From the Author

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

fear failure or success?

I think that many of the life choices we make are often made out of fear.  Sometimes we are afraid of failure and the resultant guilt and embarrassment. Other times we are afraid that we will succeed and worry that our life will change.  Change in itself is difficult.  Fear can be involved in simple decisions such as cutting our hair to a shorter style.  It can involve decisions such as getting married, choosing to have a child, adoption, college, dropping out of school, forgiveness vs retaliation, drinking or use of drugs, whether to smile and have a good day or sadness and complaining.  A lack of a decision is a decision also because we give up control of decision-making to others.  I have the desire to make active, informed decisions about my life but often that fear creeps in and I back away from a positive change in my life.  When decisions are overwhelming, I want to be proactive instead of reactive.  I often take out my trump card to help decision-making.  I remember to ask God to help and I find that He always does, even if the answer is not what I wanted or expected.  I am always relieved when I pray and the big burden is lifted off my shoulders.  I am then free to make any decisions because I am no longer afraid.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

the past

I've been sorting pictures of my family from the early years to the present.  It was fun to laugh about things that happened many years ago and to remember the fun times.  For a long time, I was only able to look at the things that I considered to be mistakes and poor judgement on my part.  I always worried that I wasn't the best mother I could be especially when I was single and raising five teens.  In life there are always positive and negative elements.  Both have an impact on who we become.  I don't know that I would change my life as I have had many good times mixed in with the stressful and difficult times.  I am so happy to have my children and grandchildren. I especially appreciate my faith in God and the wonderful answers to prayer over the years.  It is important to count our blessings!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I have to laugh at my attempts at plumbing  I wanted to add a metal handle to a moen shower.  I went to a local hardware superstore and asked about what I would need to buy.  I have had many experiences over the years when an employee of the store would send me to another store to get an item I needed because it was not available. This time I was given parts for an item that was generally adapted to most showers. After I spent hours trying to make it work I returned it and bought another kit and again had to return it.  I went to a plumbing store and was able to buy the correct part and it went on in a matter of minutes.  I have often appreciated the employees who made my life easier by actually helping with the information I needed.

Sometimes we try to adapt our lives by going to the wrong place to try to find happiness when we need to go to the source of happiness.  Often there are special people along the way who can share their knowledge and resources to aid us in our journey.  My experience has always led me to the only place that brings me the peace I seek.  I have to go to the source of happiness.  God and my faith.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Art Show at Bergamo

I am participating in an art show with Queen of Apostles Church.  The Annual Queen of Apostles Art Exhibit will be held at the Gallery St. John Friday, Sept. 5 to Sunday Sept. 14

        Queen of Apostles/Gallery St. John

It has been wonderful to begin to enjoy art again and hopefully have the energy to do some new art pieces. Since I have been ill, it has been hard to even get interested in art of any kind. Maybe I'll be inspired!   


Monday, August 18, 2014

It could be me.

"There but for the grace of God, go I"  It is an "accident" of birth that we live in a safe and happy environment.  We don't have to worry about sending our children to another country to keep them from starving, or being sold to another human being, or any number of unimaginable horrors.  I can't fathom the fear of the child forced by circumstances to travel this dangerous road.  Sometimes it is parents who have to make a choice for the potential benefit of the child or to use them for their own benefit.  Children are caught in the middle and learn to navigate life in survival mode.  I am so sad that the fear of dealing with problems associated with these children will cause us to abandon them.  We forget that we are a country of immigrants who had to adjust to a new world, language, prejudice, poverty, etc. to survive.  We were children once.
Would it be different if it were our children who were homeless without a county or safety.  What if it were us who were living in a war-torn country and we had to send our children away.  Wouldn't we want someone to care for them?  God loves all children and it is our responsibility to look outside the box to find a way to share our resources. I hope that our country finds the compassion to solve this issue in a way to provide hope to these children.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Making lemonade out of lemons

I was talking to my daughter today.  She told me that my adult children and friends that had spent time with us over the years were discussing the fun times that we had together.  I have been worried that as a single parent I wasn't able to give my kids what they needed.  I was stressed with taking care of the household, working and going to school and I felt that my children received a poor substitute for a set of parents.  It made me happy to know that they have forgiven me for their chaotic upbringing and managed to remember the times we went camping at Cedar Point and other parks, swimming, card playing and just being together.  My kids were always a blessing and continue to be now as I am aging gracefully.  They are always available to help when I need anything and are supportive of each other.  When we keep God centered in our lives, we can survive anything with faith and a sense of humor.  I thank God everyday for my family and friends.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Grandmothers and family

I think about the importance of being a loving role model as a grandmother to my grandchildren.  I find that my influence is very minor in comparison to the parents of my grandchildren.  I am so proud of my children and their wonderful spouses who take parenting and faith very seriously. What a joy it is to spend time with children who are well-behaved and who know they are loved by their parents and family.  It is sometimes hard for parents to compromise and have a united front with their children because they have been raised with different family values and parenting styles.  It is challenging to relate to extended family and in-laws.  It is so exciting when everyone has the well-being of the children as a priority.  I am blessed with not only the best adult children but I also have the the finest daughters and sons-in-law that anyone could ask for.  It is sometimes difficult to be an in-law but the effort to communicate can create the opportunity for emotional, psychological and spiritual growth in the entire family.  These relationships create a comforting, safe environment for children and their family.  Marriages create a bigger circle of family to love.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Courage and faith

I have a friend who has major issues with her own health, her daughter, her grandchildren, her sons, her parents and her life in general.  I don't know if I could cope with all she is dealing with.  Grandparents who raise grandchildren are my heroes.  I don't know if I would have the energy to take on such a huge responsibility and do it as well as these grandparents are doing.  I sometimes feel sad because of my health issues but my problems seem so small when I see others who are dealing with so much more.  My friend always finds her strength in her faith.  She is the example of courage as she takes one day at a time with the support of her husband and friends. She teaches by making the most of the gifts that she has and giving the rest of the burden to God to handle. I pray that parents who have decided to have children will find the sense of responsibility to straighten out their own lives so that they can become the parents their children deserve.  With God all things are possible!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

family and friends

I have recently had family in from out of town.  My family that has biological and non-biological members.  There are many types of families who love and support each of us.  It is so wonderful to feel connected with others.  Since I have been ill, I have been isolated from everyone for awhile. This world is very scary and threatening sometimes but our family and friends can make the road softer and more inviting.  The emotional support helps us move beyond our limitations and strive to be a better person. The world feels safer when we know "someone has our back."  Faith can make a difference in our acceptance of life changes and our attitude toward a "new normal." There are many things that affect our life including death, birth, marriage, divorce, loss of pets, loss of health, etc.  It is our belief in God that gives us our strength and hope and our family and friends who give us our hugs and emotional support. It is a powerful combination.    

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our soldiers

I want to thank our soldiers for the wonderful gift of freedom they have allowed us to have in our country and in the world.  It is through the sacrifice of young men and women that we can enjoy our lives.  Soldiers give up their families, jobs, mental, physical and emotional health and even their lives. When a soldier dies it leaves a hole in the fabric of life that can never be repaired.  The example of courage, faith, hope, generosity, selflessness, and love live on.  I appreciate all of our veterans.  Thank you!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Illness in ourselves or others we care for can force our world as we know it to come to a halt.  We are forced to cancel all of our outside activities.  It is amazing how well the world functions without us!  All of the extensive commitments we have crowded into our lives become secondary to our main focus--our family, friends, and ourselves.  We often pray to God to ask His help in ending the illness or to take away the pain and suffering.  It is when we have these life challenges that our faith becomes our strength and support. When illness strikes, we are forced to rest from our routine daily lives but enter into a time of stress as we go into uncertainty and lack of control.  Illness can be a friend sometimes because we learn to say no to outside requests that infringe on our sense of peace and focus.  We are forced to examine what is important in our lives.  Often we make positive, long-term changes in our lives because we have had the time to take a good look into what should be our priorities on a daily basis and learn what is most important to us as we take one day at a time.

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Life

I just heard from my sister that her latest great grandchild was born this AM.  The baby missed mother's day by 1 1/2 hours.  He has an older sister and his parents are so very proud of him.  My daughter-in-law is due next week with my 19th grandchild.  It is so exciting to think about a new life beginning.  It is such a miracle that a baby can begin so small and grow into a beautiful, functional, constantly moving individual that can take over your heart and your life. God blesses us with these little people who are a part of us.  Life happens so quickly but it seems to drag very slowly at other times.  A baby is a gift that keeps on giving.  It is a lifetime commitment to become a birth mother, adoptive mother or a step-mother.  Other mothers include foster mothers, neighbors or friends who are stand in mothers at times or fathers who are mother and father. Children need love, constancy, discipline, faith and to thrive. They are amazing as little sponges who soak up love and attention.  No matter what capabilities a baby is born with, he or she always has the ability to make a difference the lives of everyone around them. I thank God for babies!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Taking Foot out of mouth syndrome

I often find I open my mouth before I think about what is coming out.  I know some children who have hand, foot and mouth disease.  I suffer from foot-in-mouth disease.  Active listening is a very special gift to give to others that does not cost anything but time and attention.  There is so much wisdom in truly listening to others who have such wonderful knowledge and experience.  Life is about what God is sharing with us and his messages come from many incredible places.  If we are talking, we are not listening.  I find that if there is a way to do something the less travelled way, I jump right in.  I spend an inordinate amount of time taking my foot out of my mouth.  When I remember to listen, it is amazing how much smarter I become.  I hope God has a sense of humor and will laugh at my ignorance.  I am very grateful to everyone who has patience, forgiveness and acceptance for those of us who are actively working on listening and caring skills.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Good People

Sometimes when people pray for help, the prayer is answered by one of us.  There are very difficult times that happen to everyone.  There are just as many kind and loving individuals who are there to provide help.  It is often hard to ask when times are tough but many times we don't even have to ask. God knows what we need and sends it to us. I am always blown away by God's mercy and love for us.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hi everyone.  Just want to tell you about my recent book interview with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).  It is exciting to have it placed on a national website.  If you have time, please check it out!

It makes me happy to know that my book is being read and is hopefully helping others.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Is our glass half empty or half full?

It is amazing when we can take the time to count our blessings.  Often we become obsessed with what is missing in our lives.  If we look hard enough we can see the silver lining in the clouds of our lives. The times when life becomes so overwhelming that we can only see the next minute is dark and scary.  When we make it through the tough times, we can look back and see God's hand as He sends us lifelines of hope. The dark trials make our spiritual life stronger and more solid.  It is the difficulties of life that challenge our faith.  Faith is the half full part of our life.  With faith life is always half full.

Friends and Family

Sometimes the lines between friends and family blur when we live far away from traditional family members or we are estranged from them.  There was a story in reader's digest about a young man who had been shuffled from country to country after becoming separated from his family during an ongoing war.  He was in refugee camps, suffered illness, starvation and hopelessness.  He finally found a home in the US and was helped by many caring individuals along the way who became his "family".  He decided to become a member of the peace corps to be able to pay back his American country.  He always had a positive attitude. He was able to forgive others and maintain compassion in spite of all of the trauma he experienced.  He is grateful for what has been given to him in his life. There are many non-traditional families that experience and share love, hope, resources, encouragement and companionship.  Love has no boundaries and is inclusive.  Don't be afraid to share love because it will come back to you.  God is our ultimate father and is always present.

Monday, April 14, 2014


As I get older and reflect on my life, I remember the times that I did or said things that were unkind or thoughtless.  I wish I could contact each person and tell them how sorry I am.  It was not my direct intention at the time to hurt someone but I am seeing things from my viewpoint instead of exploring theirs.  I did not "walk in their shoes".  When I am emotional I think primarily about my own feelings and say or do things that I know hurts someone else.  Being sorry does not negate what I did.  I do have to find a way to forgive myself so that I can go on and try harder to be a better person.  Easter is a time to think about what happened to Jesus as people in a crowd mentality became emotional, angry and took their frustrations out on Jesus.  He was tortured and condemned. It is easy to judge others but I wonder if I could have been a part of that crowd because I was afraid to stand up to fear, because I was afraid for my own life. What if I told the crowd that I didn't know Jesus because I didn't have the courage to stand up for what is right?  We have many of these moments in our lives and we have to judge ourselves as Christ would.  We must have the moral strength of faith to become the person God wants us to be.  It is never easy.  We may be called to stand up to the bullies in our own world.  I hope that I can rise to the occasion.  If I ask God's help I know it will be there.  I pray that God will help me become the person He wants me to be.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Teaching by example

I heard a true story today on a religious show about a loving father.  He had 7 sons as I remember the story. One son was a priest who honored his father by telling about his father's example and life.  The father was especially close to his youngest son who was born with Down's syndrome.  This son followed his father throughout the day whenever possible.  One day the 20 year old son fell into a septic tank.  His father immediately jumped into the disgusting, foul smelling, thick waste and pushed his son to the surface so that family could grab his hands and pull him out.  The father could not get himself out and died in filth.  His son, the priest, remembered the love of his father who not only lived his faith but died as an example of unselfish love given by a father.  His example shined as the sum total of giving of himself to his family on a daily basis by a living example of how to be a father. I hope that all fathers remember how important they are to their families and how their example can have far reaching effects on their children and grandchildren.  Our father in heaven is such a father.  He is always there to light our way.  I am comforted in the image of the father who emerged from his death in filth to shining brightly in eternal glory.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Sometimes things that happen in this world are so horrendous that we can't begin to understand how human beings can do such things to each other.  It is amazing that life can continue, that people can survive and choose to exist knowing what evil has occurred.  It is only by faith that we can begin to heal.  Death can sometimes be a blessing because it can end pain, torture, and inhumane existence.  I know from people who are uplifted and propelled to a beautiful place during near death experiences who report they are not aware of the pain they are encountering.  They are no longer suffering but the family, friends, and witnesses are agonizing over the their observations. They are the ones who continue to suffer.  The dead are at peace finally. For the people left behind who are filled with anger, regret, hatred, guilt, nightmares, fear, depression, all encompassing sadness and horror, life is no longer worth living until we ask God to intervene and protect all of us from ourselves.  It is only when we can fill our spirits with love, forgiveness, beauty, compassion, faith, hope, and contentment are we able to flaunt and dissipate evil.  The only answer is to ask God to help us accept that evil exists but not allow evil into our own lives. Forgiveness is often the most difficult task we can face but the most rewarding.  We can let God take care of judgement and we take care of our souls.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Work Ethic

During the course of our lives we have the services of many individuals who can help or hinder us on our journey.  Some of us have non-glamorous jobs such as cleaning bathrooms, toilets, hospital rooms or other similar areas.  I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have to use a bathroom that looks and smells clean. I can tell that someone has taken a drudgery type job and has chosen to do it well.  No job is worth doing if it is not done well.  Bless the individuals that do the extra things for others who they might not even know.  I remember many years ago when one of my staff members was providing a bath for a patient.  She made sure there were no wrinkles in the sheets, she placed pillows gently to make sure the patient was comfortable.  She rubbed lotion to keep the patients skin soft and protected.  She gently laid the patient's hands so that her arms and hands were resting cushioned on the blanket.  She reached over and quietly kissed her on the forehead.  It brought tears to my eyes and I was happy to give her a high rating on her evaluation.  There are many others who check on the elderly, disabled individuals, or children; help with putting trashcans back on trash day, bring mail and newspapers to the door, help with shoveling snow, etc. without any money changing hands but instead do these special, beyond the call of duty extras out of compassion and kindness.  Those of us who do a job well, just for the sake of providing the best they can do, will experience the joy of work done well. God knows and appreciates them also.  Their reward is not in tangible things or money.  They instead have a shining spirit and the peace of knowing they have done the best they can do. God bless everyone who does their life's work with joy and attention!  Thank you for providing the example of a positive work ethic!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Going into the unknown

My son, his wife and family are moving from a large city to a rural community due to a job change.  It is a difficult change due to moving far away from family, friends and church community.  I read a quote from Maria Shriver, "You have to be willing to let go of the life you planned in order to make the life you're meant to live."  It is necessary to let "Jesus take the wheel".  We love to plan and it is difficult to let go of those plans we have for our life.  God has the final say and his decisions have a way of complicating our lives in a direction that is often unexpected.  When we look back on the tapestry of our life, we can often see the wisdom and growth we have achieved because of those "side" trips.   Life is an adventure if we can let go of our fear of the unknown and embrace an uncharted future and unforeseen opportunities.  Make God your "co-pilot" as your day begins and you can't go wrong.  Everyday we live with our family and friends is a wonderful gift to experience with God's help.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

It could be me

Many times in my life I wondered where and when I would get the money to have enough food for my family.  I worried constantly about money, especially with unexpected issues such as appliances breaking down, illness and cost of medicines, unexpected costs for school, etc.  I know there are many families that are homeless or close to being homeless.  It is probably one of the most gut-wrenching situations that may be caused by external problems and not from laziness or lack of desire to succeed.  I hope that we all remember those who are not as fortunate as we are and need prayers and opportunities and our help.  I think it is one of the hardest hurdles for individuals who are proud and trying hard to better themselves to reach a time when they have to receive help.  It is especially hard to need something, ask for help and to find no assistance available.  While we can't save the world, we can help those we know or come in contact with.  It is amazing how often kindness can come back to us when we are in need ourselves.  I hope I remember to stay alert and aware of others, especially others who are hurting.  I thank God for the blessings I have been given.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Living to Work or Working to Live

I remember when my adult children were young.  I was a single parent and at times had to work two jobs to keep us going.  At other times I was working full time and going to college at night.  I regret the time away from my children and often felt that I wasn't the parent I wanted to be.  I was only living to be able to spend most of my life working. Work consumed most of my energy that wasn't involved with trying to pay bills and keep food on the table. I don't know if there was any other way to keep a house over our heads.  As I look back, I feel sad for all of the things I missed as a parent.  I was happy that we survived.  Some of us get so used to working excessively that we don't realize we have what we need and it isn't necessary to continue making "more money", If we can do that, it will be possible for us to take time off, take vacations, and spend quality time with family and friends.  Money and things are not the goal in themselves.  They are only valuable in what they can do to help ourselves, family and friends to have their needs met and achieve their goals.  It is the love of family and friends that we carry with us.  I hope that all of us can learn to work with the goal of living constructively and interacting passionately with our families, friends and world.

Friday, February 7, 2014


    Today I want to celebrate mistakes.  I know what I am talking about since I have made many mistakes in my life.  Mistakes can often be the beginning of self-understanding and acceptance.  We are not perfect.  We are not dead yet.  If we are living our lives, we are making mistakes!  It is so much easier to do nothing.  We don't have success but we are not having any failures either.  We are only existing because of a fear of making mistakes.  When we make mistakes we know we are alive because we hurt.  We are on a huge learning curve because we have the opportunity to explore what we have done wrong, right those wrongs by forgiving ourselves and ask for forgiveness, and then to go forward with a better plan.  Many things in this world were created because of mistakes! These creations happened when there was another goal, a by-product of another product that was a mistake!  How exciting to discover something new, beneficial and previously unknown because we had the courage to make mistakes!  God takes our efforts and makes them beautiful and productive if we ask Him.  We have the opportunity to look back and laugh at ourselves as we use hindsight to understand what we did "wrong".
   When we learn from our mistakes, it was not a mistake at all.  When we clearly see our mistakes and forgive ourselves, we can begin to accept and forgive others' mistakes.  There is a saying, "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw bricks".  Who are we to judge others when we are not perfect, we are not God.  The world would be more peaceful if we let God do the judging and we practice doing the accepting and forgiving.  God loves us mistakes and all.  Some "mistakes" occur when we do nothing.  Mistakes can occur for things we didn't have the courage to do. Lets begin to live life fully and strive to be the best we can be!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I think it is very sad that we have taken God out of schools and put guns in.  No matter how many guns are available with the individuals with the right training, it is not enough to make schools safe.  The wonderful thing that God gives us is the opportunity to develop self awareness, a strong value system and the ability to have tools to make positive decisions in our lives.  We can develop a conscience, an ability to empathize with others and decrease the power of others over our lives.  God can give us the strength of conviction, faith, courage, and selflessness to stand up collectively to bullies and to show others that we can overcome obstacles in our path in school and in life.  The majority of individuals and families believe in God but we allow the minority to take our faith out of the schools.  There can be accommodations for the minorities who don't believe in God. Then we can allow the majority who believe in God to learn to develop an inner core of decency, love, compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness to embrace all faiths.  God needs to be the center of our lives instead of a forgotten, discarded, unwelcome and sidelined afterthought.  It is through God and faith that we can find true safety.  Children need a moral foundation for their lives.  They are the future of the world.  God is an excellent compass.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Many of life's challenges revolve around our reaction to fear.  We are afraid of death, pain, separation, prejudice, fear of what others think of us, afraid to succeed or fail, illness, losing independence or of becoming independent, fear of having or not having significant relationships, fear of being alone or with many people, wars, unknown, the dark, fire, freezing cold, hunger, loss of job, home or faith, fear of facing bullies or relative safety in going along with the crowd, fear of not passing the tests in life.  We make life decisions based on avoiding or facing fear.  It is our constant companion that is unrelenting and burdensome.  Fear determines whether we have courage or cowardice.  When fear rules our lives, we are the losers because we are avoiding or reacting to fear rather than standing up to it with courage and faith.  Sometimes we are losing the battle with fear because we look the other way, ignore situations because we want to be safe for the moment.  We lose our compassion because the person we are not helping will someday be ourselves.  Hitler was able to control his part of the world because of the fear he generated.  He did not succeed because of the courage of those who put themselves in jeopardy to rise up against injustice with courage and faith.  Life is filled with those little moments of panic because we are called to stand up to bullies, cruelty, hatred, injustice, and evil.  Every day we need to pray for the faith to do the right thing and "pay it forward."  It is difficult but necessary for our self-esteem as we keep our world safe and secure for our next generations. If we have courage in the small decisions we will definitely have the ability to face the larger issues.  I personally am sorry for all of the times I have been a coward, especially when I did not act but stood by as an observer.  I pray I will do better in the future.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I recently had an experience with black ice.  I was driving along about 10 miles under the speed limit due to icy roads when I hit the patch of black ice.  I was spun around and slid down an embankment into a field.  I remember looking ahead as I plunged down the side of the road.  I could see the ground coming up and I wondered if my air bags would deploy.  I had my seatbelt on but still felt very vulnerable.  When something like this happens, I wonder first if this is my time to die.  I remembered to pray as I felt afraid.  It happened in seconds but it seemed like it unfolded very slowly. Things in life can change in an instant.  It is important that we are prepared.  Sometimes these incidents help us to review what is truly the center of our lives.  Is it God, work, accumulation of money, family, gambling?  When you feel you might die, or someone we love dies, we are often forced to think about our own lives.  When hurricanes, tornadoes, or other disasters occur, the survivors look around for family, friends and neighbors.  They often celebrate because their families are safe. The house, furnishings, things accumulated take a backseat to the preservation of life.  I celebrated because I was alive with no injuries. I thanked God for the blessings I receive every day.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Courageous people

I think truly courageous people have gut wrenching  fear but act out of a belief in something bigger than themselves.  They have a tremendous amount to lose personally but their faith in doing the right thing gives them the incentive to make sacrifices.  It is much easier to "go along with the crowd" and hide in the shadows.  I want to thank the many people in our past who tried to create a better world for all of us.  Also to thank people today who rise above prejudice, senseless killing and hatred to show us how to live with dignity. Individuals can make a difference to influence society to include and respect all faiths, races, sexual orientation, etc. Maybe the world someday will allow countries and their people to co-exist with collaboration and peace.  It takes courage to face obstacles and overcome them one at a time.  It takes courage to follow your conscience.  I pray that all of us can identify these moments and find our courage when we need it! We  have had wonderful examples in the civil rights movement.  Thank you!

Monday, January 13, 2014


I read somewhere that Ohio has the reputation of having the worst, disgusting, language in the US.  What a distinction!  I know that individuals want to shock their listeners and get their attention.  I personally dislike hearing cuss words, yelling, and anger used in a disrespectful manner to the target of their attention and others who just happen to be in the vicinity.  I hope that Ohioans begin to understand that they can get more attention with manners and definitely more respect with kindness and consideration.  We are the examples that our friends, siblings, children and grandchildren try to emulate.  How many teachers would write recommendation letters for students who show no respect?  How many employers want to hire someone who does not know how to smile, to deal with conflict in a positive way, to be on time, to dress neatly and who has disgusting personal hygiene?  Would I hire someone who wears pants down to their thighs and have their underwear and other skin showing?  Children need to be taught that they are not the center of the universe and that it is imperative for them to learn manners, to say please and thank you, to wait while someone else is speaking and to respect the opinions of others.  These are tools that can be used in their lives to hep them fulfill their dreams. I am sad that ridicule, cussing, anger, fighting verbally and physically, name calling, bullying and negative behaviors are shown in the media as humor and the norm. I hope that families can begin to see that allowing children/teens/young adults to use these behaviors is not doing them a favor and are setting them up for failure. I know that there are many parents who are doing a wonderful job raising their families.  Sometimes they help others who come to visit because they also have to follow the rules while they are in a more structured environment.  I have respect for all individuals/communities who take the hardest road by taking time to teach the newer generations about love, hope and faith and provide a structure of consistent, fair rules to live by.  I believe in the power of love!  Pat

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Who is your hero?

I have encountered many heroes who are not recognized by the media, are not financial gurus, are not beautiful physically, are not in sports or film-making, are not viewed as special by the world.  I know a couple who had a daughter who was killed in a horrendous accident.  They still grieve for her and it happened many years ago.  She was under seven years old.  Her parents and her brother chose to shoulder their pain and continue living.  They understood the pain and suffering that accompanies with the death of someone who was greatly loved.  They chose to forgive and have spent their lives caring for others with a generosity of spirit and a sharing of their own resources, financial and otherwise.  I recognize their courage, faith, love, kindness and compassion.  Instead of wallowing in self-pity, they resolved to make their daughter's life count and faced the world with love and tolerance.  They are real heroes--not manufactured media-driven individuals who glorify money, things, drugs, alcohol, sex, cussing, anger, bullying, power. humiliation and control. Their values are greatly needed in this changing world and I thank them for their example.  Pat

Sunday, January 5, 2014

caregiver heroes

I was recently out with a couple who are related to my sister. He is a person who is still battling cancer over a period of many years.  They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  He has gained weight due to the treatments and has great difficulty with walking, sitting, bathing etc.  His wife has been a caregiver for him and a niece who has mental disabilities.  She is kind, caring and does a subtle verbal dancing to try to help him while keeping his dignity intact.  She is a silent hero who does a 24 hour a day job with dignity and patience.  Her husband is not aware of her personal sacrifice to be there for him on a daily basis.  When I told her what I observed and how highly I thought of her, she had tears in her eyes. When I wrote my book, on the last page is a letter of thanks to caregivers. I used to give it to caregivers and it always seemed to make them cry as their job is often thankless.  Caregivers who do their jobs out of love and faith are my heroes.  Please try to recognize a caregiver and plan to give them a break. Perhaps you can take care of the person they are caring for periodically. A break from patient care is probably the best gift you can give a caregiver.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I was recently diagnosed with an eye condition that requires the daily use of expensive eye drops.  The inexpensive drops cause too much irritation to be comfortable.  I decided to order the drops through my mail order insurance and to use a manufacturer coupon.  It took hours on the phone to get everything required to use the coupon and get the required information to the mail order pharmacy.  It was all completed on Dec 15, 2013.  I waited until after the holidays to call to see the status of the delivery.  I was shocked that the mail order pharmacy was "sorry" but the order was never processed.  My insurance was changed to a new mail order pharmacy on January 2014 and I would have to start the process all over.  The coupon that was activated was no longer in effect.  I told them that I thought this was unethical and unprofessional.  After I requested to speak to a supervisor, none were "available".

After I cried for awhile, I called my sister, who has the same condition.  She is successfully using another older historically used traditional eye drop that is inexpensive.  I will call and ask my physician about that on Monday.  If it works, it will be much better financially long term for me.  The new mail order pharmacy offered to overnight the drops when ordered at their expense.  My long-term friends, who recently acquired a large sum of unexpected funds, offered to help pay for the drops.  What was initially a "catastrophe" to me became a blessing when I was able to pray about it and let God handle it.  I don't know how it will turn out but I know I will be fine.  I have had a wonderful reminder about God's love for me and I know he is looking out for me everyday. He sends his earth angels to help.  I hope I can find opportunities to be an earth angel to others. We can "pay it forward."  Thank you to my earth angels.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Random acts of kindness

During the holidays, I was standing in line at the post office. There were long lines.  A man and his son were attempting to send a holiday package and were short $2.30.  The woman next in line immediately went up and offered to pay the difference to enable them to mail their package. The whole atmosphere changed as people started smiling and were enjoying the look of joy on the faces of the man and his son.  The woman gave a wonderful gift to everyone present.  It wasn't the amount of money as much as the willingness to get involved and make a difference.  Love always overshadows the darkness of anger and selfishness.  We all need to take the opportunity to send out ripples of love in the world.  Thanks go to the many angels in the world who have no wings but have a big heart.  Pat

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Dying Teach Us How To Live blog

I am just beginning my blog journey about my book, "The Dying Teach Us How To Live."  It is a book with short stories from my observations as a social worker for hospice and other health care individuals and families/friends.  These wonderful people became very significant in my life as they taught me about the journey of life and death.  They taught me how to live.  I hope that I can share some of these life lessons with others to help them with fear or worry about their situation in dealing with illness or death.  Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with.  Pat