to say goodbye to a beloved family or friend much too soon. This event has really helped us, since the first, to honor Joy every year on her birthday. You are welcome, also, to include your loved one’s birthday in your comment (just month/day). If you do, we’ll make sure to celebrate their life on our page every year on their birthday.

☼ Samples ☼
Here’s a sample of how to submit your loved one’s name to be carried this year for the 9th Annual Running-for-Joy.

Your name: Micky
Your loved one’s name: Joy
Birthday: 12/26
Photo (optional*): Attached.

mick and joy

*If you prefer not to post a photo, think about posting a photo of something that was important to your loved one. In the space next to photo, you can write something about the photo you are posting.

I posted three examples on our Event’s page.

Your name: Micky
Your loved one’s name: Joe
Birthday: August 15th.
Photo: This is a photo of me and my dad, Joe. He was 92 when he died seven years ago. He was my heart-dad, so not related by blood, but connected since age 5 by love. I miss him every day.

me and daddy


Your name: Micky
Your loved one’s name: Samuel
Birthday: September 14th.
Photo: This is a poem I wrote for my son after he died in my 7th month of pregnancy. The painting in the collage is by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. I don’t know the name of the photographer for the necklace photo. I feel him with me, always.

for samuel, goodbye

Your Name: Micky
Your loved one’s name: Joanne
Birthday: July 3rd.
Photo: This is a photo of a memorial I wrote for Joanne when she died a few years ago from a stroke. I’ll ask her children if I can post her photo or if they wish to.




Here’s a template you can cut and paste:

Your name:
Your loved one’s name:
Birthday (optional)
Photo (optional):

Wishing you joy every day in 2019. May the beautiful memories we hold of the loved ones we miss so much bring us comfort, every single day.

The Running-for-Joy Team

“Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them.” George Elliot

☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

Gems 4.160

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

4.160 Benjamin

On January 8, 2016, we featured the photo above, “Gems 2.4.”  It was taken by my son Ben in Taos, NM the summer before.  We featured several of Ben’s photos that week.  That day, January 8th, Ben wrote a a comment:

benarcher on  said: Love how you’re using all these 🙂 I’m glad to see my photos actually used for something instead of just taking up space. These gems would be good on the walls
On March 2, 2016, Ben disappeared.

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Gems 4.155

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤


I’m especially grateful right now for the firefighters who work heroically to battle the monster fires in California.  My prayers and healing thoughts are — and will continue to be — with the 82 families in and around Paradise who lost loved ones and for the 700+ families whose loved ones are still missing.

My cousin Walter and his family lost everything in the Paradise “campfire.” Walter’s sister Joanne said that he and his wife heard a loud boom, ran out to see what it was, and suddenly they were running for their lives.  They got out and are both okay, but Walter had to be admitted to the hospital.  He’s on the mend.  Joanne started a GoFundMe campaign and support has been pouring in from all over.  Walter was overwhelmed by the response to her fundraiser, Joanne said, and by the kindness of friends and family.  Even people he never met have helped.

I have seen this response and outpouring of support since this all began all over.  It reminds me of this quote from Starman:

“You are a strange species. Not like any other. And you’d be surprised how many there are. Intelligent but savage. Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.”

Our family has lost a lot to fire.  My grandfather lost his mother and sister.   My cousins Cindy and Bonnie (Walter’s sisters) died in a fire when they were 14 and 19.  Just a few weeks before she died, Cindy and I picked daisies in a sunny field covered with their bright blooms.  It was the last beautiful memory I have of her.  Cindy and I were the same age when she died.

I am thankful every day for our firefighters, police and military who put their lives on the line for strangers.  During this week of Thanksgiving, and especially during this heartbreaking time when so many of us have lost so much to the fires in California, I wanted to share this story and my gratitude.

☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.