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Donna Maris

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Member Since: Apr, 2002


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'The benevolent American in the heart of Darkness' includes three of my award-winning African novels, namely: 'The Black Ancestor', 'Eclipse over lake Tanganyika' and 'Mi..  
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A Life Well Lived
by Donna Maris
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music video by 5 for Fighting

Five For Fighting - One Hundred Years

Ready or not, some day my Life will end.

There will be no more sunrises, days, hours or minutes.

No more cell phones or calls and mail to be returned.

Every thing I will have collected, be it treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

My wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what I owned or what I was owed.

My grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.

So will my hopes, ambitions, plans, and To Do List: All will expire with me.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important to me, will fade away.

It won't matter where I was born or what side of the tracks have I lived.

It won't matter if I rented, or owned a house or lived on a boat.

It won't matter whether I was clever, beautiful or brilliant.

My gender, skin color, ethnicity will be irrelevant.

So what WILL matter?

What will be the measure of my days,weeks and years passed?

How will my life be valued?

What will matter is not what I bought, but what I have chosen to build.

Not what I received, but what I have shared and given you.

What will matter is not the level of my success, but my significance.

What will matter is not what I learned, but what I have taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage and sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate from my example.

What will matter is not my competence, but my integrity and character; my true grit.

What will matter is not how many people I have known,rich or poor,
But how many will feel a lasting loss when I am gone.

What will matter are not my faded memories,
But the memories of those who knew and have loved me.

What will matter is how long I will be remembered, by whom, and for a
kaleidoscope of reasons, like a brilliant rainbow.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.

It's not a matter of circumstance.

It is one made of choice; one of my own choosing.

And in so doing, I dance and write my name with Destiny.

I Choose to live a life that matters.

I dedicate this to everyone who struggles with life altering decisions,
and tough choices.

I also dedicate this to my brother in law,Joe Gallaro, whom I have known since age 15, & we both shared the same birthday of July 16. Joe passed away this past April, and I missed him this birthday. I know I was not alone, for everyone he came upon,loved him.He struggled the last 2 yrs of his life with Diabetes & heart problems. This was as fitting a Tribute I could write for him.

I also now dedicate this to my Mom, Jennie. She lived until 98! Ninety Eight years of life, evolving as a woman, wife and mother. Over the years she became my confidant and closest friend. As she aged- she maintained strength and quality of her life- until this past year, when her excellent health dwindled quickly. Nothing was better than sharing a cold beer and making my mother laugh out loud. I take comfort in that she always said I was good company, or that I was funny, or that I was a good Mom. The " MOM" meant a lot coming from her, as she is the one who made me better than I ever expected.

* Hugs & blessings to you all* Donna

Copyright © Donna Maris
All Rights Reserved 2015

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Reviewed by Darlene Redmond (Reader)
Last week, while a group from my parish were installing masonry stoves in a mountaintop village in Guatemala one of our team members suffered an aneurism and passed away. We arrived home to Nova Scotia yesterday. Joe’s body will follow Wednesday. I came across your poem and couldn’t imagine a more accurate account of the life Joe lived. I would like to use it as part of the presentation we will prepare for the parish and for his family. I respect your talent (wish I could have said that) and your copyright. Would you allow me to use this beautiful poem. I will certainly include credit where it is due. Thanks for writing so eloquently what we all are feeling about our friend.
Reviewed by Amor Sabor
This is a treasure of a write. It is the embodiment of all that we should be and aspire to be. It also makes a great tribute to your brother-in-law.
Reviewed by Christine Tsen
This is truly a gift to all of us who read it ~
Blessings to you, health to you, and prayers for healing from your loss.
Reviewed by Amanda Warnes (Reader)
Amazing. Hugs x x
Reviewed by Rose Loya
You touched me with this. So much. Thank you for your writing gift and this poem.

Reviewed by Bhuwan Thapaliya
Outstanding tribute...clap clap n luck....BHUWAN!!!
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
My NY Donna,

A most beautiful, compassionate tribute to your loved one. I'm sorry for your loss--

((((HUGS)))) and love, Karla.

I've missed you, kid--
Reviewed by Donna Maris
HA HA HA..thank you Bob and everyone who has taken time to review.
Sometimes we are so busy rushing forward, we forget there are more significant things in life, and I am coming to the end of a struggle myself, that I have battled my whole life. If I did nothing, I realized I would walk the same path as Joe. So I move forward now- looking to assist others with decison & questions on weight loss surgery. Link provided is to my journal.
Bob you truly one of a kind. My friend Sybil is available, are you?
ha ha ha . Donna
Reviewed by Bob Holt (Reader)
This is a really great, inspirational work. I don't keep score in life anymore, I just hope to make a difference in the game. I wish you the best of everything, Donna. Continue to be as strong as you are. I know that the three of you will lead lives that matter for a long time to come.

Bob H
Reviewed by Regis Auffray
Wise words and a fine tribute, Donna. Thank you for sharing it. Love, peace, and strength to you. Regis
Reviewed by jude forese
life is certainly a struggle with life altering decisions and tough choices ... this poem is a well written take on a universal theme and a fine tribute ...
Reviewed by Marie Wadsworth
this is a good philosophy and encourages positive thinking.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
Outstanding tribute Donna...good to read you again!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by The Smoking Poet
Our choosing to live a life that matters is the first ray of light, promising hope. All things pass, all lives move on to another plane of existence. I, too, have recently lost a good friend who passed away without warning, but left behind so many memories in so many hearts, that we could all but marvel at what a wealthy man he had proven to be.

Blessings, Donna, to you and to yours.
Reviewed by Felix Perry
Beautiful write and tribute and very touching especially when I read the part about Joe. I also lost a brother here just two years ago and I too am struggling with diabetes and a heart condition that forced me into early retirement this past spring. Your words ring true and are an encouragement to me. Thank you,
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