Reminders in Time

Life is a learning experience, a long and winding path from birth to death. It’s what happens in between that really counts. That path looks different depending on who is looking along it at the time, but we are all basically the same, all flesh and blood, all perfectly capable of changing that path to suit our own needs. None of us are perfect, have all done or said things we deeply regret. Of all people, I can stand behind that statement. My life has been riddled with bad deeds and even if many of them were due to my social background, many others were not. A bad guy, to me, is a person who does bad things without regret, without a conscience, without pity and without a second thought for the victim. A good guy, to me, is a person who has made mistakes, learns from them and who sees that pain only begets pain.

This morning, I stood before an amazing group of people, people who sat and listened to my every word. I was the guest, motivational speaker in Mölndal,Sweden for a group from the company AstraZeneca. I didn’t sugarcoat anything, didn’t make myself out to be a habitual good guy. I told it like it was. I have done bad things in my life, but I am not a bad guy. I have done good things in my life too. Does that make me a good guy? No, it makes me a human being, one of seven billion human beings. I am what I am, who I am. I have been down on my luck, down and out. This morning though, I really believe my life story inspired so many. I don’t think any of them will go home thinking, Gavin Hill is a bad guy. I think they will go home thinking he is just another piece within that wonderfully woven tapestry called life; a man with an amazing story to tell. We all have amazing stories to tell.  I hope to see you in the audience at my events in America.

God bless … Gavin

To schedule events in America contact rosa136@mchsi.com and click  About Gavin and Rosie event scheduling for more details.

A Real American Idol

According to the dictionary a hero is a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

My simple definition of a hero is someone who acts to help another with no thought for himself.

On February 28, 1923, a baby boy was born to Clara and William Hartwig in Twin Valley, Minnesota. They named their bundle of joy, Elmer. He grew up during the depression with limited education. The Great Depression (1929-39) was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world. Elmer served in the United States Army during World War II in The Battle of Okinawa. He was wounded on the front lines receiving the Purple Heart medal of honor for his bravery; leaving him a disabled military veteran.  In 1948, he married and started working as the chief engineer for the Meeker County Memorial Hospital in Litchfield, MN.  During this time he raised two children and worked more than this one job to make ends meet. After forty years, he retired from his service to the hospital.  In his later years, he suffered with Parkinson’s disease. He lost movement in his arms and legs, his ability to feed himself and walk. Never did anyone hear him complain before he also lost his speech.  He celebrated fifty-five years of marriage to his one and only love of his life before he passed away in 2004.

Elmer was my hero and my dear father. I had the honor to be by his bedside and hear him gasp for his last breath on earth. I held his once strong hands until they turned cold. I continued holding them for another two hours until the hearse arrived.  I can’t possibly tell you all of his unselfish acts of love.  It was only fitting that he had a full military funeral. Every once in a life time if we are fortunate, our lives are touched by someone like my hero.  God bless his memory on this his date of birth, eighty-nine years ago.

I am forever grateful for his time on earth,his love for his country,God and his family. ღஜღ  Rosie

 

The Count Down

After a series of newspaper articles, about six months ago, I received an email from a company here in Sweden, asking me if I would like to hold a speech about my writing, my life, my charity work and my work with children. It was supposed to take place last November, although things didn’t quite work out that way. Instead, the date was changed. I will be holding the speech at AstraZeneca in Gothenburg on February 29th. I consider this to be a great honor, although boy, am I nervous today.

Many years ago, I ran a theme theatre group for children, teaching them English through theatre, offering them a theme with each show. I have some fantastic memories from that time. I wrote a basic manuscript and the song texts, allowing them to change things just a little. They made their own sets and scenes, their own costumes. We had make-up artists come by to add that little touch. A musician, who goes by the name of Martin Lignell, put music to my texts; A  Lesson in the Jungle and William Gray and The Family Next Door. They did their own PR, contacted the local TV stations and newspapers; invited them in to watch the shows. Everything was kept in English. Obviously, some were a little reluctant to open up in English, preferring to speak Swedish. With these children, I spoke a kind of ‘Swinglish’ until they were ready to move over into only English. I helped them at every step of the way, offered advice, trained with the children; was there for them at all times. The only thing I didn’t have to do was to stand on stage with them and act. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have to go on stage. I would always go up, just before the children went up, would welcome the audience and introduce them. Then at the end of each show, I would go out, take a bow with the children; receive a bunch of roses or box of chocolates.

I enjoyed being behind the scene, witnessing magic in the form of song and dance, with bright costumes and cheerful faces. I wasn’t a scene person really. Last year I was in America, knew there would be no ‘behind’ the scenes work for me. It was a little scary. Not when I was talking, of course, but when I was planning and preparing, feeling butterflies in my stomach. I don’t think one ever really gets used to it. Now I am back there again, just two days until February 29th. I am nervous, can feel those butterflies rising up inside, am terrified I might break out in a cold sweat or forget what I’m supposed to talk about.  I guess that’s natural really. Deep down inside, I am really looking forward to Wednesday with confidence but still I feel like jelly today.

Hoping your day is a happy one. Attached is the invitation from AstraZeneca.   Gavin

Invitation to you as a member of  Klubben at AstraZeneca Mölndal

Gavin Hill; author and student assistant from Kungsbacka. Gavin will talk about his early life, moving to Sweden, his addiction and how he turned his life in the right direction.

Wednesday 29th February Welcome! Please register for this enlightening breakfast event – 07:30 to 09:00 in Epsilon.Breakfast is served in the Café from 07:15. If you come directly to the lecture, feel free to bring your breakfast into Epsilon. Notification requested by 24th of February. Don’t forget to notify any allergy or special diet.

GAVIN L. HILL

British author and motivational speaker

web site: www.gavinhill.se

Author of series of adult novels, poetry, children’s books, fact books and theatre productions complete with original songs on CD; performed in Europe and U.S.A.

Published novels:
The Maze, June 2009
The Blood Tree, April 2010
The Changling, November 2011
The Watchman, Release Date 2012

About Gavin Hill

Mr. Hill tours; speaking about anti-bullying issues and his interesting journey from childhood to adulthood.

He holds seminars and novel events in both Europe and in America.

He is co-owner of ‘Sweet Conclusions’, an exclusive art company, taking his inspiring verses combined with one of a kind photography and newly released book … Reflections Upon the Waters of Life.

He works with special needs children, promoting better lifestyles.

He has raised substantial amounts of money for abused children through sponsored walks, children’s days and musical concerts.

He is partly responsible for raising money to build a play park for disabled children.

The lecture will be in English!

 

 

 

 

 

Gavin Hill’s first time speaking to America via Skype

On our post Together Via Skype we spoke about Gavin’s first author Skype event with America. It was the first Skype event in the Litchfield, Minnesota community. Here is the video from that memorable evening. Gavin was answering a question about the characters in his novel, The Blood Tree.  Everyone in attendance was so happy to “meet” Gavin and ask him questions about his novels. Gavin was thrilled to be in the same room with his American fans through Skype.

For Gavin and Rosie, it was the third time they had ever Skyped and seen each other in real time, after 16 years of friendship. Seeing each other through technology made them even more determined that one day, they would actually meet in person. And they did. But that’s another blog post …

The Homeless and Down Trodden

Have you ever walked down your local main street on your way home from work or school, leaving your door to swing shut behind you, the cold battling on outside, without regard? Have you ever thought about the homeless and downtrodden, the ones who can’t swing a door shut and leave the cold outside? It seems to me, it is all too easy to pass these people by without a second glance, all too easy to forget about the homeless and down trodden.

It is half past eight, a Saturday, during summertime. The sun rests; blood red against cotton candy clouds. The streets are alive with happy voices and the bars are full to the point of overflowing. The young are busy finding new loves and money is sweeping away to the tune of yet another beer. Where are the homeless and down trodden then? The stands along the main street are chattering with loose change and a pretty teenager passes by with a bucket of red roses. Several groups of youths are resting, sprawled out in the park with a six pack and a packet of cigarettes. The cinema projectors are spinning around, film stars gracing silver screens. Where are the homeless and down trodden then? A bus comes to a halt and people climb off. Neon lights flash and an invitation to a new pizza bar blows along a dusty, pavement before a passing foot comes down on it. A night club door swings open, a ding-dong beat wiring into a fast darkening sky. A guard stands at that door, checking identification and welcoming guests. But where are the homeless and down trodden then?

The sad truth is that life goes on regardless of the homeless and down trodden. The wheels of time turn and the fires of ignorance burn on. There are many questions to ask, many important questions that so desperately need answering. One of them would be, how did it happen? The homeless and down trodden haven’t always been homeless and down trodden, weren’t born to live as beggars and scavengers, the hyenas and vultures of this human savannah. Somewhere along the line, things just went terribly wrong. For some reason, the ugly head of despair rose up and devoured these individuals. That head doesn’t see color or creed, doesn’t see beauty or intelligence. It is indifferent. It’s a dog eat dog world out there.

But, remember just one thing when you walk down your local main street on your way home from work or school. Remember just one thing when you let your door swing shut behind you, the cold battling on outside, without regard. Remember that the old man on the stone, steps with his dirty clothes and broken stare, probably has children somewhere. Remember that the youngster huddled in the corner with a pile of old newspapers as a pillow, probably has a family somewhere, a mother, a father, a brother and a sister. Remember that we all came from somewhere and we are all going somewhere. Remember that life isn’t always as stable as we would like it to be, that around every corner, there waits an ugly head of despair. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and you never know… maybe, just maybe you are next in line. I hope and pray that day never arrives.

Have a nice day, now and check out my newly revised author web site by clicking on my name  Gavin Hill

 

 

Uniquely Special

The greatest gift a woman can give a man is a child; surely there can be no greater gift. I remember so well the birth of my son, almost sixteen years ago; remember the anticipation, the longing to hold that tiny, bundle of joy. I remember trying my best to comfort his mother, remember her squeezing my hand with brute strength; I almost feared her fingers would sink through flesh and bone. My son was born on May 1st, 1996. He was a tiny, little thing, pinkish red and somewhat like Freddy Krueger to look at. Yet he was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I wasn’t allowed to hold him straight away of course, but I was able to gaze down on him. Tears of joy crossed my cheek and I knew that from that moment onward, my life would never be the same again. His name is Mick and he is the light of my life. In the year 2000, his Mother and I broke up. Mick moved home with me. Not many men get to see their children grow up as I did, unless of course, they remain married. I got to play with my son, to wipe his tears when he fell over, got to take him to kindergarten, got to watch him grow, to begin school. I got to help him with homework. He’s a bright kid, good at school. He hands his homework in on time, does as he is told, is kind and respectful toward others…is wonderful. I’ve been lucky. You think I’m lucky to have been able to see my son grow up? Well, I have been. There’s more to it than that though.

I work at a school for kids with special needs; meet special needs kids and parents of special needs kids, pretty much every day. I love my job and I love these kids. Some of them have Asperger’s Syndrome; some have ADD or ADHD, others are autistic. The list goes on. These kids struggle day in and day out for acceptance, struggle with numbers, letters, learning to tell the time, learning to get by in a world where many see them as far too different to be normal. They are different, of course they are different. They are unique, but then so are you and I. Many of these wonderful, unique kids lack social skills and have been ostracized because of it. The parents of special needs kids don’t have it easy either. They knew something was wrong far before their child was diagnosed. They don’t love their kids less; they love their kids as much, if not more than some other parents might. They understand what these kids have been through, are going through and will carry on going through. If my son had been a special needs kid, I wouldn’t love him less, if he couldn’t read, write or tell the time, I wouldn’t feel ashamed of him. I would love him unconditionally. Of course, knowing he can read, write and tell the time, knowing he has social skills, friends and a good education that will lead him to a good job in the future, is great news for me. But it’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is that I love my son no matter what.

I think what upsets me the most though, is the way these kids are treated, not only by other kids, but by adults as well. They didn’t ask to have their lives turned upside down, didn’t ask to be frowned upon because they don’t fit into some ‘standard’ norm. They didn’t ask for any of this. Sometimes I take long walks with my students, see how people look at them. I hate that! When other kids do it, it’s bad enough, but when adults do it…well, that just rocks my boat! There is no greater gift than the gift of a child and without children, there will be no human life. My heart goes out to all these wonderful, unique kids all over the world and to their parents, who love them without condition, no matter what.

Have a good day, now    Gavin

Together via Skype

Gavin and I have found when life gives you lemons that making lemonade is very good advice.  You go forward even when obstacles cross your path. You find strength to persevere.  As you read in my posts, Silence Parts 1 and 2, real life intervened and Gavin didn’t arrive on America soil in 2010.  This was a major obstacle to holding author events and interviews that were scheduled.  Our plans to promote Gavin’s novels and for him to meet and speak to America somehow had to happen.  We were not going to cancel any author events, newspaper or radio interviews.  We went full steam ahead with a plan that would indeed deliver Gavin to his fans. Wheels were set in motion.

On the docket first was the radio interview.  I got to the station early. I soon discovered it wasn’t a taped broadcast but live.  A part of me wanted to run out the door and take the first flight to Sweden but running away isn’t my style. I had to conquer my fear immediately. I gathered strength from within and took many deep breaths. The announcer said, “Live in two minutes.”   Enthusiastically, I told the listening audience that I would be bringing America to Sweden; to meet author Gavin Hill in a unique format called Skype, which is a free video calling service where people communicate face-to-face via webcams.  The radio announcer was intrigued and in awe that this would be the first Skype event for our community. The live interview was a huge success.

That same afternoon the newspaper editor arrived at my home. I had a surprise for him. He had not heard the radio interview and thought he was meeting Gavin in person.  He did but in a different way.  I had Gavin waiting on Skype in Sweden. The interview was fantastic and lasted one and half hours. It was the first time for the editor to be part of a Skype experience and only the second time, Gavin and I had used Skype to communicate with each other.  Our first Skype encounter had been the previous day in our homes. It was like a fairy tale as we both were able to see each other’s face for the first time after waiting fifteen years. It was surreal.  Seeing the man of my dreams for the first time is something I will always hold deep in my heart. There was a screen between us but the eye contact was that of fireworks lighting up the sky on the 4th of July!

The day of the library Skype event arrived.  Gavin was set up in Sweden at a cinema.  I   had arranged connections at our local library.  I am not a technical person but all and all everything went off without a hitch. When the clock struck 7 p.m. central time and 2 a.m. Sweden time, Gavin appeared on the big screen in America and my heart was never so happy. Three media people were in attendance along with a room full of enthralled fans and friends. You never would have known it was the middle of the night for Gavin. He was alert and thrilled to see his American guests. Gavin is a gifted author-motivational speaker. He speaks about surviving his interesting life from childhood to adulthood, his novels, and anti-bullying issues.  The audience inter-action was tremendous. It was a night no one in attendance would soon forget.  Within days,Gavin and I were featured on two front page newspapers.  Headlines of two internet pen pals, two countries apart,hold out hope that after fifteen years of friendship they may actually one day meet face-to-face.

Many circumstances in life are difficult to understand.  Learn from them, go forward with courage,don’t give up and make them all “super calafragalisticexpealadocious” moments in time!

Until next time,   Rosie

 

Just Shooting the Breeze

I’m sitting in a quaint, little coffee shop; watching hoards of people go by. The waft of freshly brewed coffee is lifting all about me, mixing easily with the various fragrances of teas from around the world, and a wide assortment of newly baked, sugary delights. It’s bitter cold outside, the snow that fell at least two months ago, now just one, solid sheet of frozen ice. People are going by, waddling like ducks, afraid to lift their feet as they walk, for fear of tumbling to the ice below and breaking a bone or two. It’s a winter jacket-jungle out there, a never ending rainbow of gaudy, wooly hats, of brightly colored scarves and mittens, of winters boots and thermal pants. I must admit, I’m happy to be sitting on the inside, looking out, in preference to the other way around. I guess if I was sitting in jail, I wouldn’t see the funny side of that statement.

I’m sitting here with my computer and the strongest cup of coffee I can buy. I’m sure it can’t be good for me. Okay, I admit it; I’m a coffee addict… piping hot coffee, no milk and no sugar, just the raw deal. I’ve always been simple that way. I have a relaxed outlook on life, am not into the latest fashion, latest music, latest trends; am into what I am into at the time. I guess I’m a little old school when it comes down to it. Give me a pint and some good ole Rock ‘n’ Roll any day. A chair is a chair and a table is a table. A jacket is a jacket and a pair of pants is a pair of pants. Okay, so I’m pretty black and white at times. I might not be tomorrow though. Tomorrow I might be deep and full of color. Tomorrow I might sit here and shoot the breeze about any number of things. In fact, I think I will. You do realize, tomorrow is two days away for you guys? Two days until you read, one day until I write and all of a sudden, I know exactly what I’m going to write about.

So until your day after tomorrow and my tomorrow; take care and whatever you’re going to do, have fun doing it.

Your friend

Gavin

My Mother’s Love *♥*

In the silence of the early morning, of March 15, 2008, I awoke with sharp, penetrating chest pains. They were so severe I sat up in bed to try to breathe. I was sure I was having a heart attack. The pain eventually eased but I was in a fog of whiteness. I heard fluttering. It was almost as if I were flying. It felt peaceful. My head and body collapsed back on the pillow. I do not recall anything but complete brightness of pure white. There was no sense of time, only pureness. I heard a ringing in the distance. It kept ringing and ringing.  I finally realized it was the phone. I answered and I had a message to come quickly to my mother’s house, which was a few blocks from me. When I arrived, I found my mother dead in her bed. Her hands were still warm and I held them until they turned cold. I closed her eyelids and one opened back up. It was meant for me to see the journey she was taking. Within her right eye I saw crystal brightness, a tunnel of the highest, intense beam of light. Pure, heavenly beauty is what I viewed.  It was as if I could “see” through her eye. I could see the journey of that overwhelming peace that was bathing and caressing her and taking my mother’s soul back to her divine origin. I am sure you have realized by now that my sharp chest pain happened when my mother was experiencing her heart attack.  I know with all that I am that she was trying to take me with her on the journey to heaven.  A mother’s love so deep for her daughter that she wanted to take her along to heaven but it was not yet my time to leave.  When I got up from her bed, my knees were so weak it felt as if a rug had been taken out from underneath my feet. I realized that I was not hooked up to my enteral feeding machine. My stomach is paralyzed and this is my life line for nourishment. I do not recall detaching myself before I left home. I will always wonder “who” detached me. Did it happen when I was floating with angels earlier that morning?  What a wonderful thought to know that someday I will be free of all machines, to fly with the angels.

Have you ever had a dream so real that you are positive it happened? On February 18, 2009, my mother’s birthday, I felt someone take my hand and I floated with this person. Then a hand pointed to a woman’s back.  The woman turned and it was “my mother.”   She was radiant and looking at the most beautiful view. I could also see it; a majestic river, lush green grass, flowers of every color, and bright sunshine.  She had always needed prescription glasses and she was extremely excited to tell me that she no longer needed them to view all the beauty around her. She also told me what I was experiencing was real and was not one of my photographs.  I asked her where my father was and she quickly stated, “Over there.”  I felt again like I was floating and woke up in a daze. I think my mother is still trying to get me to heaven if only for short visits or glimpses of the wonderment!

As I post this for you to read, it is February 18, 2012.  I wish my mother a happy birthday and I hope she will give my father a kiss from me, on his birthday, the 28th.

Until next time, God bless each of you in His own special way  *♥*

Rosie

And they said it was easy

Yesterday I posted, Artistic Freedom. Since posting it, I have done some soul searching. Throughout history, blood has bathed the battlefields of the earth, people have died at the hands of people; people have crossed oceans with weapons in hand. On June 4th, 1940, Sir Winston Churchill penned these words: We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air; we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.


War is a dirty game. It leaves children without mothers and fathers, mothers and fathers without children. It leaves sisters without brothers, brothers without sisters. Here is a poem I wrote many years ago. I hope it will prove my point.

And they said it was easy

They said it was easy,
just have to aim a gun,
said it’s all for your country,
you can go to war
no matter what you’ve done.
Make your family proud,
hold your head up high,
be a national hero,
they never told him
he was there to die.
So he went off to war,
just seventeen years old,
and he died where he fell,
pushed out in the cold.
And they said it was easy,
just have to aim a gun,
said it’s all for your country,
you can go to war
no matter what you’ve done.
Never told the reasons why
as bodies lay upon the battlefield
to painfully die,
I swear and hear the angels sigh.
No reasons ever given
and I guess they never will,
become cold and emotionless,
living just to kill.

Before I go, I would just like to leave you with these words. They were also penned by Sir Winston Churchill. It doesn’t matter who wrote them though. What matters is that they were written.

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

Bye for now …  Gavin Hill