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Brenda’s Blog

— Life —

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Remember Rene Russo’s Italian Riviera colored smoothie in the Thomas Crown Affair? The enticing blue-green concoction that made many of us decide—then and there—that we wanted whatever she’s having? While I began drinking green smoothies, I must have used the wrong recipe.

Instead of having a man on my arm like Pierce Brosnan, I wound up with kidney stones.

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— Relationships —

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Sometimes I’ll rewatch a film I’ve matured into like Alan J. Pakula’s 1971, dark thriller, Klute. It’s not that it was beyond my comprehension when I saw it the first time in the theater. But having seen it again, recently, I better understand the motivation of prostitute, Bree Daniels, and Jane Fonda’s Academy Award-winning portrayal of her.

Bree was light years ahead of me when it came to understanding men.

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— Life —

BRENDA COFFEE, AGE 23, AT THE OCEAN CLUB, PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS. Photograph by Philip Ray.
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Poetry has never been my strong suit, but today I found a poem I wrote decades ago. I was old enough to have experienced deep loss and overwhelming fear, and yet, I had an inner strength and resilience. If nothing else, I’ve always been resilient. Since then I’ve discovered the answers to most of the questions I posed in my poem. Some of my assumptions were wrong, particularly the one about God, plus now I know dessert is always worth the calories, and when in doubt… overdress.

Wishing each one of you a happy and healthy New Year filled with love, forgiveness and optimism.

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— Life —

FAVORⓇ SMOKELESS CIGARETTES, Photograph by Brenda Coffee, ©1010ParkPlace, 2018
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This week Good Morning America (GMA) reported the Surgeon General declared “vaping” to be an epidemic among teenagers, and there are few treatment options. What GMA and the Surgeon General failed to say is cigarettes, vaping and the current e-cigarettes are more addicting than heroin. How do I know this? For 20 years nicotine and smokeless cigarettes were my business. I coined the terms “vape” and “vaping.”

This is the story of the sinister plot between the Federal government and the “Big Six” tobacco companies to put the first smokeless cigarette out of business because it wasn’t in their best interest.

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— Life —

Pixnio Free Images
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The day after Christmas it will be eight years since James went for a walk and died, unexpectedly, of cardiac arrest. He was the glue that held our family together, and his death was devastating for all who loved him. A few weeks before he died his son dropped out of law school and was hoping Dad would “fix things.” Instead of healing and fixing, there were “instances of regret” that Christmas. In an attempt to make sure he’d never run the risk of hearing what Dad thought of him, I believe his son cut me out of his life. 

I haven’t heard from him since. 

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— Relationships —

BACK IN THE DAY... ME, LEE AND GAYLE
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One of the best trips I’ve ever taken was to Santa Fe, New Mexico, with my two best girlfriends. We’ve known one another since high school. The stores on Santa Fe’s plaza and the art galleries on Canyon Road beckoned us with bold brush strokes and shiny silver and turquoise baubles. Stores where your gold and platinum cards are welcome before you are.

I bought a custom-made paper bracelet and a series of x-rays taken of me at the emergency room in Santa Fe.

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— Relationships —

PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR CREATIVE COMMON
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This morning I heard a story on the car radio that moved me. A woman was waiting at the airport gate for her flight. Seated near her in a wheelchair was an old man, waiting for another flight. He was alone. His grey hair was long and matted, and he sat hunched over, staring at the floor. The woman approached him and asked if she could brush his hair. The old man said, “I guess so.” Just as she finished, the gate attendant came and wheeled him down the ramp, onto the airplane. In a few minutes the attendant returned and told the woman the old man had started crying. He couldn’t understand the woman’s kind gesture. 

“Why would anyone care enough about me to brush my hair?” he’d asked the attendant. 

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— Life —

ME IN MY WIG, THE WEEK AFTER MY LAST CHEMO, APRIL, 2005.
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This week I had my annual mammogram. Unlike past years I wasn’t worried, but as we all know… Mammograms can change our world in the time it takes to “Inhale. Hold it. Don’t breath.” I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and I’m an expert at reading every nuance in the voice and face of a mammogram technician.

This year my mammogram threw me a curveball.

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— Life —

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“You mean I really have to start walking?” Selfie, ©Brenda Coffee, 2010

Have I told all of you how wonderful I think you are? How much I value and appreciate you? The kindest, wisest, smartest women in the world read my blog, and I’m so grateful. You leave me such great messages and emails of support, and when you don’t agree with me… Like good girlfriends, you let me know that as well, but you give me alternatives to think about. 

For all of these things, I value, appreciate and love each and every one of you.

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— Life —

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If you’re like me you know certain foods aren’t good for you, but you eat them anyway… Why is that? Why do I eat cheese enchiladas when I know they’re going to plug me up for a week? Why is it sometimes so difficult to do what’s in my own best interest? Here’s another one I struggle with…

Why is it so hard for me to get motivated and take my significantly thinning bones for a walk? 

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