It’s Not Just a Ham Sandwich

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It’s Not Just a Ham Sandwich
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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It’s not just a ham sandwich, it is a memory, a memory that I share with my father. My father loved a good deli sandwich with freshly cut meats and cheeses. He has been gone from this world for more than a handful of years now. He left the home I lived in when I was just a child in the sixth grade when my parents divorced. As a teenager I visited him often.

He taught me how to make and eat the best ham sandwich and all these years later that ham sandwich brings me memories of him. It was a sandwich made on the freshest white bread with deli cut ham and white American cheese and sliced tomatoes with lettuce and mayonnaise and of course salt and pepper on the tomatoes. I remember summer tomatoes on this sandwich and I remember sitting side by side with him while we chatted and ate our sandwiches together.

Like all people my dad had a good side and a not so good side, he had a dark side but he could also be the most charming man. I could remember his temper or his darkest moments but I always chose to see the best in him. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t see the bad stuff; it doesn’t mean that I liked it but he was my father and the only father that I ever knew and loved. Much of his darkness was tied to his alcoholism, a disease that he managed to stay dry from for the last 30 or 40 years of his life.

I could focus on the negative, he did a lot of crappy things when he was married to my mother but just like that ham sandwich that I so enjoyed I would rather remember the good in him. He was a small town guy from a tiny town in Pennsylvania, he was Irish and Catholic. He was one of five children one brother died as a child at the age of 7 and another sister as a young woman from alcoholism. He entered the United States Army as a teenager and served two terms in Korea. He was injured in the service and honorably discharged with a purple heart. This injury caused him to have epileptic seizures.

Women loved him and boy did he love women! He married twice first my mother with whom he had five daughters and later his second wife that he had two more girls and finally a son. He was a carpenter by trade, built a few houses and worked in the engineering department of the same hospital where my daughter was born. Dad worked there for about 25 years before he retired.

His soul was that of an artist, he could draw and paint and build things, he worked with his hands, and dad taught me to love country music. He loved music by Johnny Cash and the Highwaymen.

So today for lunch I had the best ham sandwich…but it really was so much more than that … it was about my father and me, it was about loving and respecting him as my father. It was about knowing that he wasn’t a perfect man, he had challenges and he had struggles but he cared about the people in his life and he lived by a code. No one had to tell him when he screwed up because he already knew.

When you really love someone you love them imperfections and all, if I wanted to, I could make a case as to why he didn’t deserve my love, but that isn’t how I was built or who I am. Maybe I learned it from dad; if you want to be forgiven you must also be forgiving.

Thinking of you dad! May you be resting in eternal peace, I pray.

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

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

This Too Shall Pass

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This Too Shall Pass
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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The beauty of life is that nothing lasts forever, and when you have some life experience you begin to understand that no matter what is going on, it won’t last. This too shall pass. Good things and bad things, they pass. Nothing stays the same, everything changes and no one thing or person lasts forever.

So what would I tell young people and my younger self? Hang on because as challenging as life can be at times, it will change, things do shift and in time everything passes. Take the lessons and the life  experience and let the rest go …

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now, rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but see will last forever.”

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

A Time for Reinvesting in Ourselves

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A Time for Reinvesting in Ourselves
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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It is becoming clear to me that our 50’s are a time of reinvesting in ourselves. For years we were living in the “sandwich” years between supporting ailing parents and raising our children. With two high demand careers, very little in the past ten years was about investing in ourselves. We spent our time and our energy on parents and on our children and we were happy to do it.

Between my husband and myself there is just one remaining parent and he is being well taken care of in an assisted living center. For so many years my husband was running him to the doctors, to the pharmacy and the food store. He literally was his father’s lifeline to the outside world until severe dementia made it impossible for us to continue to support him. He needed 24-hour care. It was a hard decision but a necessary one. (Update John passed in December of 2014) Today all our parents have passed away.

Our three kids have all been raised and no longer need us to support them. It took some getting used to when you have supported children physically, emotionally and financially for decades. But like everything in life there is a beginning, middle and an ending. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

We are still young and investment worthy as both my husband and I are gearing up for what is ahead for us. At this moment in time we have both turned to education and wellness as to where we are putting our energy and support. Brian is studying and securing a Maryland State license that will allow him to further his career. I am taking an updated business class and learning more and more about marketing and social media and blogging.

In 2015 two new books were published and my blogs continue to attract thousands of readers, many who write to me and some who connect in person.

For our health many of the procedures we have put off are being addressed. At this time we are eating healthier and more organic fresh foods. We see the value in laughing more and pacing ourselves as we get through our work weeks and our off time. There is a new balance in our lives of both production and fun. We no longer have to put ailing parents and our children ahead of our own needs. No one told us that this would be the “all about us years.” My husband loves having me all to himself.

Years ago I read that men never really “get their nicest or come into their own until their 50’s” for us this seems to ring true. Going out with my husband is like going on a really great date. This past year we travelled and attended so many functions and events, when he treated us to an Orioles baseball game we had the best time. He secured really great seats on the first base line looking directly into the dugout. We sat just a few feet from all the professional ballplayers. Brian held my hand as we walked through the city streets. And he walked to bring me bottled water and was really tuned into whatever I needed or wanted to enjoy the experience.

There is something so sweet and so nice about being appreciated by a man you have loved and lived with for 24 years. He expresses his gratitude for all the many sacrifices I made, and those that I wanted to make in helping him to raise his twin children. We survived and even thrived in spite of many challenges throughout all these years together.

What we have right now is yet another opportunity to reinvest in ourselves and in our marriage. It is a great feeling to be afforded this opportunity and at this time in our lives. This is a period of time that we never talked about or one that I never even thought about but now that we are here, I am thrilled. I hope that all our friends and family members also get this same special time in their life. All I can say is isn’t being in our 50’s great? We are worth it. We have worked hard and now it really is all about us. And who knows what our 60’s will bring but for now it is all about enjoying life, enjoying the simple pleasure of everyday life.

These are the reinvestment years and what greater cause for making an investment than in our own health and happiness!

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

New books Along The Way and Another Way are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble