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Mommy’s Green Dress

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When I was a little girl, my mom had a beautiful green dress hanging in the closet of our guest bedroom. She’d worn the dress to parties in the post WW2 era. It was exciting just hearing her talk about the dances and parties.   I must have shown too much interest at some point, because I remember being forbidden from touching or playing with it.

Well, once it became taboo, it might as well have had a Denise-magnet sewn into the fabric. I really wanted to wear that dress. Green was my favorite color back then, so that made it all the more alluring. And that sheer fabric over the satin, oh how it beckoned me. Mom rarely got angry with me, but when she did, she meant business, so I only admired it from the closet door.

Until it became worth the risk.

The summer I turned seven More

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Change Of Plans

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In 2009 my husband and I realized time was running out for taking a family vacation –at least for our existing family unit.  Both kids were seriously involved with their significant others and we knew it wouldn’t be long before there would be wedding bells.  Change was fast approaching for family as we knew it Happy for our soon-to-be-growing family, the vacation would be a bitter-sweet and symbolic farewell to the existing family structure.

Thus began the plans for what seemed like a fantasy trip for 4 to Scotland and Ireland.  None of us had been to Europe and we all agreed experiencing a bit o’ Irish sounded like a lot of fun.

The planning was both exciting and stressful, as vacations are prone to be.  However, stressful took on another level when my dad died during the planning stages and my PTSD symptoms exploded.  His death launched an entire new wave of nightmares and flashbacks.

I struggled mightily to focus on planning the trip, not wanting to disappoint my kids.   My mental state became fragile, my work suffered, and I spent many hours crying on the couch trying in vain to figure a way to escape my anxiety and not give up on the trip.

Somehow we got our itinerary finalized and bought the airline tickets.  Three days later the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in Iceland.  The volcano may as well have been inside my head because my brain felt like it exploded too.  I hadn’t realized how close to the cliff I’d been until the volcano blew. More

Finding Healing in Unexpected Places -and a Book Giveaway

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The theme of adoption has always been of interest to me.  As a child I used to tell people I was adopted.  I always thought if you were adopted it meant you were wanted, therefore special.  It never occurred to me there might be pain involved in being adopted, or giving a child up for adoption.  Over the years I’ve spoken with people on both sides of the adoption picture and now understand it’s not the fairy tale I used to fantasize about.

**Spoiler Alert

The British movie Philomena caught my eye recently because of the adoption theme.  Then it captured my heart because of the healing and forgiveness in her story. More

The Old Violin

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While joyful and exciting, the holidays can also be a difficult time of year.

There were many Christmases I bounced between having fun and enjoying the season with my husband and kids while struggling with deep-seated depression.

My lack of family-of-origin connection during the holidays magnified feelings of rejection and worthlessness; especially related to my dad.  A sweet and tender story about an old violin touched me many years ago during an especially difficult time of depression.  Though not a cure, it was balm to the soul.

If feelings of loneliness, worthlessness or rejection plague you during the holidays I offer you this story.  I hope it reminds you that you are indeed worthy and loved.

The Old Violin

~Myra Brooks Welch

‘Twas battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while to waste his time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile. More

Grateful, Even in the Waiting

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Thanksgiving Day has arrived here in the States. 

A sense of gratitude arrived with it early this morning.  It blanketed me ever so softly with comfort and peace even as I sit with uncertainty.  Calm such as this truly is a gift from God.

I had my mammogram recently; a few months overdue.  I know… I know it’s important.  But it hurts.  I don’t care how many people say it doesn’t, it does.   

The same tech who’s done my mammograms for over 15 years flattened my breasts into pancakes once again.  Each smashing was accompanied with apologies and assurances it would be over soon.  “Be still and hold your breath, hon.”   We did this several times and I waited for the okay to get my shirt back on.  She scrutinized the screen with a practiced eye, then dismissed me to the dressing room.  When I pulled the curtain back, she said “You’ll get a call in a few days saying everything is fine, or you need to come back.  But you’ll get a call either way.”  I guess this is to lessen the anxiety about seeing your doctor’s number on the incoming caller ID.

Sure enough, I got a call last week saying they’d seen something ‘suspicious’ and wanted me to come back for a re-check.   More

Trying Something New

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As my family will attest, I sometimes balk at trying new things.

I tend to order the same food at restaurants, buy the same style of clothes, listen to the same music…well you get the idea.  If it isn’t broken, why fix it -right?

I’m learning that for me, it’s actually the opposite.  Something is broken, and I do need to fix it.  Not wanting to leave the confines of my ‘comfort zone’ is a sign of being an emotional hostage to my fears.

www.mylovelyquotes.com

 

But, it’s something I’ve been actively working on -trying something new.  As luck would have it, I’ve had two opportunities to practice recently. More

Still Here

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Four times I could have died, yet here I am. 

My kids have told me I’m like a cat with nine lives; maybe there’s something to it.  As I got older, the accidents got more serious.  Sometimes I wonder why I survived; but mostly I’m just grateful. 

When I was 11, a neighbor girl ran over me with a snowmobile.  She knocked me over from behind and proceeded to drive across the entire length of my body.  I was compressed face-down into the snow as the track rolled across my back.  She slowed down as she realized what she’d done, but it was the wrong time to slow down.  I couldn’t breathe under there. More

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