Reflections on Two Years Since Mom’s Death

April 25, 2017

Tomorrow will be two years since Mom died. She’d languished in the nasty clutches of Alzheimer’s disease for a little more than eleven years and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit her eventual passing was as much a relief as it was wrenching.

Through the ensuing weeks, I was fortunate to have many family members, friends and, yes, even clients, around to support me. My husband and I relocated from Connecticut to Tennessee a year and a half earlier, so I wasn’t even nearby when she passed away… and it took us two days of driving to get back there. Along the way, I kept in touch with family and friends via email and text. I also found myself borne up on the prayers and support of dozens of Facebook friends. Aside from a few moments that stand out in my memory, much of our time there is a blur.

At the wake, we saw streams of people – many of whose faces I recognized but whose names I don’t recall. It was a steady flow of friends, neighbors, coworkers, clients, Dad’s coworkers, a state Senator, the daughter of one of my brother’s colleagues (from a job twenty years earlier), my husband’s former business partner, his office manager, our former pastor, our favorite waiter from our favorite Chinese restaurant (yes, really!)… UNICO members, my parents’ longtime friends and even their longtime friends’ grown children.

Afterward, Cousin Maria invited everyone back to her house, where she’d amassed a feast that could have fed 50 people. Socializing was the last thing I wanted to do, but I went because it afforded me a way to reconnect with family after being so long away. What a blessing that was! It was a little like being in a beehive – a constant buzz of activity – surrounded by people who’d known and loved me my entire life. And there’s something oddly comforting about being amid people who all have the same nose. Then there was the food. Oh, the food! Pasta, meatballs, chicken… every manner of Italian food, on platters piled teeteringly high with assorted deliciousness. Did I mention that Maria must have, in a former lifetime, been an Army cook?

If you asked Maria why she did that, she’d probably say, “We’re Italian. We feed people.” But it was more than that – what she did was a tremendous ministry to our family. She reached out and took a tangible step to help when we were immobilized by grief.

If you’re on the periphery of a loved one’s grieving process, there are concrete ways to help. There’s always a plethora of hugs and the obligatory “I’m so sorry” murmurings. And everyone says, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.” Trouble is,  grieving folks are so numb at this point, they can barely think of what they might need, let alone conceive of articulating it – or reaching out to ask someone to help.

Fortunately, Jodi Whitsitt (a recently widowed mother of three) has provided a baker’s dozen of specific, real-world ways to help a grief-stricken loved one.

What are some of the ways you reach out to the newly bereaved in your life? Please share in the Comments section below.


Book Review – Christy Wright’s Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide For Making Money Doing What She Loves

April 17, 2017

In Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide for Making Money Doing What She Loves, you’ll discover everything you need to begin living your dream of running your own business. Christy Wright walks you, step by step, along the road from “finding your why” (the reason you want to go into business in the first place) to identifying your customers and meeting/exceeding their needs and expectations… all the way to keeping your business in the good graces of the government when tax time rolls around.

Christy’s lived it. From her earliest memories, Christy watched her own mother live it. She knows how challenging it is to juggle full-time work and family and friends, manage a household and run a successful side business. She knows all about the little niggling nay-saying inner voices that derail our dreams and keep us from pursuing what we love. Christy understands how difficult it is to step out in faith and take that first terrifying step… her stories about perseverance in the face of fear and soul-crushing adversity are both heartening and empowering. And her personal stories (about facing even the small hurdles we women tend to turn into gigantic boulders in our paths) are hilariously human.

Having attended Christy’s first two Business Boutique two-day events in Nashville (in 2015 and 2016), I can attest that Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide for Making Money Doing What She Loves distills the lessons presented – and keeps them close by as you need them. It’s like having a one-on-one session with Christy right at your fingertips; she’s there, coaching you and reassuring you at every step. And trust me – this is one book that won’t languish with all those ‘start your own business’ books on your bookshelf; it’ll be right on your desk, where you can access it at a moment’s notice.

Follow the guidelines laid out in this book and you’ll find yourself equipped with all the tools you need to succeed in realizing your dream.