A matriarch’s journey and legacies.

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Our Mamie

What a year 2020 has been! Good riddance 2020! For weeks, we have heard tones of negativity that 2021 will bring more unwanted experiences. Many have already begun sewing negative attitudes into the fabric of the coming year. They have been using black filaments that obscure positive expectations, sullied strings of dissatisfaction, and rotted and weakened threads incapable of holding the pieces together.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to 2020 and looked into the new year.

Yesterday was also the day my family laid our 105-year-old matriarch, Mamie, to rest.

Mamie was love. Mamie was strength and resilience defined and redefined…


The two investments we should all be making right now.

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Heck. I know what you’re saying. “What the hell are you talking about?” “Do you see what’s going on right now?” “Hello?”

Well, I’m not talking about financial gains. I’m not talking about money, when so many of us have been laid off, fired, seen our businesses and places of employment shuttered, and our 401Ks take massive hits. So many of us are now dipping into our savings or accessing survival funds from our credit cards, wondering how we will pay them off.

Although, if we have a few pennies…


I welcome you all.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Good morning, Hardships, Adversities, and Crises. I welcome you all. I’m so glad some of you arrived yesterday, and the rest of your contingent will continue to show up today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. I really am.

It’s good to have advanced notice that you are coming because I can better prepare for you. So, know that I am grateful for the heads-up. Now I can do what we all do when visitors are coming. …


How one disease helps train us for another

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Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Long before social distancing became the thing it is today, and long before I knew it had a name, I was practicing it. I was using it, teaching it to my sons to keep them healthy and alive, and becoming a master at it.

My practice isolated me from others. It made them consider me to be strange at the very least and psychosomatic or utterly crazy at the other end of the spectrum. I lost friends, church and community acquaintances, baby sitters, one job, then another, and another.

Back then, my husband said I had no time for him…


Amidst the virus in the air

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Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Fear took his seat
Pale, on that bench
Amidst cowering eyes
On half faces barely seen
And their legs that wanted to run
Away from the enemy that cannot be seen
The crazy haunting of COVID-19.

Fear sat there
His face too, half
Buried in this interrupted
Ghostly mosaic of blue with ties
Frozen, so that 19 would pass him by
I mean, why would COVID stop to visit him
If he wasn’t home and lights were dim?

He also sat
Sick, and feverish
Folded and shaking within,
Praying, he’d remain invisible
Silent, motionless, and blended in.
Cough. …


Life keeps evolving and so must we

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Photo by Joe Pregadio on Unsplash

Last year, like many before, was another 365 days of living, making decisions, taking risks, loving, learning, forgiving myself, and others, and being present.

Last year, like many before, our family was immersed in illness.

The calls came often. More often than any year before. Older son was in the hospital again, then again, and again. Then, yet again. He often worried if he’d wake up the next morning. He grew quiet. So quiet. And he already was. In utero, as a child, when depression threatened, when life was happy and when it wasn’t, and always. Except in the long…


There are ways

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Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

In our global Coronavirus epidemic, we are learning the art and practices of social distancing.

Six feet apart is the standard. Masks being worn and re-worn (probably laden with micro bacterium from re-use and touch) adorn our faces. Furtive eyes try to hide their guilt when blaming eyes look their way. Is it my skin, my ethnic appearance, the sniffle my nose just whistled, or the cough that I just buried in my sleeve, or didn’t? Damn nose. Damn allergies. Damn cough. Damned me.

Is it that everyone is simply afraid? No-one wants to be contaminated. No one wants to…


From a brief encounter with Harmony on a gray morning.

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Photo by Zach Reiner on Unsplash

I was walking, in drizzling rain, sans umbrella, along the block where I worked. It had been a difficult morning. Mentally. I had spent my morning righting my mind while prepping for work, exercising, and while on my commute.

The low hanging gray clouds, whose droplets I swore I could pick, if I would only tiptoe, uttered words of understanding to me. They shared my feelings. They, too, wanted to erupt and let loose their heavy tears. Then, they would feel lighter and brighter and better.

A woman and a little girl of four or five walked just ahead of…


This simple mental shift can turn all things into the positives that they are

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Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

He was one minute late in getting to work. He rides his bike and needs the companionship of the music that, as he says, “pumps [him] up.” So when his earphones died, he stopped to have them repaired. But within the first five minutes of arriving at work, he told two people, then me, how mad he was because he was one minute late. “If only I did not stop to fix my earphones, I would have been on time. I ruined my day.”

“No. You did not ruin your day.” I replied. “You set yourself up for a positive…


On a school morning

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Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

She sat there
With red in her eyes
The color seeping
Rapidly into her cheeks
Nose quivering
Whispering to flesh
To hold the peach complexion
It knew.

“I didn’t do it on purpose.”
She said, imploringly
As her mother,
With a violent, “Really. Thank you!”
And a waving
Of the back of her hand
Stormed off the train
Dismissing her supplication.

Furrowed brow
And eyes now hanging low
Tried to convince
Scarlet cheeks
And wet trembling nose
That, together they could
In the public midst
Appear innocent, confident, and strong.

United though They failed to stand. So, one tear fell…

Michelle Patrovani

In pursuit of simplicity and meaning. Writing sometimes about my journey. Mom of young adults with Cystic Fibrosis @AbundantBreath https://www.linkedin.com/in

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