My Rose-Colored Glasses


My Rose-Colored Glasses
By Bernadette A. Sahm


It is a gift and a curse, I admit it, I wear rose colored glasses! I see the best in people, I see the best in places, and I see the best in most things. I always see the potential and the gifts and talents of most things in life.

I love my rose-colored glasses until I don’t love them. It is hard for me to see the ugly and the hate and the anger in people. I have a hard time with those who are afforded with genuine gifts and talents and fail to utilize them. It is difficult to witness people with self-inflicted wounds or the ones with the need to be perpetual victims.

My rose-colored glasses hold my attention, where I see the dream and the goodness that God has granted to so many people that I know and love or knew and loved. But then I am also wise enough to know that each of us learns and grows and uses our talents hopefully when the time is right and at our own pace.

I am guessing that if offered the choice to do away with my rose-colored glasses and/or keep them? I would opt for keeping them. Any disappointments or any ugliness that I have witnessed is far less important than my ability to see the beauty and the best in all things that life offers. And just like a rose with thorns, rose-colored glasses also come with the ability to view some ragged edges.

And as the Italians say, “non c’e` rosa senza le sue spine” “there is no rose without its thorns.”

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Now what?


Now what?
By Bernadette A. Moyer

flower garden

You get older and you have been there and done that! You have known those big moments in life, experienced those grand celebrations and big parties and trips and travel, so now what? What to do to celebrate, what to do to feel excited and inspired? How to make this period more special than the last? These are the questions that my good girlfriend and I posed to one another as we were just about to turn 60 years old.

I am not big on going “out” for the holidays, mostly because I grew up in the hotel bar and restaurant business where I worked most big holidays. People in the business tend to call New Year’s Eve, Mother’s Day and most celebrations out as “amateur night” most sane people stay home! Prices are higher, crowds are larger and service just not as good.

At a certain age what you are looking for can’t be purchased in any retail store and doesn’t exist out “there” but rather inside our own hearts and souls. Peace, love and purpose become the greatest gifts that you give to yourself. These are the only places where you find pure joy. For me this is where God lives …

In another conversation with my 86 year old “Other Mother” she states, “you have an outstanding way of forgiving”  I have forgiven much and I have forgiven often, especially when it comes to family members. Let’s just say I have had a lot of practice beginning with early childhood and forward.

I have the hardest time understanding why anyone hangs on to anger and hatred, why would you do that to your own heart and soul? Hate and love can’t co-exist and I choose love and I do my best to choose it over and over again.

Forgiveness truly is the gift that we give to ourselves. There is no peace, no love nor true joy without the grace of forgiveness. So often it starts with forgiving ourselves and only then, is it possible to forgive all others …

Since beginning this blog my 60th birthday has come and gone and it was a memorable milestone birthday and one that I will never ever forget. There was a really big gift, I will write more about it later, but the truth is that without peace, love and purpose there could not be any gift that would have brought me such joy.

On my birthday, I was remembered by so many and in so many ways, that my peace, love and joy ruled the day.

What else could any 60 year old birthday girl really wish for … all the many blessings that come with peace, love and purpose where there lives joy and an abundance of blessings!

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By Bernadette A. Moyer


I’ve been writing for more than two decades now. My first published piece was titled; A Parent Dies, It was published in a medical journal. It was about being widowed, marrying a widower and raising three children who all lost a parent to heaven.

It took more than fifteen years before I had the courage to share our story and write about it. It was immediately affirmed by a large number of readers. Death is a subject that we will all come to know and most of us prefer not to talk about it.

I hated writing in school and I loved to read and loved words but my grammar was not good, my spelling was great and always came easy for me. So early on I had a love-hate relationship with writing. My shortcomings in grammar made me feel ashamed and caused me to avoid writing and writing projects. Teachers become so fixated on grammar that kids like me end up feeling it isn’t worth the constant correction.

As an adult I created writing vehicles for children. I didn’t want kids turned off before they were turned on to the written word and their ability to communicate and to create. The first book was Caesar Salad and I Like It and the second If I Were President. The children wrote and they were creative and then the adults edited for grammar. If was a positive experience for all involved.

Most of my writing has been about personal experiences and what I learned as a result of them. The gifts were that so many others connected to me as a result and I loved it!

I have written about life and love and joy and also about death, estrangement and abuse. My family doesn’t like when I openly share our family dysfunction. I embrace it, it is who and what made me. It has been said that “97% of families are dysfunctional” I am still waiting to meet that other 3%. If we are honest we can own that we all have our own issues and brokenness. It is called life. We weren’t made to be perfect we are human and come with our own strengths and weaknesses. I have learned that for me, owning my stuff is healthy and allows me to be open to growth and change.

Then there is the professional writing that I began over 20 years ago in my many positions in nonprofit work. It may have been an article or a newsletter, a brochure or flier and often it was a full-fledged grant. My grant writing has secured over two million dollars for a variety of nonprofits that I have been associated. Professional writing with others has opened my eyes to many styles of writers.

I have met the ones that go long and are wordy and others that cut and edit to the bare bones. Grammar was usually key, however I am proud of a new magazine that I have been included in that basically states things like 1) forget the rules and 2) make up your own words and 3) you don’t need an opening paragraph the reader will figure it out!

Everyone has a book and a blog today and yes I have been there, few get rich and make the New York Times Best Seller list unless they have a big machine and lots and lots of marketing and public relations behind them.

Many things have changed throughout the years for this writer, I have learned much and yet the two things that resonate most with me and for me is the Stephen King quote “there is no such thing as writing, there is only rewriting” almost everything written can be improved upon. And I write for the connection to others and the shared life experiences. Most often that is the best paycheck.

Just today a reader found me online and wrote, “My jaw has dropped finding you.” She has read my writings. It really doesn’t get much better than that!

Read … write … communicate … connect … that is what makes this writer deliriously happy.

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60 Gifts and Blessings for 60 Years


60 Gifts and Blessings for 60 Years
By Bernadette A. Moyer


This fall as I am about to turn 60 years old and to begin the celebrating I thought that I would make a list of all that I am grateful and all the many blessings I have had throughout my life.

One blessing or one gift to represent every single year. I hope that in sharing my list you think about creating your own “birthday blessings” list …

1) God who has never once let me down
2) For my parents Bernie and Inez who gave me life
3) My Italian heritage
4) My Irish heritage
5) My Catholic roots and faith beginning with Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation
6) The healthy genes I have inherited
7) Love of reading
8) My writing of poems, blogs and books
9) Connections through my many written words
10) Friends that are like family
11) Childhood in a neighborhood where I could walk to the park, stores, friend’s houses
12) My private Catholic education
13) First loves
14) Broken hearts
15) Laughter
16) My Soul
17) Sense of right and wrong
18) Ability to see both sides of most situations
19) Giving birth
20) Raising adopted twins, a son and a daughter
21) Experience of motherhood
22) Becoming widowed young and learning the value of life and living well
23) A second marriage
24) My loving life- long husband and partner
25) Love of good food
26) Ability to cook from scratch
27) Baking of cookies, cakes and pies from homemade
28) Decorating
29) Party planning
30) Fundraising
31) Driving long distances and enjoying every stop along the way
32) Live musical concerts
33) Theater
34) New York City at Christmas
35) Going home to the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market
36) Connecting with my high school friends
37) Continued education through classes, workshops, seminars and more
38) Learning just for the sake of something new
39) Gardening
40) Growing roses
41) My beautiful hydrangea bushes
42) Growing up on a farm
43) My love of animals
44) My precious pooches
45) Finding and enjoying meaningful work
46) My sphere of influence
47) My intelligence that I am certain came from my mother
48) My creative and artistic side that I am certain came from my father
49) Living through abuse and becoming a full-fledged survivor
50) Our history with our second home at the beach
51) Looking forward to whatever the future brings
52) Giving up control for peace
53) Living a peace-filled and love filled life
54) Enjoying the many beach destinations that we frequent
55) Becoming a wedding officiant
56) Mentoring young people
57) Swimming in the warm ocean waters and swimming in our private pool
58) Saving money and saving memories
59) Our home where we have lived for almost 30 years
60) This big fat beautiful God blessed life that I have enjoyed for 60 years!

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Not Afraid


Not Afraid
By Bernadette A. Moyer


This coming October I will turn 60 years old! I just can’t believe it and how quickly the years have passed by for me. For most of my life, I have been afraid – afraid of this – afraid of that.

When I was 50 I wrote a book titled Halfway Home, the first 50 Years and during that time I wrote about my fear of death. Today I no longer have that fear, I imagine death is very much like giving birth. You go with it and you don’t control it as it takes over you. I suspect that death is the same. It takes over you and you just go with it.

One of the greatest gifts that comes from not being afraid is giving up the need to control. There is no anxiety when we finally learn to live and let live. Living without fear and without anxiety allows you to be present in the moment and enjoy the here and the now.

My faith in God allows me to live without fear as I know that He is in charge and with God all that is good and all that is possible is born in life and in death.

I can’t help but think of Kenny Chesney’s song; Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven but not right now… I Ain’t Ready! He sings.

There is still a lot of life in me, but I know that much life is also behind me. People that I know or have known die every day. And life goes on without skipping a beat.

Each day, each year, every season, every birthday I am reminded of the miracles and the blessings associated with life and in death.

I am not afraid. “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” A famous FDR quote about how fear just makes things worse. For all the years of fears, aging has taught me just how senseless being afraid truly is and the many negative ways it affects our living.

Be not afraid … and John 14:27, my favorite reads; “Peace I leave with you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”

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Eating Olives


Eating Olives
By Bernadette A. Moyer


There was a time when I would never ever have eaten a green olive and now I crave them. It started with a “dirty martini” and eating the blue cheese stuffed olive. Then we graduated to “dressed olives” they are tossed with spices and often served with special crackers or fresh warm bread. My husband Brian is the “we” in graduated. Neither one of us would have touched this stuff as a child. Today we absolutely love “dressed olives.”

Our taste buds are evolved and matured just as we have in our life experiences. We aren’t kids anymore but fully fledged adults who love adult foods and adult experiences.

We marvel at our “aging” and how much we have changed, we know the difference between ego driven and just sitting back to watch. Not everything requires our comments and input, less truly can be so much more. Life has become simpler and sweeter, well actually briny. Briny as in salty like the sea and just like the green olives we enjoy.

Everything changes. We change. Life changes. It becomes more important to love and to accept. And loving and accepting starts within and with knowing ourselves.

“To love others you must first love yourself.” Leo Buscaglia

It takes time to know ourselves and to love ourselves, it takes time to evolve to maturity. Maybe you will never love green olives or perhaps you always loved them, regardless there are things in your life like people, places, foods and more that you enjoy as you age that you never dreamed of liking as a child.

Allow yourself the greatest freedom of all in learning, aging, evolving and “eating olives” or whatever makes you happy… Peace and love… and “green olives!”

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Where Do You Belong


Where Do You Belong
By Bernadette A. Moyer


It is a crazy big world out there and I like to think that the biggest comfort comes from knowing who we are and where we fit in and belong. What groups do we align ourselves with? What feels “right” to us?

Being part of a group and being with like minded people helps us to achieve our goals. When we are with people that love and support us and when we are headed in the same direction it becomes easier to get there. But what happens to us when we are unsure and uncertain regarding where we belong in life?

A Catholic Sister recently passed away, she was 92 years old and by all accounts lived a full and rewarding life. I only met her more than a year ago. I only knew of her in her last years of life. She was poised and met most people with a smile. I could sense that she was a good woman. What I didn’t find out until just after her death was that she was also a Pilot, she was licensed to fly a plane! This woman was born in 1926 and all I could think was wow how progressive.

How ahead of her time she must have been either that or I am not travelling in the right circles. None of my friends are Pilots and I don’t know of any female Pilots either. But for this Catholic Nun that was once where she felt that she fit in as a Pilot and as a Sister in a Catholic Congregation of Women. That was where she belonged.

Through the years I have mentored several young people often as interns and later watching them make their own way in the world and discerning where they fit and where exactly that they belong. They try different things, some fit others don’t. They learn where they belong sometimes by trial and error.

A new book titled Alienated America researches this concept about “community” and where we belong in our society. It came as no surprise to me that people that were active in groups like church, politics, family and others did well as far as quality of life. Simply put if we are connected to others and have that sense of community our lives have more meaning and we feel more valued. We feel connected and are happier as a result.

Today my family life centers around my husband and the life that we have created together, but where did I “belong” before we created our bond and our family? Most of us have our first family, the family that we are born into. I never knew “unconditional love” until I learned it in my marriage to my husband. We met at age 32, soon we will turn 60. So up until age 32 I saw and experienced what I thought was “love” and later learned just how dysfunctional and sad and wrong it was.

In an article published in The Guardian titled; Siblings; what if the bond just isn’t there? The writer states, “We expect siblings to have an automatic draw, but usually we would never pick them to be our friends.”

I never had that “sisterly” connection with my sisters, it started in our childhood when my father favored me over the four of them. They built a bond with my mother that I personally never felt or experienced. I tried to like them but they always seemed to give me reasons not too. When my husband died, one sister stole my wedding ring so I couldn’t wear it to his funeral. She later returned it to me. Many times I chose forgiveness and to look the other way. When child sexual abuse married into our family I could no longer do that. They gave me reasons like stealing my possessions to their last and greatest cut of omitting me from our mother’s obituary. The things they did in life, many times caused me to feel that I just didn’t “belong” there. I could never side with a child molester over a child. Buddhist believe that most people are either our “lover” or our “teacher” and I think most of the people in my life would and could fall in either one or the other category.

As a Libra known for balance I typically and easily see both sides of most situations. Life changes and life changes us. One day we might be someone’s husband or wife and then one day we aren’t, they leave or they die. We have a title at our job and that lasts as long as we are working it. We might be a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent but that is also a title, and like most titles can change at any time.

“What I know for certain is that nothing is certain.” Anthony Bourdain from Zen wisdom of “I am certain of nothing.”

The longer we live life the more of life we will experience, we may fit into certain circles at various times in our life that may not suit us at other times. My faith in God has always been a constant in my life. Without God I am nothing, without God I have lost hope, without God I don’t feel connected to others or to life and to this world.

God and gratitude save the day for me. When I look and act out of what I believe God wants from me I am at peace and connected to all people and all things that are good and right for me, it is where I am most at home and where I belong. And when I make the choice to view the most hurtful and difficult situations and people that have been in my life with gratitude for all the lessons learned, again I belong and am most connected to my soul and living my best life with God at the center. That is my forever home and truly where I belong.

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