Witness … Our Friends, Our Families and Our Partners

Standard

Witness … Our Friends, Our Families and Our Partners

By Bernadette A Moyer

“We need a witness to our lives. There are a billion people on the planet … I mean, what does anyone life really means? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things … all of it, all the time, every day. You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.” (From the movie, Shall We Dance 2004)

My husband Brian and his mother Marie would go full circle, she would be there to greet him upon his arrival on his birth. He would hold her hand as she took her last breath here on earth. She witnessed his birth and he witnessed her death.
So many of us have re-connected with people from our past and managed to forge new relationships because of social networks like Facebook and professional ones like LinkedIn.

There is something so healthy and healing in having a history with someone. Someone special, who knows our past, is with us in the present and committed to us for the future. Having a 20 year history with my husband is a gift. We have shared the highest joys and the lowest sorrows together.

As a couple we really grew up in our 30’s, managed and maintained our family throughout our 30’s and 40’s and anticipate a renewal of couple hood now in our early 50’s. We have felt accomplished together and we have endured failures together as life partners, husband and wife. We have been blessed for the most part and managed to come out of most things hand in hand and stronger for the experiences both during the good times and the not so good ones. We are a witness to each other and give affirmation and confirmation on the life that we share together.

My friend Nick has come back into my life we first met in 1982 when I moved to Baltimore. We were young and it was the big fat 80’s of abundance. We worked hard in the restaurant business and we played hard together too. We had some of the best times together and this New Year 2012 we celebrated it together.

Nick is more than just a friend to me he is a witness, Nick was brave enough to vacation with me, my daughter, my mother and my sisters many years ago in Ocean City Maryland. His mother was my babysitter for my oldest daughter. Nick remembers her when she was just a tiny toddler and said, “Your daughter was the most beautiful little girl and you idealized her.” He was present in and out of our home, my mother’s home and his parents’ home. We share a significant past. We have memories. Our relationship is natural and easy and when we reconnected it was as if we never skipped a beat.

Through Facebook I have managed to establish and re-establish relationships with my classmates some from as far back as Marian Catholic high school class of 1977. This weekend I will happily travel to Delaware and “witness” JoAnn one of my classmates enter into a marriage. JoAnn and Chrissy are in love and committed to a life together, they will formalize their commitment in front of all their “witnesses.” I couldn’t be more honored to be included in their joy-filled celebration.

Yesterday I enjoyed a three hour lunch with my friend, mentor and “other mother” Priscilla. She has been there for me and my family at many life altering intervals. She was present when our twins began school and when our oldest graduated. She witnessed many family celebrations and listened with a loving heart when I shared many of my greatest accomplishments, heartaches and some of my disappointments. She has been my friend and another “witness” in my life.

Alicia was my neighbor and I met her when she was just a kid in elementary school about 20 years ago. We used to drive her to school; later she became my mother’s helper with our twins. I watched her evolve all through school until she graduated from high school and later college. She is an accomplished Montessori school teacher. I guess you could say I was just one “witness” in her life. I knew her as a little kid and today I am proud to call her my friend.

We all have many people in our life who have been a “witness” at one time or another and they bring to our life a sense of validation that without them we wouldn’t have.

Not so long ago I shared some childhood memories with my Uncle John and he said, “I knew about that” and other memories with my mother’s cousin Marianne who said, “that is how I remembered it too.” There is something so valuable and validating about sharing stories of the past with friends and family that were present just like you. We all want that witness to our life. To validate our time here on earth and we want to know that we mattered.

I flew down to Florida and spent a few days with a family member who recently said to me, “I knew you as a little girl and as a teenager; I’d like to get to know you as an adult.” I couldn’t wait to share time, memories and “witness” our current life together.

Most all of us are seeking some validation in life, a desire to know that we mattered and that our life had importance. It is through our friends, family members and spouses that we have a “witness.”

And like Susan Sarandon’s’ character Beverly Clark states in the movie, Shall We Dance, “Your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
NEW BOOK! Along The Way available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble #alongtheway

family-gathering

The Good Stuff …Another 100 Things to Be Happy About!

Standard

The Good Stuff … Another 100 Things to Be Happy About!
By Bernadette A. Moyer

My first 100 came so easy I thought I’d write another, we all have so much to be happy about! What is on your list?

1) Picking up your dogs after their grooming appointment
2) A big bowl of cut up fresh fruits
3) My husband washing and waxing my car because he wants to do it for me
4) An invitation to lunch
5) A perfect sunset
6) Family photos
7) Intelligent people
8) Successful people
9) When the first piece of pie comes out looking great
10) Your first snowball for the summer
11) Your favorite wine is on sale
12) Summer holidays of red, white and blue
13) Christmas shopping in July
14) Long road trips to fun locations
15) Taking the train to New York City
16) Neighborhood newspapers where you find really great community stories
17) The Amish market
18) In season ripe red tomatoes
19) New sneakers
20) Flat screen TV’s
21) Happy Hour at your neighborhood bar
22) The sermon that seems like it was written just for you
23) Connecting with new people
24) Books with hard covers and dust jackets
25) Love letters and cards that you have collected through the years from your spouse and re-reading them
26) A last minute invite and you are free to go
27) Fat juicy steamed crabs and pitchers of ice cold beer
28) Summer nights around the fire pit
29) Letting go and trusting in the universe and seeing just how healthy it is for you
30) Dorney Park
31) Grassy hilled properties with horses on them
32) Warm summer rains when you can walk around in it and be free just like when you were a kid
33) Catching a fish that is a keeper and having it for dinner
34) Picking your own blueberries
35) Growing fresh mint for your iced tea
36) Painting a room and it looks great
37) The smells of breakfast like bacon cooking and coffee brewing
38) My husband’s hugs
39) The old people in the neighborhood that stop by for a chat
40) Being asked to volunteer your time and talents
41) Red sandals
42) French manicures
43) Pretty new pedicures
44) Soft serve ice cream in a cone
45) Unexpected recognition for something that you do because you enjoy it
46) Funny people that make you laugh out loud
47) A direct flight that arrives on time
48) Postcards that arrive unexpectedly from other countries
49) Having your diamond ring steam cleaned
50) A gift and it isn’t even a holiday
51) Someone who makes food for you
52) Friends who can order for you because they remember how you like your steak cooked and how you like your drink prepared
53) Gay guy friends that are like the best girlfriends, fun!
54) Teachers that remember you from way back when
55) Old neighbors that you have kept up with
56) Model homes that are perfectly decorated
57) Pinterest pinning
58) The day you finish your novel and turn it over to your publisher
59) McCormick spices being made and waffling through the air like cinnamon
60) A massage
61) Handmade soaps
62) Long walks on the beach at twilight
63) The big screen movies
64) Hot soft pretzels
65) More gas than you remembered in the gas tank
66) Coin jars after a years of adding your extra change
67) Professional landscaping
68) A new desk chair that is comfy and stylish
69) Clean sidewalks and streets
70) Green full trees
71) Nighttime baseball games under the lights
72) Outdoor live concerts
73) Picnics in the park
74) Hot juicy fried chicken
75) Lunch at a popular restaurant and you know the owner who comes to see you
76) Visiting your former place of employment and people from all departments come to greet you
77) Free bumper stickers that you would have paid for
78) Early mornings when everyone is still in bed but you are accomplishing much
79) Inspirational speakers that leave you elevated
80) Good happy stories that make the news
81) A friends success
82) When good things happen for good people
83) Hydrangeas that are vibrant and bountiful like colored snowballs
84) Early morning walks on the beach when very few people are around
85) Air conditioned shopping on really hot days
86) Crisp clean new sheets
87) Perfectly white fluffy towels
88) Your own signature sangria that people rave about
89) A big pot of homemade soup
90) Stocking up your supply closet and stepping back to appreciate the abundance
91) Brand new appliances
92) Drawing out renovation plans and making something old like new again
93) Feedback that states your home shows “excellent” and is “adorable”
94) That moment when my husband comes home from work, and have missed each other
95) Watching how much the dogs love our son and how great he is with them
96) New makeup and using it for the first time
97) E-mails from friends with great news to share
98) Feeling at peace and really happy with yourself
99) Going to a wedding
100) A day at the beach … a week at the beach!
good-stuff

The Good Stuff … 100 Things to Be Happy About!

Standard

The Good Stuff … 100 Things to Be Happy About!
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Everyone has “good stuff” in their life; here are the first 100 that came to me, my own list of “good stuff” what is on your list of good stuff?

My list of good stuff;

1) Getting to the bakery just when the Italian bread is coming out of the oven
2) Putting on last year’s white Capri pants and finding a $5 bill
3) Driving around the parking lot over and over and then happening on the very first parking spot
4) Arriving at the drycleaner in time to get same day service and there is no waiting in line
5) Waiting in the grocery line and you are three deep when the checker comes to get you and starts a new lane
6) Finding a dozen roses laying across your bed
7) Having a friend buy you a present that you always wanted but never would have afforded yourself
8) When your kids have grown up and they want to treat you to lunch and a movie
9) Running into an old friend you haven’t seen in years and they are just as happy to see you as you are to see them
10) Having a complete stranger open a door for you with a smile
11) When you least expect it and your husband wants to be with you doing normal everyday things like shopping and running errands
12) A friend from high school finds you on Facebook and you re-connect after more than 30 years
13) The checker at the grocery store says, “Whose mom are you? Because you are hot!”
14) Your favorite magazine arrives on the day you are looking for something new and fresh to read
15) Working toward a goal of 10,000 and immediately passing it by 700 more
16) Thinking about someone and they call you
17) Getting an interview and acing it
18) Old friends
19) New friends
20) Planning your vacation and the weather is absolutely perfect for all that you have planned
21) Making a chocolate cake and having everyone rave about how good it is
22) The greeting from your dog when you have been away all day long
23) When the people in your life tell you how much you mean to them
24) Getting a grant that will fund your novel
25) Having your teenager make your bed
26) Guessing at the frame size necessary for framing a piece of art and getting it right
27) Ordering a drink and it is better than you expected
28) Buying a new car
29) Buying a new car for less than the blue book value
30) Selling your home for three times what you purchased it for
31) Getting promoted when you never even asked for it
32) Being the top salesperson without really trying
33) Writing without interruptions
34) Having lunch with family you haven’t seen in years and it goes really well
35) A person who knows you well and defends you when you never even asked them to do it
36) Mentoring a young person and watching them become really successful
37) Buying a gift and the receiver absolutely loves it
38) Cooking filet mignon on the grill and it is cooked perfectly
39) Going back to school and getting all A’s in your classes
40) Buying a bathing suit that makes you look like you have lost 10 lbs.
41) The feeling of wearing the most comfortable yet stylish shoes
42) That online dress purchase that turns out to be a perfect fit and looks great on you
43) Pulling the lasagna out of the oven just when unexpected company arrives
44) A letter of recommendation that far exceeds your expectations
45) Having your manuscript purchased by a New York publishing house
46) That scratch off ticket that just put $100 in your pocket
47) Expecting to have lost 2 or 3 pounds and you lost 5 pounds
48) Little kids that just follow you around
49) A cute guy who gives you a big smile
50) Old people that give you the thumbs up from across the restaurant
51) Anyone who tells you that you are beautiful
52) Arriving at the party at the perfect time when just the right amount of people are there and yet you haven’t missed anything
53) When the pool is crystal clear and just warm/cool enough that you want to jump in
54) Seeing your pumpkins and tomatoes grow from flowers to full fruits and vegetables
55) The farmers market on Sunday morning
56) The right seat at church is available for you when you are at a resort location
57) Getting the concert tickets and they are front row seats
58) Meeting a magazine editor on the train to New York and developing a lasting friendship
59) Buying a new outfit that looks like it was made to fit you
60) A spa day
61) A new haircut that flatters you
62) Belgium waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream
63) Riding your bike and having a breeze run through your hair
64) Female friends that lift you up
65) Getting to the cash register with a sale item that you believe it a great deal and finding out it is discounted another 40%
66) An iPad 3
67) Writing a piece and dozens of people give you the thumbs up
68) Having your blogs re-tweeted to over 5,000 people
69) Receiving a good driver discount
70) Making pies and eating pies
71) A dreaded doctor visit that goes really well
72) Your husband’s love and respect
73) Your kid’s love and respect
74) Your friends and family’s love and respect
75) A new toy
76) Riding the Ferris wheel at the fair with a bag of pink cotton candy in hand and you are over 50 years old ; p
77) Long slow kisses …
78) The smell of dinner in the crockpot
79) The sounds of the ocean slapping up against the sand
80) Seeing last year’s lilies come up even prettier this year
81) Remembering a special day and reflecting upon it
82) New colored pencils and magic markers
83) A handwritten card or note that arrives in the mail
84) Getting upgraded to first class without the extra fees
85) A cold beer on a really hot day
86) Great seats for the game and your team wins
87) The smell of fresh laundry
88) Finding an old piece of jewelry and wearing it like it is brand new again
89) Shopping and NOT buying anything because you already have all that you really want
90) Your favorite artist song comes on the radio
91) Photographs that turn out better than you thought they would
92) A cup of coffee made just how you like it
93) The smell of freshly cut grass
94) Your favorite champagne as a gift to you
95) Raspberries, blueberries and peaches in season and in abundance
96) Cut watermelon
97) Time to read that book you set aside
98) A bubble bath
99) Cutting your own flower bouquet from your own garden
100) Living and loving and being happy with where you are and with whom you have become!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

New Book! Along The Way available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Good-Stuff-Print_1

A Restored Trust

Standard

A Restored Trust
By Bernadette A. Moyer

trust2

Earlier today I wrote an essay about Broken Trust and how important trust is to every relationship. After writing it I was reminded of a “broken trust” that was restored. It was with our son.

A few years ago over July 4th holiday when my husband and I went to the beach our son was scheduled to work so he remained home. At that time he was 19 years old. We never had any real trust issues with him, he is an Eagle Scout and we often tease him. We tease him about his honesty; let’s just say you wouldn’t want to rob a bank with him. Because in a second he would give both himself and you right up!

That holiday he invited a few guys over to swim in our pool he is a lifeguard and we have no issue with this. The problem was that a few friends turned into about 60 people and it was obvious by all the empty beer cans and empty booze bottles in and around our home that underage drinking had taken place. Not to mention the cigarette butts and huge fat cigar remnants.

He thought he had cleaned the place up but he missed many things and the youngest coolest neighbor came by to tell us just how loud the music was and how many people were here. He was busted!

Father and son had words, I was disappointed and at that time our son wasn’t sorry but rather defiant and we all agreed it best if he went to stay with a friend until things cooled off a bit. My husband’s very expensive watch was missing and probably stolen. The kids that came, many were not his friends. There were so many people in and around the house that by our son’s own admission “It was out of control.”

I did something similar when I was a kid and I wanted to use this as a teaching opportunity, my husband never did such a thing and saw it as a huge disrespect and that trust was broken. Within a month our son returned home. He was really sorry and made amends. Even though he couldn’t afford to replace the expensive watch that was gone, he did buy his father another watch.

He vowed it would never happen again and we impressed upon him all the issues with allowing underage drinking to take place on our property and in our home. How bad this could have been.

It is really easy to forgive someone when they are sorry and when they try and make it right. The take away for me is and remains, that the love and respect we have for our son and that he has for us far outweighed this lapse in judgment. He was a kid and doing what many kids do, today he has learned something and we are all closer than ever before.

Even though we felt hurt and disappointed and somewhat disrespected, he didn’t have a pool party to try and hurt us. Things happen in all relationships but it is what we do with what happens that determines whether we move ahead together or not.

Forgiveness is always possible but first we have to accept our role and if we are in the wrong, be sorry and try and make it right.

Today more than four years later, our son now 23 appreciates everything. Just about every card he gives us for birthdays and other holidays he talks about maturing into being an adult and how much he loves us and sees things so differently from when he was a child.

Trust in relationships can be tested and what we do during that “test” often determines in what direction the future of the relationship will take. Thank goodness we all grew and learned and that the love in our family was far greater than a temporary lapse of good judgement and a broken trust.

A broken trust doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship; it can be the beginning of a greater understanding and appreciation.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
New book! Along The Way available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

Another Way

Standard

Another Way
By Bernadette A Moyer

You either find a way or you make your way. There is always another way, a better way, as life goes on we learn more and more about the value in our choices.

Every experience that we go through affords us the opportunity to learn and to grow; it also affords us an opportunity to respond with love.

There is always the “high road” the place where we respond with the most kindness regardless of how challenging our experience becomes.

When we stop, reflect and pause before a quick knee jerk response we allow ourselves that moment to think before we act. Most hurtful and negative responses are fear based. When we are secure in ourselves and when we know ourselves we need not fear.

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road …unless you fail to make the turn.” Helen Keller

Many times in life we will start out on one course only to re-evaluate and decide upon Another Way. Sometimes someone else makes that decision for us. Maybe a failed relationship or a failed job stops us in our tracks. Yet this is the time when we are afforded an opportunity to go Another Way.

For me, Another Way has always been a better way. When something or someone didn’t work the way that I had imagined it, I always found myself in a better place. New opportunities took their place and showed themselves.

This book Another Way will be available on November 1, 2015 and it contains several articles, blogs and essays and on many subjects but they are connected by coming about because I had the chance to go about life in Another Way.

As I finish this piece, I am preparing to leave for a week away to Las Vegas and one of my little dogs Chipper just arrived in my office. The hardest part about going away is leaving them behind. I know that if we still had minor children at home we would not travel near as much as what we do now.

Our life is different and we are living it Another Way. And it s full of life, of happiness, of pure joy and loaded with many adventures!

If what you are doing isn’t making you happy, you can always choose Another Way …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

another way

Did We Throw Out the Baby With the Bath Water

Standard

Did We Throw Out the Baby With the Bath Water
By Bernadette A. Moyer

My generation grew up with a healthy respect for adults, our family, our community and our church. We knew to respect our elders since they were older, lived longer and therefore knew more. When we grew up we were considered “chattel” that our parents basically owned, today kids are born with their own inherent rights.

Most of us were spanked and yelled at when we grew up and we never thought of it as child abuse. We thought of it as discipline and that our parents were trying to get our attention and help to form us into responsible adults.

Today, it seems, most kids feel like they were abused and neglected, they were physically abused, mentally abused and verbally abused. Was this the response to a generation that was abused by parents and some clergy, teachers and other adults?

Our schools are teaching our kids about abuse. Yet our military is still using the same methods as many parents that I knew used while growing up. We were yelled at and we never thought it was “verbal abuse.”

Have we raised a generation of kids that have no boundaries, were never spanked nor yelled at and if so how are they doing in this world? It seems like today so many young people are without coping skills and have a victim mentality. We have empowered our kids to where you can look at them a certain way and they are “abused” by the look you have on your face toward them.

What I see is a population of so many young people that doesn’t know what tough times are and seem more discontent that ever before. Young people who seem angrier and violent and disrespectful. We have taken God out of schools, we have taken the power away from the parents and then we sit back and act confused when so many young people are without boundaries.

Maybe I was old fashioned but my kids ate at the kitchen table and most nights we ate together as a family. Many of my peer parents allowed their kids to run the entire house with cookies and the like and then sat back and wondered why they had a mess complete with ants and rodents throughout the house.

We had expectations for our children as to what was and is acceptable behaviors. We tried to teach them that not everything in life is going to go your way and that not everything in life will come easy for you. And therefore learn to deal with things that may not be exactly as you like. Use it as a motivating force.

After the college shooting that took place just yesterday in Oregon my husband and I once again reflect upon how much respect we grew up with, in respecting our parents, our home, our community. It would never have occurred to us that taking a weapon to school or any public place and shooting at innocent people was a means of expressing our displeasure with life and with the world.

Even back then we knew that if we were unhappy it was our responsibility to find a way to enrich our life and to make it better. It wasn’t our parent’s responsibility or our community or our government that “owed” us.

Like everyone after the shootings took place I at first wanted to see what this shooter looks like and now I am like stop giving him any attention. These stories are newsworthy but let us give equal time and attention to the well balanced young people that are out there doing well in this world.

My husband and I both grew up with parents that weren’t afraid to express their displeasure to us, when and if we acted inappropriately. I don’t believe we would have so much violence in our culture if young people learned to channel their rage and frustrations toward productive goals and healthy ways of expression rather than by anger, hatred and a desire to destroy.

And I also question that if someone/anyone is diagnosed with any form of mental illness or a disability should they be allowed to own so many guns and weapons?

Peace to all the people in Oregon and May something good come from all this hurt and heartache. We pray.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
New book! Along The Way is available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

baby-bathwater

A Harvest Season Prayer

Standard

A Harvest Season Prayer
By Bernadette A Moyer

May you have an abundance of light, love and laughter and may you be surrounded by loved ones, and may your heart be filled with joy.

We thank you Lord Jesus for all that we have, and we appreciate our family, our friends, the food that we share, the warmth of our home, and the peace and unconditional love that you bestow upon us.

May we love all people as you our Father loves us. We pray for all those in need that their prayers may be answered.

We pray for peace in our families, in our community, in our country and in our world. We pray that love wins and grace and gratitude reign.

We pray for light to cast over the darkest of places.

May we all share in your love and abundance for this harvest season and all the days of our lives

We pray. Amen.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
New book! Along The Way available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, be sure and check it out
HarvestSeason