Ever think you know someone fairly well, only to discover a wealth of information about them that blows you out of the water? Such was the case of my friend Cass Forkin, who spoke last weekend at Circle of Miracles in Doylestown, PA. Her topic was “My Spiritual Balance Sheet For Inner Peace and Joy”. With an MBA in Healthcare Administration and an undergrad degree in Accounting, she knows her way around facts and figures that add up; with assets and liabilities nice and neat in their linear columns. On this day, she extrapolated to the process of life itself. Not always as exacting, but perhaps even more valuable.
It’s appropriate that I am writing about Cass for today’s Bliss Blog entry, since August 19th is also World Humanitarian Day. As the founder and director of Twilight Wish Foundation, she can most certainly wear that disinction with a sense of pride and honor. Although Twilight Wish does not send volunteers into the trenches or war zones or places where natural disasters occur, they reach out to people over 68 whose requests for life enhancing items get met, such as grab bars in the shower, a lift chair, eye glasses, washer and dryer, a golf cart for a convent, so that the nuns could get around the grounds more readily, and of course, my favorite… a cross country truck trip offered by my friend Annabella Wood.
As she stood before us, looking and sounding for all the world, like Susan Sarandon, Cass shared with us about a dream she had in childhood in which she was riding in the clouds with God, seeing magical colors arising from the Earth. God told her that it was the love moving upward from the people on the planet. The message was to love God and love your neighbor, regardless of who they are and what they have done. She had a Near Death Experience at age 8, grew up in poverty in a household with many siblings, lost her mother at age 16 and married at age 19. As she described, there were many times when they would have literally no food to eat, which gave her a determination to succeed. I had a sense of the Scarlett O’Hara line about never going hungry again. Cass became a consummate overachiever which she found didn’t bring the soul satisfaction she desired.
In 2003, after witnessing three older women in the Dublin Star Diner (in my home town of Dublin, PA) cobbling together dollar bills and change to pay for their breakfast, she approached the waitress and paid for their meal and asked that she remain anonymous. That didn’t work, as the server pointed her out to the women and they came over to thank her for her kindness. One of them said “We didn’t think there were people in the world like you.” and added the sentiment about being glad they weren’t being forgotten, I believe the legend goes. The organization began with $711.00 and now is a successful non-profit that has granted 1600 wishes since its inauguration.
Her values and beliefs guide her as she guides the helm. She lives by the idea that life is short, so DO IT NOW! It is important to ask for guidance and wisdom, knowing that answers come from all sources. We come into the world naked and with nothing and we leave with nothing, so we need to make a difference in the here and now. Cass knows that anything is possible. When all is said and done her spiritual balance sheet has far more assets than liabilities. Can you say the same about yours?
http://youtu.be/7Vl5siAOIGw World Humanitarian Day 2011