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Treat Him to Love

I read this article  posted by a friend. She asked what are the 20 things a woman should do for her man. My responses below were learned the hard way through my own 15 year marriage and the 9 years since I chose to divorce. They are not things I say lightly or for part-time living. They are for every day. Every. Day! Even when your man doesn't deserve it, hasn't earned it, give it to him. That is what unconditional love is. The most quoted verses at weddings is from 1 Corinthians 13. It speaks of God's love for us and is meant to teach us how to love like He does. That's what the marriage relationship is to emulate, God as Groom/Husband and us/the church as his Bride. 1. She speaks of him with deference in front of others including her girlfriends.  2.  She treats him with respect and lifts him up with her words, affirming his character.  3. She knows no one is perfect and gives him grace for those moments when he falls short for we all do.  4. She knows tha
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The Name on Our Lips

Lately, JM keeps coming up. A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed a frozen soup container from the freezer to have for lunch. I thought it was my enchilada soup, but it turned out to be the venison stew that JM made earlier this year. A couple nights ago, Noah asked if anymore of JM's soups were in the freezer. He was especially hopeful that the cream of mushroom with the bacon was in there. It was! Today on the ride home, he came up again. It's weird when someone was part of your life for a while and then you go missing them. They are a memory and a time or season, but no longer the one in the kitchen making the soup, stocking the freezer until next time, or sitting at the table as you enjoy a meal together. Instead, they become the person you say, "Remember that time when we were here with JM..."  Yes, I remember because his name is still on my lips as I share my memories, too.

Saying Goodbye is Hard to Do

On June 12, I accepted a new position at work. I received the offer on the 11th, told my leadership team about it before I left for Chicago and then emailed the whole team after signing the papers on the 12th while I was traveling so they didn't hear it from someone else. Yesterday was my three year anniversary in my role and at this company. In 2007, I left a role with a company I spent the first 9 years of my IT career. Since then, I haven't stayed anywhere three years. I am a builder. I love to and have great skill in building teams because I can see the potential in people. I am an intuitive so I can see the whole picture given all the parts and pieces. I know how to assemble it. Mind you, I don't like puzzles or Lego's or that kind of building, though, I did like Lincoln Logs back in the day, but I love building something bigger than myself and making it better than when I got there. When you do that, it makes saying goodbye all the harder. This week, V has been

What is success?

A couple of weeks ago, my oldest called me. He asked me what is success. I wasn't sure what he was looking for, so I explained what it is to me. First, each of us needs to define it for ourselves in order to know what it looks like and if we've achieved it. I explained to him, that for me it's finding joy in living this life I've been given regardless of the circumstances. I explained to my son that raising him and his brother and sister into happy, healthy, thriving young people who are better off than we were growing up is success. Knowing that I've left the things I am responsible for in a better state than when I received that responsibility or took that responsibility is success. That's what I want to continue to do--leave things better than when I found them. That's my legacy. When the kids were young, NBB loved the animated movie, "Robots". We watched it often. I can still hear Bigweld's voice say, "See a need, fill a need."

Holding on to God

This year hasn't been the best. It's honestly been a bit of a struggle. In January, JM broke up with me and not only broke off our romantic relationship, but dropped off the face of the earth as my friend too. The later hurting me more than the former since I valued him as a friend. In February, Lenny, my stepdad started to lose his faculties and we knew that death was nearer than it had been any time before he'd originally entered hospice in July last year. The two weeks preceding his death were some of the hardest of my life as I watched him struggle to let go of his life on this side of heaven. He passed away March 10. I walked into the room to see him as my mom prepared us a meal. He'd breathed his last from the time that she left the room to let me in and me walking in to see him. It was the first time I'd been with someone who'd died. My cat, Princess, who still lived with my ex died next. My daughter called me sobbing and needing comfort. I told her about

Her Legacy

A week ago, I returned from my leadership forum. That morning, I shared the story of my roots. The story of where I came from and where as well as how my identity initially formed. I was a Burke from a strong line of tough Irish folks who made their way to the States in the late 40s and found each other after knowing each other in County Mayo where they grew up. My granny was a Burke by marriage, but she embraced it and each of us who were born into her line through my grampy who gave her his name. She gave up her spirit just before I arrived back in Cleveland last Friday night.  Me, grampy, granny - 1992 I knew she was going to die while I was away, or at least suspected she would as she was not expected to recover after her fall the previous Saturday night. I visited her one last time before I headed to Chicago on Wednesday last week. This past Wednesday, we laid her to rest. We had a mass, shared our hearts and passages from the Bible to encourage those of us left behind to

Deja Vu

A little over a month ago, I was getting ready to go to Chicago for a leadership forum days after my step-father passed away. This week, I am heading there again and another person who has impacted my life in more ways than I can describe is about to pass away. My granny had an aneurysm burst in her head and now has a brain bleed covering more than a quarter of her brain. She, too, is 89 years old just like my step-father was. I am feeling like the same thing is happening all over again, but the big difference is that she is peaceful in the letting go. She has been ready and waiting to go to Jesus for a long time, but now we think Jesus is ready to receive her, too. Two of my aunts are on their way home to say goodbye. All of us locally have been to see her today. We have loved on her, sat with her, held her hand, told her how loved she is and laughed and told stories with each other about our shared lives. I cannot tell you how blessed I am to have been born into this family and to ha