IMG_8346-2You know how some days can just fly by, to the point where you can’t even figure out what you did? And then there are those other days, those 24-hour periods that are so thick with events that it seems several months have passed overnight. I’ve experienced this during a weekend of silence at a Trappist monastery, and on several short-term mission trips over the years, and today, at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, CA, during my first day of training. Continue reading

The following is a parody of my favorite Dr. Seuss book, describing my hesitancy to use my cane, before trying it but then my relieved delight when I realize it’s actually pretty helpful to have around!

I do not like white cane in hand.  I do not like it, Joy I am!

Would you use it at a park?

Could you use it in the dark?

I could not, would not at a park.

I could not, would not, in the dark. I do not like white cane in hand. I do not like it, Joy I am!


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I’m not sure why the conversation made me weep only seconds after hanging up the phone. Was it because he was calling from his room at a nursing home that I could barely bring myself to set foot in?

The content of the conversation wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. He told me how the pop machine ate his quarters and how the laundry service never returns his handkerchiefs and even lost a pair of his pants. He said he was wearing the Chicago Bears sweatshirt my mom gave him for Christmas and assured me he would never send that to the laundry. Continue reading

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Growing up, we were the best of friends.

Joy: Except for that time, in utero, when she sat on my head for nine months, and then made me wait four laborious minutes while she made her grand entrance into the world.

Jenelle: Or that time when we were 18 months old and she sunk her teeth into my arm after I stole her stuffed bunny.

Joy: Or that time when we were eight, and she poured a glass of milk over my head at the dinner table.

Jenelle: Or that time when we were nine, and she signed my dad’s Father’s Day card, “Love, Joy. p.s. not stinky Jenelle.”

Joy: Or all those times as teenagers when she chased me around the house trying to whip me with a wet bath towel, while I ran away, chanting “Violent lady! Violent lady!” Continue reading

Tip #8: Live Your Life and Allow Your Child to do the Same

 With July upon us, I couldn’t resist squeezing this final tip into the series!
All of our tips are meant to be incorporated into your vibrant, rich lives.  They are not meant to be at the forefront of your mind or schedule at all times.  Focus on the approach you’d like to take and the advice that seems to make sense for your child, integrate it into your lives, and then move forward.

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Tip #7: Seek Out Mentors

My very first mentor was an attorney from Utah.  Mormon.  Married, with children and grandchildren.

I was a 24-year-old teacher from the Midwest, entering a Master’s program, newly married and just on the cusp of adult life.

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