Turkey Day with a Side of Mercy

While it always hurts to come across hateful comments about my father on social media, last month, I started receiving such comments on my personal accounts. Anger has often been my initial response in such situations. Recently, I did something unexpected, I paused and remembered a song I was learning, a song about mercy and how we all could use it.

I changed my focus and quickly recognized both the hate and pain surging through this troubled individual. The prudent option here was to ignore what was not really an attack, but an individual in pain, lashing out; in addition, adjusting my thinking helped me deal with such posts. I wondered where else “mercy” was needed…

Every semester, I perform for the Music Appreciation class at the college. This time, in addition to the usual presentation about oral tradition and Appalachian folk music, I added a current song I was learning. While the song is still in need of a final polish (and an amp for the strumstick), it felt right to sing about mercy. This holiday season, in addition to thankfulness, where do you need to show mercy? Is there a rift from long ago in need of attention? Are you still avoiding family members with differing political views? Perhaps it’s time to “mend the bond.”

Thanks for reading and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Time to stock up on Lip Balm!



“In the arms of an angel…”


The suicide of Robin Williams dredged up some old, painful memories for me. In high school, I worked at the local college Sport’s Complex. I had fun banter with a college art teacher for several years. His name was Burt Fink. He committed suicide when I was in high school. Later, at a friend’s youth group a few days after I heard the news, they were making prayer lists. I wanted to pray for Burt’s soul, so he could some day find peace. The Youth Director told me no, “He is beyond help.” I was so upset, when I got home, I told my parents. Mom and Dad were very helpful and clear on the matter. They told me to “…pray for who ever you want. We never know God’s whole plan. Let’s hope Burt finds peace someday.”

Many of you know my sister-in-law committed suicide several years ago. At the time, I was pregnant with my third child, and my second had just returned from major surgery in Missouri. Times were stressful. I had an uncomfortable confrontation with a few in-laws who told me Lissa would burn in Hell forever. She was beyond hope, not a fun family dinner. This resulted in many conversations with family and friends about Lissa’s soul. Most of us reached the same conclusion. It might take awhile, but she had a good heart. We will continue to hope and pray that she will grace Heaven’s walls someday.

I know some will disagree with me. However, I prefer to think that God and his angels take pity on these lost souls and welcome them in their healing wings.

Be at peace, friends.

How to Heal


I want to thank the many people who reached out to me both privately and publicly regarding my latest post about having to deal with the tragedy of suicide. While dealing with such tragedies is quite painful, I can assure you that I am in a positive place now. I posted “Far from Lothlorien” in an attempt to help others. I know there are many out there who feel the range of emotions that I survived: pain, sadness, rejection, anger, etc. I wanted those who deal with the horror of suicide to know that you are not alone. If you want to move on, know that life improves if you allow it! Find what brings you comfort. (I find peace in family craic, bunny ears, jokes, and carefully planned pranks) Is it taking the time to read, exercise, or even prepare a unique meal? I encourage you first to take care of yourself, then look for opportunities to help others. By helping others, we complete the circle.

Find Peace, Friends!