The Fox, The Birds and all The Bunnies


The Fox, The Birds and all The Bunnies
By Bernadette A. Moyer


With all the wildlife in our neighborhood, you might think we live on a farm. We don’t. We live in a community with homes that are situated on a quarter acre sized lots. However, there are animals everywhere. We have also witnessed several deer among the fox, birds and bunnies that surround us daily.

A few nights ago I took the dogs out around 4:00 in the morning and what do I see? A red fox that is boldly looking back at me! I’ve seen this guy before or at least his relatives as they are most probably habituating in their den located under our deck and pool area. This is the only animal that somewhat frightens me. I hold the dog leases tightly and encourage the dogs to do their business quickly. I want to return to the safety of our home, inside our home. And now I know why Happy our older Bichon Frishe was barking so loudly. She knew Mr. Fox was out there!

At this same time we have a mother bird sitting upon her nest, she has been posted there for a few days now. We did catch a glimpse when she was gone briefly of the two eggs that she is resting upon. In the midst of all this there are always bunnies running around and through the yard. The sounds of the birds are a welcome sign that spring has arrived.

As I take in all the animals that we share our property with I am struck by how we all co-habitat together. It’s about respect. Animals are smart like that. They know who to mess with and who to leave alone. Just like I sit back and watch the animals, I know not to touch them, to respect them. Mother bird doesn’t want any human hands touching her nest and unborn.

The fox runs when he sees you, he doesn’t want to mess with you any more than you want to mess with him. It’s the circle of life. I can say I don’t ever see rats or mice and I suspect it is because the fox tends to those animals.

We go out of our way not to poison the environment on our property so that the animals can exist and live a healthy life. I’m not crazy about the red fox though; I look closely when I am out back of the house and near the area where I suspect they are living. They can stay as long as they respect us the same way that we have chosen to respect them.

Then I think about people and how often a lack of respect is at the root of the problem. People don’t get along because they don’t respect that another person might look differently, practice a different faith or live another way. Yet the entire premise of the all living things is to show respect for whom and for what they are. It’s about getting along.

What kind of world would it be without birds, bunnies and I have to say that red fox is pretty damn impressive with its long tail, fit slim body and quick reflexes. He just wants to live and to survive the same way that we do.

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Gandhi

There is a way to survive all together, there is a way to get along, there is a way to respect that each living thing has just as much a right to be here as we do …

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5 Minutes with God


5 Minutes with God
By Bernadette A. Moyer


Recently I read a blog about what the writer would say if they had 5 minutes alone and face-to-face with God. For several days I pondered this question. Funny thing for me, there wasn’t one thing that I could think of that I would say in those 5 minutes. There wasn’t one thing that I could think of to do or to say that I haven’t already said to God.

Not one single thing! I talk to God every single day, sometimes I tell him I am sorry and I ask for forgiveness, sometimes I ask if I am getting it right and doing His will. Other times I tell him I’m not getting this at all, please help me to understand. Many times, I thank Him for all my blessings!

My prayers aren’t that complicated either, same old tried and true, Our Father and plenty of Hail Mary’s. For me it doesn’t have to be so complicated. There is no question I have screwed up in my lifetime and I suspect that no one knows it better than God himself. Most of the time, I know that I am living true to God because I have been true to my own heart. A heart that I believe He gave to me. For most often I do get it right and I try hard as I can to make this gift of my life, count as much as it possibly can for the something good.

Another writer wrote about the meal they would have and all that they would do if they knew it was their last day here on earth. I didn’t have that “list” either since I already have the people I love closest to me and the ones who aren’t here anymore I have wished them well. I pretty much eat healthy and fresh and do the things that I enjoy. I have learned that this is it. This is my one life to be lived like it was our last day. There are no guarantees in tomorrow, so I take what I get today and try and make the best of it.

So if and when I get my 5 minutes alone with God, I’m pretty sure I know what I would say. It probably would go something like this, “Hi it’s me again. Sorry for all my screw ups, I tried and I’m still trying. I understand the lessons about this and that and I get it. As you know I’m still struggling with this one particular thing. Is this the time? The time that it is revealed to me, what I was supposed to learn and why it happened? And again I am sorry for the times I fell short and I truly appreciate all that you have given to me. And thank you for taking the time to see me.”

And in parting I would ask, just so I was clear “What will you have me do now? What do you want me to do next? Thanks again for seeing me, and for never forsaking me. Thank you God!”

Then I imagine that we would pray together, pray like we have so many times before. I have had many 5-minute sessions with God. I feel His presence in my life and I know that He sees me and loves me and it looking out for me. I know that I have been God blessed. And that doesn’t mean that everything has gone my way or that my life was easy. It actually means the opposite, I have struggled, I have hurt, I have been hurt and at times lost. Yet it was always God that took me back, God who embraced me, God who gave me the strength to carry on …

God is with me every single day, He lives in my heart. Where it might be nice to have that 5-minute face-to-face meeting with God, however, if by chance, we don’t, I know that I have already had it.

God be with you …

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Inez Totani’s Daughter


Inez Totani’s Daughter
By Bernadette A. Moyer


It is coming up on the 5th anniversary of my mother’s death. I am Inez’s daughter, her second born daughter. Yesterday I visited her gravesite. I shed no tears. My heart is filled with love and with peace. My mother had many wonderful qualities as she was a brilliant nurse, an excellent student and a force of life. Her weaknesses were in the men that she chose. Both of her husbands were men who were abusers.

You couldn’t tell her anything once she made up her mind about something or someone there was no changing her mind. Any facts that flew in the face of how she wanted things to be were dismissed and destroyed.

My mother would have been proud of me for standing up against a child molester and for taking a stand. The only problem is/was that the child molester was her second husband.

In my mid-fifties, I no longer need my mother’s approval nor do I really need anyone’s approval. I know who I am. I am Inez and Bernie’s daughter. I am Ariane’s mother. I was Randy’s wife. I am Brian’s wife. But most importantly I am my own person and a really good person.

You never know what you would do in any given situation until you find yourself there. Hind sight is always 20-20. We are a wealth of all our experiences.

Yesterday as I drove through my parent’s small town in Northeast Pennsylvania and the little farm where I spent my early years, I am proud of where I come from as a small town country girl. I know my roots but I also celebrate the full and rewarding life that I later secured for myself.

My parents taught me that if I wanted something I needed to work for it and I have worked for the lovely life I lead. My parents taught me that it is through the struggle that we find enlightenment. My parents taught me to persevere. My parents taught me to have faith, to have faith in God and faith in the world and ultimately to have faith in myself.

On this Good Friday and just a few weeks from the anniversary of my mother’s death I know that my faith is stronger than ever before and that I have forgiven all those who have hurt me and disappointed me. I have forgiven my mother.

I believe that my mother watches over me and that when I do pass through this life, she again will be one of the first people that will greet me. I have faith. I have forgiveness. I have God. I have love.

Being Inez’s daughter is only part of my journey and only part of who I am … I am grateful for my life. I am happy to be here and I thank God that I was able to come out whole and through it all to the other side.

Peace and love …

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Best Parenting Advice I Ever Heard


Best Parenting Advice I Ever Heard
By Bernadette A. Moyer


When it comes to advice about parenting, everyone is an expert or so they think. I once had a dear friend tell me “advice is free and maybe that is what it is worth, nothing!”

In retrospect there are probably two lines that I have heard in my more than 30 years of parenting. The first came to me from movie producer James Robinson when I was just a young waitress in my early twenties. He had seven children of his own and they all seemed to be doing really well.

He said, “Kids, when they deserve your love the least is when they need your love the most.” Through the years I have reflected upon his statement.

However just recently I read a line that really stuck with me. I wish I had this stream of consciousness much sooner. The line was; “Don’t handicap your children’s lives by making their life too easy for them.” After reading that I had an immediate moment and thought about how often both my husband and I have been guilty of this one.

Our intentions were good and we thought we were helping but it wasn’t helping but definitely enabling them to do less for themselves and for them not to take responsibility for their choices and their own decisions. Simply put we gave them much too much and did them an injustice by making life far too easy for them. We couldn’t see it at that time. Today we clearly do.

For us our parenting years are far behind us but to anyone who is still in the parenting trenches I believe both lines seem to be 100 % true.

  1. Kids, when they deserve your love the least is when they need your love the most.
  2. Don’t handicap your children’s lives by making their life too easy for them.

Prayer for Grown Children – Marian Prayer Book
Lord, as Mary’s Son, you experienced the love between parent and child, a love that begins as one of total dependency and matures into a love of equals. A parent ought to feel a job finished at that point, but it doesn’t work that way, at least not for me. I continue to worry about my grown children, and their lives, jobs, and families. If I could I would probably try to protect them from all problems, much as I tried when they were small. Fortunately for them and me, I have no such power.

I know that they must make mistakes in order to develop to maturity. I know their lives will include problems, and in fumbling for solutions thy will discover themselves and their values. I pray, therefore, not that You protect them from all evil, but that You give them strength to conquer the evil they meet. I pray for myself, too.

Let me learn as Mary learned that day You remained behind in the temple, and gently reminded her that You were about Your Father’s business. Help me to know when to be silent and when to speak, when to help and when to refuse. Develop in me the discretion and tact I need to be a good parent for my grown children. Amen.

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An Easter Blessing


An Easter Blessing
By Bernadette A. Moyer


And He will raise you up on Eagle’s Wings Psalm 91:4
The Lord has risen
May you find peace and an abundance of love and light
In the spirit of the season
With bright pink tulips
Cherry blossoms abound
Vibrant yellow forsythia
New rich green grass
Lit with bright and shiny endless blue skies
There are miracles in every moment
A fullness and newness in the air
Hope lives eternal
May you know the richness and exuberance of every single day
The belief that every moment in every life truly matters
And that life is so much bigger than any single soul
Because I live, you also shall live John 14:19
Rejoice in the resurrection of the Lord
May He fill your heart with happiness and joy this Easter season!

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Dear Baby “E”


Dear Baby “E”


Your name could be ”Elizabeth” or “Eric” or any other name; you are the innocent child of a parent or parents that decided for you that your grandparents were not worthy. They have issues with their mom and dad and have dragged you into their battles. Whatever war they are raging and for whatever reason you are the collateral damage. You will miss out by no fault of your own.

Sometimes your parents chose this to hurt their parents, sometimes they chose it because they are petty and jealous and most often you will be told it was for your own good. You will be told a distorted version of the truth so that you are easily manipulated into their scenario. They have reduced you to a pawn. And because you are a minor child there is nothing you will be able to do about it. Well at least not right now.

You should be concerned and even angry and you should be upset and you should find out for yourself as soon as you are of age to do so. You may have grandparents that you would have loved and adored and they would love and adore you too. Sadly that would make mom and dad furious. They want you to be a part of their life choices, they want you to estrange from their parents the very same way that they have done. The difference is that it was their choice and you never had a chance to choose for yourself.

Your grandparents are another place for you to receive love and support. Your grandparents are the place where you would learn about your family history and your roots. Most grandparents are loving and supportive and have so much to offer you.

There are grandparents that have moved clear across the country to help raise another grandchild so the parents could work, that child is lucky and well-loved and that child is your cousin. You could have shared that same love and experiences that they are receiving.

Grandparents are givers, givers of love, givers of wisdom, givers of experiences, treats, toys and treasures. They want to teach you and they want to share with you and they want to give to you. They want to be a part of your life.

One day when you become a grown up, you will have questions of your own. You could blindly believe mom and dad or you could seek out your grandparents on your own and then decide for yourself. Be wary of any adult that doesn’t want you to think for yourself and formulate your own opinions. Be wary of the person who decides for you that someone else is not worthy. Be concerned about anyone, mom or dad or otherwise that may have manipulated you so that they could be right and someone else would be wrong.

For decades I have worked with parents that are estranged from their adult children, and grandparents that were either cut off from their grandchildren or never allowed to formulate a relationship with their grandchildren. This is happening in record numbers and happening all around the world.  It is not just happening  in your family.

What I know for sure is that your grandmother and grandfather will welcome you with open arms. I know this because I have witnessed first- hand just how big their hearts are and how much they have to give you and how much they want to give to you.

Don’t fall for the “abuse excuse” it’s the biggest excuse out there and used by an overwhelming large majority of adult children as to why they chose to estrange themselves. Once the word “abuse” is thrown out there, everyone gets behind the self-proclaimed victim, without even considering that it may be for the sole purpose of manipulation. This single declaration could be used to get the reaction that estranged adult children need and want to help them to justify their decision and behaviors.

And many parents/grandparents will just give up and walk away after hearing such declarations, grandparents that would never have chosen to turn their backs on their grandbabies and grandchildren.

In life, there are always two sides to every story, make informed decisions by listening to all the sides before deciding for yourself what the best decision is for you.

Until that day when you get to decide for yourself and meet your grandparents, I want you to know that due to your very existence, there is so much in this world that is there and it is there just for you!

In God’s Peace and Love

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Excitement Ahead


Excitement Ahead
By Bernadette A. Moyer


“Life isn’t lived in the rear view mirror” F. E. Feeley Jr., from Objects in the Rearview Mirror

Through the years I have done so much grief work for myself and with others, first it was about death and later about family estrangement and the overall question is always the same, how did you do it? How did you survive it?

Honestly sometimes I did better than other times but in retrospect and with 20/20 hindsight vision, it was my belief that something good would come of it and that something better was yet to come, and it always turned out that way!

One of the things I have learned to do for myself and for the quality of my life was to look ahead, plan ahead and make sure that I always had something special to look forward to in my life. I am always planning to go somewhere to see something and to spend time with the people that I most enjoy. I also make a point of talking to strangers who I meet along the way. The secret to me for living a happy life is really pretty simple, surround yourself with as much love and light as possible and schedule events that make you happy.

That is what I do and knowing that I have an event, or an outing or an occasion just up ahead helps me to deal with most everything in life. It keeps me happy, it keeps me energized and excited about living.

And yes I have had my share of being stuck, stuck in my upset and stuck in my grief when things didn’t work out like I thought they should. Today those very same things I once grieved over I can now see how blessed I am to have lost them. The lessons were learned and it was time to move past it, so often freeing up space where the voids were allowed me to choose more wisely. I made better choices and how could that ever be a bad thing?

In the past few months I have enjoyed business meetings that were both productive and informative and I have enjoyed meeting new people and going to new and different places. We are only limited by our choices. There is so much excitement ahead.

Even the season that is about to change is cause for celebration, so is St. Patrick’s Day and Easter and day-light saving time and that lunch with a friend, trip to the grocery store, making that special cookie or cake. Just about any activity that we engage in can have the potential to create excitement. And yes the converse may be true as well if that is how we decide to view it.

I don’t want to be sad anymore! Does that mean that I will never experience sadness again? Of course not but it does mean that I don’t have to stay stuck there and the probability is that if I plan something fun and exciting to look ahead to doing, any sadness won’t last and it will be short-lived.

So what lies ahead …lots of life and fun and travel and events and yes hard work too, most notably this week I will do something that I have resisted doing for years. Moving past the pen to paper and by invitation I will be co-hosting a talk radio show. I’ve never done this before and yes I have been asked by television and film producers over the years to share my stories about grief and loss. I wasn’t comfortable nor was I ready.

Today I have moved past the personal parts of it to the greater good; I’ve listened to thousands of others and I’ve swapped stories and it is no longer so personal for me. The events in my life that I have shared through my writings I will now begin to communicate verbally and I am thrilled and happy that I am in a place where it is all about healing our hurts and learning to live with the lessons. We can all make the choice to choose happiness.

So here is your homework, make a list of the things that make you happy and do as many of them as you can and schedule/plan activities that excite you and live with knowing that there is much excitement ahead … because you not only channeled it but planned for it.

Look at how excited small children become when they learn that the things they like to do are planned for them and just up ahead. Take the time to plan for exciting experiences and watch how quickly the hurts, losses and voids are replaced with new and better events, choose healthy, choose wisely and choose fun and exciting … everything/anything is possible.

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