Article Excerpts

ADOPTION’S BLESSINGS

    One day, as I rocked my infant grandson, Zavdiel, I thought of the day I adopted his mother, Sarah …
The night before Sarah’s birth, I was racked with such emotional pain I thought it would never end. There was a hole in my stomach through which the wind never ceased to howl. In despair, I cried out to God for help. I hurt so badly; I didn’t even offer any suggestions …


BACK TO BASICS

    In the United States, we have created an instant and disposable society that pollutes the Earth and squanders Her resources. In so doing, we have estranged ourselves from the substances of life, such as growing and preparing our food, building our homes and working with wood, metal and the soil.
    I grew up on a farm, where we lived off the land and raised cattle. At various times, I slopped hogs, fed chickens, gathered eggs and brought in the cows for milking … I also lived five years in Alaska …


BLESSINGS FROM MY SON-IN-LAW

    We live in a time in which immigrants, particularly Hispanic immigrants, are highly scrutinized and negatively judged. They are seen as outsiders who defy our laws while, at the same time, taking advantage of all the good our country has to offer. But I have a different view.
    In 1980, when my son-in-law, Luz, was 11 years old, his parents, Nasaria and Mayolo, left Mexico and immigrated with their family of eight children to the United States, where they hoped to find a better life …


BUY SMALLER AND LESS

    With environmental alarms sounding, it is time to buy smaller and less. Like so much of the American dream, the “bigger is better” house, car, more-of-everything mentality has become an environmental and social nightmare.
    We are a nation in which our wants far exceed our needs. Let our motto become “Less is More” or “Enough is Enough.”


CAROL AND EDNA: LIVES LIVED IN SECRET

    During the 1920s and ‘30s, the prevailing view of society and the medical profession was that lesbians were decadent, pathetic monstrosities. Then came the institutionalized insanity of the 1950s, McCarthyism and its witch-hunt to rout out and rid our nation of communists, gay men and lesbians. These were Carol and Edna’s formative years.
    For more than 45 years, Carol and Edna occupied the same residence in a Catholic, blue-collar neighborhood near downtown Oklahoma City. With a heterosexual façade, Carol and Edna poignantly lived as lovers behind closed doors …


MY TURN TO BE HEARD

    At 63, I am a mother of three and a grandmother of six. I am a member of the silent majority who has been silent far too long, and it is my turn to be heard.
    As a college student, young mother, medical student and physician, I was too busy to find my voice, let alone speak it. Besides, in my training as a pathologist and later as a psychiatrist, I was drilled to be very guarded in my verbiage …
    Years later, I discovered my writer self, and my motto became, “Let it rip,” and it did …


OUR THOUGHTS, OUR BODIES

    Our bodies hear every thought we think and respond in kind. As I began to understand this fact, I left my work as a pathologist and retrained in psychiatry.
    Mystics and many in the helping professions have long known the healing power of love, prayer and positive thought. In recent years, cell biologists have unraveled the biological mechanism of this ancient truth …


RECYCLE JUNKIE

    I’m a self-confessed recycle junkie. On my morning walks, I look like a bag lady as I pick up trash and recyclable objects … We have many homeless walking through our neighborhood and, as they see me digging through the trash of others, they think I am one of them – and I am …


SEX OR THE LACK THEREOF

    As a psychiatrist, I have taken many sexual histories over the past 25 years, and I have found that it is not uncommon for a woman to have infrequent or no sexual contact with her husband or partner for months or even years …


SEXUAL MATURITY

    On my 60th birthday, I plunged into mourning. I had been without a spouse or partner for a number of years. I thought my sex life was over.
    As I contemplated my bleak sexual future, I took heart from Ruth Turner, … who at 75 said, “I just got married again. I answered an ad … That’s how I met Larry. I am his sexual fantasy …”


SOCIAL BRAINWASHING

    I cringe inside when I see my 8-year-old grandson plugged into an iPod. Electronic gadgets are programming my grandchild’s circuitry. Unfortunately, we are a society in which we and our children are being methodically, electronically brainwashed.
    As a practicing psychiatrist for the last 25 years, I know our subconscious minds hear and store the information upon which we focus our attention …


WAR: ANOTHER FACE OF GREED

    As I review the front page of the morning newspaper, I see another young man proudly displayed in all of his military regalia, dead. Let’s get real. All of this hoopla, this so-called “war on terrorism,” is providing a smoke screen for yet another war being fought under the guise of “God and Country.” In actuality, beneath lurks the age-old warmonger, greed.
    Greedy people are the real terrorists in our society …


WISDOM WOMEN

    I arrived on the doorsteps of 50 after traversing motherhood, professional training and an active career. A month later, words began to gush through me and onto paper.
    In the research and writing of one of my books, Renaissance Woman, I gained deeper insight into the sacredness of my advancing years.
    For thousands of years, postmenopausal women were revered and sought for their wisdom …



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