The only piece of her I would get to keep

The only piece of her I would get to keep

On Nov 1, 2023, I got a missed call from Debbie but she left no message.  This happened alot and was often a misdial. I texted her back to find out if she was OK.  She said she was in the Ocala Hospital, room 428a.  I asked her what happened but she said it was hard to talk or text.  I told her to rest, feel better and that I loved her.   Unfortunately,  many many days Debbie couldn’t talk well enough to be understood, so texting was best, even though texting was hard on her and often indecipherable.  Sometimes ZOOM worked for us because I could watch her lips as she spoke and kind of figure out what she was saying.  This day texting was the best she could do.  She had good days, bad days, and many in between.

The next set of words that came across my phone represent those that stop time and alter your life forever.   <QUOTE>  “They I only have 6 months to year at the most have you Don heard that?”

I was traveling between home in Maryland and Florida on a monthly basis to support mom and Debbie, but at this time while she was in the hospital in Ocala, FL, I was at home in Maryland.  I had to reply, “What do you mean? 6 months to a year? I’ve heard nothing from Don.”

Her reply, (and I quote right from Debbie’s text) “Karen said We heard yesterday that your Parkinson’s is really advanced but we did not hear a timeline.  We do know it’s not good.  Your Mom knows you are back in the hospital but she doesn’t know how bad it is.  I can’t imagine what you are going through.  I’m praying so hard for you.  When you talk with mom try not and tell her about any time frames.  It will make her so upset.  She worries so much about you already.” 

I reply. “So you mean Karen is saying you have 6 months to a year to live?  Please forgive my directness, I want to not misunderstand.”

She typed, “I over doctors.  I need to rest.”

I believe she meant, she overheard doctors in her hospital room talking about her, saying she had 6 months to a year to live.  I think that’s where she got the time frame, but that is just a guess. Oh but that’s not enough, to have doctors talking to each other about you like your ears don’t work – then she gets a text from our brother’s wife telling her that her situation is bad, oh but please choke it down and don’t talk about the fact that you are dying with our Mom, cuz….you know….other people’s needs.  I’m t.r.y.i.n.g. (very poorly) to hold back all the WTF screaming going on in my head, but it hard friends.  It’s hard.  I’m so very fucking imperfect. I’m harsh sometimes, rude sometimes, impatient sometimes….but no one…no one deserves to hear that they are dying in this way.  Without the physical presence of comfort, warmth, love, without arms wrapped around them. No shared tears, no hugs so hard your soul might just explode….no kisses on her face, no words of peace, no promises that you would walk their journey with them. 

I don’t know what happened other days.  I believe Karen to be a good person, and I know she did a lot for Debbie.  I told her many times how much I appreciated her. But I know my brother too and he lives in his secrets with Karen and sees the rest of us as annoyance, burden, and perhaps even risk that life will expose him one day.  I just know it is taking me a lot of processing and healing to put THIS day into its place, so I can stop remembering it and stop being reinjured by it.

I wrote in WhatsApp to my brother Douglas (he lives in Spain)  to ask if he knew anything about this.  He didn’t, but he contacted Donald and shared what he then learned.   He said, Debbie had been overmedicating herself for a really long time, in attempts to relieve the stiffness and other ravages of Parkinson’s.  She was nearing the end of what they could do for her.  The medications were not working anymore and a dementia was settling in. 

I got to FL as fast as I could and went to see her in the hospital.  So many things happened.  The three most impactful things I remember were this.

  1. As I entered the room, she sat in a padded recliner chair facing a window.  She was just looking outside at a world that she wasn’t a part of anymore.  Sadness overcame me.  I had to use every bit of strength to push it down, for later.  I’ve had a lifetime of experience at this, but THIS?   This was more than even I could take.  She looked (and felt) like a person trapped in her body.  A body that wouldn’t respond anymore.  She told me it was awful.  She wanted more meds, different meds, anything, everything.  But of course, the hospital wouldn’t over medicate her.   That route was at its end.  And she seemed to know it.  And it was breaking her.  She looked so small and frail and scared.   I put on my smile, set down the flowers I brought and kissed her, told her I loved her and …faked control of myself.
  2. The hospital sent a Hospice coordinator to meet with Debbie.  They said hospice was her next step.  In the hours between the nurse telling me this, while Debbie slept, and until the Hospice coordinator came to our room – I was furiously googling about hospice.  Trying to learn everything I didn’t know and what the important questions to ask even were.

When she arrived, she was kind, smart, careful in how she approached us.  I asked Debbie if it was OK that I ask a lot of questions on her behalf in front of her.  She said yes.

This lovely hospice coordinator talked about preparing for hospice and determining your goals for hospice and…..I had to stop her.  Politely, I said – we’ve never done this before.  Please speak plainly to us, so we understand what kind of decisions Debbie had to make, to understand, to prepare for.  What ensued was 15-20 minutes talk about….’planning how Debbie would die’.   <shattered>.   “Hospice goals” in practical terms meant….a) are you willing to trade off time awake with your love ones for pain relief, b) did you want to prolong a lengthy death with a feeding tube once you became unable to feed yourself, c, d, e, f, g…….one worse than the next.

We understand, I told her.  I think we need to stop now and regroup.  That’s what we did,

After the hospice coordinator left, I sat next to Debbie and we cried.  She told me she was scared and I told her I was too.  But that I was going to be there with her through this, whatever happened.  And that we would spend as much time together as we could and that we’d make sure that nothing went unsaid.  And I told her, that I loved her and that I would love her until my last day on this earth, and that I would spend every day of my life missing her.

Some people told me, I should not have said such negative things.  Stop telling her she is going to die. That I should have had hope. 

Negative.  And Hope.  I need to say a few things about that here.

On negativity.  Our family never talked about death.  We never went to funerals.  People just got sick (like Daddy) went to the hospital and (sometimes) never came back.  Like Daddy.

What I did with my baby sister, from this day until the day she died…was remind her that she was loved, that I would miss her, that she was irreplaceable in my life and that she would never be forgotten.  She often said to me, that she couldn’t tell if certain others cared, because they never showed her.  Lesson 1 from the bed of a dying loved one — tell them, tell them every thing! They ache to hear your love for them as they become brave to let go of life.

On Hope.   Our family was not religious.  Some would call themselves faithful, but then show themselves to be the most judgmental and unforgiving people I know.  Every day since this day in the hospital, I would talk to Debbie about that when she died, someone would be there waiting to grab her and hold her for eternity.  Did she know who I was talking about?

And my sister, the girl who could barely talk…. summoned all her strength and said one word – Daddy.  I said yes.  And I asked her to give him a kiss for me, and I told her that I would be coming soon.  That for us, we would miss her a lifetime, but for her, it would seem but only a moment.  We were all coming to where she was going. Back to the source. Back to where we all began. She closed her eyes after that and rested.  That is hope in the only way I knew to share it at the time. It seemed right, for the two of us.

3. The last thing she asked me to do before I left was to take off her emerald necklace.  She asked me to keep it for her.  I began to cry.  I knew how attached she was to it, my Gemini sister.  I can’t remember a day she didn’t have it. I reached around her neck and took it off and held it in my fist.  I kissed her face a dozen times, I said goodbye, she fell asleep and I walked out of that room holding the only piece of my sister I would be able to keep.

I cried in my car for an hour before I could turn it on and drive.

I left to go back to Maryland, I’d be back on November 18th. On November 10th, Karen (+Don) sent a full update on Debbie’s condition, disclosing things I had never heard before. At this point, it’s is hard to know what to believe. I want to be clear, I don’t blame them for anything that happened to Debbie. I blame our entire dysfunctional family for not having the knowledge of how to come together, in love, support and cooperation, to be there for each other. How can a person give more love and forgiveness to a stranger than to their own family and think they have achieved any level of closeness with God? It will baffle me forever.

I do know this — Debbie wanted life, and she was way out over the edge of reason in what she was trying to do to keep hold of it. Maybe that is what we would all have done. I don’t know.

Her move to hospice is coming next.

Ciao for now…Diane

first love

first love

The years get blurry, but somewhere around 2006 or 2007, my sister Debbie and our mother sold their house in Old Bridge, NJ and moved to Florida.  For as long as I could remember, my mom dreamed of buying a trailer home in Florida and just moving to sunshine.  And then they did it. Debbie quit her job, they sold their house before the bubble burst and moved.  Debbie quickly got a job with a big bank in Orlando and they settled in a few apartments in Sanford and Lake Mary, until they finally decided to build a house in Apopka.  Life was good in those days.  Debbie found “sisters” in Cynthia and Nancy. They were happy.  Spending too much money, but they were companions, with the same sarcastic, argumentative kind of humor that equally cracked each other up as it drove them crazy.

They lived together all of those years, in Old Bridge, then in Florida, in the Apopka house, then their townhouse, the apartment, the St Catherine rental, and eventually the Independent Living apartment….until July 2023 when the unavoidable unraveling began.

There is so much to say, too much.  I’m jumping into the middle, but I’ll try to make this part make sense.  In January 2022 my mom was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure.  It was the beginning of my mom’s rapid downward spiral in her health.  By this time, Debbie had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (so much to say about that another time). The two of them could not look to the other for support — but they did.  They were immoveable on that point. They wouldn’t, (looking back maybe it was really couldn’t), leave each other. 

The years 2022 and 2023 and the first half of 2024 were the hardest of my life.  Physically, mentally, emotionally.  Our little family, the only people on this earth that were mine….we were falling apart, and my need to try to save them was eating me alive with every action I took or failed to take., with later regret.   My mom had 2-3 very serious stays in the hospital.  In Jan – Feb 2022, I was rehabilitationg mom at our house in St Catherine, while Debbie was taking care of herself at the house around the corner.  Mom was angry, unhappy, she didn’t want to do what the rehab folks, or the nurses or doctors told her to do.  She just wated to go back home to Debbie, back to the way it was going to be. Back to the downward spiral. Eventually she went back home to Debbie and I went home to Maryland, to work and trying to live my life there.  I was torn in two.  The fear of what was going on with them while I was away was overwhelming.  The frantic phone calls from FL about how one of them fell, or was taken away in an ambulance.  Some nights, I would lay in bed in tears, having a panic attack that felt like a heart attack. 

I was talking to them together and separately about change.  What if mom came to live with me in Maryland? And we found a nice Assisted Living home that could give you quality of life Debbie? The answer was silence, or distraction, or argument, or angry name calling.  Every way of saying No.  It became clear with every fight that this was only going to go down one way.  Tramatically.  Some unsurmountable tragedy was going to happen and we had to just wait for it to come knock on our door.

The knock came in July 2023.

Debbie was taken away in an ambulance in the middle of the night.  She was having trouble breathing.  By this time, she and Mom were living together in an apartment in Independent Living at the Carriage House.  My mom called me the next day to tell me what happened.  I was in Maryland, so far away.  Before I could make plans to fly down there, she called me back to say that my brother was there, and she was leaving to go to his house in Georgia.

And that was it.  My mother left Florida that first week of July 2023, went to Brunswick, Ga….and I would only see her two more times right before Debbie died.

You see, I don’t have a relationship with my older brother.  He touched Debbie and me in disgusting ways when we were young girls.  It was a shame that we had to bear this secret and hold it in our bodies and souls for our entire life.  I finally got up the courage to ask Debbie if he did it to her too, and she said yes.  I cried, I’d really hoped she would say no.  We both understood what it meant to be completely and entirely alone in our experiences as little girls. 

I’ve never been in my brother’s home. Any interaction I have had with him has been at a distance for a handful of family events. In 2022 when he and his wife came to FL because my mom was in the hospital, they asked to stay at our home down there. It was an unraveling for me to have him in Peter and my home. I exploded in anger at them in email. To this day his wife probably doesnt understand why. She may not know what her husband did to us when we were young.

But when he took Mom to Georgia… was a moment neither Debbie or I wanted.  In his act of taking our mother to care for her….he took our mother to a place we couldn’t go.  We couldn’t go to the home of the man who molested us as a boy.

Debbie would eventually go to Hospice in Georgia.  I’ll explain that next time.   This….this is the story of how I lost my mother.

On July 7th 2023 she called me.  It was her goodbye call. I didn’t know that, until it started to happen. She was particularly loving to me.  She said many loving things to me, about how good of a mother I am.  And that I was a good daughter to her. 


I asked her why she was talking in past tense to me.  Like  something was ending.

She was tired.  She didn’t want to talk any more. And that’s what it was.  Goodbye, Diane.  Goodbye, mom, I miss you.

And it stayed like that, until Debbie began to die.

I’m here to tell you, you can Lose your mother, even when she is still alive.  And it’s the kind of long, painful, daily Loss that squeezes your heart every day.  The kind that gets worse instead of better the more you try to fix it.

The ultimate lesson that this part of my life has taught me, is that you can’t fix some things.  And my unyielding need for this to be repaired causes me to go “back into battle” with my mom…only to come out more hurt than before.  My husband Peter and my daughters have been trying to lovingly help me understand…..”Diane, Mom, … your mother isn’t going to give you what you need from her.  She doesn’t need what you need. She doesn’t understand the feelings you have. She is only going to make you feel bad about needing more from her. You have to try to accept that.”

I’m trying.  Every day. 

And one day, my mother will go to heaven, into the loving embrace of my Dad and Debbie…and I just have to hope she knows how much of my love she will take with her.

I will love you forever Mom.  You were the first person to love me and I will miss you forever

Your Diane.

First profound loss

First profound loss

“They” say, we come into this world alone, and we will leave it alone. But what happens when someone you love goes, and you have to stay?

Never having something can be a deep sadness. Longing and pining for something is a lonely walk through life. But having something, and then being deprived of being with that something you once had……that is Loss. When I was 13 years old, my father died. He was in the hospital. He had espohegeal cancer and had it surgically removed. The doctors wanted him to have chemotherapy or radiation or whatever existed back in 1979. But my dad didn’t want to do it. Back then, the treatments often killed you, if the cancer didn’t. I remember he came home after the surgery. He was recovering. Oh it was so hard for him to give up smoking those Muriel air tipped cigars he loved. My older sister Donna smoked cigarettes and I remember my dad, creeping out of his bed, all bandaged up and in pain. But the draw of stealing one of her cigarettes was stronger than the pain of recovering from the surgery that cut out part of his esphogus and lifted his stomach to reattach it. Awful thing, nicotine. It killed my father. It took the only dad I would ever have. He went into the hospital for …. some sort of infection that developed. It felt like a matter of days…and then in a surreal moment, my mom was sitting on my bed at 6am when my alarm went off for school, telling me that I didn’t have to go to school that day. Daddy had died. And my world as I knew it had died too. He was 56 years old. Just like Debbie.

Sudden loss is like being swatted like a fly. One moment, you are flying through the air, batting your wings, blissfully moving forward, going somewhere. You know, living. Until….WHACK! Your father just dies. And you are flat against the sheets in bed. Crushed by life. Crushed by death.

The hardest part for me was the believing. For a really long time….a few years, if I am honest, I didn’t really believe he was dead. My mom asked if I wanted to go see Daddy before the cremation. I said NO, with wide eyed shock. How could you ask me that mom? If I saw daddy….dead….how would I ever be able to close my eyes and see him un-dead ever again? Our family didn’t do death well. We didn’t have a funeral. My dad wasn’t laid out for friends and loved ones to see. No, my father just went to the hospital. And then never came back. He died. And whatever…whatever happened to dead people, …is what happened to my dad. But to my 13 year old mind and heart….I often dreamed that my dad would just come back one day. That he’d pull his brown Oldsmobile sedan into the driveway and walk into the kitchen. Only, the Oldsmobile was already in the driveway. And dad hadn’t come. He’d never come home again.

It took me years to process his loss. Maybe I’m still. The Loss of my dad was so scary. I felt untethered from the planet. I felt like anything could happen to me now, without him. I was at the age where I still possessed little girl dreams. Ridiculous dreams. The kind that probably wouldn’t come true. I was only just beginning to think about my own life. The one I would one day live independent from my parents and the home I grew up in. Without my dad…I didn’t know how to transition from dreamy dreams to real life dreams. I didn’t know what I could be. What was realistic. I didn’t know how to see myself in the world. That also took me years….and alot of mistakes…to figure out. For a long time, I chased security. Permanence. I wanted to be safe again. I wanted to go back to before. The time before ordinary life felt scary. I searched for someone who could help me feel like that. It was another very long time before I learned that no person would fill the Loss that lived in me. I don’t think that I’ve ever healed it. Even today, as a very grown woman….life scares me.

Loss. It is a deep hole.

You lose more than the person you loved. You lose more than their physical hugs and affection. Their laughs, the warmth that radiates into the home from their being. I lost my way, on my way, to growing up. My mom was lost too. She did her best. It was hard. We all lost direction for a while. Hours became a day. Days became weeks, then months, then years. But for a very long time….I was a scared, lonely, lost 13 year old girl living in a young woman’s body. Surviving in a family that did not talk about death or grief or coping with loss. We just cried alone in the dark in our beds, visited daddy in our dreams, woke up the next day and swallowed it down. And did it again. and again. and again.

It was dysfunctional. It was all I knew for a very long time. That was the first big loss of my life. A wound that still hurts. She still cries for her dad, that 13 year old Diane.

Ciao for now…..Diane

To Loss and Back Again: The gift of grief

To Loss and Back Again: The gift of grief

It has been 95 days since my sister Debbie died.  She was 56 years old and succumbed to the devastating effects of Parkinson’s Disease on January 5, 2024.    This wasn’t the first loss of my life, but it was the one that hit me the hardest and has likely changed my life so unexpectedly.

I’ve decided to tell my story.  A little bit each day.  Here in my familiar place.  This story is, well, …it is my life.  So,  it’s still unfolding, (which is good news 🙂 ).  I imagine the process of writing will help me wrestle with ghosts and fears and (hopefully) drive them away, or make them into smaller “Casper-like” friendly creatures that I can live with more readily.  I imagine it will also help me reimagine the rest of my life,  without some of the people who have been the principle sources of my childhood memories and sources of love … until loss came.

Doing “the work” that life requires takes many forms.  Life’s journey is a winding road, equal parts delight and pain, I have found.  This piece of my work will be called, “To Loss and Back Again:  the gift of grief”.  Some gifts come whether you want them or not.  I’m learning that it’s all very much in the receiving. 

See you tomorrow.

Ciao for now….Diane

my happiness project

my happiness project
When I wandered into this place again today, I knew it had been a long dark while. Almost a year. Wow. I’ve been unhappy longer than I’d realized. The only thing I know for certain is — it’s not going to get better unless I work on it.

The next year will be that work. My own little happiness project. LOL, that might sound like I know what I’m doing. Eh, long ago I leaned toward the belief that the best thing’s in life happen when you let gooooo…..when you don’t know what you’re doing. More than anything, what I need is to get my thoughts out of my head, and to start “doing” again. Maybe doing new things, old things, whatever things….but just doing, moving, forward momentum in my life, my feelings….and eventually I think that will move me toward my happiness.

I’m committing to a renewed habit to come here each day, and leave behind some feelings and thoughts. In the end, it doesn’t matter if anyone beyond myself ever reads them. I reminded myself how cathartic the act of writing has been for me during high and low periods of my life. I’m going to lean into it now, and if any bit of what I leave behind helps you…well, that is the gift of community. When you are low, you need the community. When you feel strong, the community needs you.

So please, come….go…take and give…to this community. Happiness….we’re coming for you.

Ciao for now, Diane

When Two Good is 3 good things

When Two Good is 3 good things

Around 2pm, my stomach starts to rumble for a snack. THIS IS GOOD!

It’s hunger. And this snackity expert (me, this girl right here) hasn’t felt that very often. Back in my “before” days when I was grazing constantly…it’s hard to ever f.e.e.l. hunger. Instead I often felt discomfort and shame. But that’s another story for another day.

So, yesterday was shopping, planning and prepping day, AKA Saturday. At the Publix down here in Florida, my husband Peter and I found a good thing. Well, it’s actually Two Good.

I walk the aisle with my WW scanner App AND my education on carbs. As a T2 diabetic person, my #1 job for myself is to eat well. Weight loss is a derivative. I OWE myself good nutrition. I’ve managed to regain control over my blood glucose levels, free of medications, and I want to keep it that way. I’ve made the progress I’ve made by making good choices. Along the way, I shed many foods that used to be staples in my diet. For instance, I rarely eat fruit these days AND its been forever since I’ve had a yogurt.

Back to today. It’s 2pm. I’m hungry. First move – make a pot of tea. See if what i am feeling can be satiated by a nice hot cup of #JOY.

No Go. Didn’t cut it. I’m actually hungry. GOOD Diane. You are actually hungry, so f.o.o.d. IS the appropriate answer.

I pulled one of these Two Good yogurts out of the fridge, opened the lid, slipped in the spoon and tasted.


TWO GOOD will be my 3 small good things for today. But Diane, they are TWO good, how can they be 3 good things?

Well – here is how this yogurt sizes up on my 3 good things list for today.

#1 – It’s coconut. s.w.o.o.n. <3 <3 <3

#2 – It’s only 3 grams of carb and that is due in large part to the fact that it only has 2 grams of sugar in the whole thing! Very carb friendly for a yogurt.

and #3 – The entire 5.3 ounce container is only 2 Weight Watchers smart points. For COCONUT! Hey, all of you coconut lovers out there know, when you “ZAP” a coconut yogurt, you get ready for 7 points on average. I had to zap these three times in the store (um…and once more just now before I ate it)….I just couldn’t believe it. All this coconut yumminess for 2 points and I can make a good carb choice.

Two Good is my 3 good things for today. Maybe you will try it….but however you feed your hunger this afternoon – make good choices for yourself. You. Are. Worth. It.

Ciao for now….Diane

security is under-rated

security is under-rated

I woke up this morning, like every morning, in safety, security, warmth and comfort. Gratitude abundance!

Before I even opened my eyes this morning, I could feel the things for which I am grateful.

Today’s small things are warm, soft and fixed.

#1 – The safety and comfort of my bed. I perhaps don’t think enough about the women and children in this world who live without this…and what it must do to their sense of self and security in the world.

#2 – Sometimes when I wake up an hour or two too early, I reach out, eyes still closed, and find Peter’s hand. He responds and clasps his warmth around my hand….and I drift back to sleep. Peter’s love is a fixed mark and it grounds me to the planet.

#3 – Quiet mornings where my shuffling feet are the only sound in the house. I make my coffee and sit outside, listening to the birds for a few moments…waking up slowly. There is security in this quiet. Our world, in big places far away, and small neighborhoods nearby need more peace.

Find your joy….

Ciao for now…Diane

Bacon, eggs and avocado!

Bacon, eggs and avocado!

Those are my 3 things today. I’m grateful for 1) Bacon, 2) Eggs, and 3 )Avocado.

This combination is my breakfast most days. In some combination, form and function. G.O.N.E. are the days of a tiny yogurt and berries. Eating bird seed and drinking water to save calories and opportunity for a treat later in the day. Those treats would spiral me into sugar oblivion. I’ve learned that those milk and fruit options were also a trigger for me. Not a key to success for me anyway. Of late, I am following a low carb, keto type diet, with focus on protein and healthy fats. It’s working. What does “working” mean, well… firstly, I. AM. SATISFIED! I am full, satiated both physically and spiritually. Hey, don’t discount the spiritual aspect of food. The universe gave us taste buds, so life could be sweeter, spicier, full of flavor and zest. Add those things back into your life, but in a healthy meaningful way.

Conclusion….my 3 small things today fill me with g.r.a.t.i.t.u.d.e. I am HAPPY. And…I’m losing weight and gaining control over my appetite and choices. A+ Diane.

Ciao for now…Diane

Gratitude all around you

Gratitude all around you

Build a habit of finding 3 small things each day. Three small things that make you grateful.

I’ve been gone for too long. So my #1 thing I am grateful for is …You. The fact that anyone is even still out t.h.e.r.e. reading this, is amazing in itself. So thank you. Thank you for listening in on my internal dialogue. The self-imposed therapy as I work my lifelong problem to turn my critical internal voice into a friend.

So we’re here. On the other side of the pandemic. Or we hope anyway. The past 18 months…whew. When somebody finds that DELETE button…PUSH it twice, okay? Just to make sure. Well, actually, maybe I don’t want to delete ALL of it. Let’s go back to gratitude….because I found some things that Ive learned to cherish in the past year….things that have become more deeply important to me than ever before. I wanna keep those. So, let me get them out of the way, and into my treasure basket – THEN, you can push the button. TWICE, remember, hit it twice.

So #2 came in the form of technology. When we all began to hunker down and separate physically, we learned to use ZOOM and let people, friends, work colleagues, and even strangers into our homes. Yea, even strangers. For me this happened in my Weight Watchers meetings. When the Workshops in Maryland closed down, (eh- and NEVER opened again, Grrrr!), an opening in the universe brought me Denise and all my old East Brunswick WW friends on ZOOM! WOW! Gratitude in abundance. It’s Sunday morning at 9am on ZOOM, but o.m.g is it fun. Huh? Weight Loss Can Be FUN? YES! We laugh, we learn, we motivate, we comfort and encourage. We. Are. Friends. My #2 of small things IS that WW community. Still to this day, I have never found a place where I feel as comfortable. There is a green chair in East Brunswick that I miss So So much. But Sundays on ZOOM bring that green chair and the community that surrounds it right. into. my. home. Come friends, you are welcome here. I am really hoping this lasts forever!

Number 3, for today…is family. My daughters who have cuddled closer this year. My husband who remains a solid rock upon which I rely and yet (also) a soft place for me to rest and be safe. Thank you sweethearts….your love and closeness this year has meant everything. My mom and my sister in Florida….boy have they had their fair share (and then some) of tough times. I’m grateful for your resilience and your bravery. You are not alone. Your family , as small as we are, are around you. Rely on us.

So the task for the next while….however long this while may be…is to look inside your life and find the small things. In those small things, I believe, we will find peace, and comfort, and the drive to reach tomorrow…..and its 3 more things.

We’ll find happiness….3 small things at a time.

I’m here, loving that you are there! Thank you….be well friends.

Ciao for now…Diane

A new day with no mistakes

A new day with no mistakes

When my daughter Erin was a little girl of 7 perhaps, we stumbled across a tv show, Anne of Green Gables. Now I had read the book when I was a girl, but soon enough Erin and I had pulled the back sofa cushions off the couch, and we snuggled in under a blanket and fell in love with Anne and Gilbert. Perhaps we became kindred spirits of sorts. Week after week, we laughed and talked and enjoyed being together with these amazing characters. Anne was so relatable….equally for a 7 year old and her middle age mom. We promised one day we’d go to PEI together. It’s still on our bucket list, but I’m convinced it will happen one day.

Anne had a resilience about her that was intoxicating. Every day was a fresh beginning, with no mistakes in it yet. Reflecting back, her mistakes were harmless, joyfully innocent, typically well intended. Anne was the gift to Marilla and Matthew that helped them see the hardship of life through a softer, playful, unbounded perspective.

Mistakes. What of them. Nothing more than an attempt. A try. A stretch with good intentions.

Good thing, tomorrow will come again. And another chance, a new day with a blank canvas upon which we will paint our mistakes. Anne, and my 7 year old Erin, visited my memories today and brought beautiful perspective into the things that challenge me. I’ll try again, and again, and again. We’re blessed with another new day…..use it well friends. I know you will.

Ciao for now….Diane