On September 19, 2020, I was honored to be a large part of a Benefit Concert for Loving Arms Cancer Outreach. The concert was a great success, and I wanted to share it with you again as we start this new year. Below is an e-mail from President and Co-Founder Shay Traylor with an update. I hope you will take the time to enjoy my concert, share it with your friends and consider making a donation.
Thank you for your support and Happy New Year!
We’ve been so blessed to be able to help our clients with over $174,000 in direct financial assistance this year. I am so proud and Blessed to inform you that Loving Arms Cancer Outreach Inc., nonprofit 501c3, is approaching ten years of service to cancer patients and survivors.
Loving Arms Cancer Outreach provides assistance to cancer patients, including grocery cards, gas cards, medication assistance, utility assistance, wigs, hats, scarves, and support groups. This assistance is entirely free to cancer patients and often helps bridge the family financial gap created by cancer-related costs.
As we start this new year, we ask you to consider donating to Loving Arms Cancer Outreach. Due to COVID, We have not been able to have our regular fundraisers that account for a big part of our overall budget. Therefore we had a shortfall in 2020. We need the community to rally so we can continue helping cancer patients, not only financially but emotionally as well.
There is nothing like being in the fight of your life and having no resources available for a lifeline. We do not want our patients to lack their basic needs as they battle cancer and the effects of COVID. Please consider a tax-deductible donation at this time.
Thank you, and may God Bless You!
Shamichael (Shay) Traylor President/ Co-Founder
To donate go to: www.lovingarms.support/donate
For more information about Loving Arms Cancer Outreach call 770-590-5153.
So long Hammerin’ Hank
HANK AARON - 1934-2021
A large part of my childhood and youth left today with the passing of Hank Aaron. I am very sad. I have so many memories and stories I would like to share about Hammerin' Hank Aaron, but it is best left for a blog that I now need to find time to write. In the meantime, my dear friend Randy Cassimus shared his sentiments, which heartfelt and accurately reflect mine.
"Perpetually humble, he accomplished greatness in craft and humanity, all while dealing with the ever-present stench of racism, subtle or vicious. I feel blessed to have watched him play and to later stand around in his generous shadow when his playing days were done. Rest in peace, Mr. Aaron. You remain the best of all time to this kid." - Randy Cassimus
All your life, you are accurately told how short life is and that you should not let a day pass you by. You should fill each and every day with all that you can. Dream big, take chances, lean into your fears, don’t look back, be consistent, positive, and grateful. Live in the present and not the past. Have a plan. Act immediately on what has to be done, and do NOT procrastinate. I see that in too many people around me, including myself. Someday is now, and ‘too late’ will be here before you know it. Take care of your mind and your body...and live. Now.
"And all that is now. And all that is gone. And all that's to come. And everything under the sun is in tune......and the sun is eclipsed by the moon." - Pink Floyd
Can you imagine waking up one morning, looking out your window and seeing this? The moon, the universe and the possibility of mankind traveling through space to other planets has deeply fascinated me since I was a young boy. If I could wave a magic wand and be anything in the world I would want to be an astronaut.
I knew I was destined to be a musician from a very young age. Also, the status of my grades in higher mathematics and my lack of desire to join the military did not go unnoticed by my inner Captain Kirk. But a boy can dream can't he? Being extremely proud of NASA and Space X, I am consistently fascinated by the fact that walking somewhere on earth today is the first person who will set foot on Mars. I hope that I am alive to see it and I am sad that Neil Armstrong will not, for that will indeed be one giant leap for mankind.
“I could always see the path.. even though I sometimes strayed....”
Looking back on my life today, I see how one may use these words to define a large part of my journey. I would assume many of you feel the same, and some like myself have strayed more than others. But I always saw the path. I ever had a compass and knew that eventually, I would be happy, all would be right with the world, and I would find my way home - journey successfully completed. As I become older, and with so much increasing upheaval in the country and the world today, I am finding that I look ahead for the first time, and a thickening fog is covering the road. Once where I saw a beacon to guide me home, I now see a weak flickering light growing dimmer in the mist, expanding in the distance.
I am weary, I am angry, yet I also know I am blessed and have much to be grateful for. Despite anxious mood swings and unsettling emotions, I am constantly reminded that I still have much to do and miles to go before I sleep. I cannot give in to the fog, neither can you, nor can our country.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to respond on Facebook to my last post about our veterans who gave their lives and fought for our country. I also want to thank those who took the time to email me. All are welcome. Even though things are looking grim for our country at this moment, most of the posts and discussions were positive. I pray we can all find our beacon of light, as separate souls, as a country, and as a world. I believe we can, but nothing is written in stone. Go forth with energy, confidence, power, and light. Be part of the healing force so that we may find our way once again.
Just a week or so ago, I was in Marietta, Georgia, a place I know very well, and for the first time in many years, I found myself taking a long walk there and found myself in The Marietta National Cemetary. Established in 1866, it is the resting place of 18,742 United States Soldiers who gave their lives for our country. It is odd, in the 30 plus years that I have been visiting Marietta, I have driven past and marveled at this beautiful cemetery countless times. But it wasn't up until recently that I entered and paid my respects.
While I was looking at the graves' names and dates, I wondered what these brave soldiers would think of the country they died to protect if they were alive today. I believe that most would be shocked into disbelief. I can only imagine the sadness and anger they might feel to see how corrupt and barbaric our once great nation has become, to see how morally low and spiritually bankrupt we have fallen.
This is not the America I was brought up in, nor is it the America I was brought up to be proud of. I wish I had an answer or something to shed just a glimmer of hope to anyone reading this, but in all honesty, I don't. I realize I am not the first, nor is this emotion unprecedented or unshared. But for the first time in my life, I feel entirely broken-hearted and lost as an American.
A FAREWELL TO A KING
Today, January 7, 2021, marks one year to the day when the world lost one of the most gifted drummers in rock music history with the passing of Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for RUSH.
Rock and Roll comes in many forms, and it is unfair and impossible to label any musician as the “best” at what instrument they play. However, I feel everyone would agree that there are a handful of musicians whose prowess and skill on their instrument places them high above many others, regardless if you like their music or not. Neil Peart was unquestionably one of those musicians.
He performed with a style, energy and sound that was completely his own. Neil’s playing had a melodic sense and intricacy about it which gave it a unique voice which sang in it’s own way. A voice that complimented and joined Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson in a perfect musical union. Neil was also a highly educated, gifted lyricist and author, writing all the bands lyrics.
I first heard RUSH in 1976 and was knocked out cold. I immediately became a fan for life. I first saw them perform in 1977 at The Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on “The Farewell To Kings” tour. Cheap Trick was the support act touring on their second album “In Color.” The performances by both bands that night impacted me for life.
Today I am listening to my favorite RUSH album, “A Farewell To Kings” - in honor of a fallen king.
I believe that being outside and at one with nature restores my energy, soothes my soul, helps ground my spirit, and allows me to be closer to the universe and my creator.
I have always been a child of the water and longed to be near the ocean. It was not until these last few years that I developed a deep love for being alone in the forest or on a secluded hiking trail. If you had told me just ten years ago that I would come to love hiking and jogging as I do now, I would have asked to have whatever it was that you were drinking. I hope to hike a lot more in the coming year in my home state of Georgia and other places across the country. These photos were taken during my last walk around my wooded park of 2020, just before New Year's Eve.
I have many plans, hopes, and dreams for 2021, plans alone in the woods communicating with my creator and plans out in the world, making a difference, making music, and living my life. I wish the same for you. Thank you for being part of my journey.
Time is furiously fast and fleeting. So many moments, chances, choices and people fleet in and out of our lives before we even fully understand the impact they have. May the new year bring you understanding, patience, peace, good health and hope.
All my life I have had a melancholy and sad love affair with New Years Eve. This beautiful melody and lyric by Barry Manilow and Marty Panzer has been my favorite New Years Eve song since I first heard it back in 1977. It tugs at my heart stronger with each passing year. Enjoy and have a safe and wonderful New Years Eve.
"Ramblings From Jeff" - is a dedicated personal blog page within JeffPike.com written and posted by Jeff Pike.