The More Thing Change …

Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem Artichoke

Yesterday I decided to look back through the first blog I kept. Entitled, Rivanna River Days, I started it as a record of what life was like living on the shores of the South Fork Rivanna River Reservoir, where I resided at the time. I began this blog in the spring of 2006, many years before I began writing my memoir and a year before my mother died in 2007.  She was living with me at the time.

I found this piece that I wrote in September of 2008. I could have written it yesterday or last month or last year. I have to say I have no problem staying with my writing these days, but it’s interesting to see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Tending The Heart

Where have I been, you ask? I’ve been tending to myself …
My heart has been heavy with the vibrations of the exterior world …
It’s trying to hold its own … feeling grateful for all that I have …
The wonderful people I know …
Saddened for the state of this country … the violence in the world …
The hungry … the homeless …
And most of all for those who don’t see or feel the consequences for what they do.

It’s been hard for me to write anywhere about anything, including in my journal
that I normally jot in every day.
I’ve been saying a lot of prayers … asking lots of questions
And trying to stay as positive I can.

I know I’m not alone. There are many people feeling the same way.
I remind myself on a daily, sometimes hourly basis that I cannot control what is happening in this world
And that this too shall pass.
I take solace in meditation, the garden, living simply, and the gifts that each day brings.

Do you read back through your old journals or blog posts to see what has changed over the course of time?

The Work In Progress Blog Tour

Grackel visiting me last week on my writing retreat.

Grackle visiting me last week on my writing retreat.

Friend and fellow memoirist, Kathy Pooler,  has been one of my biggest supporters through the trials and tribulations of writing my memoir. She was one of my beta readers, and asked me to write a guest post for her blog as well. Everything she has said about my writing has inspired me to continue. Last week she tagged me for The Work In Progress Blog Tour, and once again I am honored and grateful for her unending encouragement.

Both Kathy and I have suffered from abuse and have used writing as a way to heal and grow beyond our victimhood into whole, authentic women, interested in passing on what we have learned to others who may need inspiration as they navigate through difficult times. Kathy’s book, Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, published this past summer, tells her story of escaping domestic abuse inflicted by two former husbands and her climb back to wholeness and a rewarding new life.

My book, ME MYSELF AND MOM, A Journey Through Love, Hate And Healing, which I’m still working on, is the story of becoming my mother’s caretaker, during her last years of life. She was one of my abusers when I was a child and took up her old role again when I invited her into my home as her health began to fail. It’s been a tough story to tell, but the forgiveness that I have found for her and myself as I’ve written about our relationship has been life changing, allowing me to let go of the cloak of victimhood I’ve worn most of my life. Below is a brief synopsis:

As Mom’s health begins to fail, I invite her to move in with my husband and me. As I attempt to be her caretaker and make life easier for her, we struggle with our own grief and pain while trying to maintain our individual independence and privacy. Repressed memories of abuse from my childhood rise to the surface. My deep longing to bring us together crumbles as she nears death and becomes impossible to deal with. When she dies I am left with feelings of deep bitterness and a bag of her ashes. Five years and four different “Letting-Go” rituals later, I find forgiveness for her and myself, while picking up the broken pieces of my life. This story of my healing process, is for adult children left with emptiness from investing themselves in a loving yet hateful relationship with an aging parent and the challenge of renewal when their loved one is gone. It’s loaded with themes of love, guilt, condemnation, heroism, hatred, dedication, perseverance, loneliness, regrets, PTSD, substance abuse, and forgiveness.

Besides linking back to the person who tagged me for this blog tour, I’ve been asked to include the first sentences from the first three chapters of my book, and then to nominate other writers who are in the midst of new projects.


Chapter I:  Mourning Dove,   May 21, 2007

It’s a beautiful May morning. The grass is heavy with dew and the air is filled with an early morning concert sung by a choir of returning birds. They’ll soon build nests in neighboring shrubs and trees where they’ll raise their young, then head south again in the fall completing another yearly cycle. As I turn the corner into my driveway, a mourning dove feeding on the ground takes flight. There is a light bump as it collides with the hood of my car. With wings outspread, I watch it rise straight up, surrounded in a veil of white light. When it vanishes into thin air I know something has changed. It is a clear message that my mother has died.


Chapter II:  The Beginning of the End,   August, 2000

When friend and real estate broker, Pat, calls to ask if he can show us a house that’s been on the market for a year, I’m not terribly excited. “But, the price has been lowered dramatically and I know you’ll love the location.” He tells me the house is in a subdivision of eight homes, and fronts on the South Fork Rivanna River Reservoir. I imagine the price will be way over what we’re willing to spend. But one can look … hope … and dream.

Chapter III:  Living In A Construction Zone,  July 2001

As sawdust piles up, and old walls are torn down, the scene in front of me is all too familiar.  I’m reminded of the feelings of impermanence that haunted my childhood as my family traveled like gypsies from one home to another.


I know that this is a ridiculously busy time of year, but I’m tagging the following  writer/bloggers as a way to inspire them to continue to work on their new projects. If Kathy hadn’t already been tagged, she would be on this list, as well. She is beginning work on a new memoir.

Saloma Furlong, is the author of two memoirs: Why I Left The Amish and Bonnet Strings, An Amish Woman’s Ties To Two Worlds. She is at work on another as she explores her relationship with her mother.

Valery Rind, is the author of the just released, Gold Diggers And Deadbeat Dads, a must read about how to keep from falling for family and friend’s finacial woes and schemes. I know she will be writing more on this subject.

July Lee Dunn,  is at work getting her book She’s Out Late, a mother-daughter memoir, published.

The Lovely Blog Award


Clash of the Season, November, 2014

Clash of the Season, November, 2014

Over the last month I have been nominated three times for a Lovely Blog Award. With life being the roller coaster that it is, it’s taken me until now to publicly say a big thank you to each of the following women for doing me that honor. Thank you to: Kathy Pooler, Mary Gottschalk, and Janet Givens. I so appreciate your encouraging support.

This award is wonderful way to honor folks we admire.  There are what are called “rules” but they’re easy and no one who is nominated must respond or take part in moving it forward if they choose not to. This is not meant to overwhelm or make more work for anyone.

The rules:

Name and thank those who nominated you.

Share 7 things about yourself that others may not know.

Nominate 15 bloggers (or as many as you like) that you would like to pass the nomination on to.

Contact those bloggers and let them know that you have nominated them.

Just remember, we all know how life is and that we all sit in the shadow of overwhelm. So forgive my lateness in responding and let me say to those that I nominate below, that this is just my way of saying, “I love you and your blog. You don’t need to do anything more except keep blogging.”

Seven things about me:

1. Yesterday I turned 72 years old. I was born on November 17th, 1942, nine months after my parents married on Valentine’s Day of that same year.

2. My maiden name is Zabski, hence the Z. as my middle initial. In means FROG in Polish. I collect frogs of all sorts … not live ones. In junior high my friends called me “Froggy.”

3. Bill, my husband, and I will celebrate our 50th year of marriage on June 19, 2015. We dated each other for two years before we got married and we still love each other madly, most of the time. 🙂

4. I have two kids, Mark and Lisa. Lisa has presented me with 2 grandkids, Zoe and Noah. Mark has brought me a step-granddaughter, Casey McCarty.

5. Bill doesn’t allow me to go to the SPCA alone. My secret wish has been to have a place where I can take in homeless animals … dogs, cats, horses, whatever shows up. I’m doing my best with 2 dogs and 1 cat on a city lot. Beyond that, divorce. 🙁

6. I can be a bit of an overachiever. In fitness classes I often injure myself because I think I can do what the 25 year old working out next to me is doing.

7. I’m a bookaholic. If you need some reading material, come visit and take some books with you when you leave. But only the ones I’ve already read.

Now it’s time to pay the honor forward to other bloggers. I follow these folks on a regular basis. They inspire me and bring me new things to contemplate every time they blog. I hope you’ll visit them and enjoy them as much as I do.

Marian Beaman, at
Val Boyko, at
Laurie Buchanan, at
Linda Hoye, at
Jeri Leach, at
Jennifer Louden, at
Sherrey Meyer, at
Lisa Rough, (my daughter), at
Becca Rowan, at
Dorothy Sanders, at
Shirley Showalter, at
Krista Tippet, at