Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.

If you haven’t read PEACE, SISTER, one of my earlier posts dated July 16th, that is required prerequisite reading prior to reading the rest of this post.  My mother had a plan for moving forward after a mess like this.

Sometimes, I am sorry to say, my posts will not detail an excursion with my sisters.  They will not tell a funny story about some aspect of our lives.  They will not be light and airy, and they will not have many pictures.

We have all seen enough pictures lately.

However, from time to time, I may spotlight one of our brothers.  Oh my.

With God as our Father, brothers all are we.

Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

We all woke up last Monday morning to the news of more heartbreak.   We are all thinking the same things:  How can this happen again?  Why does this happen over and over again?  Who can do such a horrific thingWhere will it happen next?  When?  And ultimately, What can we do?

We can start within.  We can look inside ourselves and find any thoughts,  feelings or ideas that  may cause harm, even to ourselves.   Especially to ourselves.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.

With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow.

Because, after all, that is where it starts.  Peace isn’t out there somewhere, it is in here.  If the scientific axiom energy can neither be created nor destroyed is true for human interaction as well, then our job is to turn any negative energy into positive energy, starting with our own.

Pray for good things to happen. Send good vibes.  Do good deeds.  Smile more.  Forgive more–including ourselves.  Believe that humans are capable of more good than bad, and act accordingly.  Believe the world is a good place.   Above all,  do something.

The ripple effect is real, so make sure your ripples are positive ones.

To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally,

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

I wrote the next part of this nearly two years ago.  It has sat on my computer since then; I didn’t have a plan for it.  I simply wrote it because it came to me that day.  I found it a few weeks ago, and though about posting it for International Day of Peace, which was September 21st.  Obviously, I didn’t.  Now, it is time.

I have some work to do.  I am not fully meeting my mother’s challenge I described in PEACE, SISTER.  I am not doing all I can to let it begin with me.  As long as there is something I can change within, something I can work on to bring peace to others,  I cannot feel powerless.  I cannot feel like there is nothing I can do to prevent any more tragedies like the one last week.



“…and let it begin with me.”

This was the opening line in a one of my favorite songs we sang in the church I grew up in.  It was typically sung as the closing song, sending us on our way with a positive message.   I remember the priest who sang it joyfully as he walked out of the church.  I won’t forget the song or the words.


I went to a shop in Breckenridge, Colorado about six months ago while I was there with my son and his friends on a ski trip. (There were many shops I went to, but I digress…)  This shop—The Joy of Sox—had a wide selection of socks, but other gift items as well.  I am drawn magnetically to the clearance rack in any store, and way in the back, I found it in this store.  It was filled with various gift items, and several clothing items.  There was one shirt on this rack, a long-sleeved, rust-colored tee-shirt that featured the iconic PEACE sign, with these words underneath:  Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.  It was my size, and the only one there.  Like the peace sign, I took it as a sign.  So I took it to the register, and then I took it home.

Since that was in March, I put it away in my stash for the next season.   I pulled it out the other day, and decided it was time for its debut.  Today, Thursday, November 19th, 2015, I wore it for the first time.  I felt empowered by its message, I felt accountable to those words somehow, but I wasn’t sure how.  I didn’t act on it right away, I just wore it.  I looked down at the symbol and words on my chest several times throughout the day, and thought perhaps I should do something to be an instrument of peace, like my mother so kindly asked me to.

But I didn’t, really.  I just went about my day.

My last appointment of the day was with a woman younger than me who was rendered almost speechless by a stroke nearly several years ago, just days after her birthday.  She lived with her husband and young son in what I perceived as substandard housing in my perception of a substandard marriage.  When I arrived, there was no peace to be found.  She was in tears by an accidental, minor physical injury inflicted upon her by her husband, which was apparently overshadowed by the emotional injury due to his apparent lack of concern and caring.  Clearly, through her tears, we would not be accomplishing much today.  Her injuries needed to be examined, and our protocol was to call the Home Health nurse in charge of her plan of care, so I did.  I wanted to leave and let the nurse take over whenever she got there, but I sensed she needed me for the female companionship; the understanding I could provide until the nurse arrived about an hour later.  But–selfishly–I was impatient with this situation because I had things to do, groceries to buy, gas to put in my car and a sick teenage son to tend to at home, but I stayed.  I realized I needed to take the advice on my own shirt, so I let it begin with me.   I continued to attempt to provide speech therapy, mostly to distract her from her physical and emotional pain, not expecting any measurable results.

Perhaps rage can bring new strength, or a hotter fire burning inside to move forward and work harder, because on this peace-less day, in what a appeared to be war-torn marriage, in this shambled house, with one of her young sons present, she spoke her son’s name for the first time since her stroke.  It was a moment speech therapists live for.  The joy on her son’s face was priceless, and brought us all a small measure of peace.  It began with me.

I left her home an hour and fifteen minutes later after the nurse arrived–she was okay, and proceeded to the grocery store for my weekly triple-digit expenditure.  It usually takes me about an hour, and I typically treat a trip to the grocery store as the business it is, hoping not to make it a social hour.  In my small city, however, it is difficult to go out to any public place and not see someone I know.

Today, I kept my head down and my nose to the grindstone, and got my shopping done.  At one point, I thought I saw that one woman, the one, who, for reasons I won’t explain, I don’t feel completely at peace with.  I have toyed with the idea of seeking her out to offer an apology, but part of me doesn’t feel it was my fault.  Perhaps I should let it begin with me, but then again, maybe she should let it begin with her.  I’ll let you know how that works out.

I avoided the woman, just in case it was her.  I made it out of the store, and headed to the parking lot.  I reached my car with my cart, and had to turn around to do a double take.  It was another woman I knew; she and I had not always been at peace.  We resolved that about four years ago, just after her mother died.

I saw her at a public event shortly after her mother died, and, feeling her pain, I reached out to her.  I approached her, and offered her my heartfelt sympathy.  I told her how sorry I was, and that I knew the pain of losing one’s mother.  I knew her mother, she was kind and full of love, just like mine was.  I moved cautiously closer to suggest an embrace, perhaps a light hug, and she reciprocated.  We hugged that day, and the old pain fell away as we both felt the new and more acute pain of being motherless.  We soothed each other; I felt better too.

“Thank you for reaching out to me,” she said.  She meant it.  It felt so good to me, I had made peace.  The old hurts—whatever they were—had fallen away because both of us knew that pettiness had no space in our lives any more after a loss of such great magnitude.  We both spoke a new language, and we understood it too.

Today, in the grocery store parking lot, we hugged again.  We spoke of life after loss, and how good it can be; how good it is for each of us, and the peace we feel, as well as the feeling we both carry here:  I placed my hand on my heart.

“They are with us here now, all the time.  It feels good, doesn’t it?”  I asked her.

She smiled, and agreed.  “Yes.  Yes it does.”   We hugged again, and parted ways.


Perhaps there is a space created in a woman after her mother dies, a space her mother so carefully carved throughout all her years on earth with us, a space she wanted us to fill with peace and positivity after she dies.  Perhaps all the love she showered upon us here on earth is the seed she so purposefully planted in her daughter’s heart for her work to continue through her daughter after she leaves her.  Perhaps the death of a woman’s mother, her departure from the earthly plane into the next dimension can ultimately propel a woman forward to create a life of greater meaning, depth and, of course, peace.  Perhaps, like the woman I saw today, I have accepted the challenge, and it will be a lifelong goal of mine to do my best to live it out.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. 



Sitting with my brother, in perfect harmony.  Ryan and his family came to town last night, and we enjoyed the evening together.  It was the perfect time to wear the shirt.


Dedicated to all those affected by the Las Vegas tragedy.



  1. Our priest today spoke about being an instrument of peace from St. Francis. It was a wonderful sermon following the events of last Sunday. It was uplifting and I think made everyone in the congregation think about how we live our lives and what we do to help bring about peace. Your blog this evening reinforced that thought for me. Thank you Kathleen!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved reading your blog tonight and meeting you and your sister today at Tuesday Morning. To see you and your sis shopping together and turning it into such a fun scavenger hunt for hidden treasures kind of day really warmed my heart! Makes me wish I was your sister too – fun times!


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