Paradise Within

My good friend and neighbor is dying. She has battled more health problems through the years than anyone should have to endure. Now as she approaches her 57th birthday she knows that it will probably be her last. She has started giving away a lot of her things so her loving husband won’t be stuck with her "Junk" as she says. She has already given me several books, containers, clothes for my daughter, and a beautiful Hawaiian shirt to add to my collection.

She has given all of us around her much more than just her stuff, though. She has also given us her friendship, her kindness, and her joyous smile. She has given us her wit, wisdom, and sweet laughter. She has given us her shining spirit that has made all of our lives so much brighter. When my daughter turned 19 my friend made her a red velvet cake and talked with her about what is important in life. When a local dog was nearly killed by a bear my friend welcomed it into her home and nursed it back to health. When any of us needed anything she was there doing all that she could with a heart full of love and a soul full of goodness.

She did all of this too while her health continued to grow worse and worse. My friend, however, is not afraid of death. She has told me several times that she believes it will only be like a brief sleep and then she will awaken in Paradise. I am sure as well that she will fit right in there, because she already has a lot of paradise within herself. It is the paradise within her that she has so freely and beautifully given to us all.

I thank God for giving me a chance to get to know her. She has shown me that we all have a bit of paradise within ourselves. She has shown me too that the best way to enjoy that paradise is to share it with everyone you meet. I wish my friend only joy in her remaining days here and endless love and life in her coming days in Paradise.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~

[ by: Joseph J. Mazzella Copyright © 2009 ( -- submitted by: Joseph Mazzella ]

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