25 Things All Women Should Be Able To Do Before The Age Of 25


As the Month of November leaves us and December lands on our doorstep, chaos ensues.  Busy and hectic days are upon us.  It’s hard to find time to sit down for a moment and think, let alone, find the time to pound out a well written blog post.

As is my usual habit, December posts tend to fall by the wayside.  This year, rather than taking a small holiday hiatus, I’m going to concentrate on writing just a few original posts. In between those posts, I’ll be sharing articles and essays and interesting tidbits that I run across from a variety of venues.

So, Enjoy!! Take time to savor the month of December. Slow down when you can, look around, open your eyes and really see all that this magical month has to offer.

25 Things Every Woman Should Be Able To Do By Age 25



Here are 25 things you should aim to learn how to do by age 25 — or whenever you get around to it.

1. Negotiate a raise. Women –especially women of color — earn less than their male counterparts If you don’t think you are being paid what you are worth, know how to ask.

2. Whip up a signature drink. Bees Knees, anyone?

3. Give unwelcome news with tact and compassion. There are times when brutal honesty is OK — and times when it is not. Learn the difference, and practice being an effective communicator.

4. Put together furniture. You’ll feel so proud every time you sit on that IKEA sofa that took you three hours, two beers and one private temper tantrum to assemble.


5. Read and think critically. Don’t believe everything you are told. Know how to read between the lines and analyze something for yourself, whether it’s the morning news or someone’s convoluted Facebook post.

6. Spell properly. If you don’t know something, look it up.

7. Be a good houseguest. And for the love of god, write a thank-you note.

8. Understand your finances. No, your student loans won’t magically go away. Yes, you should put money into your 401(k), especially if your company matches it. And so on. Financial literacy isn’t something you learn in school, so you’ll have to take matters into your own hands. It’s worth it.


9. Have fun on your own. Not everyone is built for traveling the world solo, but being able to entertain yourself is a seriously underrated skill.

10. Make at least one simple, nutritious meal. 

11. Trust your instincts. Constantly second-guessing yourself is exhausting.

12. Walk away. From a friendship, a job, a relationship, an argument, and anything else that you know in your heart just isn’t right.

13. Advocate for yourself.  Ask your doctor for a second opinion if you really think something is wrong. Ask that manspreader to move over so you can sit down. And don’t let anyone steamroll you into making a decision until you’re ready to make it.

14. Perform simple repairs. YouTube will teach you how to sew that button back on or use a power drill to re-hang that badass feminist print.

15. Say “no.” It’s a complete sentence.

16. Cut yourself off when you’ve had enough to drink. Enough said.

17. Stick to a budget. Apps like Mint and You Need A Budget make this easier than ever.

18. Take rejection well. This one is easier said that done, but as Aaliyah famously said: “If at first you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and try again (you can dust it off and try again, try again).”

19. Use the items in your toolbox. Because the days of paying your friends down the hall in beer to hang your pictures are over.

20. Argue without losing your cool. If you can stay logical when you are angry, any conversations you have in the midst of conflict will be far more effective.

21. Speak passably in public. Be prepared for that future work presentation, maid of honor speech or casual toast at a party.


22. Tell a totally inoffensive, hilarious joke. Bonus points for clever puns.

23. Apologize with sincerity. No matter how old you are, you’ll mess up and get things wrong sometimes. But how you react after the fact is up to you.

24. Go a full day without complaining. You’d be surprised at what you learn.

25. Make a new friend. The squad goal of #NoNewFriends can’t last forever. You can do it! After all, you’re a grown-ass woman.



Hey, Norman Rockwell, That’s Not Thanksgiving!.


Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell


Right, so Im not so sure that Norman Rockwell’s famous print, Freedom from Want, is an accurate portrayal of what Thanksgiving truly is.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve romanticized the ability that the Holiday’s have to unite the family.  Especially Thanksgiving.  In my head, it’s a time when we should all gather ’round the table together, enjoy an old-fashioned specially prepared meal, and recognize all that we have to be grateful for.

As you  walk through the door of the of the home where you’ll be celebrating the big day, you immediately notice a blazing fire in the fireplace as you shake off the cold and bits of snow that stick to your wool jacket.  As your host helps you with your scarf, gloves and dish that you’ve brought to share, your senses are assaulted from the aroma of pumpkin pies, cinnamon pinwheels, or maybe even the pine tree scent of a live tree. (for those of you who jump the gun on Christmas!!)

You look around and spot a children’s table set up somewhere in a discreet corner where chaos is sure to break out.  The women are gathered in the kitchen, each with an assigned duty to help make the meal flow – All the while catching up on news from each other’s family’s.  The men, all gather in a room with a giant screen TV  watching some must-see football game. In good nature, they slap each other on the back and laugh loudly at something just out of your earshot.  They debate and argue about whose favored team is best and sure to go to a bowl game.

All of this activity leads up to some fantastic meal that you’ll all gather around, while celebrating the pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock.  This is Thanksgiving!!

Or, is it?  Is Thanksgiving really all about this festive scene that’s been planted in our heads with the help of the media and storybook tales and long-lived family traditions?

Let’s face it: as wonderful as the holiday may be (a day dedicated to football, gluttony and awkward family moments) maybe Thanksgiving is about something deeper.  Something deeper than this gluttonous tradition that we’ve all been raised to treasure.  A tradition with a very questionable beginning might I add.

Last September, something joyous happened in our family.  My husband and I were having Sunday breakfast with my son and daughter-in-law.  They told us about a shopping trip they went on in which they found a little something for us.  It was an early “Christmas gift” but they wanted us to open it together that morning.  Lauren handed me the bag and I  peaked inside. I saw a gift along with a homemade note.   I pulled the paper out and read it aloud.  On it was written – “Only the best parents get promoted to grandparents.”   *blink*   I had not even made it through the end of the note before I started squealing in happiness.  I turned to my hubs and he was tearing up.  I continued to squeal, ran to the kids and hugged them.  They were giggling.  I was squealing.  Clark was crying.  It was a beautiful scene! We were going to be Grandparents!!

baby copy

Fast forward thirteen weeks.  Fast forward past thirteen weeks of my beautiful daughter-in-law, Lauren, being cautious and keeping the pregnancy on the down low until just the right time to make the announcement. I couldn’t wait to share the news with my sisters and friends and relatives.  Lauren and my son Bruce were doing everything right.  They went to the Drs’ appointments together.  There were ultrasounds and multivitamins.  They were eating healthy.  There were checkups. Everything was moving along perfectly.

And then, the phone call.  This past week, Thanksgiving week, I woke early to a text… “Hey Mom, txt me when you get up.  Bruce left for work already so it doesn’t matter how early it is.”

As a mother’s intuition goes, I instantly got a knot in my stomach.  I immediately called Lauren. It was before 6am.  Something was off.  I could hear it in her voice as she answered.   And then her words hit me like a brick.  “Something’s not right.”  She had phoned her Dr and was told to take her time but to meet her at her office when she had a chance that morning.  They would check things out.

I threw on some clothes and raced through the Chicago rush hour traffic to her apartment. Ninety agonizing minutes.  And then we drove to the hospital together.  Bruce was waiting for her there.  My hub was there.  Clark and I watched as the kids walked into the exam room.  An hour later our worst fears were confirmed.  Lauren had lost the baby.  It was heart wrenching to watch their world fall apart.

Outside the downtown office, it was cold and windy that day.  Clark and I looked at this young couple who had just gotten the worse news of their lives delivered to them.  In the span of a few days they were catapulted from cloud nine to a state of agonizing devastation. It was more than any of us could bear.  Our hearts were broken.

The days to follow were solemn.  Everyone tried to hold each other up.  My boys, who would have been uncles for the first time, were heartbroken for Bruce and Lauren.  Devastated, Clark and I kept a close eye on the kids to make sure they were processing this tragic loss.  They came out to stay with us.  It was open-ended.  They wanted and needed to be with family.  And so, we gathered and just stayed together.  It was without a doubt the hardest thing that both Bruce and Lauren had ever gone through in their lives so far.  And, they were right where they needed to be for the time being.

The day before they were going to leave to go back to their own apartment, the news stations were warning people about an early snowstorm that would hit the city. We don’t usually get snow in November.  We rarely even have snow on Thanksgiving. But, we were being warned over and over again that we were about to get hammered.

I woke up very early that morning after that predicted snowfall.  I pulled the drapes back and l looked out my window.  The outside world was lit up from the glow of the moonlight.  The predicted snow had come.  The ground and streets were covered with a deep blanket of undisturbed white that stretched from one yard to the next..  There were no tracks on the streets yet and no footprints across any lawns.  It was beautiful. And, peaceful.

My eyes were drawn to our driveway which had four cars parked on it.  Those were my kids cars hidden under those mounds of snow.  Cars that last week would not have been parked on that driveway.  Cars that were there that morning because we, as a family, had gathered together to hold each other up while mourning the loss of something so precious to all of us.

I thought about the timing of it all.  It was Thanksgiving week.  I smiled to myself and got a feeling of warm love inside.

This…. This is what Thanksgiving truly was.  Family.  Love.  We feel each other’s pain.  We celebrate each others victories.  And I’m so truly thankful for the blessing of Family.

Wishing you and your loved ones a truly Happy Thanksgiving and a Joyous start to your Holiday Season.









Hey Mom, It’s snowing!


Two years ago this weekend, in the United States, we were marveling at an unseasonably early snowstorm.

It was beautiful. It packed a lot of snow. We went to bed, the world a frozen tundra under our feet, and woke up to a pure white carpet of snow. It hung heavy from the tree branches. It covered the ground, untouched yet by footsteps. It brought back happy memories of days gone by. Days when, as children, we’d hope and dream and keep our fingers crossed for the snow to come. And, when that first snowfall did finally arrive, the reaction was always the same. You’d wake up and peek out your window in amazement with a feeling of pure joy.

The first snowfall of the year is always magical. There’s something so special about seeing the ground covered in a carpet of white. And, through the frosty window pane, even before you’ve had a chance to walk out into the elements, you can just tell that the air is frigid.

There’s something so pure about the first snow. It’s peaceful. It feels like a little piece of heaven on earth.

This week, the world unitedly came to a halt and watched in horror as Paris was attacked and so many innocent people lost their lives prematurely. It was a cold reminder that this world can often be ugly and cruel.   And recently, terror seems to be a common thread that binds us all together.

In a world that can at times be a very harsh place to live in, let’s remember that it’s also a world filled with blessings and goodness. At times like these, when evil rears it’s ugly head, it’s important that we come together as a humanity that is there for each other. Life is hard. But, love is stronger.

Like a first snowfall that is pure and peaceful, let hope and faith and love wash over you during these difficult weeks ahead.

After a weekend of sadness, fear and devastation, we can all use a little happy in our lives.  My contribution to that “happy” is to reblog a post that I originally posted  two years ago this weekend, when rather than terror, the peaceful, pure snow was on our minds.

Originally posted on :


Snow – Everything about it reminds me of my youth.   It reminds me of my parents.  And, It reminds me of growing up in South Bend, Indiana.  The snow always seemed to be piled high from November through March.  Every year.  Not just on years that were considered  “the year of the polar vortex,” but always.  You could count on a beautiful white blanket of snow throughout winter just as sure as you could count on presents under your tree on Christmas morning.  The two-way neighborhood roads would turn into single lane paths that you’d wield your car down.  Snow piled high on both shoulders along your way.

Maybe this is why I still love the snow so much.  It’s beauty takes me back to my childhood.  And, to a time when I was living under the same roof with my 4 siblings and my parents.  Every year you…

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Pray For Paris

Pray for Paris

Who knew that when I woke up yesterday morning and created this print, that by end of the day it would be so fitting to the world events going on.

Keep Paris and everyone touched by this horrific tragedy in your thoughts and prayers. The world can be such a cold place.  We will always need each other.


Mamma Mia!!


It’s Monday morning and normally I’d be pulling the house back together from the weekend.  Instead, I’m having coffee with one of my besties, Jeri.  She and I have a standing coffee date that I wrote about here.  Thursdays are our day!  We meet come rain or shine, snow or hail.  It’s written in stone and nothing comes between us and our coffee dates.

Except Dr’s. appointments.  More recently because of repairmen who seem to only be able to make house-calls on Thursday mornings.  What gives! 

So we’ve adjusted and tweaked our schedules a bit.  Monday’s are now the day.  (At least for the immediate future.)  Our coffee dates have turned an ordinarily dreaded and hated day of the week into a day that I now look forward to.  Hurray!!  Monday’s are fab!

This morning, while catching up with each other and everything that’s happened in our lives since last week, we decided that we’d make this upcoming holiday season super special and go see a play in the city.  There’s nothing we love more than to spend time downtown.  The people, the lights, the beautiful river walk, the restaurants and lively bar scenes make for such fun.

So, a play for the holidays it is!!  It was all decided!  After discussing it for a while we settled on  Mamma Mia!!  YAY!!

I was put in charge of looking for good seats.  No problem!  I love this kind of task.  I’m a self-declared event planner.  I could plan, coordinate and execute events like there’s no tomorrow!  A regular party girl, that’s me!  Now that I think of it, I probably should have been a concierge at some big, swanky city hotel or high-end specialty retail store because of my love for (a)  events, and (b) all things swanky!!

After coffee, I raced home and got out my computer.  I looked at the seats that were still available for the date that we had agreed upon.  Lots of availability popped up.  Hurray!!  I carefully studied the seating chart (just as a professional event planner would do!) and chose two seats where I knew there would be nothing obstructing our view.  We were on our way!!  Great!

Or, so I thought.  I went from the “select your seat” page to the  “security” page” when things started to go awry.  What is with these security pages that pop up all over the Internet when trying to purchase any kind of venue tickets?  They’re annoying.  And, impossible to read.

The security screen that popped up informed me that in order to help “fight bots” I was to type the letters that appeared on the image in front of me.


Huh?  It was like trying to decipher Russian.  No, it was worse than Russian.   The image I was staring at was like a big mass of scribbles.  Who could read it?  Not me.  And worse yet, there was a timer counting down the number of minutes I had to complete the purchase before I would lose the seats.  It was making me nervous.  It had big red flashing letters that said “You’ve got 3 minutes before you lose your selected seats.”  YIKES!  I quickly typed out random letters that I thought I was seeing.  Nope.  Wrong letters. Nuts!  A new combination popped up.  It was worse than the first set of letters.


I glanced up at the timer..  “You’ve got 1 minute 32 seconds before you lose your selected seats.”  Good Grief!  I was going to lose my perfectly thought out seats if I didn’t guess the right combination.

I noticed a large button next to the alien image. It said to click if you wanted a new image.  YES!  I want a new image!  An image that people can actually read!  I clicked the button.  Nope, couldn’t read the image either.  I was starting to sweat.  My fingers which normally sailed over the keyboard effortlessly now felt damp and clumsy.  I think I was making typo’s but what did it matter?  I was randomly guessing and typing  any old letters in hopes of hitting the jackpot.

And then – “ding ding ding” – the page went black.  My shoulders slumped in defeat.  My hands fell off the keyboard and down to my sides.  I had lost our seats.  I stared at the blank screen.  What had just happened?  If these sites have an option to press a button for a new image, then they must be aware that nobody can read their STUPID IMAGES in the first place!

Well!  I was going to give somebody a piece of my mind!  I was going to call the theater and demand to talk to the manager.  I wanted those seats that just two minutes ago were in my online cart.  I was going to tell them that no normal human being on the planet can decipher what that secret scrambled image says.  Ever.

I quickly googled the number of the theater and called it.  It rang a few times and then was picked up….. by a recording.   Oyyyyyy!  Another pet peeve!  I listened to a mechanical sounding voice on the other end and was given a list of prompts.  I pressed the number associated with talking to an agent and was transferred.  The phone rang again.  One ring…two ring…three ring…  BINGO!  The line was picked up…by a recorded voice.  It stated that tickets could only be purchased at the box office and that the box office was only opened during performances.  Some good that would do me!

Okay, it was on to plan B.

Or, plan A revisited.  I went back to the theater’s website.  This time I was prepared.  I knew what was coming.  I plugged in all of my information.  Our seats were still there.  Hurray for small miracles!!  I added them to my online cart. Andddd, there it was.  The crazy security image.  I stayed calm and stared at it.  I plugged in some letters.  Wrong.  Tried again.  Nope.  And one more time.  YES!  It worked!!  I had no idea what letters I had plugged in or how I got them to work but I wasn’t going to question it.  I hit “purchase” and Wallah!!  The tickets were ours!  Mamma Mia here we come!!

I knewww I was a talented event planner!



When I was in grade school we were expected to memorize the poem Trees, by Joyce Kilmer It was during  4th grade, I think.  I sat at my desk reading the words over and over.  Then I would close my eyes and try to recall one sentence at a time,  peeking down at my paper each time I needed a prompt.  Silently starting at the beginning of the poem again each time I had mastered a new line.  Closing my eyes  over and over and mouthing the words silently until I had memorized the entire poem.

In 4th grade, when I was 9-10, the emotion behind these words were lost on me.  The poem was strictly an assignment.  A task that I needed to work through until complete.  When I was finished, we moved on to a different assignment.

Today, the words and the meaning behind the words are not lost on me.  Especially at this time of year.  In autumn when the trees are so full of beauty and rich color, the words to this poem wash over you and fill you with a feeling of gratitude and appreciation for all of God’s wonderful gifts to us.  I’m so grateful for the beauty of autumn and for the sense of renewal that goes hand in hand with this beautiful season.

The trees seem to be at their peak color in the Midwest right now.  My favorite season.  Fall.  It’s like floating over a carpet of bursting, vibrant colors every time you walk out your front door.



I think that I shall never see

a poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

against the sweet earth’s flowing breast

 A tree that looks at God all day,toamna-Toamna-природа-xxx-outdoors-ana-music-Good-Morning-yellow-fall-animation-erotik-animated-nature-gifs-nice_large

And lifts her leafy arms to pray

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

tree-within-tree-autumnUpon whose bosom snow has lain

Who intimately lives with rain

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

 – Joyce Kilmer (1856-1918)


Santa Fe


Ask anyone who has ever traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico and you’ll get the same response – It’s a dream come true.  My adventurous hubs, Clark, and I had the opportunity to travel to this lovely southwestern city in September and within hours of our arrival, it was easy to see that Santa Fe could have earned it’s state’s nickname – ‘the land of enchantment’ – all by itself.

This beautiful New Mexico city is both the oldest and highest capital city in the US. It’s  special in that the area is a gorgeous combination of both mountains and desert.  It’s population of approximately 70,000 residents, is small by comparison to other U.S. state capitals, but extremely rich in native American culture and history.

Santa Fe is known for its art scene, which is the 3rd largest in the U.S. by sales. It is home to the 20th century American artist Georgia O’Keeffe and the Georgia O’Keeffe museum where you can see her accomplished works.   You’ll find talented artists by the hundreds all around its charming downtown square, up and down the lovely boutique filled streets and especially on its famous Canyon Road which is dotted with one gallery after another.

This winsome city is nestled amidst the Sangre de Cristo mountains. This combined with the striking Adobe architecture makes for delightful and breathtaking sceneries.  It’s beauty surrounds you in every direction.


With a large selection of amazing restaurants to choose from for dining, it’s no surprise that this city earns a top ranking among foodies.  Geronimo’s on Canyon Road is rated #1 among many of the locals and tourists alike as well as being named in the top 100 restaurants in the U.S.  It’s thick adobe walls, Kiva Fireplaces and wood beams which surround you make it warm and inviting. Executive Chef/Partner Eric DiStefano and Chef de Cusine Sllin Cruz create a wonderfully eclectic menu which changes seasonally.  Additionally, this Southwestern city’s food scene is probably best known for the fire-roasted green chili.  We were there at the peak of the chili season and saw it pop up on everything from your dinner rolls to the top of your cheeseburger and even on your breakfast burritos’ – a popular breakfast choice for locals.

Santa Fe’s beauty and endless list of activities makes it a top tourist destination in the U.S.  This fabulous city offers everything from hiking to museums as well as wine tours, shopping and art.  It has something for everyone and is a great destination for families.  I highly recommend that this ‘land of enchantment’ be put on everyone’s bucket list.


I carry my stain stick with me – Im officially my mother.


We’ve been told all our lives that the day would come.  The day when we will officially turn into our Moms.  It’s universal.  It’s a mysterious phenomenon that can not be avoided and can not be controlled.  One day you wake up and bam! – You can’t keep your kids names straight, you remind people to grab a jacket before leaving the house and you’ve become a bit more judgmental.  *You’re going to wear that?*

I noticed the change slowly. I shrugged off the first few warnings, thinking it was just paranoia. I brushed off the comments when people started saying I looked so much like her. I ignored the first few signs, thinking they were just coincidences.  A little similarity here and there.  A comment about turning this car around, which I swore I’d never utter.  The gestures.  The mannerisms.  All the little things.   I’d catch myself standing with my hands on my hips, with a “because I said so” attitude all over the place.  I chalked it up to a bad day, while in the back of my mind a quiet voice whispered to me, Good Lord, it’s happening.  

I’ve noticed recently that I’m prone to spilling little bits of my lunch or dinner on my shirt.  Something my Mom was famous for.  It happens most when Clark is with me.  “You’ve got a big blob of something on your shirt”  I got tired of today’s young food servers staring dumbfounded at me, a look of confusion on their little freckled faces when I asked for a small glass of soda water to dab on my spill.  So, I’ve started carrying stain sticks around in my purse.  That’s right.  I admit it.  I carry stain sticks.  Oh, I’ve seen older men just eat with a napkin tucked in around their neck to catch the spillage, like a big adult sized bib, but I think I’m a few years away from that yet.

The metamorphism has taken place slowly.  Suddenly, running three errands to three different stores in a single day is exhausting.  It’s just too much.  And, I run the errands early because I feel the need to be home by 4:00 to start thinking about dinner.  (By the time Clark gets home from work, I’ve usually got the restaurant all picked out.  Hurray!!)  It’s not that we don’t have enough food in the house to cook a dinner.  No, we have plenty of food.  After-all, I’ve started to stock up on things (just like my mom did) because if a storm or inclement weather is predicted, God forbid we don’t have enough tuna in the house.  Or, frozen bread. My mom stocked up on things because there was a big sale she could not pass up – even if it was for something she never used.  I’m on the lookout for that habit to start creeping into my everyday happenings.

So, why is it that our biggest fear in life is that we’re turning into our mothers? As a young girl, it’s a dream to be just like your mom.  But, as you grow older it’s more like every woman’s nightmare.  No matter how amazing our moms are, (and let’s face it, they truly are amazing) there is something scary about turning into them.

But, is it truly the fear of turning into them that has us all tied up in knots?  Or, could it be the acknowledgment that we’re simply getting older. We suddenly start to walk into rooms and completely forget why we went there in the first place.  *what was I looking for?*  Our tolerance for alcohol started to diminish.  It’s that second Cabernet or Martini that always puts me over the edge. (But what harm’s a little cockie now and then?)  We shut the drapes at dusk so we can get into our jammies and be comfy and we get up at the crack of dawn declaring ourselves “morning people” when in reality, we are just getting older and need less sleep.  We start to choose to stay in on weekend nights rather than go out and when we do go out, we go close to home.

So, have Mom’s been getting a bad rap all these years?  Are we really so opposed to “becoming” the women who raised us and nurtured us and guided us through everything we know about life?

They were there for us when puberty turned us ugly and hostile.  They stood by us when we resented their very beings and didn’t hold anything against us when we came out on the other side and became human again.  And, as we grew into adulthood our mom’s actually became our friends – someone we enjoyed spending time with and talking to.  All in all, when you really think about it, there probably are worse people we could morph into.

So, remember what your mom always told you.  One day someone is going to be thinking the same about you!

How Absurd – we’re cool!  Who wouldn’t want to be like us??


Where Were You On October 2, 1998?

It feels a bit like cheating.  But, some words are worth repeating.

I woke up this morning thinking about this exact post and knew it was worth re-posting.  For those of you out there whose hearts are tender – to the new readers to my blog since I last ran this piece, I dedicate this to you.


Where were you on October 2, 1998?

You probably have no clue.  If you racked your brain trying to remember, you probably would not be able to recall.   But, if I asked you where you were on other significant dates in history, chances are you’d probably not only recall where you were, but what you were doing and who you were with.

Where were you September 11th, 2001?  Where were you when Kennedy got shot?  Or, when Pearl Harbor got bombed?  Some of you may recall where you were when Nixon resigned.  Or, when John Lennon got shot.  Or, when Elvis died.

These significant days in history act as markers on the timeline of our lives.  Because they were so catastrophic and life altering, we can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing in that specific moment in time.

We can also recall our specific whereabouts in our times of personal crisis and joy.  When a baby is born.  When a loved one dies.  When a best friend calls us up and tells us they are getting married.

October 2, 1998 – a significant day in my life.

You may not recall where you exactly were then, but I know exactly where I was.  That was the day my Dad lost his battle with Cancer.  I was with him.  My Mom and one of my two Brothers were there, too.  16 years ago today.  (That’s so hard to believe!!) I was sitting on the side of his bed holding his hand.  It was the first time I was with someone when they took their last breath.  It was the first time I held someones hand and felt them go completely still and feel their life end.  It was surreal.  And sad.  And at the moment, something I could not wrap my brain around.  Even tho I knew he was near the end of his life, nothing quite prepares you for that moment when your parent actually passes away.  Breathing in life one moment – and in the next instance, complete stillness.  Their soul moving towards Heaven.  It was a powerful moment in my life and a precise moment on my personal timeline where I will always remember where I was and what I was doing.

I’ve lost both of my parents now.  My Dad 16 years ago and my Mom more recently – just 20 months ago.  February 14th – Valentines Day 2014.  I did not have the privilege to be with her and tell her goodbye when her time to leave this earth arrived.  But I’m confident that she knew exactly how I felt and how much I loved and respected her.  I’m confident that she knew how much all of my siblings loved her.

While I’m still adjusting to life without my Mom, the old saying really is true – “Time Heals All Wounds.”  You start to come out of the fog gradually and learn to smile and laugh again.

My Dad was Irish.  He was hardworking and funny and sentimental.  He liked sports, Notre Dame and beer.  He passed his sense of humor and hard work ethic on to all of us.  Thanks Dad!!  When my brothers and sisters and I get together, all we have to do is say one word to each other or give each other one look that was his and we all start laughing.  And we laugh long and hard.  And we remember him with fondness and joy and with the sentimentality that he unknowingly passed on to all of us.  Time heals all wounds.

We remember and speak of our personal experiences and that helps to keep those collective memories of history and personal tragedy and triumph vivid and fresh.  And then, suddenly, 10 years have passed.  Or, 20.  Or, 50

I miss my Dad.  Especially today.  I miss my Mom, too.  I will never quite get used to them being gone – or not being able to pick up the phone to talk to them.  And, I’ll never get used to no longer being able to just get in the car to take a road trip to see them.  But I am grateful for two such loving, selfless parents who showered me with unconditional love.  I’m grateful for the memories of their laughter and smiles.  And kindness.

When was YOUR October 2, 1998??  We all have them.

The good new is, Time Heals all Wounds.


Source: Where Were You On October 2, 1998?