Sweet Miracle of Kindness

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I received the following email today:
Dear Pam,
Just want you to know that I am honored to be your second Mom.  I never had a daughter, but if I did, I would hope she would be just like you.  You are a kind, honest, considerate, intelligent and loving woman.  I am so proud of you, and I respect you for how you have adapted to a new city, job, and home this past year.  Not an easy task !
Pam,  you are very special to me.
Love,
S…

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Tomorrow Began Yesterday

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Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end

It’s all now you see: tomorrow began yesterday and yesterday won’t be over until tomorrow. – William Faulkner

It’s a quiet morning, and I’m in the house alone sitting in my room, sipping on a steaming cup of coffee, and cuddled under the covers in my robe.  Mornings like this are a rarity, and I am fully enjoying the moment.  Out there beyond my bedroom door are lists of things I need to buy and things I need to do.  Kids and family will begin descending on our house either tonight or tomorrow.  I haven’t really been able to clarify exactly who is being brought along to our house…or when.  For now though, until my feet hit the floor with some kind of purpose, these morning moments belong to me.   Continue Reading »

A Lesson To Learn and Relearn

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I called someone late yesterday afternoon to ask if I had done something to offend, upset, or make them mad.  I thought long and hard before I made the call.  I had been wondering and worrying about this for over a week.  I navigate my way around a lot of personalities on a daily basis.  I have a 17 member board of directors and six standing committees of 10-20 members.  Each person has their own agenda.  I have learned to be careful not to jump to conclusions.  Minor upsets, trespasses, and personality conflicts have a way of burning themselves out. Ignorance, or the illusion of ignorance, prevents most personal confrontations from even taking place.  Sometimes, though, it is necessary to step into the landmine of personalities. Continue Reading »

A May Day Memory

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The year was 2001, and my 12-year-old son had been in a coma for over a week. He had recently been airlifted to a university hospital for another surgery, his third in the past week. This was going to be a delicate surgery. His eye muscle was trapped in an orbital fracture. His nose was broken, too, and needed to be repaired. While these repairs would ordinarily be complicated, the complications were compounded by my son’s skull fracture and significant brain swelling. The surgery posed a risk of further brain damage. Without it, his eye would forever be “sunk” into the socket and cease to function. These were horrible choices for a parent to make.  I wouldn’t wish this kind of life-altering decision on my worst enemy. Continue Reading »

Touch Me, Please!

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I grew up as an only child, and we were not a touchy-feely family.  My mother rarely hugged me.  Dad was more affectionate, but not necessarily physically affectionate.  Dad used words and gave freely of his time.  He showered me with both praise and attention.  Long conversations and time spent asking about my day, and caring what I had to say, was how my dad showed his love.  I don’t remember ever seeing my parents hug, or kiss, or hold hands.  It just wasn’t part of my family’s repertoire.  When I met T, he wasn’t much of a hugger, either.  We didn’t hold hands a lot, and we certainly weren’t that couple that made people around them uncomfortable with public displays of affection.  The lack of physical affection didn’t bother me.  In fact, it didn’t even cross my mind. Continue Reading »

Shun/Un-shun

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I have thought a lot about shunning recently. The definition of shunning is “to avoid deliberately; to keep away from.”  The act of shunning is common in some religions.  It’s also common among middle school girls.  Various forms of shunning are used among family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers.  For shunning to have any meaning, an emotional or social connection needs to be present.  Shunning is a form of bullying.  Shunning is also one of the most  insidious, passive-aggressive forms of abuse. Continue Reading »

Here’s The Plan

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I read an interesting article today.  I just happened upon it, but something in the title caught my eye.  I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something about determining when to keep pushing yourself and when there a need to allow yourself to rest.  Those of us who are driven individuals have most likely trained ourselves to keep pushing, don’t give up, be relentless in the pursuit of….whatever, you can fill in the blank on this one.  That’s certainly the story of my life.  I’m not a quitter.  Giving up is a foreign concept to me.  It doesn’t fit.  It doesn’t feel good, and it certainly doesn’t feel natural. Continue Reading »