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I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin & a best friend. I am a poet, a lawyer & a survivor. I've learned that God will give you a second chance.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Stop Saying It’s a Muslim Ban

I try to avoid politics. Yet every once in a while I feel the need to speak up. In this case it is about the use of the phrase “Muslim ban.”

The United States is a melting pot of residents with differing backgrounds. We have citizens, permanent residents, and visitors from all over the world. We welcome diversity of race, culture, and religion. I fully support the preservation of our way of life, which includes the right to assemble. Our forefathers fought hard to keep the Government from establishing a national church. We have the “free exercise” of religion, and Congress cannot pass a law “abridging the freedom of speech.” [Amendment I, Constitution of the United States of America, 1789].

However, the President of the United States has issued an Executive Order delaying the processing of visa applications from six countries, and increasing scrutiny for a seventh. Yes, these country’s dominant religion is Islam, which appears to some people to breach that commitment to freedom of religion and right to assemble. But the Executive Order is not a “Muslim ban.”

Read the Executive Order. It specifically states, “Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities – whoever they are and wherever they reside – to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.”

There are many other countries in the world who have Muslim citizens. Like India, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia. These countries are not listed on the Executive Order. Saying that the Executive Order is a “Muslim ban” is like saying countries that ban travelers from the United States have a “Christian ban.” Continuing to call it a “Muslim ban” does not make it true.

So please, stop saying it’s a Muslim ban.                 

If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Yankee Swap

We gather for our family Christmas
The children laugh and play
Brother Bill is missing this year
He had to be away
Family is a niece
Who has children of her own
And a great grandma
Who marvels at how they’ve grown
And family is a sister
Who is pretty, smart, and strong
Family is that place
Where you know that you belong
But family is also friends we’ve known
For many, many years
We’ve shared a lot of joy
And even shed some tears
Together we are crazy
We tend to talk non-stop
Telling stories and laughing loud
Gathering for the Yankee Swap
If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Christmas Season

I don’t take down my Christmas decorations or tree until after the New Year. There are several reasons for this. One is that my husband and I are busy with family for Christmas and friends during the week between. We often have our Christmas celebration of presents and a fancy meal on New Year’s Day itself.
Another reason is that I’m lazy. I spend a lot of time putting out the Santa collection and decorating the tree. I just don’t have the energy to take it all down only a few weeks later. 
I also like the lights and cheeriness during these dark, cold winter days.
Growing up we took down the tree after Twelfth Night, which is January 6. My mother always says that we celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas (and she still does). I think it was an excuse to keep the Christmas tree up a little longer.
My friend Robin recently wrote about the Epiphany over at Welcome to Robin’s Corner.
And maybe that is part of my reluctance to undecorate the house. I do not want to let go of Christmas and the promise that it brings.
I am a big fan of the Old Testament, and the more I read it the more I realize that each book, each story points to the Christmas story. The Christmas story is our hope. The hope for humanity as a whole. The hope for our reconciliation with God. My hope for finding grace.
May you find the hope of the Christmas story in 2017.
If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Darkness of Advent

There are periods of life when we enter a time of darkness. Sometimes it is nothing we do. Sometimes it is not something we choose. Sometimes it just happens. We find ourselves in a place where life is messy. So we pull back. It’s not intentional. It’s not meant to slight anyone. The fact is, it just happens.

At this time of year we are encouraged to stop and reflect. Reflect on the year that was. Reflect on the year to come. Those pesky New Year resolutions are just around the corner. It is also the time of year that is literally the darkest hours in the northern hemisphere. And it is this time when we begin a season of celebration.

Advent is the traditional time leading up to Christmas. It is during this darkest season that we wait in anticipation of the birth of Christ. We look forward to longer daylight hours. We celebrate the coming of the New Year and new beginnings. It is somehow appropriate that we wait in the dark.

Please, dear reader, do not get me wrong. I am not depressed. I have not gone through some personal, horrible tragedy. While I have been away from posting, it is because I have been busy. Busy with work at a job I love. Busy with family, whom I adore. Busy with living!

Thinking about this time of year; thinking about the darkness of Advent, I am thankful for the time. I am also invigorated to think that a New Year is just around the corner. I have the opportunity to set new goals or recommit to goals that never truly went away. They were just set aside. Set aside for a time that feels like darkness, but is really in anticipation of the light that is to come.

Come, celebrate the darkness of Advent with me.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
-      Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Friday, November 11, 2016

An Old Fashion Letter

I recently received a letter in the mail. A handwritten letter on stationary. Written in ink with cursive handwriting. What a delightful surprise! Part of the letter read:
I really miss this old fashion letter writing, remember in the old days when that’s how most people communicated? Long distance phone calls were to expensive & no internet was available. Oh the good ole days.
The letter was from my cousin. It brought me back 40 plus years to our childhood. Her father worked for International Paper® and one of the perks was defective paper. I don’t know if he got it for free or if employees got a discount on these “seconds” but he would give us packages of “not good enough for distribution” paper. Oh, how I loved those reams of paper. I never knew what I would find inside.
The paper was colored. Sometimes the parcel contained paper of all the same color. Other times it was a rainbow of colors. Sometimes the paper was thick; almost like cardboard. Other times it was so thin it was almost tissue paper.
It was that paper that taught me to write letters. My mother and grandmother taught me to fold the paper just the right way so that it would fit into a small envelope for mailing. I would fold it in half before picking up a pen so that I had four sections to write on. Sometimes I would add stickers. Sometimes I would draw a flower or sun in the corner to give my letter a little style and elegance.
It was that paper that taught me to say “thank you” for gifts; birthday presents and Christmas presents. It was that paper that let me tell my grandparents what had happened in school. It was that paper that kept me close to my Aunt and Uncle. And it was that paper that taught me about connections.
Thank you, dear cousin, for the walk down memory lane. Thank you for reminding me to make connections. Thank you for the old fashion letter.
If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Quiet of My Heart

Have you listened to the true story of your heart lately? I know I haven’t. Have I been quiet lately? Have I reflected on events? Have I considered what I am learning? How have more recent experiences affected my life?

I enjoy my quiet time. Taking time to decompress, to think, to ponder what is on my heart. When I write, I write from the heart. Typically it is something that is on my heart and that I’ve been thinking about. A lot. I don’t, or really can’t, write simply because it is the thing to do. I cannot be a robot and say, “Well, it’s Saturday. Time to write something.”
When I write I share a piece of myself. Sometimes it’s silly. Laughter and fun are things that bring me joy. Sometimes I write about things related to cancer; whether it is my own journey or an educational piece. It is about passion. It is about what is on my heart.
Sometimes it is in response to something in the news. Lately there has been a lot of heartache in the world. I don’t really know how to respond to the politically divisive events here in the U.S., let alone the global terrorist attacks.
What I have been doing is having conversations. Conversations with my friends; with my colleagues. It strikes me that I never truly appreciated the fact that those I hold dear could live in fear due to the color of their skin or the life they live. One conversation brought tears to my eyes as I realized that someone I love could be killed because of who she is.
I don’t have to fear for my life. I’m white. I’m straight. I’m married. Some of my friends, my colleagues, those that I deeply cherish, live every day with a little bit of fear. Fear that wearing sweat pants and a hoody to the grocery store could make you a target of harassment when really it is just about being comfortable. Fear that going out to a night club could get you shot when really it is about having a fun night out with some friends.
This is not about politics or religion. This is about my life and those I love. I haven’t been listening to the true story of my heart lately. But this. This breaks my heart.

If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


This weekend is the Boston Avon39 Walk to End Breast Cancer. I walked in Boston last year and am feeling a bit nostalgic right now, so I thought I'd share some photos from my past walks.

2011 - Houston

2012 - Washington, DC

2013 -  San Francisco
2014 - Chicago

2015 -  Boston

Happy Walking my friends! I'm looking forward to NYC in October.

If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.