Beautiful People

It’s been a week of challenging circumstances and life stories. Not necessarily in my immediate world, but with friends and neighbors. To protect my friends, I can’t share details. But I will ask everyone to continue thinking not just positive thoughts, but compassionate ones, too. We don’t always know what’s happening behind the scenes, behind those proverbial closed doors, and lots of people are struggling, and lots of people are hurting, and lots of people need our love. Fortunately we can do that, and love doesn’t cost us anything. Love is just a choice, like choosing to see the good instead of the bad, or refusing to give in to panic or doomsday thinking.

I wish I could tell you some of the stories of what I’ve heard and seen. These stories hurt my heart, and my heart aches now, but ‘feeling bad’ accomplishes nothing. Instead I try to focus on what I can do–and that’s offering people understanding and hope and patience, and strength. When I went through my divorce it seemed like I lost a lot of ‘friends’. People are afraid of those who are suffering. We’re afraid of pain. But pain won’t kill us or break us. Pain isn’t contagious.  Pain doesn’t make us weak. Pain is real. Pain is part of life, and we don’t have to shy away from those who need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or a helping hand.

If there is anything good about hard times and difficult circumstances–and pain–its that maybe we can finally get real.  Maybe we can allow others–and ourselves–to be flawed, to be real people, which is to be imperfect. If you follow the gossip mags, you’ll know that singer/actress Jessica Simpson has been hassled by the media over her weight in the past two weeks and one of her friends say Jessica’s learned two important lessons: 1) not to wear unflattering jeans, and 2) that she can’t always be perfect. I smiled at her first bit of wisdom, and felt sad at the second. We’re people. We’ll never, ever be perfect. It’s impossible. We’re gong to screw up (I soooo screwed up this week with my older son…bad parenting at its finest). No matter how good our intentions, we won’t ever do everything exactly right. It just won’t happen.

So instead of perfection, instead of impossible standards and expectations, let’s just be real. I’m so tired of society asking women to be like glossy magazine advertisements. I’m so tired of women thinking they have to be gorgeous or perfect or almost perfect to feel worthy of love. Including self-love.

Can we just use this period of time to cut through the bull shit? To say enough of the unrealistic expectations? Enough with the pressure? And enough with lies?

Not to return to money talk–I don’t like talking about money but its the source of a lot of peoples’ misery right now–but  we women have to separate fact from fiction. We’ve got to get smart about money. We’ve got to get smart about survival. I’m about to rant here, but most financial institutions aren’t our friends. They’re not there to help us. They make money off of us.  Lots of money in some cases.

Mortgage companies that made loans to people that really couldn’t afford them just so the lenders could make easy money should be punished. Will they be? Probably not. Credit card companies are just as bad, if not the worst.

The biggest financial mistake I ever made was getting lots of different credit cards. Thank God over the past five years I’ve slowly paid off the various balances and whittled all those cards down to two, and now I must pay off the balance on those two cards (one for personal, one for business) in full every month or I’ve vowed to eliminate those cards as well. Credit card rates and fees and late charges and over limit charges will destroy you. Just like with banks and certain financial lenders, credit card companies aren’t our friends and they may make cute festive commercials for Christmas, but they’ll loan you money and make it nearly impossible to catch up and pay them back without going in deeper debt. Why didn’t I read all the fine print on the credit card statements years and years ago? Why didn’t I realize that credit isn’t good, or necessary? Far better not to have stuff than to owe your soul.

And remember, no matter what happens, no matter the amount of debt or the size of the problems–there is a solution, and there are people who will help. If you need help, ask. It’s okay to ask for help. We’re not supposed to be able to do everything by ourselves. We’re not supposed to be perfect.

For those of you who pray, and believe in the power of prayer, I ask you to pray for those who struggle right now. And for those of you who don’t pray, I ask you to be real, to be compassionate, and to be there for those who need a real friend.

Life doesn’t have to be picture perfect to be beautiful. Beauty isn’t about the surface. Beauty is found in love and compassion and strength. Real friends, real people, now that’s beautiful.

I have three sweet treats I’m giving away–red heart photo albums, See’s chocolates, JP heart candles, and your choice of one of my books–for three winners who post in the comment section below. The contest will run through Monday night and I’ll announce the winners Tuesday morning. You can post anything–what you’re reading, how you’re spending your Sunday, what your Monday is like–and you’re entered. Good luck to all of you, my beautiful people.

(PS A little housekeeping task: I still haven’t heard from the In The Pink contest winner, as well as two of my last three winners. I’m going to start limiting folks to a week to get back to me and then I’ll pick a new winner. If you don’t want the prize, just email me and let me know, because there are lots of you who would love the prize. Please check in the comments at the end of each blog to see who won. If you won, that’s where your name will be!!)

51 Comments

  1. When I went through my divorce it seemed like I lost a lot of ‘friends’. People are afraid of those who are suffering.

    So-so-so true. I live with that every day. “Friends who don’t want to be around for other people, because they don’t want their happiness tainted. Even those folks, for whom I spent a lot of my time when they were suffering, don’t want to return the favor, because they’re too busy enjoying the good times. It makes one afraid to reach out to anyone.

    On a good, we celebrated Hubby’s birthday with a lot of hulabaloo and cosetting; en famille, but it was very, very nice.

  2. Yes, it’s quite scary out there. I’m a teacher and will get a pink slip in a few weeks. I’m sure you’ve heard, but CA is essentially broke and the school districts are having to cut way back. I’m just praying and having faith that I’ll land a job somewhere before school starts in the fall. I know there are many people out there who are in much worse situations, so I have to be thankful that I have a job NOW!

  3. Prayers going out to all who need them. I figured out some time ago that the best friend you can have is yourself. You need to love and take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Having others to care for and support you is a lovely bonus. Thanks for another timely, meaningful post.

  4. I always enjoy reading your encouraging posts. My parents struggled with credit to the detriment of their marriage and I always vowed not to face the same struggles. Unfortunately, when out of work for 18 months beginning in mid 2002, the same time when my mother became permanently disabled, many times meds and gas and food were thanks to the Visa. It left me with significant (though not insurmountable) credit card debt, but as I knew to read the fine print, it was something I’ve stayed on top of no matter what so that my credit rating stayed sterling. The industry is so deceptive, targeting those people who really don’t know better like college students and sucking them in early so that their whole lives become about the debt. And then when life smacks you upside the head, that’s especially when they strike. It’s a racket and it’s tough, and it’s even more difficult to talk about it openly and without shame. We need to be aware of what’s happening around us with our money and not abdicate it’s daily management to someone else. I’ve had times when I’ve had to consciously decide that I was not going to be afraid to open this envelope or answer that phone call. I had to determine that there was nothing that could be thrown at me that I could not be handled.

    People are afraid of those who are suffering, almost as though it might rub off on them. I’m fortunate now to have a core group of friends who never cease being supportive (really, it’s a miracle) when faced with what sometimes seems as endless need on mine or my family’s part. But it hasn’t always been that way and I’ve seen friends run fast and far because I’ve been too unhappy or too needy to be around. It really sucks.

    I do believe in the power of prayer – I’m walking proof of it in several ways – and I believe that now more than ever we need to support each other in prayer, in kind and compassionate words, in tangible support, and in just being there when no one else will be.

    That’s how we make it through.

  5. Sending out good thoughts and prayers to those that need them, whether they admit it or not. We live in scary times and we need all the good thoughts that we can get. Here’s hoping everyone stays strong and keeps the faith that better days are coming.

    Jane~Hope that you are feeling better.

  6. Jane,
    I so understand what you mean about going through divorce and losing some friends. I guess they really weren’t friends to begin with. I left my marriage with 2 small children. It wasn’t easy but it’s 20 years later and I have two beautiful grown daughters and we are all doing well. It wasn’t always easy but we had each other and that’s what counts. Good thoughts to everyone that needs them.

    Dawn

  7. Hi Jane-
    So sorry to hear of the personal challenges your family and friends are experiencing. The world we once lived has taken many abrupt twists and turns. One almost hates to think, ‘what next?’ I do believe though, these very tough challenges many have faced have a way of reminding each one of some long lost values. Compassion and a kind heart go a long way. I see many being reminded of what is truly important and priorities being re-evaluated. Many times people are not looking for a hand out but actually the reassurance that they are not alone. Humility has a way of humbling. We need to be reminded that friends and family are not a comidity, but a priceless treasure few and far between.

    We hear case after case of families losing their homes and people losing their jobs. Why have we tolerated such a society of greed? There is nothing more disturbing to hear the lender and real estate folk argue about who’s at fault. What ever happened to taking responsibility for ones actions? Oh yeah, that would require a conscious.

    These are times we will discover who our true friends are and who has our best interest at hand. These are the people you need to surround yourself with. Materialistic things are nice, don’t get me wrong, however, they are not the end-to-end all.

    I was looking through a magazine just a few days ago and saw an add for the breast cancer walk coming up in Sept. There was just something that spoke to me. I have made a commitment to raising the monies and walking all 39 miles. I’m hoping I can find a partner who will walk for those who can’t and wished they were healthy enough to participate.

    I guess it comes down to being thankful for what I do have. I have a job. I have a home. I have two beautiful, loving children. We eat breakfast and dinner together at the dinner table. We talk about the days events. I see them excell in school and athletics. We tell each other every day that we love each other and mean it with our hearts. We may not have everything we would wish for, I may not make all the right decisions as a parent. But I pray that I have done enough right. I hope that I have taught them to be caring, loving individuals and know they have their heads on their shoulders and to listen to their hearts. Don’t get down on yourself Jane, raising children is a tough job some days. We all wish we could or would have handled somethings differently. If they know you love them, things will be alright.

    So, hang in there and remember to breathe. It can work miracles.

  8. Hi Jane! I hope everything is going well for you. Thank you for such an encouraging post. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who are in need right now. Stay strong, have faith and – together – we can all get through these tough times.

  9. Thanks for this inspiring and empathetic post. I always feel compassionate to my fellow human beings even if there is no reciprocation. I must go through life with positive and helpful feelings to others. Being strong and giving of myself has been ingrained since I was young.

  10. Jane,
    Thanks for this post. I found it very inspiring and I hope that whatever is going on with your family and friends that they will pull through. It’s hard times for many and I think it’s about getting back to basics, looking out for one another, making the most of what you have and just plain enjoying conversations, etc.

    I could also relate to your point about divorce and losing friends as I experienced this in my first marriage. Thankfully I have made new friends, moved on with my life and married a wonderful man, but you surely find out who your friends are!

    So as for my Sunday, did some reading, tons of laundry and now winding down by watching a little television and surfing the net. Hope you have a great and productive week!

    Cheers, Michelle

  11. Hi Jane: Thanks for another meaningful post. Our Friday and Saturday were quite busy so after church today we all came home, put on our sweats and chill-axed all day! It’s been raining all weekend in So. Cal. I put something tasty in the crock pot and its almost ready. Yummm!!

    Something funny happened today with the dog. I took her for a short walk at dusk and along the way she wandered onto a neighbor’s lawn. For the first time in her nearly 5 years with us she was rubbing herself on the grass of their yard. I didn’t see any dirt so I laughed thinking something must smell really good there. I get her home and in the bright kitchen lights, I can see she’s rubbed herself in some looovely fertilizer. Her fur is all brown and she REEKS!! So Lucy the adorable (and smelly) Beagle will be sleeping in the kitchen tonight; and not our bedroom as usual. She’ll also have an unplanned trip to the beauty parlor (Petsmart) in the morning. That’ll teach me! Beagles really only get into trouble no matter how cute they are.

    Have a great week!!

  12. Hi Jane. Sorry to hear your friends and family are going through some hard times right now. I’m sending positive thoughts and prayers your way!

    My Sunday was a pretty lazy one. Taking care of my girls who are very sick with a nasty virus. I have also been trying to take care of myself, but as I can feel it now, it’s a little too late! 🙁 It’s been a day full of movies, rest, and lots of fluids! LOL.

    Hope you have a good week!

  13. Jane,
    How right you are about losing friends when you divorice. I lost many, as I left my abusive ex. It was eaisier for him to paint “lies” about me, instead of owning up to the truth, even though many knew the truth of our closed doors. I became a “threat” to my bestfriend, a “now single woman”, like I would of wanted her husband!! I know only too well how it is to have a nice life frome the “outside”, in the material sense, one that people envy. But from the inside, it was very dark, painful and lonley.

    I have much compassion for those in pain and suffering, be it financial, medically, or in relationships. These are scarey times for all, and we need to be more patient with others and caring.

    I am thankful for your blog, not only is it fun, but you touch on real topics and are so caring of others.

  14. Jane, this is a wonderful post. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who need them.

    I feel like I owe alot to my friends and I don’t know what I would do without them. They truly have become my family. I spent the day snow mobiling with a few of them and it was one of the best days I ever had with my own family and my friends!!!

    Many hugs!
    Meg

  15. Jane-
    Times are tough now. I don’t like listening to the news much anymore. But, in light of all the hard times prayer is powerful. I encourage those to pray and not grow weary. It is good to find positive things to do. This past weekend, my husband and I had a house full of USAFA Cadets and their family. We opened our home for them to reunite and spend time together. We had a lot of laughter and fun. It brings us great joy to help out these kids on this tough journey that they are traveling down.
    Blessings to you!

  16. Hi Jane,
    I spent my Saturday with my youngest daughter and my hubby. We were checking out the college she is to attend this Fall.
    I had to keep biting my lips to keep myself from falling apart.
    my daughter has type 1 diabetes and has never been away from home for more than one night in the 11 years she has lived with the disease.
    She thought she would have a good friend that knows about her diabetes rooming with her but that fell through due to the ecomomy. Her parents can’t send her away to school.
    So I am almost in panic mode. I am praying for a miracle.

    Today I spent my Sunday working hard in the yard. I am trying to keep my mind off college coming in about six months.

    You can put me in the catagory of one of your friends that would love to win a book. I have all your books except Odd Mom Out. I am crossing my fingers that I get lucky one day.

  17. Sorry you’ve had such a tough time this week. It’s so hard to watch your loved ones suffer and not be able to do anything but listen.

    I had the blues all weekend too, but maybe that had something to do with the mountains of laundry I had to work through…next weekend it’s going to be all about the family instead of housework.

  18. I’ve been thinking a lot of the same thoughts as you lately. Last weekend a family friend took his own life and even though I didn’t know him since I was young, I hurt from it and I wished there was something I could have done for him. It reminded me how important we are to one another, including perfect strangers. We’ve all heard stories of how a smile from a stranger gave someone the hope they needed to hold on for one more day, and that was all they needed to turn their life around. I vow to be that person sharing a smile, a kind word, or anything else I can possibly give to anyone and everyone. There’s enough pain in the world. Let’s focus on sharing more love.

    A big hug for you, Jane, and for everyone else reading this!

    Kelli

  19. My prayers, good thoughts of abundance and prosperity, and love go out to all…and I am full of gratitude. Blessings and miracles always seem to be in the making! Even in the “eye of the storm”.
    Thank you for being a “beautiful person” and for keeping us all connected through your treasured blog!

  20. Yes, let’s be kind and non-judgmental towards each other. Times are tough, and I appreciate your words of encouragement and support for others. We have to believe we can make it through because that gives us hope, but knowing we are all in this together gives up strength. If there is a silver lining to the pain and suffering that so many are having and that we all experience in life’s journey, it is that we come to realize that love is what is important, not “stuff” and not appearances. Thank you again, Jane, for writing a powerful post that speaks to so many!

  21. THANKS for a good post. So very many great points.
    I can offer prayers, good grief that’s an easy one – and it costs me nothing — no wait it pays in positives and will be my pleasure to do so. Sometimes when you are feeling your worst, praying for a complete stranger can be healing.
    I did the credit card pit thing and damn near lost my house. Having too many credit cards is the devil in disguise, I swear.
    And I’m on the verge of divorce, and one of the things I am truly afraid of are the people who will no longer speak to me. When it gets to that point, maybe I’ll need those nameless, faceless prayers too -or maybe I should just print this post for a positive memory.
    THANKS again Jane.
    Hope you and ‘baby Mac’ are doin well.
    peace out

  22. pain won’t kill us or break us. Pain isn’t contagious. Pain doesn’t make us weak. Pain is real. Pain is part of life…

    For those of you who pray, and believe in the power of prayer, I ask you to pray for those who struggle right now. And for those of you who don’t pray, I ask you to be real, to be compassionate, and to be there for those who need a real friend.

    Beautifully written, which is why you are the writer and I a mere critic of the sofa variety. I truly appreciate your sentiments regarding the pain that we deal with on an everyday basis. We would not be who we are without that pain forging a core of steel that allows us to remain strong in the face of the fiercest storms. But with that strength, grace and compassion allows us to bend and give when it is most needed.

    And you now see why I’m not a writer. 🙂

    My credit cards are stored away, my last one is paid off (finally and again!) and I have been fortunate to have made it through a divorce and to have found my own Surfer Ty.

    For the record, I highly recommend David Bach’s “Finish Rich” series (Smart Couples Finish Rich; Smart Women Finish Rich; Start Late, Finish Rich) and also David Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover as easy reads and great motivation, with ideas and plans to get out of debt and plan your financial future.

  23. It’s so easy to judge, not so easy to be supportive! Too bad a lot of folks take the easy way, so they don’t have to put themselves “out there” for someone else. Good thoughts beaming your way, and thank you for the lovely, helpful post. Debbie

  24. A friendship which ceases was never a true friend.
    Speaking of the mortgage industry, I got out of the business after being pressured by managers to write loans for people who couldn’t even pay their cell phone bills on time. Can these people really handle a mortgage? There were a lot of greedy people preying upon those who had less….very sad.

  25. Jane,

    I will keep you and your friends in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for the words of encourgment.I know all to well that these are tough times, I hear it everyday with in my job,I’m a 911 dispatcher, I know what the end result can be if we don’t show compassion or lend a hand to those who need it the most. I know that this post is one that I will read over again when my job gets the best of me.

    Thank You
    Melissa

  26. Hi Jane
    Wish your friends lots of support and warm wishes.
    How I am spending this monday: I have an unexpected day of: reading books, writing reviews, emailing and websurfing. And drinking lots of tea.
    all the best,
    Marjolein

  27. Hi Jane!

    Those were some very inspiring words, and gives us all much to think about!

    I’m sick with a cold at the moment, so not feeling good. Head hurts, my nose is stuffed, and my throat is sore. Time to break out the cough drops and nasal spray. 🙁

    Have a nice day, Jane!

  28. I spent Sunday doing laundry instead of getting some work done. I feel like I’m getting more and more behind even when I get caught up. I think it was my lethargic self who came out this fall.

    And I know the pain of the credit cards – I got them paid off a couple of years ago – then they sucked me down again. I’m hoping to have them paid off again in a few months.

  29. Well, I spent ,my weekend cleaning the house and playing with my husbands new puppy. A birthday present that we got him over the weekend.

    Now I am off to work.

    Micole

  30. I enjoyed time with friends and family this weekend. Even though money is tight, getting together with those you love is an inexpensive way to feel great!
    Peg

  31. I always look forward to reading your posts. Seems that it’s always upbuilding and inspiring. Thank you for that.
    Showing compassion and love to others is a gift that we can give that comes back to us hundred-fold and doesn’t cost us anything but some time and thought.

  32. I spent my Sunday traveling to Raleigh, NC, an hour and a half from where I live. There is a Whole Foods there, and I go whenever I have the time. I then went to the funeral home for a family friend that passed away. It is always sad when someone you know passes away, but it is nice to think that they are in a better place.

    Christian

  33. This is maybe one of my favorite posts ever because even though I hate talking (or even thinking) about money, it is a reality and it is very important that we all wise up, especially about credit cards. Oh, my! I have 3 department store cards and 6 Visas and boy am I learning how much the banks are not our friends. I am trying to whittle down my debt and not depend on my credit cards so much, but it is hard. But a battle I am determined to win. Thanks for the wonderful post, Jane, and sending positive vibes to everyone!

  34. Your post means alot to me. I have a friend that has been struggle, which I didn’t know. He finally asked for help and I spent my Sunday helping him. Sometimes there is a great risk involved with helping people and scrutiny of the world. What matters most is how you feel after your actions and to make them count in a positive way.

  35. Jane, your post was absolutely great. It is a reminder to everyone that if you are one of the lucky ones somehow not affected by the economy right now, count your blessings, and lend a shoulder or ear to someone who is having a hard time. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed…you don’t have to lend money or things, just your caring self.

  36. HI Jane I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. Every post is unique and true to life, thank you very much. I hope all is going well for you and baby.

  37. Hi Jane

    I love your posts… I believe that if we all lived by these 3 simple rules, we can live in happiness and harmony.

    1. Truely Care about others
    2. Don’t Judge or Label
    3. Find Beauty and Amazement

  38. Hi Jane…spent the weekend taking down the Christmas greens outside (finally!) and repotting the houseplant, baking cookies and reading. Hope all is well with you!

  39. I am so glad I found this blog! Your posts are thought-provoking and inspiring. I have been down some very dark paths myself, and find that all I really need is someone who can listen and care. My friends don’t have to fix my problems. I have discovered that just by listening to me and validating my concerns and feelings huge burdens are lifted and I can continue to move forward. It is finding the friends that proves to be difficult, as you have mentioned, and makes those friends who really do care even that much more precious.

  40. Hi Jane! Thank you for such an encouraging and compassionate post. Your blogs are always so inspiring! I will keep you and your friends in my prayers.

  41. I think it is so true we need to wise up about money. Luckily I learned this lesson a long time ago, and like you I pay off my credit card every month. The only reason I really use it is for air miles. These credit card companies have no interest in anything other than screwing people over and making their own money!
    I wish you and your family and friends the best of luck in the difficult times you are going through. I also hope you are feeling well!

  42. Jane,

    Sorry to read about your (and your friends’) heart aches. I do believe in prayer and will continue to pray for strength, peace, and hope! I am so blessed to have many wonderful friends that have lent me a hand, ear, shoulder, as well as the occasional cup of sugar. It truly is the simple blessings that are most important. Gotta go…the Bachelor is on (love the adorable Jason!) me

  43. Wonderful post. Pain can lead to prayer, which leads to humility and compassion, and then a voice like yours trumpets the truth and we all sit up at take notice.

    And in my experience, sometimes bad parenting turns out to have a better benefit in the end, if it doesn’t seem that way for a long time. So no worries, the only perfection in this world is love, and you’ve already figured that out.

  44. Hello Jane,

    That was a very uplifting and positive message you posted! It really is great to look at the good side of things and people.

    Sandra

  45. Today I finally got several chores done. Cleaning out my closet was a task. Grocery shopping, making an appointment to to get help applying for the Ford Foundation Grant, laundry and I cooked dinner,something I don’t do often due to my hectic schedule. Now I can’t sleep because I drank too much coffee!

  46. Oh Jane I too made a parenting faux pa over the weekend. I never did receive the owner’s manual they promised after the birth of my 2 kids!!! Still waiting 14 years later.

    I know teenage years are to be difficult,but this is ridiculous. I have a son who is brilliant,and talented, and yet his best friend is going no where fast! My son fell prey to the dreaded bong, much like Michael Phelps. We are educated,good people. My son has asthma,is a nerd,and a science geek. My husband is an internest. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?
    How did this happen to my kid?
    So, a little note to parents…it does not matter what you do,and what you teach them Societal pressures are a reality. Our media does not help, and our children fall prey very easily.
    I know I didn’t do anything wrong,except love my child unconditionally 24 hours a day.

    So when I gave my boy a second chance ,after promising me he would never do it again. I left him go to bad friend’s house, as parents were home. The call came Saturday night at 9 P.M. ” MOM I’M SORRY,I JUST WANTED TO TRY ONE MORE TIME” and we got caught, come get me.

    Obviously I missed the section in the missing handbook, of how to handle pot smoking teens by your honors student. The reality is this …we can give them all the tools possible to make the right decisions. However, they don’t ALWAYS make the right decision! No matter how much you try to parent. NO ONE IS PERFECT!!!!

    I have embraced it, I will have to try a new tactic. God knows ,I didn’t do things right
    this time around! Now I will just pray about it,and ask for somekind of wisdom.
    What else can you do?
    Well that was my weekend, still doing damage control Monday and Tuesday. If anyone wants to nominate me for “MOTHER OF THE YEAR” , please feel free to do so.

    Susan Zimmerman

  47. I nominate Susan for Mother of the year! You are doing the best job you can! You just never know what your kids will do! You try to teach them and you pray and talk about all the right things and pray some more! Knock on wood– so far we haven’t had any major issues other than my almost 14 year old honors student getting lazy and letting her grades slip. But you never know…we still have a long time to go!

    Jane, your post was uplifting as usual! I think that so many people just don’t know what to say or do when their friends have problems (divorce, illness, miscariages, etc). It makes them uncomfortable. So they don’t do anything. I know sometimes I have felt that I didn’t want to badger my friends when they might want to be left alone and not bothered. I know I was so shocked when my mother-in-law never would go see her neighbor when she was dying. She wanted to “remember her how she was”. That might be comforting to “you” but not to the person who is dying! Some times you just don’t want to interfere or bother. So just call and ask! “Do you need anything?”, “Do you feel like company?”, “Can I take the kids for you?”…

    I have dealt with my own miscarriages, husband loosing his job, illness and death of both parents. Our best friends who are like our family have always been there and we for them. My bff even would visit my mom in the nursing home when I couldn’t. And we stood by them when they lost their jobs when even their family didn’t. Often it was the person that I didn’t expect that was there for me.

    Just be there for your friends. Listen and be positive! You might not always say or do the “right” thing but that you did anything at all. Sometimes all someone needs is a hug!

    I’m sending Hugs to Jane, her family and her friends and everyone who reads and posts here!
    XOXOXO
    Monie

  48. Hi everyone! I’ve drawn three winners for the contest and they are:

    comment #2 Kathy
    comment #15 Jill
    and comment #30 Sarah

    Congratulations!! Please now send me your addresses in a private email, let me know which one of my books you’d like me to sign and include, and I’ll get those prizes right out!

    Best,

    Jane
    http://www.janeporter.com

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