She is allergic to grass, flowers, and the outdoors? She loves the celebrity obsessed magazines and lengthy conversations about his uncle’s, father’s boss who married her on [insert specific date, time and location]. They now have [insert number] kids who are living in [city1] and [city2]. She is a strong woman who talks about her battle with breast cancer as if it were a cold. “Never mind that,” she says, as she reappears in another colorful pantsuit with a perfectly matching scarf. Her Chanel lipstick always in tow… She is sharp as a tack, and she is the classic beauty she always was.
He is a retired military man and dentist turned farmer with property in Pennsylvania that he may love more than his own bedroom. Vegetable growing, tractor duties and woodworking… all favorites. He’s also a longtime docent at a Washington, D.C. museum because of his vast knowledge of pre-Columbian Art and English gardens. He explored the Amazon several years back in search of the rarest orchids. His knowledge base is extraordinarily large. Pick a topic minus i.t., and he has it covered. His button ups are almost always blue in color, and his pants remind you that he probably did more hardcore cardio than you did this week. A little dirt won’t kill you.
They’re married, by the way, and my grandmother, Charlotte, just celebrated her 90th birthday! Grandpa Dave is 92.
They’re hilarious, together and a part.
They make me think about marriage, then and now. What made them say, “I do” on September 25, 1943?
I am pretty sure I have learned as many lessons about relationships in their company as I have from my own personal experiences. They can be tough, but they are everything, aren’t they? So, once you snag a good one, hold on tight!
I just had a birthday, and no, I’m not telling you guys how young I am!
Isn’t it funny how much we want to be 10-and-a-half. Eighteen. Twenty-one. We want to be older as if it’s a ticket to real life… no obstacles… freedom. Then, you’re squirming in your late twenties, and the questions start rolling in:
Am I happy? Where should I be at this point in my life?
Birthdays have a fantastic way of doing that. Don’t they?
I thought of all of the plans I’ve made over the years: The daydreams I had as a little girl as I played in my parents front yard, and the bold visions I had as a bull-headed college student walking the streets of Boston as if I knew it all. I had it almost all figured out. The city I would live in… the career I would have and the kind of man I would marry. Some of us make so many plans, and those plans always seem to create an expectation or expectations. It’s probably not exactly what we were initially going for. We can do a little sinking under that kind of pressure, but I think, in part, it’s because we’re thinking about it all wrong.
What’s best, at least for me now, is thinking of it as grey area… a charcoal sketch. All of those plans — a sketch that we can turn to for direction as we grow old and hopefully wiser. We can always do a little erasing, smudging and a some shading outside of the lines. I think that may have been a bit of a realization I just had a few days ago, or at least, I really began to truly understand it. So, lets just say, that’s one more year and one more lesson… or TWO. Number two is I’m getting too old for some kinds of crazy.
My uncle offered to let me jump out of a plane strapped to him or some other guy on the big day, but that just didn’t sound enjoyable on any level. He does it every weekend. Picture my face in complete awe every time I’m reminded of that endeavor. Instead, I chose tranquility. I don’t get much of it in the news biz, and luckily, it was the day after Thanksgiving. I was in Miami with my family so relieved I could even put a bikini on underneath a pair of shorts. Well, kind of. Lol.
I had almost forgotten how special the ocean is. How it can make you feel. It had been too long. The translucent, blue-green water…The salt in the air…the birds chirping away…swaying palm trees…It’s magical so I got on a paddle board on Key Biscayne. It was something new, something different…
I walked in honor of my grandmother and aunt, two beautiful survivors; Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k Walk, Fox59 team, Indianapolis, October 20.
An email from my aunt, JoAnn Forster…
I was 39 years old, no history of breast cancer in my family, a mother of a 13-year-old, single, committed to exercise and healthy eating, and my life was about to forever change. I had my yearly gynecological and breast exam two weeks before. I had no issues or concerns. My Doctor went thru the motions, and I happily breezed out of the office after having been pronounced healthy and good to go. Two weeks later I was doing a self-breast exam in the shower and felt something that sent an immediate rush of fear to my brain…. Fear, to no worries, to fear, to denial, to fast forward to what if, to fear, and to death.
I have always been very sensitive to my body and never had the comfort of youth of feeling invincible. Quite the contrary. Some of my earliest memories are warnings of vulnerability, and they have stayed with me, as I grow older.
I called my Doctor’s office and requested an appointment and was adamant that I did not want to wait for weeks. I saw him a few days later, and I was escorted to his office, not an exam room. I told him I felt a small lump in my breast. He smiled and assured me that he had done a thorough breast exam. I assured him in my normal, calm, assertive way that my 39 years of knowing my body and feeling this lump was worth his attention. He stood up and walked to me and asked me if he could he could feel it. To my shock, he did a quick exam over my clothes and once again assured me of my good health. I asked him for a proper exam, which he did. He said he felt nothing and tried very hard to be accommodating and caring. I told him that even if he could not feel it, I knew something was there, and I wanted to do all I could do to find out what was happening in my body. He reluctantly agreed to order a mammogram.
I owe so much to the young doctor who listened to me, even after the mammogram did not detect any growth. She would not give up, and to this day, she uses my case to demonstrate to her students the smallest tumor any patient found and was not initially detected thru standard tests. I had Stage 1 intraductal breast cancer in one breast. I opted for a mastectomy on that breast, and, a year later, on a prophylactic mastectomy on the other. I knew I would never have another day of peace for my son and myself if I didn’t do all I could do.
I am 64 years old with a wonderful husband, 3 kids, 3 grandkids, family I love, a great career, and daily reminders about how blessed I am. 25 years ago I fired that gynecologist and now work very hard to only have doctors that listen, are proactive, and don’t treat me in a condescending way.
Listen to your body.
Listen to your own instincts.
The message always comes.
Don’t be afraid to fight for yourself and for your own life. You are your own best advocate. If there are times when you cannot, make sure to have someone who can be and can speak for you. Fear is not a fact.
And… I asked my grandmother if she felt lucky… looking back.
Here’s a short clip.
Today, I’m curious about forgiveness. We’ve all heard the line, ‘forgive and forget.’ Being able to do that is supposed to show that we’re good people, but there is a line somewhere, right?? She deserves it… He doesn’t deserve it… Oh, and that a*%! No way! 😉
I constantly hear people asking for forgiveness from their mother, wife, pastor, a judge.. The list is long. I sometimes put them on camera! Are you a better person for forgiving people more often? Do you reserve forgiveness for the people you love? The problem is, either way, it can create the potential for more pain and disappointment on your end. What’s that other saying: ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’
By now, please tell me you can relate to this? And here’s another one. If we opt for forgiveness… Should we forgive them because they’re human and we all err, or should we only forgive them because we truly believe they won’t do it again? My mother says forgiveness makes your heart lighter. It rids you of negative energy. My father says he just waits for an air-conditioning unit to fall out of a window. He is kidding, but oh, does he hold a grudge. I think I used to be more like him, but something changed.
Pray for me and the little girl inside who was happy as a clam in bright red Keds.
She wanted something that many of us fear but all of us deserve: the truth.
Corinne Walls wanted the truth even if it put a little hole in her heart, and I think it did months later. I heard her tears through the phone as I told her what I had learned.
In some ways, it was what she expected. She had heard the rumors. She was told something had gone terribly wrong, but where were the answers? And what could she tell her mother who was now confined to a bed in a nursing home? How would she tell her that she mistakenly believed she had a lifeline inside her cozy home, a home she had shared with her late husband. His name… still on the phone bill.
Here’s her story…
Corinne thanked me that day, then again, shortly after the story aired on FOX59.
I kept thinking I should be the one to thank her. Too often people give up, lose faith, and simply say, ‘it’s too hard’ never realizing that they were a step away from something BIG or even a little bit of truth.
Army infantryman Tim Senkowski lost both of his legs, most of the muscle in his right arm and buttock among other serious injuries in an I.E.D. blast last October in Afghanistan. On patrol, a good friend, who was a few feet away, stepped on the bomb. It was a fatal mistake and one that would forever change Tim’s life.
The last time I interviewed Tim, I remember this one moment so vividly. He ran his finger over the skin just below his right eye and told me about a nail that ripped through his skin in that very spot. It was inches away from taking yet one more thing away from him when the bomb detonated.
Tim has two young boys with his wife. He missed his 1-year-old son’s first steps, and as he learns how to strengthen his stride with prosthetics, his son will slowly begin to lose that toddler wobble. It’s a parallel that was at first, very sad, yet it has become something else completely. Despite his loss and despite the daily pain, Tim hasn’t given up. He is a fighter who is determined to keep a smile on his face, and he is planning for his future because HE LIVED.
At a recent fundraiser for the family, with their buddy ‘Chaps’ at the helm, I saw something great and heard something even better, plenty of laughter. I was introduced to ‘biker games.’ Any thoughts?? Well, just think… the delicious smell of an outdoor barbecue just outside a biker shop with plenty o’ leather inside, a row of bikes in the lot, all lined up, some with their proud papas revving their engines, and some interesting contests involving empty kegs and hot dogs on a string. It was a trip, and it was a lesson learned.
One night, recently, my father tells my mother he has to make two confessions. It was late. They were in bed. Her mind goes wild. “After all these years, what could it be,” she asks herself. Not good.
He begins. One: “I really like golf,” he says.
The day before was going to be his last day on any golf course, as he had planned, because it was ‘too stressful,’ but something had changed. He was not too shabby even if one of his balls flew through a forested area and bounced off a tree. He had found a shortcut to the next hole. We had laughed about this over dinner.
My father’s second confession: “I was practicing in the front yard.”
My father felt guilty because he had pulled out several different clubs and practiced his swing in the morning before they played golf while my mother was asleep. He thought that somehow it had given him an unfair advantage. He played better than my mother too, and she’s more of ‘the athlete.’
Really? I know you’re asking yourself that, and I promise my father is a sane man. He’s just too kind. My mother says it was a struggle to not die of laughter in bed that night. “He is such a boy,” she said. All men are forever boys, right?
I think it was also one of those life reminders that let you breathe a little easier. I could see it on her face. He is still the man she married. So thoughtful… So caring… She didn’t need to say anything else. They have the kind of love that makes other people want to tear up… just a bit.
My parents celebrated their 36th anniversary in October.
I fight for what I believe in, and I fight for the people I love.
This is day one of my blog so here’s a little more about me:
Tv reporter and journalist.
South Floridian but perhaps a Boston groupie. The accent always makes me smile. Great memories.
Strong believer in quality over quantity. Arguments for quantity too often have one goal… $$$
Repeat offender of writing out sounds as words such as “mhm” and using my all-time favorite word “marinating.” It’s what you do on your couch after a long day at work.
Lover of all green vegetables, dark chocolate, red wine and Evian water. Yes, I know it spells “naïve” backwards.
Artist. Drawing pencils or acrylics on canvas. Photography.
Oh, and I can make a mean triple-layer chocolate cake with milk chocolate icing.