Somewhere I read we look seven years younger when we view ourselves in our own mirror. I think that’s true. The mirrors and the lighting in my bathroom make me believe I’m holding my own. Then I see my reflection in a store window, and I’m shocked to see my mother staring back at me. Mind you, I’m not bothered enough to have Botox, fillers or surgery, but aging is hard.
And don’t tell me there are more important things to think about, because I think about them as well.
Jadon Olsen and his friends before Hurricane Florence.
Thursday I posted Brenda’s Blog two days early because I wanted your help for the son of a friend of mine. I asked you to pray for Jadon Olsen. I believe what you’re about to read is a testament to the power of prayer. For the last six days, Jadon was critically injured, unconscious with a breathing tube. Thursday they removed his breathing tube, and he began breathing on his own.
Friday, Jadon sat up on the edge of his bed.
The death toll from Hurricane Florence has risen to over 30 people. While I don’t know any of those who died, I do know the mother of a critically injured 17-year-old young man, Jadon Olsen. On September 14th, Jadon and his father Billy, a pastor at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Laurinburg, North Carolina, stopped to move a tree limb out of the road so other cars could safely pass when two other tree limbs fell and hit them both in the head. Billy needed 12 staples in his head. Jadon suffered a fractured skull and a brain bleed. He had a three-hour surgery to stop the bleeding and relieve pressure on his brain and has been in critical condition, on a ventilator, for the last six days.
Just getting Jadon through the driving rains and winds of Hurricane Florence—and keeping him alive—was considered a miracle.
BRENDA COFFEE, AGE 24, AS A JOURNALIST, FLYING IN AN AIR FORCE FIGHTER JET. ©1010ParkPlace, 2018.
This week an email in my inbox was titled, “3 Ways I’ve Improved My Aging Skin.” The copy went on to say, “Now that I’m officially in my mid-30s… I’ve been focusing on ways to feel more confident about my skin and bring youth back into it.“ Seriously? You’re calling that your aging skin? I’m in my late 60’s and gravity’s been right beside me—unaided—but I’m thinking I look good for all I’ve endured. What’s more… I’m happy to still be standing.
Who are these young women who are obsessed with eating “water-heavy foods” and being the “right bottle away from perfect skin?”
When depression, grief or fears about a medical problem swoops down and swallows us whole—mind, body and soul—it’s sometimes impossible to put one foot in front of the other. For much of the last eight years, depression made me feel like I was falling from a thousand-story building, but Guided Imagery and the sound of Belleruth Naparstek’s voice slowed my fall. It’s allowed me to gather myself together, again, and find my way.
Last week I spoke with Belleruth Naparstek, a pioneer of Guided Imagery, and she’s everything… and more… I’d hoped.
Depression by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 ImageCreator
Most of us have experienced depression from time to time, but did you know the worst thing we can do about it is to do nothing? If you’re like me, perhaps you’ve had situational depression that resolved itself when the circumstances that caused it were resolved. Or like me, if you’ve also had a longer, more severe depression that blankets you in a dark shroud, you may decide that like your less severe depression this, too, shall pass. But what if it doesn’t? I don’t know if this is a medical term, but sometimes I’ve thought of myself as functionally depressed.
In other words I show up for life and get my “to do” lists accomplished, but it can be a struggle.
When we’re in the midst of a storm it’s often difficult to see past our worries and fears and find solid ground. For me solid ground is not when the sun comes out and the birds start chirping. It’s when I have clear vision and can think logically and make good decisions. That doesn’t mean I don’t cry and give in to my feelings, sometimes, but if I do, I don’t let myself stay there for long. At some point there will be plenty of time to breathe a sigh of relief, or grieve, but for now….
I need to be the one person I know I can always count on.
ANNIE (LEFT) AND LULU, EIGHT WEEKS OLD, THE DAY I BROUGHT THEM HOME.
Like many women who’ve had breast cancer, sometimes I think about why I’m still here. In part it was due to the type and stage of my cancer, my good physical shape and the great medical care I received, but I always come back to my faith in God and my determination to survive. And when I think about the word “survivorship,” and all the courageous people, dealing with their own set of problems, it may sound strange, but also I think of my 16-month-old puppy, Lulu.
At birth, if you’d calculated Lulu’s odds of surviving, they would have been slim to none.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER DENTON, ©1010PARKPLACE, 2018
How many of us envision ourselves as a healthy, active professional when we’re 94-years-old? Before I met Lee Moczygemba, it never occurred to me I might be sharp and still engaged in my community, much less involved in business. When Lee told me her age, I laughed and said, “I don’t believe you.”
She then pulled out her wallet and showed me her driver’s license so I could verify her birthdate!
KIM ALEXIS, MAY, 2018
I grew up in a small town, was a good student and swam competitively from the age of 6 on. I never focused on my body weight, shape or the foods I ate. I was CONTENT with myself. Then I was discovered and became a model and was swept up into the New York scene when I graduated high school. All of my friends were at beer parties and eating pizza in their new college campuses.
I was in New York City, in an apartment, wondering how many carrot sticks I could have for dinner?