Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What was your "moment"?

Take a moment to think about an event in your life that changed your perspective. A life changing event. Some may recall what they were doing the day of  "911" or  when they purchased their first car, or had their first kiss. I am talking about those character building moments.Those moments that may  or may not have felt very good as they occurred but still helped define who you are.  Send me your stories in 500 words or less to Please include your contact information as well.
Here is an example of one such such story...

I grew up with a single mom and was the youngest of four. We shared a one bedroom apartment on the “wrong” side of town. When you are poor, life is simple because the answer is always NO!  Or is it?
During the summers, I lived with my great-grandparents. Grandfather was paralyzed but he was a kind, wise old man and with grandma, who had arrived through Ellis Island, they were a transformative force in my young life. Their struggles with disability, economic hardship of the 1930s, the loss of a child in wartime, the loss of another to breast cancer, taught me that when you’re on the bottom, all you can do is look up.
I was that kid who tried out for the majorette squad, and when I failed, I started my own majorette squad of one (that was the day I decided to make things happen, not just wait for them to happen)!
After high school, I was a live-in nanny for a woman raising her granddaughter. Eventually, she got sick and I became the caregiver for both the child and my employer.
I found an apartment, worked in a nursing facility and attended college at night.  At the age of nineteen, I opened a childcare center that eventually grew to serve 125 children.
Marriage started off hard. The night of our wedding, John’s dad had a heart attack and became an invalid. We spent years fighting to keep him alive.
John is an immigrant, he suffered from polio has had several falls. One fall broke his back. He recovered; we are still together and strong. We've lost money, raised children and buried loved ones. We feel pain, joy and the satisfaction of knowing that we will always prevail as long as we stay committed to our task.

I empathize with the young, the “broken” and the elderly, because I've been two of those already!

Friday, February 20, 2015

What if we just talk about it?

I am writing a series of children's books that cover topics that most adults wont (or simply don't know how to) tackle. Titled "I'm not like the others" this series helps children start a conversation with their significant "adult(s)".  Each picture book  concludes with the fact that each child in many ways are" just like the others" as well as a page offering some discussion ideas made for the adults to help them get started. This series includes such topics as sexual identification, homelessness, death, divorce, drugs,violence in the home, cultural diversity, same sex parents, adoption, mental illness and more! This is not a series to provide expert advice, it is simply intended to start a helpful dialog. Looking forward to giving children a way to break down some barriers, and maybe in some small way a window to articulate what they are feeling or  working on figuring out. Looking forward to a world of greater tolerance and understanding. It all starts with a simple conversation, the rest is up to the readers and their audience. After raising three children of my own and countless others (who were not my own) I learned that these children had questions and concerns at a very young age. Unable to start the conversation nor articulate what they felt, many suffered for years until they could. Why make them wait? Why not let them know that they are not alone, and they are loved and valued. Their value is not measured by what life circumstance they are living. They are simply valued!