To Know Someone’s Heart


To Know Someone’s Heart
By Bernadette A Moyer

“If you want to know someone’s heart, you have to know what breaks it.” President George H. Bush

During a recent television interview with the elder President Bush part of the discussion was about a child they had that passed away as a toddler. I can’t imagine the pain that is associated with having a baby and seeing that child suffer and then ultimately die as a young toddler. It almost seems too cruel to even imagine.

When asked about this loss and the heartache the former President replied with the above quote. For days now I have reflected upon that statement as we do learn so much about another person by what breaks their heart. We all have something and/or someone in our lives that with their loss could literally break our hearts. It could be our mother or our father or a dear friend; it could be a spouse or even a child.

Losing a child is probably the most unnatural loss of all as a child truly represents the future, and comes far too soon for anyone to truly conceive.

In the last day I have received two lengthy e-mails from people that only know me through my writings. It is a common occurrence for me to receive these kinds of messages. They write to me because of the loss and heart break they are experiencing because of an estranged child.

This is where their heart lives as the parent of a child that they loved and raised and who has ultimately decided to delete mom and dad from their lives. To parent any child is to know the depth of your own heart.

“Making a decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone

I don’t believe we truly understand the depth of our ability to love until we birth a child. There is absolutely nothing else like it!

Then there are other loves that also show our hearts. A very dear friend is mourning this week just a year ago her longtime friend of over 4-decades died of cancer. She was just mid-50 with a husband and two sons and grandchildren. I see my friend who is brokenhearted and I see her heart. She has the capacity for love.

Losing a love does reveal many things about us; it reveals how we carry on and how we face what comes next. With any heartbreak we grieve the loss. Our broken heart humbles us and it opens us up in our vulnerability.

One of the greatest gifts that we share with others is when we share our loves. To truly know another we must know where their heart lives and for most of us that includes our family and our friends. It includes the people that matter most to us.

When someone passes on or leaves us it does not mean that we still can’t enjoy and feel the love that we shared. When I see a clock and the time is 3:33 I think of my old friend and mentor Ed who died many years ago, I smile and I say a prayer. He liked those numbers and played them often in the lottery.

And when I catch a clock at 2:41 the time of day that my daughter was born I instantly say, “God Bless her wherever she is and whatever she is doing!”

Today my heart lives most closely with my husband and our son who is still at home with us and our two precious pooches. Like most people I also share my heart with a close knit group of friends and my writing is where my heart lives.

I no longer allow my heart to live in the past as I have learned that love is a living thing, it is okay to reflect fondly on past loves but to stay there is to be stuck and to cease moving forward. To seek more love and new love we must be willing to take the steps that are ahead of us while letting go of what was behind us. Easy to say and often difficult to do.

We all know that to love is to risk loss and yet without love we cease to live. To really know someone and to really know ourselves we do in fact need to not only know about our hearts and their capacity for love but also what breaks our hearts …

Bernadette on Facebook at

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When Your Holiday Season is Shaping Up to be Less Than Norman Rockwell Like


When Your Holiday Season is Shaping Up to be Less Than Norman Rockwell Like
By Bernadette A. Moyer

“Tis the season!” For some people and some families the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are wonderful and a time for cheer and for celebrations!

And for other people it may be a time of dread. Recently I read a social media post that stated “wish I could just fast forward to January” they knew they would struggle with the holidays and with their fractured family.

Sometimes the dread comes from a job loss or an illness or a death in the family. Many adults with children feel extra pressure to provide a “magical holiday” experience for young children on a very tight budget. We see images on television and in our stores of abundance and an expectation that we can and will all afford these celebrations.

Truth is some people just can’t do it, they can’t keep up because of their finances or because of their grief.

What we need to remember is that although the holiday season is often dubbed as “the most magical time of the year” this isn’t necessarily the case for every single person.
Some people actually suffer from the “holiday blues” and for them this could be the saddest time of the year. Even in families where it appears to be “Norman Rockwell” like, it isn’t always perfect!

I’ve had absolutely great holidays and I have had a few where I just wanted to pull the covers over my head, go to sleep and wake up when it was all over. One year I had no family, no money and was starting all over in my career and at this time I had a little girl that was counting on me to make it special.

Another year just months earlier we experienced a child estrange and this could have potentially thrown us all into a holiday funk, but it didn’t.

The first sad Christmas I ever had I vowed it would never happen again and that year I made food, we went to the first screening of a newly released film playing in a local historic theater. So by 9:00 in the evening we were snug in our beds. The next day I woke up refreshed and stronger for the experience. That year was the bench mark for what I never wanted to happen again.

The years of the recent estrangement we changed all traditional holiday plans and headed to Key West. According to our son it was “the best Christmas ever!” Christmas day we were sitting on Smathers beach taking in the hot sunny weather. Not at all traditional for a gal born and raised in the Northeast but still a happy holiday!

You can and you will get through the holidays and I am convinced that the sad ones are designed to make us appreciate all the happy ones. I also believe the sad ones serve as a shake-up that it just may be time to try something new and different for the holiday season.

Remember not every person out there is happy and having an easy time of it. Holidays bring about past memories with family and friends. Some for happy memories and some may drive home for us our lost loved ones.

Tips for Handling the Holidays Alone

1) Don’t pressure yourself, go with your own flow!
2) Take in the FREE sites, shopping malls and heavily decorated areas may make you feel better.
3) Grab a coffee or a meal out, learn to be alone and to be okay with it.
4) Churches have all kinds of Bazaars and cookie sells, support them and take home a few treats.
5) Volunteer at a hospital, or food kitchen or pet rescue center.
6) Go to the public library and stock up on must reads and films to view.
7) Write! Write letters, cards, poetry, notes, express yourself!
8) Contribute a toy for Toys for Tots or other meaningful charity.
9) Go see a new movie, a new play or a live concert.
10) Gather with friends and family and people that love you!
11) Make new traditions and travel.
12) Don’t want to be in the public? Pamper yourself.
13) Stock your refrigerator with healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
14) Take long hot bubble baths.
15) Get your music, books and movies stacked up and ready to that when the holidays arrive you have your entertainment at your fingertips.
16) Sleep! Often when we are sad and depressed we are lacking proper rest. Give yourself permission to sleep it off.
17) Paint a room or engage in a mini home improvement project.
18) Do something productive, the end result will make you feel better.
19) Make cookies, make food.
20) Can’t afford to travel? There are amazing television shows and archived libraries that have travel destinations recorded for viewing, imagine yourself there!

No matter what is going on in your life and what circumstances you find yourself in this holiday season, just know that this too shall pass. Sometimes a down year is just what we need to inspire us for the next year. Not every holiday season is going to be “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Count your blessings, find gratitude in what you have, focus on what you have now and not on what has been lost and you are sure to find the holidays as peaceful as they can be. And if this is the holiday season that grief prevails, remember that grief can be a gift.

You can and you will make it through the holidays …

Grief teaches us many life lessons and tears are the shedding so that the old can be let go and the new may be embraced. After the rain, the sun always returns and so often shines even brighter!

The holidays are coming, so what is your favorite holiday movie? Or your favorite holiday music?

For me, I love the movies; The Holiday and The Family Stone and for the classic movies; Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. And for Christmas music I enjoy Aaron Neville’s version of Such a Night and when Bing Crosby teamed up with David Bowie for Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Remember 2016 is a new year and a chance for all that is good and wonderful, believe!

Feel free to share your story by writing me at and “like” my page at

This article is Included in my new book titled; Along The Way at Amazon and Barnes and Noble


Pen to Paper


Pen to Paper
By Bernadette A. Moyer


What motivates us to write to actually sit and put pen to paper? What motivates us to get in front of our computer and use our words to express ourselves?

How often are we motivated by a feeling? We write that angry letter when a business we trusted fails us or that glowing letter of recommendation when we are looking to help someone get ahead in life. We write about what we know and about what we love. We write our story and we share our experiences and our struggles and our joy.

Many times as an author I have been asked to speak. In 1998 when my first book came out I was immediately interviewed by our local television station. That same year I was asked to be a part of an author event. I was mortified.

The author line up was impressive with a local celebrity who was a television sports anchor, a well-respected Christian author, a couple of others and me. I asked to go first since I had such anxiety and the least amount of experience of anyone on the list.

I will never forget my opening line as it was a huge hit and I have used it over and over again. “I write so I don’t have to speak and yet here I stand.” I said. And the group went wild with laughter.

Recently I had two new books come out and now I am booking events. At some of these events I will actually have to speak to a crowd. To do a reading or to talk about why I write and what inspires me to put the pen to paper.

My son the artist told me that for him and his artwork “it starts with a pencil; it always starts with a pencil.” And then when he is satisfied after erasing and changing he uses ink to outline and it becomes pen to paper for him as well.

When I first started writing I always wrote with a pen and paper, it was a personal experience and writing on the computer initially felt less personal. Today I still use pen to paper often, but not all of the time. I have several “writers” programs that make the computer so much more efficient.

I have been around many songwriters through the years and they are all about “pen to paper” jotting down their words and sometimes the notes. It is so personal when we use our hands and bring our words together to bring our thoughts to life.

Personal cards and notes are always more special than mass produced cards and notes. It is kind of like a homemade cookie versus a store bought one. The store bought cookie might be great but there is something special and organic and more personal when it is made by hand and with love.

Our words are our signature, how we express ourselves and even our style of writing comes across in a much more personal way when it is actually our hand using a pen and bringing it to paper. One of my favorite authors is SARK and all her books are handwritten with colored pencils and printed by hand and not with cursive writing. Part of her appeal is that unique look that she has created for herself that is undeniably SARK. It is her own personal style.

My first instinct is always to jot it down to bring that pen to paper … for this writer that is what makes it so real and so personal and made with heart and soul and with love. So here is to all those who create and bring that pen to paper …

Bernadette on Facebook at
Two NEW BOOKS! Along The Way and Another Way On Amazon and Barnes and Noble