Spring 2006

Dear Friends

I've written about my friend Anita before. She's the one whose 21-year-old son, Ben, drowned in a freak accident several years ago. She was in Austria at the time and I had to give her the tragic news when she called. She had to gather the shattered pieces of her stunned heart and take the longest flight of her life back home to face probably the saddest time she'd ever have to live through. I can't even begin to imagine how Anita made it through those dark, dark days.

I went to visit her recently, and she's fine now. She did have numbingly hard days and weeks for a couple of years after Ben's death. She didn't try to sweep her grief under the carpet and pretend things were business as usual, but rather surrendered to the emotions that are too heartbreaking for most of us to imagine. She is out the other side now, and life is as back to normal as it will ever be. Anita's one of my favorite people, and I'm honored to be her friend. She's one of those rare people who is literally magnetic, drawing others to her who just want to share her good energy. I am humbled when she emails me out of the blue with some hilarious observation about this or that -- always ending with "I love you." She is an utterly amazing being. Children flock to her like bees to honey, a sure sign in my book of an extra special person.

On this visit, Anita told me that most of the time she's at peace with her loss. The only twinge of anything negative is jealousy -- when she sees other parents with sons Ben's age. At those times, she's reminded of what she is missing by not having him in her life anymore. She said that this feeling is so foreign to her because she's never experienced jealousy about anything before. Having known her for so many years, I believe her. But the first time she did experience it was in the years following a loss that would make many of us just want to close up shop and die.

As I sit here on this sunny Saturday morning, Anita is on my mind. Perhaps it is because I miss being around her. I miss her laughter, her rants, her willingness to learn, her innocence, her huge heart. If I were in charge of the world, I would make sure that everyone had an Anita in their lives. I'm convinced that being in the presence of someone who is such a Light in the world really does rub off and makes our own Lights shine a bit brighter. And heaven knows this world needs all the illumination it can get.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

Spring 2008

Early Spring 2008

Winter 2007

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

Spring 2007

Early Spring 2007

Winter 2006

Holiday 2006

Fall 2006

Late Summer 2006

Midsummer 2006

Early Summer 2006

Late Spring 2006

Early Spring 2006

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