Nobody Was Meant to Do This Alone

So many hard things have been happening around me lately, some in my own life, some in others’, and then awful traumas like the Boston Marathon explosions. Several of my friends were there, luckily all are safe.

At work, one of my colleagues recently lost her young daughter to diabetes. Another friend just told me this story last week–one of her friends was in the McDonald’s drive through and she happened to look back and notice that the young woman behind her had her head down on the steering wheel and was crying. My friend’s friend paid for the young woman’s meals, just as small act of kindness. Well, the young woman followed her and asked why she had helped in such a way. As the two women were talking, the young mother started crying and confessed that she was in such distress, and suffering so much emotionally, that she had planned to bring the Happy Meals home to her young kids, go up to her bedroom and kill herself.

After talking more, the friend convinced to please get some help, and to even allow her to come over and help her get herself together and at least provide some respite for her and the kids.

Yes, this is a really bleak story. But one with a thankfully positive ending. And yes, things like this are happening around us, as we drive to work, as we sit in the next office to someone, as we say “thank you” to the check-out person at the grocery store.

When I saw my colleague who lost her daughter, it happened to be in the grocery store, and we just held each other for a few minutes. “You were such a good mother to her,” I said. “I still can believe she’s gone,” she said. And we both agreed that it is only the support of other people that gets us through times that hurt more than we could have ever imagined.

Please consider doing something kind for someone today, if you don’t do that type of thing already. It helps them but it helps you too, because it reminds you that you have that capacity to step outside of yourself, even if just for a moment. Be kind. Thank God.

My new Writing Coach blog is now at this address: I posted a new poem yesterday!

From John Wesley (June 17, 1703March 2, 1791), an 18th-century Anglican clergyman and
Christian theologian:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all
the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all
the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Life Savers (Let Me Hear From You!)

Busey Woods Winter

In the days following Gabe’s birth, six years ago on November 28th, I listened often to Carrie Newcomer’s CD “Regulars and Refugees.”  Gabe is our only winter baby, and lying in bed, holding him, with a clear, clean light coming through the big windows, I listened to that CD over and over.  The first song has a character named Gabriel Thomas in it and that is Gabe’s full name.  The music on that CD helped me find a part of myself that I recognized again, which was really welcome after the life-exploding event of giving birth to another human being.

Continue reading “Life Savers (Let Me Hear From You!)”

The Reasons Why We Should Celebrate Poetry in January

January is a confusing month.  First you get the sort of upswing of energy that comes from making it through Christmas, and it’s an emotional, albeit somewhat arbitrary fresh start.  It ushers in the pledging allegiance to the delusions of New Year’s Resolutions, though if you read my post about resolutions, you know my thoughts on that.  But then comes the emotional and psychological downswing of the fact that it’s actually January.  Two more months of winter (if you’re lucky), on top of the insanity of the fact that in your least reliable state of mind you have new self-imposed stuff that you feel like you have to do (if you’ve made resolutions), like lose weight, be nicer, be happier, be more organized, work harder, transform your personality so you fit in with the rest of the world, just generally try to be a more acceptable human being, blah, blah, blah.  And also, it’s cold and gray. 

My personal fantasy about January is that should be declared The Official Month of Freedom.  In other words, you don’t have to do ANYTHING.  Of course, your kids would still go to school and/or daycare, but every adult would receive vouchers for massages, home food delivery, housecleaning, esp. the crap stuff you never get to like the floorboards, behind the washing machine and dryer, and that one spot behind the toilet that you know you have to get to because your mother-in-law would, but you don’t really have the energy or generational self-respect to try.  For a week or two, you would have Staff.  Does anyone agree with me on this?  Should we start a petition?

Continue reading “The Reasons Why We Should Celebrate Poetry in January”

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