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A Hero’s Journey Begins

“The usual hero adventure begins with someone from whom something has been taken, or who feels there is something lacking in the normal experience available or permitted to the members of society. The person then takes off on a series of adventures beyond the ordinary, either to recover what has been lost or to discover some life-giving elixir. It’s usually a cycle, a coming and a returning.”

Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

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The best love story for our modern times

Since its debut in the fall of 2011, I have been enamored with the ABC television series Once Upon A Time. That year was a time of personal transition and the show beautifully helped me through the difficulties I encountered.

In the pilot, we are introduced to our hero Emma Swan who appears in a doorway wearing a stunning red dress.

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“Only” a house

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Nothing

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Art by Jill Battaglia

“He was supposed to protect me,” she thought with angry tears in her eyes as the rain fell hard against the windows of her car. That singular thought swirling over and over in her mind like creamer in coffee. “He was supposed to protect me.”

But he didn’t. He had left her. He abandoned her. And he gave no indication that he had any capacity left to care for her at all. In that moment, she couldn’t ever remember feeling so alone.

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Grieving Frankie

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Frankie’s Loving Parents

Grief is something that hits everyone differently. Sometimes, it takes you over immediately assaulting all your sensibilities. Other times, it is a slow burn that you feel incrementally stronger as time passes. But however it strikes, there is no going around – you must go through the fire.

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A Father’s Remembrance

Just One Take

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A precious gift from God, my baby was taken to Heaven without ever taking a first breath. Before my baby was ever able to feel a human touch, see a friendly smile, or cry a first tear, life was taken.

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Frances Leigh

infantlossaffectsfatherstoo2

A precious gift from God, my baby was taken to Heaven without ever taking a first breath. Before my baby was ever able to feel a human touch, see a friendly smile, or cry a first tear, life was taken. (more…)

Pieces of Paper

Pieces of paper scattered on the floor – reminders that haunt me of all life was before… before your life was done – barely just begun.

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Suffering with grace

Just One Take

flowerOne of my favorite spiritual leaders growing up was a priest named Father Jim. I believe he came to our small-town parish in the mid- to late 90s – I remember being about 12 years of age. I didn’t realize what a big deal it was at the time, but mine was the first CCD class where both the boys and the girls were trained to be altar attendants.*

My sister, brother, and I all served at mass dozens of times – probably hundreds if you were to tally up the instances between the three of us. As a child and even as a teenager, I probably didn’t fully appreciate the role I played as an altar attendant. Regardless, I think it was important as a young person for me to understand that a religious community – just like any other community – has jobs that need done and members…

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A Mother’s Remembrance

Just One Take

dragonfly (small) 2013-10-01 at 9.16.29 AMFor months before she was even conceived, I had wanted Alex in my life. I dreamed of her with smooth, soft skin, full dark hair and big eyes framed with long lashes. In my mind, I could see myself holding her, feeding her, watching her make milestones – smiling, sitting up, taking those first steps. But the months went by without any indication of her arrival until July 25th, 2011.

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