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Showing posts from June, 2011

Bloodless Family

"It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons." ~ Johann Schiller

"What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories." ~ George Eliot

Family: a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation: fellowship
This is definition number three out of eight listed by Merriam-Webster dictionary when you look up the word family. It does not say anything about blood ties or living under the same roof. To me, it is a simple and yet powerful definition of the word family; one that has resonated with me not only through this past weekend, but gradually over the past several years or so.

That which constitutes a family unit has drastically changed since I was growing up. Luckily for society, a family no longer has to be comprised of a husband, wife, and 2.2 biological kids; accompanied by Fido or Kitty. Rather, we have additional constellations …

Warning: Toxic!

"Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take." ~ Anthony Robbins

Debbie Downer...Judgmental Jims...Disrespectful Dannys...Neverenough Nellies...Insincere Illissas...Dream Killing Keiths...Narcissistic Nancy...Manipulative Mary. These are the buzz words you find online now to describe what is otherwise known as toxic personalities. I am not going to go into a lengthy description of each because well, my readers are very capable of doing that on their own and besides, most of them are self-explanatory. For example, a description of person who is considered a "Narcissistic Nancy" is someone who feels that the world revolves around them. They cannot see outside themselve…

Through the Lens

"The goal is not to change your subjects, but for the subject to change the photographer." ~Author Unknown

"While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see." ~Dorothea Lange

My boyfriend loves to take photographs. I have to admit it is something I never had too much interest in until Chuck and I became friends. I would enjoy taking pictures at special occasions and I was really into scrapbooking for a while there; but that was pretty much it. He is not the casual photographer though. It is his passion. And I love that. I love how photography for him is the equivalent of writing for me. Something that we are compelled to do. Something artistic and expressive. Something that we use to look at the world in a different way.

He has become quite serious about his craft since undertaking it. It is not his career at this poin…

The Prednisone Wall

"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."

~ Michael Jordan

I am staring up a giant wall that I like to call the prednisone wall. For any of you who may not be familiar with prednisone, let me elaborate. It is a medication called a steroid used to treat a variety of medical disorders including asthma, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease; basically any type of disease that involves inflammation. It is a blessing and it is a curse. It can save your life and when not used properly, it can kill you. Prednisone is one of the least expensive medications I can get my hands on, but it comes with quite a scary list of risks and side effects, including but not limited to: diabetes, depression, insomnia, memory loss, ulcers, bones loss, cataracts, life-threatening infections, the list goes on and on. You know how when you get your prescription filled at the pharmacy a…

Running A Race I Cannot Win

From the bitterness of disease man learns the sweetness of health. ~ Catalan Proverb

Most of the time I feel like I am running a race, maybe even more like a marathon. There are hills and conditions working against me. There are people cheering me on. I am not running to win; I am just running to cross the line and finish. The problem with this race though is that there is no finish line. This race never ends.

I was driving back from an appointment with my rheumatologist today and these are the thoughts that came to me. After three exhausting hours at the medical center where my doctor is located, I was just beat. I have this autoimmune disease called Sjogren's Syndrome (well they are pretty sure I do anyways) and just when I think I am winning the race to get better, I get pushed back to the previous mile marker. I guess it could be worse though, I am just grateful that it's not back to the starting line.

As far as doctors go, this new one is pretty top notch in my book. There a…

Why So Scared?

"Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake." ~  Marie Beyon Ray

I have been writing pretty regularly for about fourteen months now. Prior to that I had entertained the notion of being a writer, even if just as a hobby, but I never could commit to it. I did manage to squeak out a story for a nursing journal back in 2003 but other than that...nada. I had a million and one excuses such as being too busy and not inspired enough but they were just that, excuses.

Then I got sick and lost my job, leaving a lot of time on my hands, mostly confined to my couch or my bed. I started to think about blogging but I was very intimidated by the computer aspect of it. However I really needed an outlet for what was going on in my life so I gave it a try. That was the catalyst for taking a writing class last summer and I think I can say I caught the writing bug! Since then, I hav…

The Fury of Mother Nature

I sit here on my couch, in my home, freshly showered with clean clothes on. I have my boyfriend sitting next to me working on his computer and my dog resting quietly on her blanket. We have a roof over our heads. There is food in the refrigerator. We have electricity and running water. Except for a sunburn and very irritated eyes, I am comfortable.

That is not so for many families living in communities surrounding mine. Here in the western part of Massachusetts on Wednesday June 1, 2011, several tornadoes ripped through this part of the state leaving a pattern of devastation so rarely, if ever, seen in this little hub of New England. We just don't get tornadoes of this magnitude in this part of the country. It is something that we hear about happening in Missouri or Kansas. Massachusetts averages two tornadoes a year and to be honest, you usually never hear about them. Most of us have only seen photos on TV of torn off tree tops and flattened homes.

I really wanted to find a way t…