My tree of life
is rooted in gratitude for the gifts I’ve been given of health, love, encouragement, appreciation, expectations, education and support that have nurtured my lifelong love of learning – the perpetual student. Many branches have emerged from that grounding, always enriched by friends and family – children, grandchildren, and a marriage of twenty years.
After early years of teaching in Vermont, I enjoyed almost thirty years of instructing and administration as Professor at Southern Connecticut State University. The final fifteen years emphasized a specialty in the psychology of women and related community workshops.
With my retirement from SCSU came freedom to focus on the newly
sprouting specialized study of forgiveness, culminating in local workshops and two books intended to help people make decisions about whether and how to forgive. At the same time, another branch developed — thirty-six years and counting of private practice in Connecticut and Minnesota, with an emphasis on Growth Counseling for Healthy Adults.
Never quite willing to give up teaching, I enjoyed seven years at the Alfred Adler Graduate School in Minnesota with a focus on developmental psychology.
In the meantime, all my interests came together in the fictional story of the wife of biblical Job (Mrs. Job and its slightly edited and revised version Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses). But the roots of the tree weren’t yet satisfied. With my accident on April 15, 2015 (described elsewhere on this website) my life was modified as I became neurotic about driving and gave it up, ultimately moving to the newly completed Waters of Excelsior in December, 2018, already working on My Father’s House which had become so long that my
focus had to be on cutting it back to publishable size. Without the car I had the good fortune to meet Nick Spooner, a private limo driver, who was usually available for hire if I just made plans far enough ahead of time, a bit like driving Miss Daisy, I guess. I think we both enjoyed our rides together.
And then came COVID-19 with our long quarantine, which I loved. It was like a retreat for me as I completed the publication of My Father’s House and Nick Spooner’s story, This Sucks. Now the outgrowths of my tree are creeping toward another book about the amazing folks living here at the Waters, and a potential short mystery novel based on my experience with a corneal transplant at the end of May, 2022. None of that happens quickly because there is so much to be done, including planned cruises that require being very careful in anticipation to avoid the potential
of COVID infection.
I continue to have much to be grateful for, even as I suffer compassion for the many whose lives are touched by hate, poverty, and environmental disaster. Sometimes I quote my father, “I’m glad I’m on the way out.” But I’m still enjoying the journey.
It’s a delicate bnaclaing act isn’t it? Forgiving means letting go. But sometimes behaviors require us to set boundaries. That is not forgetting, that is being responsible.Great post!xoxo,R
Theresa, I agree with Dani forgiveness wiuhott forgetting isn’t really forgiveness. We have to look at Christ as our example. I have heard well meaning Christians say, well, I forgive you, but I will never trust you with that again. The heart of that is because you did me wrong, I won’t forget it! ever! The lack of forgiveness only steals from us and opens the door for the enemy to have a foothold in our life. The more we understand our own debt being paid in full with nothing held over our heads as payment, the more we can give back out to others all that we have received.
Looking at this, it is so true: the tree is still growing – it no way it could not. This is a trustworthy tree, planted in nourishing soil, watered with rain of forgiveness, curiosity and playfulness – and its fruits are beautiful
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