Totally, Absolutely 100% There

What do you wish others would take with them after meeting with you?

I think my greatest wish is that following time spent with me, people would leave feeling like I listened to what they had to say and share with me.

That they had 100% of me while they were with me and that I made them feel I was listening to what they said and also all the small things that they couldn’t quite get out and verbalise.

I find I do my best listening and understanding when there is no noise or distractions.

No clutter to shield what is really going on inside someone.

I want to observe and feel intuitively what is churning inside of them. I have always used my intuitive emotional tools far better than I ever did my basic senses.

I am not the friend you go to with your every day problems with your husband, as I will tell you up front that is not my area of expertise, and will likely just listen and let you go off to do whatever it is you have already decided to do anyway; long before you ever came to ask me for my opinion about it.

I have had some unbelievable experiences and have spent time with some eclectic characters during my life. To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, I have walked with Kings but never lost my common touch.

Frequently I go walking in a park nearby. There is a reservoir where folks take out their sailboats, a playground for the kids and a great walking trail. There are also times that I go just to sit and watch the water. Not once have I ever sat there by myself without someone joining me on the bench and engaging me in conversation of some sort.

I think I am just “that lady” to the world. Safe-looking, unassuming, usually in yoga pants and a baggy old sweatshirt or flannel shirt belonging to one of my sons or an ex, my hair up in a messy ponytail.

Strangers tell me the most personal stories you can imagine and so much so, that my family laughs about how I am always accosted in malls or discount stores, parking lots, line ups in the pharmacy and yes- just sitting in the park. My older son that looks so much like me has this same phenomenon, so we joke with each other that it must be something about our faces.

What is a bit jarring is that much of what they spontaneously share with me is something  I have personally experienced. I am able to give them a name or a number or a referral to an agency that I know can help them.

Sometimes I just listen and watch what their eyes say or how their hands move or twist at each other in the telling.

I was brought up to look someone in the eyes when they are interacting with me and it is one of the rules that has stuck. I don’t sigh or move around impatiently and keep glancing over their shoulders or downward when someone is speaking to me. Anyone  talking to me knows I am listening and there.

Humans need to be heard and listened to.

Not to be fixed.


Hearing is a physical ability, but listening is an emotional skill.

I hope that when people have spent time with me, they knew they had all of me.

100% of everything I had, for whatever moments in time we spent together.

That would be enough.






At 4: Falling asleep in a random place and magically waking up in your bed, all covered up and somehow still feeling the kiss placed gently on your cheek by someone who cared.

At 7: Curled into your mother on the couch, being told secrets and stories to calm you down, frozen bag of peas on your lips- shuddered breathing, after violently losing both your front teeth during a fall from the top bunk, whilst amusing your brother with your gymnastic prowess.

At 11: First kiss behind the barn in the sweltering heat of July, feeling that rush of awareness that the boy you peeked at from around doorways and behind trees, noticed you in spite of your shyness and naivety.

At 14: The feeling of your best friend’s hand taking your shaking hand and leading you out of the school and to home when the mean girls came to call in middle school.

At 17: The bluest eyes you had ever fallen into, looking straight into yours and smiling the widest, happiest smile and feeling that click in your heart – knowing the path in the road had been decided for you.

At 21: Feeling the first kick and inside you and not knowing how it would end.

At 23: Holding your second miracle in your arms and staring into his eyes in awe, in the silence of the night, your heart and your soul making silent promises, feeling like there is only the two of you in the entire universe awake at that moment in time.

At 25: The sight of that same wee one suddenly seeming so large and holding your third and last miracle in his arms, looking down at his new brother with that same serious gaze he analyzes the world around him with… and then quietly weeping in gratitude as he reaches ever so gently to touch his lips to the top of his brother’s head.

At 36: Nurses asking you how many sisters you have, as every one of your far-away friends has figured out the rules, and  calls the trauma unit identifying as a sister, in order to get news on your condition.

At 37: Riding 20 hours on a greyhound bus in a neck brace and walking into your mother’s house to prove to her that you are in one piece. That first careful hug and feeling her hot tears running down your back when she won’t let you go.

At 38: Laying on the couch with his hands stroking your hair while you whisper, “please don’t make me love you- I’m too broken and scared.” His promises and assurances that he will never leave.

At 48: Your brother telling you for the last time how strong and smart and capable you are. Letting you know you never once let him down or left him alone.

At 53: Loving yourself wholly and completely and allowing that love to flow freely and to be accepted freely, by the same little girl who woke up in places she didn’t fall asleep in.

The girl who can sometimes still feel the kisses and the stroking of her hair by the people who loved her before she could love herself.


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