“Our Scars are…”

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I was nine when it happened. It was a day like any summer’s day—outside playing with my doll of many years. I named her that because every Christmas Eve my parents bathed her and gently combed her ringlets then slipped on a new dress my mother sewed in secret. But this Christmas—back again in her original doll box—was also a set of white, petite doll skates.

But back to that summer’s day: Doll in hand, I headed to the two forts my brother’s had constructed opposite one another in the alleyway. It had never before been a danger zone so I stepped in the middle to—yet again—show off my doll’s skates. WHISH! A tin can flew by and a second followed quickly from the opposite fort. The first missed! The second—filled with small rocks and soil—hit square atop my head. I SCREAMED as the blood gushed out and threw my doll aside to save her.

Mother, her dishtowel in hand, came screaming toward me and tried to stop the spewing blood; to no avail. Dad and car were at work—Mother didn’t drive anyway—but she did add a large towel to my gusher and kept her hand hard  atop my head as we walked the eight blocks to the doctor who immediately clamped the skin tightly together. The scar: well it’s still there.

On that day my brothers and parents and sizeable family gathered to both see my scar and help me heal from it. Ah, but the scars added since—those they cannot see—are mine alone to heal. It would sure be nice to have my doll of many years to lend a hand.

“Heartbreak is a Legacy or Perhaps…”

Janet's logo textA long time ago I was told, compassionately, that sometimes heartbreak will live within us for a lifetime. I accept this premise, yet when heartbreak becomes legacy, well that’s a horse of a different color.

Our first heartbreak is as we leave the caretaking of a mother’s womb and progresses from there: but the form it takes differs for each of us. Therefore, if heartbreak is truly a given why should we care about IT?

We should care because when heartbreak rules our persona—and doesn’t just stand as a lesson learned—we become THE HEARBREAK and that legacy keeps us from living a perhaps life. Perhaps had this or that heartbreak not made me—go ahead, list your justifications here.   

Heartbreak is both adversary and ally and we ought to choose how or if it presides over life.

My Sisters, I Hear You!


MY SISTERS, I HEAR YOU! {Article first published as My Sisters, I Hear You on Technorati.}

NO, this is not about women and their right to vote; although it may weave its way through the dialogue. It is, instead, about female voices made wordless through: population and families, health, education, work, power and decision-making, violence, environment and poverty. Ah, you say, but these are our sisters elsewhere. May I suggest, social media created a world where elsewhere is now knocking on our front door.

Why, you may ask, did I step onto my soapbox to run for this unsolicited, perhaps uninvited, position? It happened at our local grocery store. A young mother of two pushes a cart, her four-year-old daughter is in the cart, her six-year-old son stands nearby his father who yells at the boy, “…shut up or you’ll get it!” The mother, seeing my reaction, lowers her head. He asks, harshly, “Which of these do you want?” She lifts her head, does not make eye contact, and responds softly, “Get the one you want.” I get a knot in the pit of my stomach and follow them down a second aisle. My hope is the man will leave so I can give my sister the name of a safe house to call. The opportunity never presents itself.

This is a female reality, isn’t it? We want to help our sisters, but how can we without causing them more harm? My platform doesn’t address this issue because I have no proposal. So I vote for all those professional organizations that study and learn how to approach the violence that is perpetrated on women every second of every day.

There are bright spots that I can present to board rooms, some run by women, as my campaign pushes towards that all-important vote. So, not all is lost. Yet, when I shop at my local grocery store, I still look for my sister.