6 Unbreakable Sibling Bonds

September 2nd, 2014
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Today is a post giving you a little slice of my family life.  A shout-out to my brothers and sisters if you will.

I am the oldest of six children.  We are four girls and two boys and are incredibly close in age: there is only seven years between me and my youngest siblings who are twins.

I have written a lot about the healing gift of friendship and the important role that my friends play in my life but I haven’t said much about the healing gift of my siblings mainly because I know they don’t want to read … Read More

Louis Zamperini

July 9th, 2014
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It is worth noting the recent and sad passing of 97-year-old Louis Zamperini, a man whose life story was defined by his spirit of resilience. Everyone encounters challenges and traumas in their lives but Zamperini’s were of a sort that would have crushed most people.  No matter what came his way — imprisonment during World War II, torture, substance abuse, he never gave up. To me, his life is a unique resource.  When the Japanese capture him, and he is held captive and tortured, he digs deep within himself and finds a way to go on, even though he is… Read More

Snapshots of Caregiving

April 2nd, 2014
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Helping to care for someone, whether they are young or old, is a time to step up to the plate and show how much that person means to you and many times it also turns out to be a time of personal growth. I have taken care of lots of babies and toddlers and I have also taken care of elderly relatives.  Until you do it, you really don’t realize how much time and energy it takes to properly care for another person. For me it is instinctive.  I see the need and I want to help.  There are few… Read More

When In Doubt

January 20th, 2014
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If you have ever have doubts about talking to someone you hardly know about a recent loss in their life, please think twice about ignoring the subject. You may think you are doing the person a favor by not mentioning their loss or the name of the loved one that died, but it doesn’t really work that way. Acknowledging is important and helpful to you, and more importantly, to the person experiencing the loss.  It’s extending sympathy or compassion and even though it may be hard to do, it’s something that needs to be done.  So take a deep breath,… Read More

Downton Abbey

January 19th, 2014
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Today I join millions of Downton Abbey fans who can’t wait to watch a new episode tonight. I am arriving at the Downton Abbey party very late, for I watched my very first episode last Sunday at the home of some great friends who have watched the popular series from the beginning.  This was very helpful to me because they were able to tell me exactly what was happening, who the characters were in relation to each other and the intricate backstory of different storylines. I’m not sure why I didn’t embrace this amazing award-winning series earlier.  I think I… Read More

Compassionate Care

November 6th, 2013
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I write about the subject of hospice care today because November is National Hospice Care month.  I don’t usually pay attention to the themes of specific months but in this case I saw a tweet about it and wanted to draw attention to the incredible people who do this important work. I have the greatest respect for the people who do hospice work.  The time and endless amounts of energy poured into this work of providing compassionate care to those diagnosed as terminally ill is critical to the patient and the families trying to do their best as a loved… Read More

A Generous Heart

August 13th, 2013
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I saw this letter yesterday and it reminded me that a new school year will be starting soon.  With the beginning of a new school year, perhaps teachers and student will be dealing with conflicting emotions about losses or illnesses that happened over the summer. When a friend or an acquaintance is grieving from the loss of a loved one, it is natural to want to reach out and make them feel better.  One of the greatest gifts we can give is listening.  Even if you don’t know what to say, we can always listen; listen as the person talks… Read More

The Kindness of Nurses

July 23rd, 2013
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Have you ever been in an emergency room at 2 am? Unfortunately, my son and I found ourselves there Sunday night because we needed to take my Dad to the hospital for medical attention to various issues that by themselves were not a big deal, but taken collectively, for a man in his 80’s, they added up to a serious situation. The doctors agreed about the seriousness of my Dad’s symptoms but didn’t decide to check him in until after midnight and then he was finally assigned a room around 2 am.  By the time we got home, it was… Read More

Keeping Love In Your Heart

May 29th, 2013
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The best and most beautiful things in the world  cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.                                     ~ Helen Keller The human heart is an amazing organ isn’t it?  We fall in love, break up, and then perhaps fall in love over and over again, testing the resiliance of our courageous yet vulnerable hearts. Somehow, throughout our lives, we ride this emotional rollercoaster and our hearts manage to survive the ride and keep on beating. When a relationship doesn’t work out, we are sad but eventually we pick ourselves up and carry on until… Read More