Memories of My Father

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I’ve been thinking about my Father a lot this Holiday Season.  Missing him… wishing he were here with me and Dakota to watch It’s a Wonderful Life for the umpteenth time. Papa was a rare bird.  He laughed a lot and taught me useful things… how to hang storm windows… how to recite poetry with

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Posted on December 23rd 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

My New Year’s Resolution

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I can’t think of a better New Year’s Resolution than to try to live up to the gentle truths of my father’s philosophy, so I’d like to offer them to you in this little poem I wrote about him, both as a loving remembrance, and as a tribute to the kind of old fashioned values

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Posted on December 23rd 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Christmas Past

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The ghosts of Christmas past  Wandered by my tree just now A cup of tea in hand, I stopped To admire the sweetness of the nearly trimmed tree And there you were My Mommy and Daddy Young and shiny, hopeful as when On Christmas morning I’d open the presents You’d saved to buy.

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Posted on December 16th 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Holiday Happiness Starts Now…

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I love the holidays with all my heart.  I wait all year, anticipatory as a child, to be able to play Christmas carols without apologies.  Truth is, from November through New Year’s, my life takes on an incandescence undreamed of in the rest of my work-a-day year.  Music, decorations, lights, tinsel, a lifetime’s worth of

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Posted on November 25th 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

My Aunt’s Perfect Blueberry Pie

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I was blessed with a family of great and merry women, who were kind enough to live into their 90s (one to 105!) so I could enjoy their wisdom, laughter and strength for much of my life… and also learn how to make great pies! I know we can’t recreate the best of our past

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Posted on November 4th 2011 in Family

Legacy

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I had a conversation with my dear 93 year old Aunt Helen shortly before she died, about how good the old days really were.  Memories of my grandmother’s home-baked bread, of family gatherings, home and hearth and love and laughter, cuddling us both in remembered grace, were like a feather comforter for the spirit.  “Life

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Posted on November 4th 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

… and Having Writ, Moves on

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When your worst nightmare comes to pass a second time, a bizarre numbness sets in to keep you alive.  When my daughter Bronwyn died, six years after her sister’s death, I simply went underground and for two months did nothing but try to live through it.  I couldn’t write or even talk about my loss,

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Posted on September 30th 2011 in Family, Sorrow

What Do You Love?

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“You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die.  Or when.  You can decide how you’re going to live now.” —Joan Baez, Folksinger When my daughter died at thirty-five, in the midst of my grief, I had an irrational recurrent guilt that I hadn’t bought her more hot fudge sundaes.  She loved them so,

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Posted on April 15th 2011 in Death, Family, Happiness, Loving Life

On the Death of a Child

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Losing a child is a special kind of grief, irrevocably out of sync with nature.  We’re not supposed to bury our children — the mind and heart rebel and struggle to find a place to contain the unbearable and unthinkable. We give birth to infinite love when we give birth to our children.  Joy, hope,

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Posted on April 10th 2011 in Death, Family, Sorrow, Women

Irish Childhoods are Different

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My mother could foretell death.  She’d inherited the family banshee, the Irish harbinger who shrieks her fatal message to one member of each generation to let them know that someone is about to die.  “What a pity about John,” she might say, “he’ll be gone by June 15th,” and close family members knew enough not

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Posted on March 11th 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Swimming in the Ancestral Gene Pool

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Because she didn’t understand that love was meant to be soft and warm, but she intended to be loving, nonetheless, my mother gave from her brain, instead of her heart.  I believe her heart had been battered shut in childhood by a tyrannical father and ineffectual mother, but her mind was limitless and her teaching

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Posted on February 17th 2011 in Family, Women

Traveling Companions

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I had a vision, shortly after my daughter died, in which I saw her standing on a great plain of Light, through which a Golden Road traveled towards Infinity.  She stood solemnly, awaiting a command to move on – with Dakota and me standing like sentinels, one on either side.  She said we mustn’t set

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Posted on January 30th 2011 in Family, Sorrow, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Illness…Finding Your Way in The Dark

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I’ve studied and worked in many areas of alternative medicine over the past 25 years.  Between my daughters’ terrible illnesses and that of others I’ve striven to heal, I expect I’ve seen nearly as much sickness and suffering as most physicians.  In the process, I’ve come to know that illness wears a thousand masks and

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Posted on December 4th 2010 in Alternative Healing, Complimentary medicine, Family, Medicine

Were You Lucky Enough to Have Parents Who Read to You?

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My parents read to me and to each other — poetry for the most part — and I never went to bed a night without memorizing a poem, or a group of verses.  If it were something lengthy like The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, I’d memorize a stanza a night, my hands-down favorite, this: “The

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Posted on December 4th 2010 in Family, Poetry

What I Think About Life, So Far

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By the grace of God and a fast outfield, I find myself the mother of a 21 year old, born so many years after my first two daughters, it might as well be considered a separate lifetime Dakota is perched on the precarious edge of womanhood now, and she’s a deep one, never precipitous in

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Posted on December 4th 2010 in Family, Happiness, Love, Loving Life, Women
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