Saturday, October 29, 2011

Remembering Mom

I love this picture of my mom holding my son Robert when he was 3 months old. That joy you see in her expression and the contentment in little Robert’s face says it all.

Dorothy, Dottie, Dot, Auntie Dot, Sittie, Mom… She answered to many names whenever and whomever called and needed her warmth and generous love, her comforting down home cooking or just her calm presence and her sensible outlook on life.

25 years ago today my mom left us for what we fantasize as a “better place”. 25 years ago her five sons sat around her bed in her home and waited with her for the angels to come. I got the call at 3am, having gone home to nurse a hungry baby- my mom would have wanted me to do that.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

As a Man Thinketh in his Heart... is he. These are the words of James Allen.

I inherited this little book of wisdom from my father. As you can see he felt comfortable enough to scrawl his name across the front of it... Edmund F. Shaheen. I suppose that was his stamp of approval or perhaps his round of applause after reading and digesting its life changing content. With that endorsement, I decided to read it myself.

Having grown up with these concepts spoon fed to me, I was somewhat cocky in my approach. Oh... I felt I knew it all, had heard it all, and there was nothing new under the sun. However, I was in for quite a personal challenge. With pen in hand I enthusiastically underlined my own favorite phrases and scratched my own personal notes in the margins.

My Dad.. The Eternal Optimist

My father always said that he had missed his calling. He fancied himself a renowned psychologist existing inside the body of a real estate investor. He was a follower of Timothy Leary in the fifties, practiced Silva Mind Control and psycho-cybernetics in the sixties and seventies and was a charter member of Optimist International. When I was a teenager he bought me books to read with titles such as You Are Not The Target by Laura Archera Huxley and The 7 Day Mental Diet by Emmet Fox. I grew up knowing what an "affirmation" was and had several taped to my bathroom mirror.

When I was first married my dad mentioned to my new husband that he was planning on purchasing the latest model Cadillac and in the meantime had placed a picture of it on the refrigerator where he could see it every day and visualize himself driving it. This gained him quite the reputation with my very conservative Irish Catholic in-laws.

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