marriage · writing

10 Powerful Quotes About Love and Marriage for Valentine’s Day

One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds. Pain linked to pain, fragility to fragility. There is no silence without a cry of grief, no forgiveness without bloodshed, no acceptance without a passage through acute loss. That is what lies at the heart of true harmony. 

~Haruki Murakami
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. 

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. 

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

~Kahlil Gibron 
To be fully seen by somebody, and then loved anyhow – that is a human offering that can border on miraculous.

~Elizabeth Gilbert
To say that one waits a lifetime for his soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone, and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.

~Chris Jami
It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. 

~Friedrich Nietzsche 
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. 

~Lao Tzu
Love doesn’t make the world go ’round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile. 

~Franklin P. Jones
We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. 

~Dr Seuss
The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well. 

~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good, as far as it can be obtained. 

~C.S. Lewis 


I Never Make New Years Resolutions, and This is Why

It’s been years since I have bothered with New Years Resolutions. Or goals or a focus word for that matter. 

It’s not that I’m against resolutions, goals or focus, though I must confess that focus isn’t my strong suit.  Rather, choosing one time a year to suddenly concentrate on personal development doesn’t resonate with me. And choosing one thing or a list of things to spend a year working on?  Fuggedabahdit. It might work for others, but as for me, I choose serendipity. 




the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

“a fortunate stroke of serendipity”

synonyms: (happy) chance, (happy) accident, fluke;

Serendipity I believe is putting yourself into the world in a benevolent fashion and receiving what comes back to you.  It’s how I roll. 

But I also believe strongly in constant, deliberate personal development. I believe in continuously creating and evolving goals.  I believe there are many wonderful words worthy of focus, but have long since chosen my life focus as Micah 6:8 in the Bible. 

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

    And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

    and to walk humbly with your God.

As long as I have breath in my body my focus will be the trifecta of justice, mercy and humility. 

Alas, with the year ending and another one emerging, I will simply continue to put one foot in front of the other on my ever-changing path. 

cancer · parenting · special needs parenting · writing

I Know That I Will Choose To Be Content

I do my best thinking with coffee. The soothing aroma and warmth combined with the stimulating impact of caffeine has a synergistic effect and my gears turn a bit more efficiently with a cuppa joe nearby. 

A seed was planted a few days ago when my sister sent a group text to the family pronouncing that she had, at least momentarily, achieved contentment. 

It’s been eons since I’ve felt content.  For a few years now I always, always have an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with my life.  

After cancer treatment ended for Ben things were supposed to steadily improve. Life after leukemia was supposed to be a “new normal” that was distinctly better than life with cancer. 

It didn’t happen. 

I had it in my head that we would endure a dark night and that joy would come in the morning, and “morning” was determined to be in April of 2013, after Ben took his last chemo. 

I don’t know if my morning failed to come or if it just failed to produce better circumstances, but post-cancer life has been harder than I ever anticipated.  I’ve been creeping toward bitterness over it. 

Nobody likes bitter. 

I don’t want to be bitter. 

Thus a single word in a ripe moment ricocheted in my mind. Since when do I allow circumstances to dictate my contentment?  Am I not able to choose to be content instead of sinking ever deeper into bitterness?  Won’t I and all whom I love be better if  my choice is contentment?  

I know all those answers. I know that I can choose to be content. I know that it’s better to be content. I know that I will choose to be content. 

I don’t regret grieving the loss of my expected “new normal”. The grief is legitimate and real. But the grief will not be allowed to become bitterness. Now or ever. 


“It Was a Really Peopley Day Out Today”

That’s my answer when my husband asks why I am totally spent, killing brain cells by crushing candy with a glazed over catatonic appearance.  

It’s been a peopley week. 

I’m pretty sure the peopley-ness has exceeded my threshold. Because when that happens I turn into a pile of oxygen recycling warmth on my chair.  And that’s where I am right now. 

I have dinner to make, Christmas stuff to organize, and a giant to-do list that I’m ignoring.  

Peopling sucks me dry. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that the the stimulation of people requires enormous energy from me in a fundamental way.  Every noise, every sight, every smell, every sensation, they all take little nibbles from me (especially the noise, exponentially the noise). I don’t even notice them they’re so small, but the cumulative impact is dramatic. Before I know it I’m but a shell. 

And now that I’m home, it’s time to pull out my charger and plug in. 

My chair is my charger, and quiet is my outlet. I’m plugged in and trickle charging. 

It might take all night. 


The Difference a Year Makes 

A few days ago WordPress (my blogging platform), notified me that it had been a year since I started my blog. Yesterday I got a nice little check from my regular writing gig that should cover Christmas gifts for all of my loved ones. 

Last year I was brainstorming, trying to figure out how to work from home after having a health crisis and with Benjamin needing more care again than he had since he finished cancer treatment. 

I looked at a few options, considered pursuing fitness training, but when all was said and done I knew that everything else had to take a back seat to my kids and my health. 

I had enjoyed blogging as a Fifth Third River Bank Run Road Warrior, and have been told time and time again that I should write a book about Ben, so that was my jumping off point.  I had previously started a book about Ben, but writing from that perspective felt wrong and I shoved my manuscript away and scrapped the book idea. 

But what if I wrote about being Ben’s mom?  From my perspective, parenting a child whose life has been a juxtaposition of devastating and miraculous, would that make a book?  

I decided to try. 

I didn’t have a working computer, so between my tablet and phone I typed almost 60,000 words. The task exhausted me, so after completing a draft of just the events, I set the book aside and pursued writing for more immediate results. 

My first yes was HuffPost, and one of my first articles there was a post that circulated the internet for months, the highlight of which was getting attention from George Takei. 

I then sent work into some other writing venues, and got a paid yes from Her View From Home. I became a Her View Writing Team member, and have enjoyed the challenge of writing for them, often from a different perspective than my own personal blog. (Go check them out and like the page, there’s some wonderful women writing there). 

Shortly after that my dear mother in law saw my plight, and decided to purchase a computer to make me a legit writer. Let’s just say that proofreading is a bit easier on a laptop screen than a tablet screen. The laptop has been a lifesaver!

Then, in September, out of the blue, a woman contacted me saying that she represented Shield Health Care and that she would like to pay me to be a regular writer for their blog about parenting kids with special needs.  The offer seemed too good to be true, but after investing the company, I found it legit and jumped in. This writing outlet has provided me with a steady stream of income from my own couch, and is the source of the previously mentioned check which will make Christmas shopping fun instead of stressful. 

This weekend I finally sat back down with the book, adding layers of story and details to the skeleton I had created. In the meantime I briefly had a publisher interested, but due to personal complications on their end (the company is new, and the founder had several personal crises in a row and wasn’t able to give the manuscript attention), we agreed to reconsider at a later date. As I write thus, I’m wondering if that date has arrived. 

What a difference a year makes. Writing was a twinkle in my eye last December, and now is a part time job with excellent potential. I’m generally skeptical about new years because it seems that every fresh start quickly becomes the next complicated and challenging chapter in our complex lives, but I truly am eager to see what 2017 holds for this pursuit. I don’t rightly know what to expect, after all, much of what has occurred has been entirely unexpected, but that’s just part of the fun if you ask me. 

At the end of the day, I give enormous credit to my upbringing. Growing up in a family that loves books and language and that sharpened my mind by reading and discussing great works is truly the origin of this story.  The written word is a beautiful creation, the appreciation of which was instilled in me from infancy. For that I can only credit my mom. Thanks mom. 


A Sappy Post Celebrating Awesome Women (and Being Baffled at Bitches)

Idealist Lee here again.  As a sensitive person who was raised by a mother who imbued in me a respect for the feelings of others, I’m not very good at being mean.  I have my moments, to be sure, but when I’m mean, I wallow in regret for days, and it eats at me.  It can literally make me sense.

I will never forget one of my neighbors trolling me in real life.  It was over garage sale nonsense, and it happened to be mere days before Ben had his first Hirschsprung’s surgery.  I was fit to be tied in the first place, but wanted to follow through on the garage sale, and later found out that she was being bitchy because she gets a kick out of being a mean girl, and called me thin-skinned.  She happened to mention something to that effect to my husband, days later when I was up at the hospital with Ben, and let’s just say that he isn’t sensitive, thin skinned, naive, and she was the one who ended up butt hurt in the end.

So, yes, I’m naive, sensitive, and nice well past the point of fault.  All that to say, just like I fail to understand my neighbor who happens to love watching other women cower when she plays mean girl, I don’t get people being mean on the internet.

My Gilmore Girls post was pretty popular in my social media, so I threw it up on my HuffPost blog to see how it would do there.  Unsurprisingly, HuffPost put it up in their Women’s section, and on their social media.

Holy macaroly can women be mean.

I know it’s not great writing, it’s not supposed to be, it was for fun.  For grins.  From the woman who only ever makes fun of her own ridiculous self.  It was a little shout out to the others, who, like me, just don’t partake in pop culture.  I cannot for the life of me figure out why so many women would take the time to read something just to make a snotty, nasty comment.

Thankfully, I had to face some nastiness before when my Open Letter To The Guy At Target got went viral, but there’s something extra special about bitchy women.  They seriously go miles out of their way to be belittle another woman, when it would be far easier to simply go about their merry way and do nothing.

But I am choosing to turn this around.  A moment like this demonstrates the impeccable women who surround me daily.  My mother, mother-in-law, my sisters, my daughter and my friends.  Women who demonstrate the strength build each other up, standing by one another, and holding space.  Women who have full, rich, beautiful lives, and who don’t need the false high of putting someone down to feel good about themselves.  Women who compliment and support each other.

I have great women in my life.  Rather than sulking because some people feel happy finding the snippiest comment they can write, I celebrate the strong, lovely women who have an invaluable place in my life.  Thank you, each and every one.



How Can I Write an Outstanding Book With A Blind Mind?

Picture this:  You’re writing a memoir.  In order to bring the reader along with you as you ride your roller coaster down memory lane, it’s crucial to use vivid descriptions of the numerous events you describe.  But you have pretty much zero visual memory.

Try to describe what the hospital room looked like…nada.

Try to describe your how your child looked…you draw a blank.

Your honeymoon?  Yep, nothing.

I have Aphantasia.  I lack the ability to visualize.  I read a book, and no movie plays in my head.  In fact, when an author spends a paragraph or two describing a setting or a character’s appearance, I skim because it’s just words to me.

Here I am, writing my heart out about some of the most poignant memories of my life, and I completely lack the ability to give the reader a mental picture.  I try to remember, I try to describe, and it feels contrived and artificial.  I’m preparing to edit my book into a second draft, and for the first time since deciding to do this project, I’m second guessing.  I’m concerned that my “blind mind’s eye” is too big of a hinderance to story telling, I’m worried that I can’t overcome this barrier, that I won’t be able to give my readers the story they deserve.

I’m going to give it a shot.  I’m going back in to revise my story and add in some of the details.  I’m not sure how it will turn out, but I’m thinking that if Beethoven composed masterpieces while deaf then I suppose it’s possible that I can maybe find ways to describe things that I cannot visualize.  My hope is that by being cognizant of this obstacle I will be able to work through it.  I might have to dig through old pictures or possibly even make up some of the visual details.  I mean, how hospital rooms look largely the same, right?

We’ll see.  I’m not giving up just yet.