Blessing #11: Carol Linn, the Woman, Not the Child

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. This statement has never been truer than with my daughter Carol Linn. Actually, absence was absolutely necessary for the salvation of our relationship. Before she moved to the other side of the country, I knew there were wonderful things about her; however, they were clouded by the rebellious teenager that challenged ourContinue reading “Blessing #11: Carol Linn, the Woman, Not the Child”

Blessing #10: Darling Dedo

My grandfather was the kindest, most self-assured man I have ever met. He loved his children and grandchildren unconditionally. The strongest memory I have of Dedo Gus is of him holding his grandbabies to his cheek, while rocking and cooing them in his arms.  Dedo Gus also loved his wife unconditionally. His relationship with my grandmother wasContinue reading “Blessing #10: Darling Dedo”

Blessing #9: Memories of the Matriarch

Baba Vicky was the strongest, sweetest, smartest person I have ever met. I would tell her often, but she was too humble to accept my praise. Her reply: “I try my best . . . but how can you say that? I have broken English…I can’t read or write … I’m dumb . . .”Continue reading “Blessing #9: Memories of the Matriarch”

Blessings 5-8: My Closest Friends

I’ve always been a one-person friend. I may have had a number of girls I hung out with, but there was always just one girl I truly considered my friend at different times in my life. I also had a lot of guy friends, and at times I felt closer to them than I didContinue reading “Blessings 5-8: My Closest Friends”

Blessing #4: The Man, Not the Father

Blessings My father was a wonderful man, but a horrible father. Most of my childhood memories are negative. I know there are other memories besides the criticisms, the beatings, and the drunken rages, but I have a hard time accessing them. I’ll try to remember a nice family dinner—there had to be tons of them—but everyContinue reading “Blessing #4: The Man, Not the Father”

Blessing #3: My Mother’s Heart

Everything I have learned about love came from my mother. Even when it doesn’t make a lot of sense to give, she gives to a loved one without batting an eye. I attribute this to her tender heart; however, one does not become tender without a lot of pain (meat is tenderized by beating it).Continue reading “Blessing #3: My Mother’s Heart”

Blessing #2: God Gave Me Nicole

Blessings I don’t regret my past. It’s made me who I am today. People are shocked when I say that after hearing about my less-than-ideal upbringing: My father was an abusive alcoholic; I was beaten many times during his drunken rages. Also, as a girl, I had less value in my European family than my brothers;Continue reading “Blessing #2: God Gave Me Nicole”

32 Blessings and Blessing #1: Ian Is Alive and Well

Blessings To say my life has been difficult the last month is an understatement. In early December I was humming a sweet tune while I traveled along the path of my dream life; then, I was yanked out of my reverie and forced to see a different reality, one filled with lies, betrayals, and pain.Continue reading “32 Blessings and Blessing #1: Ian Is Alive and Well”