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Going to the Chapel

"I will never, ever get married again. EVER!" ~ Me

Those were the words I was uttering about two years ago. I wasn't just saying them in anger or frustration due to the fact that I had finally extricated myself from a very lousy nine year marriage. I meant them with every fiber of my being. I wasn't against falling in love again at some point in the future, but I was making a lot of effort to put my life back together so I could become the person that I wanted to be. My plans did not include joining myself with another person for the rest of my life again, especially when I could have a great life without a partner or husband; which by the way, I still believe can be done!



As is true for most things in this life, we never account for the unexpected as we go along on our journey. My unexpected was Chuck. This incredible, loving, gentle soul who literally just popped up in my life at a time I never expected and in a place that I certainly never expected to find the one…

2011 Holiday Reflection

"The unexamined life is not worth living." ~ Socrates

As we all sit in the midst of the holiday season and the end of the year descends upon us, I like to sit back and think about what this year has brought for me both in regards to my blog and for me personally.


This time last year was dramatic and stressful for a variety of reasons. Two days before Christmas, one of my friends was laid to rest. Upon returning home from her funeral, I found my beloved dog suddenly having difficulty walking and crying out in pain every time she moved. This led to an urgent visit to my vet that afternoon and a subsequent visit to the veterinary emergency room the next day, which happened to be Christmas Eve day. Due to the horrendous incompetence of my dog’s medical providers, she ended up being paralyzed by the day after Christmas. This resulted in an emergency trip to MSPCA Angell in downtown Boston, during a blizzard, for an emergency evaluation and surgery.



I think back to that time and to …

Music and Love

"The total person sings not just the vocal chords." ~ Esther Broner
"Singing is a way of escaping. It's another world. I'm no longer on earth." ~ Edith Piaf



Every year my church has a Christmas Cantata. Last year, our Cantata was going to be my first concert as I had just joined the choir about six weeks prior to the performance. A good friend of mine, Kathy, was a long standing member of the choir at that time and had encouraged me, despite many physical obstacles, to join the choir as she knew my passion for singing. Tragically, my dear friend died suddenly on December 17th, two days before our performance. It was a very difficult time to say the least. The cantata was a blur. My clearest memory of the event that day was the effort I, and the rest of my choir members, had to make to keep from crying while we were singing that morning.


One year has passed since that terrible week and another Christmas Cantata has arrived. I was looking forward to making n…

To My Friend ~ One Year Later

You can read To My Friend written on December 17, 2010 here: http://www.christinemolloy.com/2010/12/to-my-friend.html

"Death ends a life, not a relationship." ~ Robert Benchley

It has been almost one year since you left us my friend. I have been thinking about you a lot lately, especially as we get ready for another Christmas Cantata.  As December approached this year, I found it very difficult to think about the events that happened at this time last year. It felt like I was mourning you all over again, although to a lesser degree. But that has changed over the past week. I gave myself the time and the space I needed to grieve again and now I am  remembering the good times. When I think of asparagus and copper pennies, I cannot help but smile. As next weekend approaches, I just want to remember you with smiles and with laughter. I think that is how you would want it.


Mary sits in your choir seat now. It seemed like the right thing to do after your memorial service...the healt…

Not All Rainbows and Puppy Dogs...

As I laid in my bed last night wide awake at 3am with a raging headache and painful, dry eyes that burned like hell, I realized something. One single truth that although I was not oblivious to before, all of a sudden hit me like the freight train that sometimes runs through my backyard in the middle of the night.


The truth is this:

This illness will affect me the rest of my life. I cannot escape it.




That, my friends, is a very unsettling and tragic thought at the moment.

And I am tired of it. I go through phases like this when I get discouraged and I know I will see it differently at some point; maybe as soon as tomorrow. But for this moment, it is just hard. My health has been very unpredictable recently and has been that way since about May. After receiving a steroid injection last month, I had a good run for about three weeks and then the breathing issues started again. Issues that I have not experienced this significantly in about a year and a half. Over this past weekend, they se…

Would You Like Some Shepherd's Pie?

“A hungry man is not a free man.” ~ Adlai E. Stevenson

"A hungry man can't see right or wrong. He just sees food." ~  Pearl S. Buck


What would it take for you to go to a soup kitchen for a meal? What would it take for you to bring your two small children to a soup kitchen? Would you feel defeated? Worthless? Relieved?



The Loaves and Fishes community kitchen, headed by the Open Pantry Community Services in Springfield Massachusetts, is a program that provides meals to people who are poor or homeless in the Greater Springfield area. It serves lunch and dinner 365 days a year to whomever walks through their doors. No questions asked.  Many people who seek out a meal there are homeless or very close to becoming homeless. They are children, adults, and elderly. They are people who may be disabled, mentally ill or struggle with an addiction. They are human beings.



Every few months I go to the Loaves and Fishes community kitchen with members of my church to serve a meal that is…

My Writing Voice....My Permanent Voice....

I attended a writing conference this past October and happened to have the good fortune of sitting next to a woman who belongs to a writing group in Amherst, MA. I expressed an interest in learning more about this group and she invited me to a meeting which I am sitting at as I write this.



The group is a different format than the writing group I attend in Connecticut. In this Amherst group, we initially have a five minute writing session where we write whatever we want. This is followed by a brief reading and commenting of our work. Then there are two more thirty minute writing periods that morning, also followed by reading and commenting. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience today and the following essay is what came out of my writing this morning. It was interesting for me to see that despite the fact that I didn't have a topic in mind to write about when the group started, the ideas and words just flowed...




I sit in a room with four strangers. I feel excitement and some apprehen…

Hurting Each Other

“To hurt is as human as to breathe.” ~ J.K. Rowling




As the past few years have been such a significant period of personal growth and transition for me, I have used that period of time to work on figuring out how to be wiser in choosing the kind of people I want surrounding me. I have made some very good decisions in my adult life in terms of friendships and romantic relationships, but I have also made some poor decisions as well. Due to a variety of reasons, I have previously aligned myself with some people whom one might consider toxic. I have blogged about it in the past which if you are so inclined, you can read "Warning-Toxic!" here:

http://www.christinemolloy.com/2011/06/warning-toxic.html



But here's the thing. I am not always so well prepared when it comes to dealing with hurt that has been inflicted on me by people who I don't expect it to come from or in places that I thought were safe havens for me. Or from those people who I love and know love me.  I do wan…

Pass the Turkey Please!

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude." ~ E.P. Powell




Here we go! The holidays have descended upon us. Here in New England many of us have been so busy recovering from the great October Nor'easter that we didn't realize all of a sudden, it was Thanksgiving week.



Life gets tricky this time of year. For about six weeks, we are thrown into social situations with family that we may or may not get along with. Typical family drama that we deal with all the other days of the year can intensify. New relationships and families may have been formed in the previous year which means that we have to reexamine our previous traditions and how we choose to spend our precious holiday time. Sometimes we are so busy running from one holiday event to another that we can't wait to get back to our normal routine because our stress levels are so high.




I enjoy the holidays now which has …

This Day

"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something". ~ Steve Jobs




This day will pass fleetingly and we will never get it back.

This day provides us with a full twenty-four hours which is more than enough time to start changing our lives.

This day is one in which we can say something nice to ourselves instead of beating ourselves up over what we did wrong or over who we wished we looked like.

This day symbolizes our strength in having weathered storms in our lives.

This day could be the one in which we forgive.

This day affords us the opportunity to laugh.

This day could be the one in which by changing one thing in our lifestyle, we take a small step in improving our health.

This day provides a chance to do something kind for another person, just be…

Doctor, I Trust You

"I observe the physician with the same diligence as the disease." ~ John Donne



Trust.

Doctors.



For the most part, it is difficult for me use those two words in the same sentence, unless the prefix "mis" is used in front of trust. In some ways, my mistrust of doctors is surprising because in general, I am a very trusting person. However like any other relationship, the patient-doctor relationship is vulnerable and when that trust is broken over and over again, it is then difficult to enter into another patient-doctor relationship with the confidence and trust that is needed to build a cohesive team.



I have very good reasons not to trust doctors. To start with, I am a registered nurse. I have spent a lot of time working in a teaching hospital and have seen firsthand the potential and actual mistakes that can be made when treating a patient. I have witnessed more times than I can count, novice and experienced doctors alike make grievous mistakes that sometimes have …

Nor'easter 2011 ~ Part Two: Nine Days

You can read Part One of this blog entry here: Nor'easter 2011 ~ Part One: Survival



We had hope after seeing our precious home all in one piece, but the aftermath from the storm was just beginning. It became quickly apparent to us that it would not be feasible on that day to live in our house. Access to the house was difficult at best and since we had lost power, we had no heat or water. Although we had a fireplace, I knew staying there would be extremely difficult for me since the cold (45-50 degrees) temperature of the house would affect not only my joints, but the Raynaud's symptoms I was experiencing as well. There was also concern over the fireplace affecting my asthma. After weighing our options, Chuck and I decided to go to my brother's condo which was a few towns over. His two bedroom home was going to be cramped with both of us, my brother, and my parents (who were also displaced) being there, but at this point, it was our best option. Luckily, our dog sitter was …

Nor'easter 2011 ~ Part One: Survival

"If you have a major disaster involving hundreds of thousands, or in this case millions of people, whether it be a natural disaster or an act of terrorism, the first 72 hours are going to be totally chaotic no matter what you plan to do." ~ Warren Rudman

We went out that night, despite the weather warnings of a significant snowstorm. Snowstorms in New England are not a novelty. Seen one snowstorm, you've seen them all is my thought. I was involved in our church's production of the popular play "Our Town" that evening and as they say, the show had to go on. The cast had been rehearsing for weeks and this particular Saturday night was the last performance. I probably would have given anything to stay home that night due to a recent flare up of my autoimmune symptoms and from keeping a more hectic pace than usual over the past few weeks. But I had committed myself to the show and I was determined to see it through to the end.



It began to snow around 2p…