Tag Archives: Spirituality

Never Quit

Here I am, 2 ½ weeks from a long-awaited graduation, cramming a foreign language into two, online, summer semesters. Panic set in earlier this week when I scored a 35% on a practice exam. Poor, stupid me. I’ll fail. I’ll have to retake Spanish II. I’ll have to come up with the tuition and money for a tutor. ­­­I won’t graduate until January.

Wait.

I remember the day, seven years ago, when everything changed. After betrayal encouraged me to wish a human being dead. To hope for it. To plot. And the unexpected twists and turns that led to forgiveness and an appreciation for life.

I remember the day I slouched on the sofa, baby-math book open on the coffee table. I can’t. I was never good at math. No. Pick up the pencil and try. And try. And try until it makes sense. Months later my instructor calls to tell me I received a perfect score on the final. That momentum got me through five more math classes.

I remember the night in “Commercial Design” when the impossible project stopped me cold. I can’t do this. God, I need help. I look at the blueprint again, the specifications. Of course it can be done. Start drawing. Two months later, the result was beautiful.

Spanish is just the current challenge. And beyond that, the reason for all of this effort–writing an unlikely story openly and with grace.

Easy. I just have to remember I’m not doing it alone.

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Reality Bite

In 1988 I worked nights as a data entry clerk for the Internal Revenue Service in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It was boring work. It didn’t help that I didn’t sleep very well while Ryan was in kindergarten. I was tired most of the time. Although I didn’t like the job, I thought I was lucky to have it. We had one car: my old Chevy, and Tom needed that to commute to New York during the day.

Driving home one night in late February, I cranked the radio to stay awake. It had rained earlier. A thin sheet of ice covered the road. The highway was salted, but I skidded on the exit ramp. Continue reading

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One Last Lesson From My Mother

Most of us have one person who has influenced our life more than any other. For me that person was my mother, who gave me the greatest gift one person can give another—a renewed faith in God.

Over the years, my mother and I shared a number of disagreements:

  • The critical nature of house-cleaning schedules—
  • The “truth” of Catholicism—
  • What “lady-like” means–  
  • The discipline of only buying things on sale.

But we shared a lot of the same beliefs, even if we weren’t able to exhibit them perfectly:

  • It is better to be kind than to be correct—
  • Don’t judge, or you’ll find yourself in the position of the judged soon enough—
  • Have the courage to do the right thing—
  • Nothing is as important as love.

Mom was a teacher by trade and by avocation. In her passion she enriched her student’s lives, including mine, in unexpected ways. Continue reading

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