Category Archives: Relationships

A Story about a COVID-19 Survivor

Frank & I had our marriage validated in the Catholic Church back in 2014. That is when we met Deacon Durr, the subject of this story. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we met him for the 1st time. Surprisingly, both my husband and I were at complete ease with Deacon Durr. He turned out to be such a compassionate, loving, spiritual man that would have a large role in my spiritual journey.

Hospitalized

On March 31, 2020, I read an announcement on his social media page that startled me. Deacon Durr had been hospitalized after testing positive with the COVID-19 virus. He was exposed during his work at Hospice. On account of it taking 5 days to receive the results from the test, the symptoms were getting worse. Of course, I was in shock and started praying for him. I can only imagine what his family was going through. I’ve heard many stories that paint a picture of loneliness and uncertainty when it comes to this pandemic and those affected by it.

The Interview

After things settled down and I was sure that Deacon Durr was well on his way to a strong recovery, I asked him if I could interview him for my blog. I wanted to tell his story.

I think this is God knocking on our hearts to let us know it’s time to get back to family

Deacon Durr

CB: you said you were exposed to COVID-19 while working in Hospice. What symptoms were you presenting that made you decide to get tested?

DD: I started having trouble breathing and my temperature was up. I had the test performed and it took 5 days to get the results back. It was 8 to 10 days after symptoms started before I went to the hospital. When they told me I was positive for COVID-19, they instructed me to go to the ER.

CB: Tell me about the ER visit.

DD: I went form the ER to the ICU on March 31, 2020. Once in ICU, the virus progressed quickly. I ended up with a viral and bacterial infection caused by pneumonia. They gave me the MS drug that is being used to treat COVID-19 but it didn’t work. It was then when the doctors told me I would only make it if I was intubated. My son-in-law’s father, Dr. Tim Finney, did some research on treatments and met with my doctors. One of which was Dr. Frank Rabito, a specialist in infectious diseases, who made the decision on my treatment. I had 15 doctors in all. On the 4th day after the 2nd treatment, I was completely cured. The doctors said it was a miracle.

CB: Wow, were you scared?

DD: I wasn’t afraid for myself, I was afraid for my family. My Patron Saint is St. Francis of Cabrini. I held her relic and prayed. Prayers were coming from all regions of the world! The power of prayers lifted my spirit. It was a true miracle.

CB: what do you remember after you were intubated?

DD: I remember waking up at times and I would see kaleidoscope colors all over the place. I did have a spiritual experience. I was in a large cave, there were people all over the place. They were watching a man and I heard someone say, “that is Jesus”. I saw Jesus’ hands so I knew that it was him. He asked, “where’s Eve?” Then he said “follow me” I can remember thinking that I must have died. Then I thought, Man, I have a shot at this. (meaning he has a shot at going to Heaven)

When Deacon Durr told me that I was taken aback. He is the most loving, compassionate, spiritual person I have ever been associated with. I went home and told my husband about the interview and said If he has trouble getting into Heaven, the rest of us are doomed.

DD: Then I remember hearing someone calling me, “Deacon, Deacon, wake up.It was my nurse trying to wake me. She said they had been trying to wake me for a couple of days.

CB: How did your experience make you feel?

DD: I feel humbled. It was incredible. My nurses prayed with me. Everyone was great. I will tell you that I am dedicating the rest of my life to those that died and to all of the front line workers.

CB: How long were you isolated? It must have been tough not seeing your family.

DD: I was isolated for 14 or 15 days. It was tough on all of us. I was only able to facetime with them a couple of times. It was tough not having my best friend and wife of 39 years with me. You get used to having your family with you and around. Someone to talk to and be with. However, my nurse, Megan, stayed by my side the entire time. She was velvet over steel. I did suffer from survivors’ remorse in the beginning. Many didn’t make it. ICU was full. We were shielded from each other. Before I left the hospital the nurses rolled me through ICU so I could thank the Nurses and Doctors. It was a great moment.

CB: Tell me about your support system.

DD: I volunteer at Cabrini High School. The students were Awesome! They were sending emails, dropping off cards at the hospital. The principle held a virtual rosary prayer session. Word and prayers came from Cabrini institutions around the world. Prayer is what got me through it.

CB: I have to say Deacon, that you are the most caring laid back religious figure that I have ever met. Me and my husband kept you in our prayers and are thankful to have you in our lives.

DD: Well, you know, I never judge anyone. I put myself in their shoes and try to understand them and go wherever the Holy Spirit takes me. I love helping young people.

CB: Do any of your students have nick names for you?

DD: Most of them call me Deacon Durr. Some just Deacon and some call me Big U. Uriel is my first name. It’s great. I am now counseling and marrying some of my prior students. I’m even baptizing their children. I am truly blessed.

Timeline with Homily and Scriptures

Since Deacon Durr inspires me, I decided to look up the Catholic daily scriptures and Homilies to see if any seemed fitting for the timeline.

March 31, 2020-Deacon Durr Hospitalized

God has not left me alone, because I do what is pleasing to him – John 8:21-30-The Homily

April 4, 2020-Deacon Durr was Intubated

Castaway from you all the crimes you have committed, says the Lord, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. – The verse before the Gospel.

April 7, 2020-Deacon Durr was extubated

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father; you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter. -The verse before the Gospel.

April 8, 2020-Deacon Durr wakes up

Hail to you, our King; you alone are compassionate with our errors.- The verse before the Gospel

April 13, 2020-Deacon Durr returns home

This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.- The Responsorial Psalms.

As I am proofreading this story, I am shedding tears. Knowing Deacon Uriel Durr makes me want to be a better person. He performed my marriage ceremony. He has prayed for me and my family. I have stood alongside him with my grandson, feeding the homeless. I suddenly realize that I am a better person for knowing him. Thank you, Deacon Durr, for all you do.

Flapper press published Deacon Durr’s story (Be sure to visit the page and like the story)

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My Cajun Roots run Deep

My Cajun background

I travel quite a bit and it’s inevitable that someone will ask me where I am from. When I say “Louisiana”, it never fails, people always say “but you don’t have an accent”. While it is true that certain areas of Louisiana come with a heavy Cajun accent, the last 2 generations of my immediate family have lived in the Metro New Orleans area, which softened the accent.

However, our family Cajun Roots run deep. My great grandparents (and yes, I do remember them) did not speak English. My Grandparents learned English, but continued speaking the Cajun language with their parents and their children (my generation’s parents). My dad spoke both Cajun and English, but the buck stopped there. After my Grandparents passed on, the language died off in our family. We do have family that still live in the Bayou areas. Cajun is still their primary language but, we, the city family rarely see them. Over the years the language died off and the accent softened up a lot.

Growing up Cajun

I like to think I had the best of both worlds; country girl and city girl. My grandparents had a farm when I was a child, which resulted in spending many weekends and summers on the farm. My father loved the water and always owned a boat. We spent a great deal of time in the water as well:

  • trawling for shrimp
  • fishing for salt water fish (our favorites were Red fish and Trout)

Trawling Trips

Trawling was hard work but I enjoyed everything about it. The first drag was the boring part. Trawling in a small vessel goes at a slow pace and not much to do but anticipate what we were going to yield from the 1st drag; it always set the pace for the rest of the day. If our 1st drag came up with a full net, the excitement would build as we jumped into action. After we pulled the net up we emptied it into the pick box, prepped the net and drag boards and dropped it back into the water. After the 1st catch came in, it created timely work picking the shrimp out, tossing them into the ice chests. Sometimes we would get lucky and catch some soft shelled crabs in the net, which always contributed to the celebration. That meant we would have fried, soft shelled crabs as a result.

When we pulled the boat out of the water, we were calling home from a payphone at the dock, so my mom would know what to expect. If we were coming home with ice chests full of shrimp, she would make some phone calls to everyone on standby to come help us pop heads and package the shrimp for the freezer. It became a big party. There would be music playing, and an outdoor burner and pot to boil some of the catch from the day. We would sit there for hours popping heads, eating and talking about our tales from our day on the water. Time well spent as a family.

Fishing Trips

My favorite activity on the water was the fishing trips. There is something so exciting about seeing that cork go under the water line, pulling that pole up and setting the hook. When you set that hook on a good catch you can feel it. The Adrenalin starts pumping and the fight to real it in ensues. I can recall the excitement and the team work that would happen. My dad was a great coach.

Get the net! Oh, it’s a big one! Coming along the side to keep from losing him. He is running!

Me

Let some drag out so he doesn’t pop the line. Don’t let him get around the back of the boat and wrap the line around the motor. You will lose him. Keep the line tight. Get him closer so I can get the net under him.

My Dad

Growing up Cajun was fun, energetic and a great deal of hard work. Not to mention the sunburns we would suffer with after being on a boat all day. Back in those days you needed a prescription to purchase sunscreen. Things have changed a great deal since I was a child. Some for the good.

There are many charter boat fishing captains in our area if you ever want to experience the excitement of catching a big Red fish or Trout. I have included a personal friend’s link, Fry’n Pan Fishing, for your convenience but you can also search google in the specific areas you want to try.

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Do you #overthink situations and perhaps miss the #obvious?

Perfect example on how to overthink and miss the obvious.

One of my dear clients shared this story with me that proved to be a great example of overthinking, which, in turn, causes missing the obvious at hand. Thank you Ken!


Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson decide to go on a camping trip. After dinner and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and go to sleep.
Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.
“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”
Watson replied, “I see millions of stars.”
“What does that tell you?”
Watson pondered for a minute.
“Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.”
“Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.”
“Horologic-ally, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.”
“Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant.”
“Meteorologic-ally, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.”
“What does it tell you, Holmes?”
Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke: “Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent!”

Author unknown

Catherine Bares


 

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Married 33 Years – 33 Reasons Why

Always up for a Party
Weekly Date Night
British Columbia Trip

Married for 33 years:

This month, Frank & I will be celebrating 33 years of marriage.  There have been many ups and many downs but, our love has proven the test of time.  People always ask me; “How do you do it? or, What is your secret?”  There are no secrets, only actions and love.  I am an emotional, reactive person by nature.  So, over time I have learned to stop, and think about things before I let my emotions drive my decisions, and believe me, my emotions drove a lot of bad decisions over the years.  My only regret is not figuring that out in my younger years.  I cannot control the past so, I move forward to the future with a better understanding of myself and our partnership, which makes it work.  In honor of our 33 years together, I have put together 33 reasons why I love and cherish my husband.   

All the reasons why:

  1. Love
  2. Passion
  3. All the “I Love You’s”
  4. Good Morning Kisses
  5. All the “I’m Sorry’s”
  6. All the “I miss you’s”
  7. All the “Will you Marry Me’s” (I took him up on that twice-original and renewing our vows in the Church)
  8. Weekly, dinner date nights
  9. Trips to support my hobbies (there have been many hobbies :>) )
  10. Encouragement to do what makes me happy
  11. Sticking with me during tough times
  12. Working his butt off to support our family
  13. Serving our Nation
  14. Forgiveness
  15. Millions of hugs
  16. Nursing me back to health 
  17. Sleeping on the sofa for 3 weeks when I couldn’t lay down in the bed due to 6 broken bones
  18. Giving up his recliner for 4 months while I recovered from those broken bones (I knew it was true love at this point!!)
  19. Taking care of our children nightly when I worked the late shift
  20. Being there for my family and friends
  21. Protecting me
  22. Introducing me to Country Music
  23. Always open for an adventure
  24. Kindness 
  25. Understanding
  26. Giving Nature
  27. Laughter 
  28. Holding me
  29. Letting me cry
  30. Attending every Baseball game and track meet for our children
  31. Taking care of my cars (and all of the “traditional, husband chores”)
  32. All the “Hey Beautiful’s”
  33. All the Family Vacations

What are your reasons why?

How long have you been married and what reasons do you stay in love?  Leave a comment, share your stories so I can share in your success.

Catherine Bares


 

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#Determination Quote & Video of the week


 

“You’ve got to get up every morning with Determination if you’re going to go to be with Satisfaction.”-George Lorimer

Determination Definition: 1. Firmness of purpose,  Resoluteness  2. The process of establishing something exactly, typically calculation or research.

How often do we wake up with determination?  Do you ever think about it?  Is it automatic with you or do you take a few moments in the morning to plan our your day?  Use the voting  buttons to answer!

Strong Determination Video

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Happy Thanksgiving

In observance of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take some time to reflect on 2018.  There were some tough times and some tragic moments but there are also many things to be thankful for.  As emotional, human beings, we tend to focus on the bad stuff, the things that hurt us the most, the things that leave a scar.  Pushing those moments aside; take a few minutes to reflect on the things that made you smile and made you feel good in 2018.  Think about those fleeting moments that were special.  Close your eyes, hold onto those memories, and focus your energy right there.

Tomorrow, during your family and friend gatherings, step out of the center of it and watch the interactions for a few moments.  Enjoy watching the children run around and play, appreciate the elderly that are still with us, soak in the laughter.  Look for sadness and spend some time with that person who may be struggling with something.  Think about the things that you appreciate about each person and share it with them.  This is such a powerful experience when done in a group.

Remember, everyone you know may not have family close by, so invite them to spend the day with your family.  Holidays can be rough on the lonely.

I hope Thanksgiving 2018 will be a wonderful, treasured, day that you can carry with you until Thanksgiving 2019.

Leave a comment if you like:  share a special moment that came to mind during your reflection, share an intention that you will plan to put into action tomorrow.  I would love to hear your feedback

A reader asked if I could add more content and examples, so, with pleasure, I am updating this story:

I shared a story from Thanksgiving day that everyone can read called “The Cutest Wishes Ever”   Click on the link and it will bring you to that blog.

This story is a perfect example of how I interact with children to share their joy.

My intent on sharing things that you appreciate about people came from a training class that is intended to help improve attitudes and gratification. In a group, you can take turns sharing something you admire about each person in the group.  This can be timely depending on the size of the group.  So, to avoid a long drawn-out exercise and to keep everyone’s attention, I would have each person express their thoughts (only positive thoughts) and admiration to the person sitting to the right of them.  Once they were done we would move on to the next person.  If you are sitting in a circle it helps keep the exercise in an orderly fashion and everyone gets to say and hear something about themselves.  This exercise can be done with small groups or large groups.  You could even do this at the dinner table instead of asking how their day was to change it up a little.

I hope this helps you, your family, and friends explore each other’s feelings of thankfulness.

 


 

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Focus on the Solutions Not the Problems

Identify the problem, move to the solutions

“Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions.”-Tony Robbins click on the title to watch video.

-Tony Robbins

When I was a manager, I worked towards leading my team towards the solutions.  It is easy to get stuck on the problem. People are aggravated, they want to tell their story, and it leads to focusing on the problem.  Once the problem is described and understood, move the team towards focusing on solutions.  Let the team come up with resolutions and decide which is the best solution for the team, and the company.  Ask them questions:

  • if you had this to do over again, what would you do differently?
  • What do you recommend we do to overcome this problem?
  • Do you have any ideas on solutions to move forward?

Happy Monday!

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Don’t walk around defeated; give your all

“Bottom line: You’re the only one who knows-in your heart of hearts-if you are really giving it all you have.  You are the only one who knows what you’re capable of-and the only one who can evaluate your effort relative to your own standard.”  -Andy Frisella

Give it your very BEST Video

Catherine Bares

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Attitude=100

Having and sharing a great attitude can do wonders for your personal well being and for your team’s well being.  It is contagious and uplifting.

One of my team members shared this with me when she came across it a few years ago.  I introduced it to our entire company team at our next meeting.  It recently circled back to me so, I wanted to pass along some inspiration and provoke some thought in “numbers people”. Do you thinks it is Coincidence or not?  Please leave a comment.

@CatherineBares

@CatherineBares

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#Happiness

 

A green two-way street sign with arrows and the words You Decide

Happiness does not come without Stress, Hardships, Heartaches and Regrets.  It comes In-Spite of them.

You have to make a decision to let yourself drive towards happiness and not let all of the ugliness of your life drive you. It takes:

  • Daily meditation of positivism
    • reading inspirational books
    • looking for positive quotes each day to focus on
  • Setting goals in your life
    • Starting with today.  What do I want to get accomplished today?
  • Keeping your eye on the prize
    • you decide what the prize is; completing your to do list, accomplishing a long term goal, etc.
  • Removing negativity from your life. (sometimes that may be a person)
  • Realize that when people are snapping at you or being rude, that is usually a symptom of their problems (don’t make them yours)
  • Celebrate the successes no matter how small or large they are
    • tell a friend who you share your struggles with
    • turn on a happy song and dance while reciting “I did it!”

We celebrate with children when they accomplish something small and large.  When my one year old grandson has developed a new motor skill, such as walking, we clap and say “yay”.  That becomes culture and when he does something that he thinks deserves a celebration, he starts clapping and says “yay” while anticipating that I will celebrate with him.  And I always do.

Along the way to adulthood we tend to lose that mentality and focus on the things that we and other people do wrong.  In the most severe cases this can lead to depression and other health problems.

Changing this mentality, that has slowly become culture, takes effort; sometimes it takes a great deal of effort.  But, when you put forth the effort, it then becomes habit which leads to a newly developed Culture.  Get started today by looking for the bright side of every situation you find yourself getting aggravated with and build on it.

Catherine Bares

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