If I held out my hand to trust you,
Could you give yours back in kind?
Could we begin once more with just us two?
And then allow our past mistakes to fade so quietly behind?

Perchance, there's someone you once placed your trust in, who hurt you last.
But when you look at me, could you leave those feelings of betrayal in the past?

And, God forbid, if I ever do act in some way to cause you the slightest doubt or pain,
Could you be open to forgive me quickly and then begin again?

With all fresh hope and trust, I give my hand outstretched to you and pray,
That we two, together in love, will somehow find the way.

Author's Bio: 

Michele Christina Camilla Messina Long.

I'm a simple person. I was born to Enrico Jerome Messina and Camilla Margaret Deken at 12:20 p.m. on Sunday May 7, 1950, at Saint Anthony’s Hospital in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1956, just six short years later mom passed on. Dad, restless without her, moved us a lot; some boxes just didn’t get unpacked. He sent us to Catholic schools. We lived in clean, safe neighborhoods and walked to wherever. High school years were spent in this order: Freshman: St. Anthony’s; Sophomore: Cleveland High School; Junior: Afton High School; and Senior year at Roosevelt High School where I graduated in 1968.Upon graduation, I received a job offer from the FBI, but turned it down to remain in St. Louis. In 1971 I went Hawaii on vacation for the first time without family.

February 17, 1973 I married John Charles Long, on an unusually cold day mixed with sunshine and snow. By summer it seemed we ate all the hot dogs in St. Louis; saved enough money to buy our home at 1531 Shoppers Lane, in Crestwood, MO and lived there for the next twenty years. On March 12, 1974 Jason Michael Long was born to us. He was a month overdue, had a full head of hair, and all the features and characteristics of a one-month-old child. He went immediately on cereal and we couldn’t keep him fed! We were clumsy first parents but everything we did, we did with love. On April 18, 1977 Gina Maria Long was born to us. She was so tiny compared to Jason and she squeaked when she breathed. The nurse said it was all right and would stop in time, and it did! It was the year we had our Green – Go Van. Jason and J.C. came to the hospital together to bring home Gina and me. Jason loved his little sister from the beginning. We listened to a Johnny Horton eight track on the way home from the hospital and sang the songs together. When we got home, Jason sat on the sofa and we placed Gina in his arms so he could hold her. Ah! A Precious Moment!

After 20 years of marriage, in 1993 I gave John his freedom through the legalities of divorce. December 15, 1988, after a stroke, my dad passed on at 71. In 1995, John was informed that he had contracted leukemia and we reconciled. Two weeks later he died.

In December of 1998, after 30 years working at one financial company, I and a few others in our division found ourselves without employment suddenly when our boss died and new management took over. I became a self-employed consultant. One assignment was on the Y2k team for Busch Entertainment. It offered an insight into the workings of amusement parks; gave me the opportunity to travel and meet new friends. Surprisingly, I found myself inches away from Baby Shamu when it did its first trick in training!

In December of 1999, I joined Morgan Stanley, and witnessed 911 from one insider’s point of view. In August of 2002 I left to pursue a new career helping people and using my Reiki gift. It wasn’t the right time, the right place, or the right job. In December 2002, finding myself without a permanent job description, I began creating floral arrangements; consulting; and working on my web site.

After being invited to a Torah study group and sharing my first Passover, realizing that I was a Jewish soul all along; on January 24, 2003 I became a Jew, taking “Simcha (Joy)” as my new Jewish name. My writings in my book “Visions” reflect aspects of the Jewish faith long before I knew that there was a connection. Friends tell me “they thought I always was Jewish!” I can question life without whispering now. This is the most comfortable I have felt ever about my faith and my path through life and back to God.

As you read “Visions,” please keep in mind that it was written long before I had any formal introduction to Judaism although there are threads of similarities, possibly from my prior Catholic background, since there are similarities and the Catholic faith branched off from the Jewish faith. New works found in my book: “Oy!” have been written since I became a “Jew by Choice.”