Wednesday, February 19, 2020

It's all about You and Me

August 2017, I received a phone call from my dear friend Sally. "Linda has had an accident and it's really bad."
Life changed.  Following 12 hours in surgery, I went to visit and found her lying helpless, motionless, attached to wires, a large brace around her neck and her eyes with a look I had never seen from Linda before, the look of fear, fierce fear.

A year later, we sat together facing the ocean and Linda began to talk. She carefully told me the thoughts that raced through her brain while listening to doctors explain who she was without knowing her. She discussed the pain, the fear, the doubts, the strength, the freedom, the simple joy, and the letting go in order to embrace.
Her desire was to create a short bedside book that could provide shortcut tips in order for anyone to face whatever they are going through.  "This is not just about me" she would say. "That's dull, we all have our stress and I want this book to speak to everyone."

"It's all about YOU and me" is now available through

I will be proudly sitting next to Linda for a book signing on Sunday, February 23rd, 2:00pm - 4:00pm at:

The Clubhouse at The Villages on Mount Hope Bay,
120 Schooner Drive, Tiverton, RI 02878

This was a true honor to spend time with Linda, feverishly writing down her words, at times wiping away her tears, encouraging her talk when the memories were tough and some times just sitting together watching the sunset allowing love to bring its patent calm, and bringing strength for another day.

It's a special book because of Linda.  An extraordinary woman who has so much to say and give.

"It isn't my disability that I want you to know about. It's my heart, my soul and my truth."

We would love to meet you and share her book with you, because to Linda, every heart is connected and deserves attention. "You deserve to find the right choice, your path, your time."

Sunday, January 5, 2020

My New Hallmark Movie

Here is my pitch to Hallmark, as I already miss the romantic Christmas movies, we need to continue its glorious theme into January.

Here are the typical scenes and what to replace them with.

1) Replace decorating the tree - with the taking down of the tree, and instead of laughing, they are getting cramp and feeling dizzy bending up and down as well as becoming aggravated and annoyed at their own emotional attachment to placing a stuffed elf into a box.

2) Replace the fun cute visit to the ice rink - with the moment they first go to a gym together and the pain and embarrassment of working out, including the sweat, the wrong clothing and the need to throw up and pass wind during the first spinning, Zumba, ballet acro class.

3) Replace the cute date buying hot chocolate and cookies - with the first juice cleanser experience (no description required.)

4) Replace the fun creative date building a gingerbread house - with buying and chopping a salad together. I'm actually yawning as I type the word salad.

5) Replace the fun shopping excursion - with returning gifts at Kohls and learning how much cheaper the cheese fondue, tea brewing crockpot was if you had bought it at JobLot.

6) Replace the dilemma over the dazzling, job opportunities - with paying off the credit card and as tax time is coming; the debate and delirious wonder of "could I do them myself this year?"

7) Replace the general feeling of optimism and romance - with the daily sluggish mood because of hunger as December encouraged the stomach to take in more without putting on weight, until the first week in January when suddenly the stomach giggles as it expands and bloats to it's fullest potential. Despite all of that and your undone zipper, you still want to eat, especially as you still have chocolate left (you know the last of the truffles that you were not that keen on but now they look like gold!)

I will get writing this tomorrow, after I have run my six miles by a lake, with a puppy and my perfect curly blonde hair. 
Happy New Year everyone (I miss Christmas!!)
And if anyone thinks I need another gift I really want Hallmark Monopoly, the board game, it does exist!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas

I love Christmas, always have and always will.  It seemed to arrive quite suddenly this year, beginning in Massachusetts with a mountain of snow shortly after Thanksgiving.

Here is my quick list in anticipation of the big day:

1) Decorations - I begin with an ambitious theme, quite often entitled "Winter Wonderland" until I remember I am scared of ladders and cannot bang nails in walls. Yes, I can use those plastic hooks with sticky backing things, but those also require a ladder and have been known to shoot off the wall bringing all the magic down with them.

2) The Tree - I always begin slowly and carefully and within an hour will swear at the decoration that would look perfect if only it kept still or spun in the right direction. Why is it so difficult to get a light angeled on the top of the fairy or star?  Why is it so difficult to get that fairy or star straight?  Do not mention lights, that's too cliche to mention lights. (I miss the days when I could blame my cat for knocking off decorations so that I could start all over again.) 

3) Games - You begin a jigsaw puzzle and within two hours you are convinced that pieces are missing. No, they are not on the floor, or under the cushions, or right in front of you, but this particular puzzle that you are struggling with has a manufacturing issue and pieces are obviously missing. (I miss the days when I could blame my cat for knocking the whole puzzle onto the floor.)

4) Songs - Everyone sings to Santa Baby privately in their car and thinks they look and sound sexy doing it and would really get the promotion/raise/love affair if only they could sing this at the company office party that will at some point include karaoke.

5) Advent Calendar - I am so excited to have a chocolate one this year and am a day behind, hence my delightful knowledge that I could have two chocolates in one day if I should wish too!  This is very funny when you know the amount of chocolate and cookies that I actually eat, and yet these individual chocolates bring a feeling that I'm being mindful of my sweet consumption! Hilarious.

6) Cards - I am going to send cards early and write individual, handwritten and personal notes in each of them. Inspiring words and jolly wishes, with really nice handwriting in multi-colored inks and I will make at least five cards myself to embrace the special personalities, providing a sense of connection to the receiver. Right! That particular wish may also join the one that claims I will make a Christmas cake from scratch, not a box and decorate it, from scratch, not a tube and a batch of mince pies, cookies, and a yule log.  Nailed It. Ahhh, the dreams of a heart who loves Christmas ................ and actually, that's what it's all about, the hope, the anticipation and the desire to connect with warmth and love.

That and number 7..........

7) Hallmark Movies - fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

For those in that place

Sending my love to everyone for Thanksgiving.

I know that expressing gratitude works like a key to opening up your heart.

I also know many people who are tired and worn down by what life is presenting to them right now. Those caught in circles that troubles can bring, those caught in a needing to heal from the past and those who are scared of their present, let alone the future.

Life is not about constantly jumping over hurdles and saying thank you.  It is also saying, I hurt, I'm scared, I'm lonely, I'm grieving, I'm missing, I'm hungry. 

So to those in that place, I send you a warm blanket. The warmest I could find.  It's woven with care and whispers of love. No advice, no guidance, just sheer wisdom that somehow the strength you need will reveal itself at the right time.  That the idea of "you got this" and "you're stronger than you know" is drummed into silence, with the idea that you need to rest, to stop and just breathe.  Sometimes, you can end up feeling guilty for not feeling strong, or optimistic! The proclamations that life is for living not waiting, and we have everything that we need already, can at some point sound like banal screaming. Motivation can also be gentle.

It is as healing to cry as it is to devise a plan.  It is as healing to stop and wonder if you can get through, as it is to run another marathon.  All we sometimes need is a warm cushion to snuggle into, and privately let go. If you can, treat yourself to a day off from thinking, from trying to be, from trying to succeed and solve the world.  Move from the "mad, extra sweat spinning class" to the "be lazy, for a moment sitting class."

With love to my family and friends this Thanksgiving - said quietly and with a blanket x

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Reminders of Everything

Gary just asked me this week, why I haven't written a blog post for a while.  So, here it is, the post I want to write.
I judge myself with this post because here it is folks, bright and clear with a megaphone - I am struggling with grief to accept that my Mum has gone.

I thought I was an expert at this grief thing, and I knew I would find it hard, but not this hard. Reminders of everything are constant.

Here is my learning from all of this, that loss is cruel, that illness is cruel. It doesn't care who you are or what you have. The last year of my husband's life ripped what I thought was my American family, apart. It chewed my heart into pieces. The last year of my mother's life was basically her suffering from a lack of money to get her an operation she needed. Money!  This is shaming on my soul. I will never forgive myself for not doing enough, in the same way, that I will never forgive myself for agreeing to treatments for David in his final year. The guilt will always be with me.

Now, what's the point of this post?  It is not to ask all of us to be grateful every day, to love our family and friends, to cherish the moments because quite honestly, sometimes we are good at that and sometimes we just aren't, because we are human beings. We are not miraculous saviors. I wonder how many people have drowned trying to walk on water?

The point of this post is to say that part of living is living with this guilt and loss.  Living when it is hard.  I do not feel sorry for myself, what I feel is the loss and the lack of.  The point of this post is to agree that every single one of us is dealing with something and we need to value one another and appreciate our aching hearts that continue to beat. We are made up of many things and all of them are important, not just the pretty feathers, we are also about the guts and claws. Living with my husband's illness gave me patience and death has given me a deeper appreciation and even courage in my life, but it has also created deep anger and sadness, which I must accept is part of me.

So for everyone who rolled their eyes and said here, she goes again, ranting about grief and didn't even read this to the end - shame on you for your lack of compassion and heart.
For everyone who said - I feel the same way, then my heart goes to you and I say please, please be gentle with ourselves. It takes effort to reach toward being OK.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Happiness while juggling slippery monkeys

I read today on Facebook, a simple statement that said: My Super Power is Happiness. It struck such a pleasant chord with me for its basic simplicity. As it can be tiring being courageous, bold, assertive polite, awake, open, confident and every adjective that we read about under the heading of self-improvement.

Life is busy and at most times we are all juggling many slippery monkeys. (Now there's an interesting novelty act for the TV show "Americas Got Talent.") We are also responding to said slippery monkeys, with our very many layers of personality. I have mine, beginning at: "You can trust and rely on me, I've got this!" Ending at the whimpering, "Please like me, I'm fifty-three and I'm nice!"

I am expecting a lot from myself at the moment, as I navigate through uncharted waters. A new job, a new home, and a new bereavement. Yet somehow on top of that list, I expect myself to do it all looking and feeling like a woman from a shampoo commercial who can also cook, run and teach "Vinyasa Namaste Hot Flush Yoga." Is there such a thing? There should/could/would be such a thing!

So, instead of reaching for the top shelf of superpowers, how about we grab the one named happiness? Because quite frankly, to feel any type of joy or contentment while you are handling slippery monkeys, is an achievement in itself. It is also one which will grow and build quickly. Just try it right now by thinking of three things you feel grateful for. It is exciting for me to feel the change in myself when I look at my situation from a place of gratitude. My shoulders ease and I can see and feel the buds of hope. I like that place. It's like the spring, where it all begins.

Be good to one another. We are all we have.

Always with love and running down a hill with arms open wide,

Friday, June 14, 2019

How to make a Decision

As we live our lives there will be times that are more dramatic than others. Times that are more romantic, or exciting, or dull, uninspiring, surreal, beautiful, tender. The words of what we go through are endless.
Our reaction to all of it can also be endless. We panic in excitement and we panic in fear, and both have the same energy.

Our reactions create a domino effect and when in fear, before we know it, we have bought a one way ticket to the jungle with a pair of flip flops and a National Enquirer as our guide for healthy living. (If you are reading this blog while at the airport doing just that, good luck!)

Alternatively we make a decision to do nothing, resulting in regret and a lack of trust in our ability to lead our own lives.

Our lives continually beat with issues and opportunities to make choices.

Making decisions with your thumb heavy on the panic button is clearly not a good idea.
Stop, wait, reflect. Do not send that email. Do not make that phone call or purchase that extra pair of skinny jeans. Wait and keep checking in with yourself. Your own gut (perhaps even soul) may be telling you what to do, and you will never hear it if you pay attention to the barking orders of everyone else, and I include your own negative chatter.

Most of us are waiting for something. To make the right decision, to receive the good news, the bad news, the news that changes things. We wait for results, the phone to ring, the lights to change, the paint to dry or the kettle to boil.

We wait and within that waiting our brain will trigger all kinds of fireworks to grab our attention and for the most part, those colorful bangs and flashes will provide incorrect, negative, fear based information.

If you are going through a whirlwind right now, please, please stop, lose the struggle and the fight, let go, run down a hill (even in your mind) just for a moment, outstretch your arms and ask for guidance, because I truly believe only calm thinking will provide us with the right answers and not the fireworks that can create a battle.

It's all about You and Me

August 2017, I received a phone call from my dear friend Sally. "Linda has had an accident and it's really bad." Life changed...