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They say the journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.



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Journeys . . . Connections . . . and God’s Hand in Our Lives


The Wakened Cary Meditation Chapel
is dedicated this day
9 January 2008

To All who pass this way . . .

The vision and stained glass work in this room
was created in honor of all with “dreams yet to be . . .”
while holding the memory of our son in my heart,
whose spirit shines through my work in rainbows and light.

“. . . You never did make it to the age of three
But left in my dreams the thought of a tree
A tree filled with rainbows of hope from above
A tree symbolizing life, rainbows of hope and of love . . .”

It is an honor to be part of this space. For this, I thank each and every one of you
Who helped me, in their own special way, to create this beautiful space
. . . for all who have “dreams yet to be . . .”
with Hope and A Prayer and A Wish and A Dream
and Love Always …

They say the journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. My part in The Meditation Chapel at Wake Med did start, 17 years ago with a single step…… with me… searching for something to stand on …. So I didn’t fall into the abyss. That step was the dream of a tree and in that 17 year search to finally fulfil that dream I have been honored and blessed to have ---- my husband, our son, daughters and countless other beautiful souls, in and touch, my life.

They have helped me, to be standing here, by being who they are …

My connection to the Chapel can be traced back to a friendship with Vanessa; I met while working at the bank, who led me to Pat McKenna, the owner of Clear Horizons, where one day I met Kimberly Korb. And then one day Diane decided to attend a class that her friend Kimberly was teaching at Clear Horizons. Where she saw a stained glass angel…… and now to hear more or the rest of the story… as Paul Harvey would say…

“You have to go see my ‘rose quartz’ lady. She just opened up a new business and she has a gift shop and I am selling some of my stuff in there. Maybe you could put some of your glasswork in there. You should go see her.” That was my friend Vanessa looking out for me. I was at her place picking out some stones for my glasswork and she was telling me I should go see this new place her friend Patricia had opened up down the street. “You are going to love it, it is so nice. It’s called Clear Horizons and they do detoxifying foot baths there.” “OK I’ll check it out, I promise”

Well, one day I had some extra time and I thought I would just go and check this place out. I walked in, met Pat the owner, told her Vanessa had sent me to check out her place– I did stained glasswork and would she be interested in having some pieces in her shop and by the way I think you need stained glass to cover those sidelights -- what do you think?

Pat said sure … but no money - just opened …well we might be able to work something out …
So I did this little drawing and Pat saw that they were angel wings and when placed on both sides of the door, it would be like you were walking through an angel, when you entered her place.
And then there was another door with a sidelight …….

Well I made them and they were a big hit.

From time to time I would visit “my angels” at Clear Horizons. One time I happened to meet a nice lady by the name of Kimberly Korb. We talked and shared our stories and I took a painting class from her. And life is good.

Then out of the blue one day in April 2006, I get a call from Diane, the Chaplain at Wakened Cary with a question, “would I be interested in doing some stained glasswork for the new Chapel they were putting in at the hospital?” Would I – you could have bowled me over with a feather – Here was God knocking on my door saying it is time for your dream to come true- “How did you get my number? Why me? I had a million questions … Diane told me how she got my number – she was at a seminar her friend Kimberly Korb was teaching on healing touch at Clear Horizons and saw my work and Kim told her about me and here she was on the phone with me . . . . . . . . asking if I could do a tree in stained glass for the Meditation Chapel. WOW (Later, Diane told me that she had went back and forth about going that day. It was a weekend day, but from the moment she walked in Clear Horizons it became clear to her that it was to see my “angels in stained glass” and that her friendship with Kimberley made our connection possible.)

I met with Ms Diane shortly after that phone call. She liked the ideas and said she was going to set an appointment with the “powers that be” “Can you do a sketch of what you just described to me?”
Now, we are at the first meeting and truth be known, I was just a little nervous (make that a lot nervous) and had to pinch myself. I have another little sketch and I am explaining my vision for the Chapel, everyone seemed to like it and asked if I could do a little nicer sketch they could take to the Volunteer Committee Board. “Sure I can do another sketch.” But, I am thinking I must be dreaming, so I pinch myself again!

To digress for a few moments, for 17 years when ever I explained my vision I pretty much got some blank stares or “that’s nice” – but never this -- this was just flowing ………………..

I can take you back with an excerpt from my book “Thoughts from Both Sides of the Rainbow” published in 1999 “a collection of poems that I wrote, on the days, it was hard to function or cope. . . hoping they will inspire a different view, of how you see . . . what happened to you.”

Why did he have to die? I cannot tell you how many times I have asked myself that question. Does anyone have an answer? I don’t know.

I do know that we have to keep moving, for to give into the despair that can so easily overcome you, can only serve to dishonor the memory of those we love, who have fought so hard to live. Because if you have taught someone to live and then when they die you forget how to live, than everything you taught them was a lie.

And they are such brave little fighters! Most of the children who are born with life-threatening illnesses have no clue what a normal life is like. They have taken medicine from day one, just to survive. I do know that they are the true angels on earth for they have such a beautiful light about them. They must be here to teach us so that we may have a better life for I do not think God intentionally creates problems these little ones are faced with. I think the little ones choose to be born with whatever. They are on a mission of love to teach us whatever it is we need to know, who touch our lives and to leave the world a better place through all of those who have been touched by their special light.

When our son, AJ died from a congenital heart defect at the age of two, eleven months after my mother died, from a brain tumor that took her life in two months, mine broke. In the process of trying to come to grips with what is now my reality, I have found many kind and caring individuals that I probably would have never met otherwise.

In my search to try to make some sense out of life or “heal” as the politically correct may say – I have been blessed with the creative energies to envision a “Rainbow Tree” or a “Rainbow Window”, to remember our loved ones as “Rainbows of Light” who bring us messages of hope during our darkest hours with the Promise of the Rainbow.


Seventeen years - I have pursued my dream to put A “Rainbow Tree” in hospitals, public places everywhere and anywhere that we need their message to remind us about the frailty of life, the beauty in life and their gentle prayer to appreciate the choices we have.

So when a Volunteer Board Member said,
“What I had drawn , was exactly what she had envisioned for that room for so many years.” I was and still am, pretty speechless and very honored.

But this is really not the end of the story because while I was on my journey Vanessa, Patricia, Kimberley and Diane were all on their own journeys to becoming involved with this room with their own story. The connections are AMAZING! I feel honored to know most of stories but also feel that they are more powerful if told by them. And now, you are reading this on Marilyn’s website . . .We met while I was a bank teller right around the same time I met Vanessa . . .

And the journey continues . . . with new beginnings . . . with new endings
With Hope . . . and A Prayer . . . and A Wish . . . and A Dream . . . and Love Always

Now, I think the “Talking Stick” should pass to . . Anyone with a story to tell and a journey to share in this place in time.


Written by Linda A. Pukalo
Mom, Artist, Author

You can contact her at: lpukalo@earthlink.net


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