A Woman's Voice


BOOK REVIEW ~ UNCOVERED No More…clothed by God ~ November 2, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

TITLE: UNCOVERED No More ~ clothed by God  (a true story)

AUTHOR: Cara Ann Coffey

PUBLISHER: Tate Publishing & Enterprises

UNCOVERED No More ~ clothed by God ~ is a soul-searching, non-fiction book by author Cara Ann Coffey. At the age of forty-two in the year 2008, at a very low time in Cara’s life, she started to question the meaning to her life. She feared that she was losing her mind as she grasped to hang on to her sanity. Almost as long as she could remember, she had walked “in obedience to God” as best she could, yet her Christian life seemed to be filled with much suffering. Cara enjoyed a fulfilling marriage to her husband, Curtis, the father of her ten children yet Cara was tormented by other challenges taking place in her life.

As soon as I learned that Cara is a housewife and homeschooling mother to ten children spanning a period of twenty-one years, I instantly had admiration and respect for this devoted and loving woman. Cara’s story is both heart warming and heart wrenching. She writes about her struggles with her inner demons as she attempts to get a better understanding of herself and her inner struggles. Cara shares her childhood memories and the events that helped shape her life. She tells of the painful loss of her older brother to heart disease when he was still in his teens. His untimely death plagued her for years as she worked through her incredible grief. Cara then goes on to share her experiences with having her mother-in-law live with their family over a period of twelve years. At this time, Cara is also trying to make some sense of her mental anguish and the challenges she faces within the Body of Christ, the Christian Church, as she tries “to determine God’s true will”.

From the first page to the last one, everything I read points to Cara’s heart being as pure and innocent as the cover and title of her book.  Cara has been honest and forthright in every word that she writes. She is absolutely correct in her understanding of a loving relationship with God. She has bared her soul in UNCOVERED No More and due to that fact; she is now clothed by God in the perfect love that He offers. Cara has opened up her heart and soul and exposed her vulnerability. By doing so, she has demonstrated her victory with the help of Jesus Christ over her inner demons and has gone on to tell her well written, thought-provoking story. Cara’s journey is an inspiration to us all.

To learn more about Cara’s story, please visit Amazon.

 

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BOOK REVIEW ~ Love And Acceptance ~ September 26, by Dolores Ayotte

TITLE: Love And Acceptance ~ Nonfiction – 206 pages

AUTHOR: Annette Robertson

PUBLISHER: Take Publishing & Enterprises

Love And Acceptance is a heart-wrenching, true story written by Annette Robertson, about her dysfunctional childhood and her struggles with mental illness. It is apparent that Robertson has a deep faith that sustained and guided her throughout her trials and tribulations. Although, she admits that she wasn’t raised with a strict Christian background, she was always aware of the presence of a loving God.

Robertson professes that at one time, she “only identified, and felt safe, with unhealthy attention”. When at an all time low when her life was like a living nightmare,she attempted to commit suicide and failed. She eventually learned how to be healthy and love herself when she accepted her mental illness for what it was. At the pit of her despair, she likened herself to a “shattered vessel” and when she gazed into the mirror she was consumed with “self-loathing”.  Sexually abused as a child, Robertson cried out to the “Great Physician”, the “I AM” for  complete healing and after years of counselling, her prayers were answered. In doing so, she was forced to work through the pain of her past before she could be truly healed and move forward. Love And Acceptance is a true testimony of God’s love for all His children and the redemptive power of the love and acceptance Annette found in her relationship with Him.

Robertson is a survivor. She knows what it is like to be a victim and the restorative effects of becoming victorious. She has managed to work through her past pain with the help of God and lead a full and rewarding life. It was not easy for her to achieve the sought after peace of mind and contentment that she so richly deserved but she never gave up. With her faith and love for God, she managed to find it. Robertson has shown her courage and tenacity in this well-written book, as she reveals her inner most self when she shares her life struggles, her lessons, and her deep abiding faith and love for God with her readers.

If you are interested in purchasing Love and Acceptance, please click: Amazon

GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Four Rooms (Part 6 – conclusion) ~ August 6, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

….Conclusion ~ part 6

The last room that is necessary to visit on a regular basis is the physical room. This is the room that concentrates on the health and well-being of our bodies. I notice as the years have gone by that more and more people are concerned about this area. The concern is not only about exercise or the lack of it but also about the food we eat. We hear expressions like “You are what you eat.” There is a major concern about the quantity of food that we eat as well as the quality of it. People can find themselves leading sedentary lives. Watching television, playing computer games, and other idle activities are adding to our sometimes poor eating habits. If we work long hours or have too much responsibility apart from work, we have little or no time to address this concern. If we are not in good health or do not have the time or the opportunity to enjoy some physical activity, we pay the price in other areas as well. That’s the conundrum! It’s finding or making the time to create a well-balanced person by addressing the needs of the whole person. “To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”[i]

All four of these needs, whether spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical, are equally important and must be met in order to live a more centered and satisfactory life. If a person robs himself/herself in one area, it will have a negative impact in another one. By finding and achieving a healthy sense of balance in all the areas of our lives, a healthier sense of self will unfold. According to Thomas Carlyle, “He, who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.”[ii] It will then have the domino effect in our personal relationships, our family life, and our overall outlook on life. Energy begets energy whether it’s positive or negative energy. People with positive attitudes attract people with this same kind of energy. “A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.”[iii] The old saying “misery likes company” is the reverse of the above belief system. It actually can be true in a lot of instances.

Those people who are unbalanced in their life style choices emanate a lot of negative energy. They end up attracting like-minded individuals. The end result consists of existing in a negative life cycle the majority of the time. A lot of people are reluctant to admit that they actually can do something about it to turn their lives around. This is another area where we need to be very truthful and honest with ourselves. We need to evaluate and reassess our whole lifestyle many times over. We must continue to do so on a regular basis in order to develop the balance in our lives that we all not only crave but need. It may take time and several attempts to achieve this healthy balance but “our greatest glory is not failing, but in rising ever time we fall.”[iv] You may not succeed on your first attempt at entering all four rooms of your body on a daily basis, but keep trying. I promise that you will get better at it because “a will finds a way.”[v]

     Step 10 Try your best to meet all the needs of your whole being, the spiritual, the mental, the emotional, and the physical. Once these needs are being met, a more positive, well-balanced life will follow. You will end up in the positive cycle of life. In the less positive cycles of life, you will have the skills to better deal with the situation. One of the first things to do is to set a few moments aside to ask yourself this question. Do you have a clear idea of what you want your lifestyle to look like? Sit down and write it out. Keep yourself accountable. Maybe even recruit a friend to do it with you!

I would like to thank each and every one of you for spending this precious time with me. I hope you have enjoyed reading “Four Rooms” as much as I did in writing it. I sincerely hope it has touched your lives in some small way. This is just a gentle reminder, I recommend that you now go back and read the chapter in its entirety in order to get the true essence and inspirational flow of my message.  If you are interested in reading more of Growing Up & Liking It ~ More Steps to a Happier Self, I have provided the links below for you to purchase a copy at your convenience. Bright blessings to you all!

Amazon USA:

Amazon CANADA

Tate Publishing And Enterprises

Barnes & Noble:

Great quotes and quips :)  Blessings for success. Win this beautiful paperback by leaving a comment at my blog. The winner will be announced Monday! You have only today and tomorrow, so go for it!! http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com

__________________________________________________________________________________________

[i] “Robert Louis Stevenson quotes,” BrainyQuote,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/robert_louis_stevenson.html.

[ii] “Thomas Carlyle quotes,”
BrainyQuote, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomascarl118220.html.

[iii] “Washington Irving
quotes,” GIGA Quotes,
http://www.giga-usa.com/quotes/authors/washington_irving_a001.html.

[iv] “Ralph Waldo Emerson
quotes,” Quotes and Poem.com,
http://www.quotesandpoem.com/quotes/showquotes/subject/Perseverance/4923.

[v] “Orison Swett Marden
quotes,” BrainyQuote, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/o/orison_swett_marden.html.

GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Four Rooms (Part 5 – continued) ~ August 5, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from yesterday ~ part 5

The third room that I want to visit is the emotional room. I love and enjoy this room as well. It consists of the room where I laugh and where I cry, if necessary. Sometimes there is plenty to laugh about, and at other times there may be a sad event going on in my life that brings tears to my eyes. I deal with it here. This is an opportunity for me to also deal with all my other emotions. This is where I can admit that someone has made me angry or has upset me. I can also look at myself and admit that perhaps I have offended someone else, and I may need to say I’m sorry. In this room, I have discovered that there is a whole spectrum of emotions, which range from the very positive to the very negative. It is here that I acknowledge the full capacity of these emotions, and I take the time to decide which ones I will use to handle any situation that I may be facing.

Each of these rooms offers the opportunity to make different choices. In this room, I can take the advice of the Cherokee grandfather and decide which wolf I am going to feed. Remember that “you will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.”[i] I can choose between love/hate, laughter/tears, faith/fear, and every other possible emotional combination in all situations. It’s okay to cry in this room if something sad is going on in my life. It is okay to know fear in this room and look for ways to overcome it.

According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it…You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”[ii] It’s okay to admit anger in this room and figure out a positive way to deal with it. It’s okay to admit that someone has offended me and how it made me feel, but I must learn how to love and not hate the person who made me feel this negative way. “We can not despair of humanity since we ourselves are human beings.”[iii]

In this room, we not only have the right to face and deal with all our emotions, we also have the obligation. We must not only do it for ourselves but for the benefit of those around us. The less we deal with the things that negatively affect our lives the more power they have over us to negatively affect others. “The truth that many people never understand until it is too late is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.”[iv] We are all far better off to take the bull by the horns and face what needs to be done rather than let our past have the opportunity to affect our present and future happiness. “The future is that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured.”[v]

It really is okay to face up to a few things in this room. It’s a well-known adage that the truth shall set you free. In this room, it is very necessary to be totally honest with yourself. It’s okay if you don’t always like what you see because then it gives you the opportunity and the real challenge to do something about it. It has been said that “The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.”[vi] Yes, it can be frightening but “it takes courage to know when you ought to be afraid.”[vii] No matter how scared we are to deal with something that is going on in our past or present life, facing it takes courage, and it should be seen as such. “Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.”[viii]

to be continued…conclusion tomorrow!


[i] “James Allen quotes,” BrainyQuote,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/james_allen.html.

[ii] “Eleanor Roosevelt
quotes,” Wynn Davis, The Best of Success (Lombard, Illinois: Successories
Publishing, 1992), P.129.

[iii] “Albert Einstein quotes,” QuotationsBook,
http://quotationsbook.com/quote/19649/.

[iv] “Thomas Merton quotes,”
Thinkexist.com, http://thinkexist.com/quotes/thomas_merton/.

[v] “Ambrose Bierce quotes, BrainyQuote,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/ambrose_bierce.html.

[vi] “Bernard M. Baruch quotes,” Famous
Inspirational Quotes,
http://www.inspirationalquotes4u.com/baruchquotes/index.html.

[vii] “James A. Michener quotes,” BrainyQuote,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/james_a_michener.html.

[viii] “H. Stanley Judd quotes,” BrainyQuote,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/h_stanley_judd.html.

GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Four Rooms (Part – 4 continued) ~ August 4, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

….continued from yesterday ~ part 4

The second room that I enjoy visiting on a daily basis is the room where I exercise my intellect. It is the room that I have used to better educate myself as well as challenge and develop my own intelligence. In this room, I can no longer claim ignorance is bliss. I have chosen to educate myself in such a way that I feel confident asking questions that at one time I wouldn’t have dreamed possible. Finding the courage to do so has increased my faith, not only in a loving God but in myself. Stretching ourselves mentally can come in all forms. Although I enjoy reading and playing bridge, one of the forms I especially enjoy is in puzzle form.

Over the years, I have taken great pleasure in developing my puzzle solving skills. The more I solve these puzzles the better I get at it. The better I get at it, the better I feel about myself and my own self-image. My favorite puzzles to solve are crosswords and cryptoquotes. I also now enjoy Sudoku puzzles as well. Although they all bring me pleasure, the puzzle that has enhanced my life the most is the crypto quote. This quote is encoded by mixing up all the letters of the alphabet to reflect a different letter in the quote. By figuring out which letter stands for which, you can eventually decode the quote of the puzzle. I feel that I have been doubly blessed by having both the desire and the ability to do these puzzles.

First of all, it makes me feel somewhat intelligent to be able to do them as many people I’ve discussed this with say there’s no way that they can. Secondly, and even more importantly, is the fact that most of the quotes I have saved and savored over the years are from these puzzles. Some of the wise sayings from several of the greatest thinkers that have ever lived or still live today have been found in these puzzles. I have had the double benefit of not only solving the puzzles, but I’ve personally gained from their sagacity. “Study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection without study is dangerous.”[i]

There are many ways to educate ourselves and some are a lot of fun, albeit challenging. Once again, I must stress that although I enter this room on a daily basis, I wouldn’t want to stay in it all day. I may enjoy reading, puzzle solving, or educating myself, but I have other rooms to visit. I realize that “until input (thought) is linked to a goal (purpose) there is no intelligent accomplishment.”[ii] I must use what I learn in this room to better enhance my life and the lives of those around me. This has always been my main goal, and I am still making every effort to accomplish it.

to be continued….

GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Four Rooms (Part 3 – continued) ~ August 3, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from yesterday ~ part 3

I would now like to go into each room, one room at a time, to explain what is there and how you can enhance your own lives by visiting what is actually within yourselves. The first room is the spiritual room. It is the room where we develop our relationship with a higher power. As stated in my first book, for those of you who believe in this Supreme Being, you may choose to call him/her by a different name. To make my point, I am going to call mine Bonhomme (a French term of endearment with special meaning to me). In this spiritual room, we spend time praying or talking with God. It is our faith room. We don’t spend all our time in this room because if we did our lives would be out of whack. Although I feel that it is the first and most important room, I also realize that in order to have a well-balanced life I can’t live/visit here all of the time.

According to the elder, I must also visit the other rooms in my body/house. Nonetheless, every day I love to spend time with the one who gave me life and who created me in his image and likeness. “While faith makes all things possible…love makes all things easy.”[i] I start off my day by being thankful for both these gifts. Many times throughout the day, I may re-enter this room. I especially like to visit here at night just before I fall asleep to once again give thanks or to pray for those in my life in need of prayer including myself. It is in this room that I become fully alive. In our local newspaper I have read many of Karen Toole-Mitchell’s articles, which I discovered on the faith page. She has a Masters of Divinity degree. She was previously self-employed in Soul Seasons, a counseling and consulting partnership. In one of her articles subtitled “Fully Alive” Toole-Mitchell states that she has observed that some people live normal lives in extraordinary ways. In doing so, she feels that they live divinely inspired lives because they have explored their spiritual roots and have found the freedom to grow from this inspiration. Toole-Mitchell adds that because of this, these people take time to reflect on their lives and share what they have learned.

To share who we are and what we believe in means taking risks. I couldn’t agree more. To decide to step outside of our comfort zone and express ourselves more openly about our faith and spirituality creates a state of vulnerability. This is why I feel that it is a big decision to enter into this ordinary room and do extraordinary things! “For greatness after all, in spite of its name, appears to be not so much a certain size as a certain quality in human lives. It may be present in lives whose range is very small.”[ii]  I love this room because no matter how small and inadequate I may think I am, I feel God’s presence and accept His Will for me. Although, I come to this room daily, I cannot nor do I want to stay in any one of the four rooms all of the time. I would not accomplish much else in my life if I chose to do so. In this room, I have found my faith and learned the art and value of balancing my life and enjoying what each room has to offer. “Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than his own soul.”[iii]

To be continued…


[ii] “Phillips Brooks quotes,”
Wikiquote, http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Phillips_Brooks.

[iii] “Marcus Aurelius quotes,” BrainyQuote,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quoyes/m/marcusaure10790.html.

GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Four Rooms (Part 2 – continued) ~ August 2, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from yesterday ~ part 2

In the last chapter, I wrote about the Cherokee grandfather who was explaining life to his young grandson. In Canada, we have come to call the people who were here first as First Nation people. They have asked to be referred to in this way. When we were young we always referred to them as the Indian people. Over the years, this has become a derogatory term to describe our oldest ancestors. I notice as we travel through the United States, especially through the southern states, that the First Nation people refer to themselves as Indians. We have visited many Indian Craft sales along the way and have enjoyed many facets of their culture. The signs are made by the Indian people themselves and displayed as Indian Arts and Crafts. I have a love for the Indian people as I do for all people no matter what they choose to call themselves.

The reason I have gone into this preamble is because I want to share a little story with you about an Indian philosophy that I read about many years ago. I don’t want to say that it is a Cherokee, Cree, Erie, Apache, or any other particular tribe/Indian philosophy because I don’t know which one told the story. I also don’t want to offend my Canadian First Nation people by calling it an Indian story, nor do I want to take from the American Indian who has not asked to be called otherwise. Its origin may very well be from the American Indian. “A man’s feet should be planted in his own country, but his eyes should survey the world.”[i] I would like to share this story with all those who can identify with it and appreciate that it was told by an older person in order to spread the wealth of his/her wisdom.

It has been a long time since I have read this story, and it is not one that I have kept in my night table drawer. If I don’t explain it perfectly, it is not for lack of trying. The Indian or elder in this story was describing that each of our bodies has four rooms in it. The elder goes on to say that these four rooms are spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. The spiritual room, of course, consists of our faith and our relationship with our Creator or God. The mental room is comprised of our education, our knowledge, and our desire to learn. It deals with our intelligence. The emotional room consists of the happy times, the sad ones, what brings us the greatest pleasure, what makes us angry, and any or all emotions that we could possibly feel. Not all emotions are positive; nevertheless our human nature is comprised of the full spectrum.

Last, but not least, is the physical room where we concern ourselves with our actual body and the condition that it is in. According to this wise older Indian, in order for each of us to have a healthy, well-balanced life, we must enter into each of these rooms on a daily basis. If we don’t do this, our lives will not be as peaceful and as harmonious as they can be.

Each area of our lives must be satisfied in order to find true happiness. “Remember when life’s path is steep to keep your mind even.”[ii] It’s not to say that we won’t have hardships to face, it only means that if we are a more balanced person we will have better skills to cope with what may come our way. It has come to my attention that one of the most difficult things for us as human beings is to find that balance. As previously stated, with the stressful and busy lives that a lot of us lead, it may be hard to really find the time to follow the sage advice that is being offered. Although, I must admit, that by not at least trying to follow some of it to a small extent, it will be hard to truly enjoy life to the fullest. “There is no achievement without goals.”[iii]

to be continued….


[i] “George Santayana quotes,”
The Quotations Page, http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/George_Santayana.

[ii] “Horace quotes,” The
Quotations Page, http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/2954.html.

[iii] “Rober J. Mckain
quotes,” Thinkexist.com. http://thinkexist.com/quotes/robert_j_mckain/.

GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Four Rooms (Part 1) ~ August 1, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

As I mentioned last week, I am now posting a chapter from Growing Up & Liking It ~ More Steps To A Happier Self. My husband mentioned that I should share this chapter with you.  Obviously, it must be his favorite one so I hope you enjoy it too….

As I head toward the last four chapters, I find that once again I have more topics to cover than I first expected. I didn’t have room for this subject in I’m Not Perfect And It’s Okay, so now I have to choose carefully to ensure that I cover the most pertinent ones in this book. If only in my opinion, I am trying to prepare the best possible condensed notes in order to help all those who are willing to read them. The reason for doing this is because I have found that “in seeking happiness for others, you find it for yourself.”[i] Once again, I must stress that these pointers may not apply to everyone; however, I believe the bulk of them are universal. I suggest that you pick and choose those that apply to you and adjust them to suit your own needs. I’m quite satisfied that most of us are exposed to at least one or more of the topics I have chosen to cover. Albeit, it is always a wise idea to customize any or all suggestions to better fit the individual. In fact, there probably is at least one lifestyle recommendation in either of my books for everyone. The key is to zero in on what suits you or to focus on what applies to you in your own life.

Obviously, the skills I have attained are a result of learning to better cope and manage my own life. They are here for the asking. Not all people are asking; therefore, we must always respect each others choices. “As human beings, we are endowed with freedom of choice, and we cannot shuffle off our responsibilities upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must shoulder it ourselves. It is up to us.”[ii] In due course, if people are struggling with their lives, they eventually do reach out. My goal is to reach back at that time. “In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.”[iii]  Once a full circle has been completed, I know that I can comfortably move on and the healed person can now offer the same kind of guidance they received from me. In doing so, a chain of positive behaviors and events will link us all together in a creative and constructive
way. True healing begins with ourselves.

to be continued…


[i] “Author Unknown,” The
Positivity Blog, http://www.positivityblog.com/indexphp/2007/04/30/20-inpirational
-quotes-on-happiness/.

[ii] “Arnold Toynbee quotes,”
Thinkexist.com. http://thinkexist.com/quotes/arnold_toynbee/.

[iii] “Flora Edwards quotes,”
Thinkexist.com. http://thinkexist.com/quotes/flora_edwards/.

I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY ~ Thirteen Steps To A Happier Self ~ Chapter 5 ~ July 29, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

CHAPTER FIVE ~ He Who Laughs, Lasts!

Over the last several years, my husband and I have had a neat arrangement. He usually is not a man of many words. I am a morning person, and he is not. When we walk in the morning, he says very little. On many occasions he has told me to just keep talking and says that he will let me know when he doesn’t agree with me. So he must be agreeing with me in most instances because he usually just keeps moving along in silence. According to Wilma Askinas, “Sometimes you have to be silent in order to be heard.”[i] Publius Syrus recommends, however, to “let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.”[ii] Either way you look at it, I must admit that I already know what he does or doesn’t agree with. If I want to get him to talk, I just press one of his buttons, but most of the time I hear his silence and know exactly what it means…


[i] “Wilma Askinas quotes,”
Thinkexist.com, http://thinkexist.com/quotes/wima_askinas/.

[ii] “Publius Syrus quotes,”
QuotationsBook, http://quotationbook.com/quotes/36269/.

Once again my dear readers, I thank you for taking some time out of your busy lives to spend some of it with me. Take gentle care and may God grant you His choicest blessings!

Amazon USA

Amazon CANADA

Tate Publishing & Enterprises

Barnes and Noble

I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY ~ Thirteen Steps To A Happier Self ~ Chapter 4 ~ July 28, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

CHAPTER FOUR ~ More F Words!

My goodness, where in the world could I be going now? F words! Admit it, you thought of the unmentionable word. No need to worry about that. First, we learned about deciding whether to be our own friend or foe. Obviously, they both start with an “F.” Now the other two “F” words we are going to discuss are about forgiving and being forgiven.

Once again, I will tell a little story. This is actually a true story. I usually try to let you know which ones are real and which ones aren’t. In most cases, it doesn’t make much difference, because I tell the story to make a point. I will continue to use either format as the need arises to get any given point across. This story revolves around some information told to me by my father shortly before his death. My dad was only sixty-nine years old when he passed away, but he had suffered quite a lot from ill-health over the years. He had his first heart attack in his early forties, followed by a stroke in his fifties. Diabetes and some depression also exacerbated his condition. Needless to say, there were times when my dad didn’t have a lot of fun, especially in his mid to late sixties. He was a man who spent quite a bit of time in his rocking chair and did a lot of thinking in those last few years of his life…

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