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FINDING HOPE

FINDING HOPE

(My daughter Lisa wanted be to see if Huffington Post would like to publish this speech I gave the other day.  But for now I will just let it be here and see if it stirs interest.)

These days it seems quite easy to view someone as the enemy – a politician, a shooter, a terrorist. For many, I suspect, it feels futile. What do we do about them?

Are we actually helpless? Do we have to just endure the pain they inflict upon us, upon others? Is it all – HOPELESS?

HOPELESS. That word triggers in my memory a time in my life when I thought MY world was ending.

My beloved wife had contracted spinal meningitis, an often fatal and very painful disease. In the Army, I remembered guys taken from our barracks who had it and never returned.

What she experienced was extreme pain. Like someone had stabbed a red hot poker down her spine. (Her words.) And there seemed to be nothing we could do. Countless doctors, healers, nothing worked. I was literally brought to my knees.

She endured this for over a year. Over a year of wondering if I would ever have my wife back. A year of her wondering if she would ever have her life back.

Our enemy seemed unrelenting and beyond our ability to do anything about it. And it awoke us in the middle of the night, greeted us every morning, and spent the day with us. Beside hearing her and holding her, I asked, from my knees, what could I do?

I found two ways I could find hope in all of this. One was an inner action, the other an outer.

First, every day, when she found the relief of sleep, I sat quietly with the intention of deeply listening inside. I heard a clear message: Take heart, take heart, my beloved. All is well.

          And during that hour of meditation each day all, was, indeed well and in the Light of that experience I knew my beloved was in good hands. And I knew that no matter what it looked like, we were blessed.

Second, I gave my wife long foot rubs. My wife and I received a book of Foot Reflexology for a wedding gift. The best gift ever.

Many days I rubbed her feet for about an hour and eased the pain. And I felt my wife’s powerful loving essence behind the mask of meningitis. The same loving essence I felt in the recent past as she cared for me during a surgery. My world did not end.

You may say, well it’s easy for you to say all this. She lived. She healed. But the truth is I knew she was in good hands, either way. I have buried my first son, I have watched my first grandson die in his father’s arms. And my world did not end.

In the world, out there, the upset, the sense of hopelessness, the enemies of good sense seem to abound. Some politicians, shooters, terrorist.

Without excusing nor making small the devastation they may have caused, I’d like to suggest that all of them have actually forgotten who they truly are, because of their own deep, secret pain.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said:

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

          That politician, that shooter, that terrorist. I doubt if they would be interested in my offer of a foot rub. But I can honor the essence of their humanity hidden inside. I can be civil and respectful, even as I clearly oppose and take action against their cause, not with malice, but with charity and strength of heart.

I can listen in silence for the higher perspective, the compassion, even for those who have demonstrated so little of it for others, for those who’ve replaced compassion with revenge.

And as hard as this may be to see, amidst all the horrific words and actions in the world, all the seemingly senseless loss, I find myself continuing to strive for that higher perspective, that place where I remember the loving essence in each of us, and in that Light, know that we are in good hands and All is Well.

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INSPECTOR PEPPER — the book

Hi friends,

I’ve decided Inspector Pepper would be a nice coffee table book.  Pick it up and read a whole murder mystery in ten minutes.  Then they call you into the dentists office.

Here’s the newest.

Psycho Murder Preempted

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Mondays and Tuesdays with Luca

Many years ago, decked in my dress-green US Army uniform, I sat in a white folding chair at Fort Bliss Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, the only member the funeral party for Baby Boy Peake. That was the name they etched in the flat stone that marked the plot among thousands of plots of my first son. He lived a few hours.

            Many years later, I redid that gravesite in my heart. I named him David Peake and found the inscription added:

            Our love goes far beyond this small, blue box.

            Less than two years later, another son was born to me. Jefferey Joseph Peake, a remarkable man, now, living in India

            Many years after that, in my current marriage, Robert Patrick Peake and Lisa Christine Peake were born to me, two amazing human beings. He lives in England, she, in Los Angeles.

            Almost ten years ago, my first grandson was born to Robert and his wife, Val, and died in my son’s arms a few days after his birth. He was James, and I feel him in my heart often.

            Three months ago, my second grandson was born to Lisa, and her husband Hugo. His name is Luca Lennon Peake Alvarado. He is healthy, strong, , and full of smiles and Light.

            Shortly after Luca was born, I received an inner call. Spirit told me that I was to be Luca’s Nanny on Mondays and Tuesdays. As it usually is when I am giving such a call, I am not made privy to the reasons. I mean, the bigger reasons.

            But I have also learned that answering such a call brings enormous gifts with it.   The purpose of this journal, is to share some of those gifts as best I can. I love my family beyond words. Every one of them. David, Jeff, Robert, Lisa, James, and Luca each touch the father’s heart in me.

Luca and I

 

And so, we begin this journey. Driving from Ojai to LA to be Lucas’ nanny on Mondays and Tuesdays. I hope I make a suitable traveling companion for you as we go. And I hope I learn to be a good nanny.

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INSPECTOR PEPPER IS BACK! REMOTE MURDER

by Patric Peake

On the surface, Gerald Pepper, police investigator, seemed the least likely man to be involved with murder, yet murder followed him like his loyal pooch, Othello, the black lab, and never failed to land him right in the middle of some gruesome investigation.

He was a medium man, medium build, medium length brown hair, medium brown eyes, a medium age of 48 and a medium life which included one dog, and a quaint little cottage on the outskirts of Crookfield, California. His only distinctive feature was a deep scar below his right eye that continued as a distinct dent in the bridge of his nose.

His efforts to draw the cloak of retirement around himself seemed to be succeeding with the exception of an occasional online investigation for someone on the world wide web. These were facilitated by his self-delegated Information Specialist Eloise Block, the Chief of Police’s teen daughter. Pepper knew it was a matter of time before they would be telling Inspector Block stories.

“The question is…” Eloise took a seat at his table in the Pizza Palace, the cultural hub of Crookfield. “…what would it take for Inspector Gerald Pepper to come out of retirement and engage in another local investigation?” Eloise paused for effect which elicited in Pepper’s visage, the look of a bored slug. “And then I realized the answer to my question lay right at your feet.” Othello shifted his position in the sawdust under the table at this comment.

Eloise puffed up only slightly as she drew her digital notebook from its case clicking the on button. “This…” Her screen background screen displayed, several ravens perched in leafless branches against a gray sky. Eloise had explained she was exploring her dark side. She tapped the screen. “… is Desdemona. She directed her attention under the table. “That’s right, Othello – Desdemona.”

What appeared on the screen was a golden version of the black lab. A yellow lab. “And she is, as of seven thirty this morning, homeless.”

Pepper took a slow, deliberate sip of his diet coke with its slice of lemon, waiting for the jaws of Eloise’s plan to clamp shut on his throat.

“Homeless because her owner has been murdered and no one seems to know how. Even Sergeant Detective Carol Armstrong is befuddled. Mergatroid Korsakoff, lays on her couch, in front of her flatscreen with remote still in hand.”

Pepper rubbed his brows at the potential onset of a migraine headache.

“I rescued Desdemona from the pound. She is not the criminal to be caged for this.” Eloise nodded at the neon-filled window of beer signs. Outside, tied to a lamp post, the yellow lab whimpered watching each passer-by as if they might be her lady.

“And you think she’s whining because she cares who killed her mistress?”

“How would Othello feel?” Eloise countered.

“And this, this Mergatroid is still there, crime scene untampered with?”

“Exactly.” She smiled because her trap had not clamped down on his throat, but rather tossed a lasso and tugged on Gerald’s heart.

 

By the time Pepper and Eloise got to Mergatroid’s apartment, the coroner had already pronounced the tentative cause of death as a massive heart attack. Striking because she was just twenty six years old and in her second year of teaching first grade at the local elementary school.

Striking also because she had just returned from her morning three-mile jog. She wore a Yankees baseball hat through which she pushed her blond pony tail. And she still wore a neon pink rubber wrist band that held one of those watches the told the owner number of steps, heart rate, blood pressure and about five other details of their current health. The screen flashed on and off with bright red letters “Caution – Caution – Caution.”
But she did have a pace maker. Apparently she had a congenital heart challenge, a prolapsed mitral valve that occasionally skipped or doubled a beat which was corrected by the device.

Apparently the pacemaker overheated during the event, her flesh enveloping it, scorched. The coroner had never seen anything like it.

Sergeant Detective Carol Armstrong came out of the restroom holding the TV remote in a rubber glove on her hand. “Inspector Pepper, what an honor. You look well.” Her blue eyes spoke more words than Pepper cared to assimilate. He focused on the remote.

“As far as I can tell,” Armstrong said. “Her last living action was to press this remote button.” The TV was still on the Discovery Channel. “I guess she discovered more than she bargained for.”

Pepper put a hand over his mouth and turned away to suppress the groan that threatened to escape as a result of the Sergeant’s inane comment. He pulled out a handkerchief.

“May I,” Pepper asked.

Carol placed the remote in his handkerchief for his scrutiny. As he examined it his eyes jumped to the window where a commercial, white van screeched away from the opposite curb.

He pressed the return feature on the remote which sent the channel back to the previous view, a baseball game. Pepper scanned the room. Hanging on the hooks by the door was a second Yankees baseball cap, with a wider band.

He pulled out his pocket knife and ran it along the seam of the remote. It popped open.

“Jeez, Gerald. Already!” Eloise said.

“What” Sergeant Detective Carol Armstrong asked.

“He’s already solved it and is about to tell us who to put the cuffs on.”

 

Pepper sat with Eloise at the bench he’d placed in front of the stream behind his cottage and watched her toss one ball for two Labrador Retrievers, curious about the interpersonal dynamics of that. Othello behaved like a gentleman and let the younger Desdemona splash into the stream to retrieve the orange tennis ball.

“So.” Pepper invited.

“So, the nerd in the white truck was a pacemaker monitor. He went around doing computer analysis of existing pacemakers. He was in love with Mergatroid, but the love was unrequited. In fact, replaced by another love, according to the extra baseball cap.

“And?”

“And it was murder by remote. When she pressed on the remote it activated a computer chip he had inserted which sent her pacemaker and her heart into overdrive.”

“Quite a stretch in credibility.” Pepper added.

“Well,” Eloise paused for effect. “We did find a note in his journal. Her last heartbeats were all mine.”

“To use the language of your generation,” Pepper said. “Creepy.”

Eloise nodded at the dogs. “They seem to be matched. I adopted her, you know.”

“You know he murdered her. Right?” Pepper said.

“In the play?”

“Precisely.” Pepper gazed into a deep pool in the stream with just the leaf of a thought about his dear, murdered wife, twirling in the eddies.

“Motive?” Eloise asked.

“Same as our perpetrator. Jealousy.”

 

 

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A MANGO RIPENS AND GROWS

mangoAt least that’s how my daughter, Lisa describes the growth of our future grandchild as it begins to tap on her tummy to let us know of its intentions to join us.

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Manga Murder — Inspector Pepper

Hi friends,

Here’s the latest in Inspector Pepper using the World Wide Web to solve murder mysteries.  This one comes from Japan.

mangaInspector Pepper MANGA MURDER

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Iguana Murder?

Here’s an Inspector Pepper story  with a curious  witness.   Yes, the inspector is  interviewing and Iguana in Aruba via the Internet.  Enjoy!

Inspector Pepper Iguana Murder

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