Posts Tagged With: living with a congenital cardiac condition

Day 2404: Angels

Yesterday, I noticed angels — first in my therapy group and then at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.  Do you see the angels in these photos?





















Michael is an angel to serve us the best tuna noodle casserole ever and my son Aaron is an angel to help me create the  poster for my Edinburgh Fringe show.

Also, my angel of a nurse, Melanie Marshall (who appears in this post with several other angels) …


… has left Tufts Medical Center, which I found out yesterday at my device check appointment. In case my reading angels want to know whether there was any other disappointment at that appointment, I also found out that my implantable cardiac device has about four more years of life.

Here are some quotes about angels:

You don’t have to be an angel, just be someone who can give.  — Patti LaBelle
In heaven an angel is nobody in particular.  — George Bernard Shaw

Monsters will always exist. There’s one inside each of us. But an angel lives there, too. There is no more important agenda than figuring out how to slay one and nurture the other.  — Jacqueline Novogratz

I do not want to be the angel of any home: I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality. After that is secured, then men and women can take turns being angels.  — Agnes Macphail

A good teacher who can take the zero pay and help kids develop physically, emotionally, socially, is literally an angel.  — Eva Amurri

Books are like a mirror. If an ass looks in, you can’t expect an angel to look out.           —   B. C. Forbes
I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.  — Michelangelo

Misfortune is never mournful to the soul that accepts it; for such do always see that every cloud is an angel’s face.  — Lydia M. Child
When we are touched by something it’s as if we’re being brushed by an angel’s wings.  — Rita Dove

I also noticed this yesterday, regarding  a singer-songwriter with an angelic voice:


I am grateful for all the angels in my life, including YOU!


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 1706: The best views of Edinburgh

Yesterday, as I took my farewell walking tour of this magnificent city, I saw a sign promising “The best views of Edinburgh.”


I didn’t climb the Scott Monument, so perhaps my views are not the best views of Edinburgh (even though in my view, they’re pretty great).







That last photo is another best view of somebody my son Aaron and I view as the best stand-up comic/improviser/PhD of Mathematics in Edinburgh — Dr.  Tom Joyce.  (Tom is best viewed in my previous posts here, here, here, and here).

Over the  years that Aaron and I have gotten great views of Edinburgh, some of our  best views have been thanks to Tom.  Somehow, we always run into Tom and get to view his kind, comic, creative, and often surprising views.  Yesterday, I got a different and surprising best view of Tom when we viewed each other’s medic alert bracelets and found out we both

  • take Warfarin/Coumadin,
  • were born with heart conditions,
  • have cardiac pacemakers,  and
  • got our first pacemakers when we were young (age 10 for me, age 11 for Tom).

The best thing I can say about that is this: even when you think you’ve gotten the best views of somebody, there’s always more to view.

Soon I’ll be getting best views of the friendly skies on my flights home to Boston, so I’ll leave you with these best views of Edinburgh:

In your view, what are the best views of Edinburgh in today’s post?

All my best to those who helped me share the views in today’s post and to all my readers who — in my view — are THE BEST.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1196: Bunches of things happening all at once

In recent  bunches of days,  bunches of people in my life  have expressed bunches of empathy and sympathy about ..


It happens that bunches of people have expressed bunches of empathy and sympathy to me in bunches of ways, including:

  • “You have a lot on your plate!”
  • “You have a lot going on.”
  • “Your only child is leaving for college soon and you’ve got all this medical stuff to deal with, not to mention a high-stress job.”
  • “No matter what’s going on with you, you never stop.”
  • “You do more than any other 63-year-old I know.”

For me, it’s difficult NOT to have


For example, yesterday was definitely a day with


These bunches of things included:

  • getting a cool new case for my iPhone, which will prevent me from dropping it with bunches of thing happening all at once,
  • having bunches of delicious brunch food with my son,
  • stumbling across Open Studios in Newton,
  • purchasing some fabulous earrings and a necklace made by Deborah Rochman of DLR designs,
  • visiting “The Villa” in Newton, which was filled with artwork and color,
  • having bunches of awesome conversations with my son Aaron and my boyfriend Michael,
  • going to the Burlington Mall, which always has bunches of things happening all at once (including that “Bunches of things happening all at once” sign),
  • consulting with bunches of geniuses at The Genius Bar at the Apple Store, and
  • getting bunches of storage space freed up on my computer!!!!

Now, for some photographic proof of







I’m wondering if I’ll get bunches of comments about those


If I do, I’ve got bunches of storage space on my computer.

Bunches of thanks to all who helped me create this post and bunches of gratitude to you — of course!  — for reading, even though you might have


Categories: celebrating, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1000: A Thousand

A thousand days ago, I published my first blog post ever:  “Day 1 in the Year of Living Non-Judgmentally.”

A thousand days ago, I had no idea I would:

  • blog a thousand days in a row,
  • get thousands of followers,
  • have a thousand ideas for blog posts,
  • grow and learn in a thousand ways, and
  • be a thousand times grateful, every day, for this blog.

There are a thousand different ways I could celebrate this thousandth blogging day. For example, I could write a post that contains exactly a thousand words. Or, I could share a thousand memories from over the last 1000 days of blogging. Or, I could include a thousand links to past posts. Or, I could quote a thousand favorite comments from you, my readers.

However, after a thousand thoughts and feelings about this, I’d like to use my tried-and-true formula,  here and now.

Therefore, today’s thousandth day post will include sharing less than a thousand pictures.  Yesterday, I took almost a 1000 (base 2) x 1000 (base 2) photos, when I went into Boston to see a matinee of  A Little Night Music with my son Aaron and spent the evening with Aaron and my boyfriend Michael.

I hope this thousandth post doesn’t take a thousand seconds to load, with these all these images:

IMG_5271 IMG_5272 IMG_5273IMG_5274 IMG_5277 IMG_5278 IMG_5281 IMG_5282 IMG_5283 IMG_5284 IMG_5285 IMG_5286 IMG_5288 IMG_5289 IMG_5290 IMG_5291 IMG_5292 IMG_5293 IMG_5294 IMG_5296 IMG_5295 IMG_5297 IMG_5299 IMG_5300 IMG_5301 IMG_5302 IMG_5303 IMG_5304 IMG_5307 IMG_5308 IMG_5310 IMG_5311 IMG_5314 IMG_5316 IMG_5317 IMG_5318 IMG_5319IMG_5320 IMG_5322 IMG_5323 IMG_5324 IMG_5325 IMG_5326 IMG_5327IMG_5328 IMG_5329 IMG_5331 IMG_5334 IMG_5335 IMG_5338 IMG_5341IMG_5342 IMG_5343 IMG_5344 IMG_5345 IMG_5346 IMG_5348IMG_5349 IMG_5350  IMG_5353


Perhaps you have a thousand things you might say or ask about those photos.  No matter what number of words it takes, consider leaving a comment to celebrate this thousandth post.

I bet if you took a thousand guesses, you wouldn’t come up with the song I’ve chosen for this “A Thousand Days” post.

Should I wait a thousand seconds while you guess?









Times up! I’m sure you didn’t get it, because it includes a much higher number than a thousand.

“A Hundred Million Miracles” is the song that was in my head, yesterday, as I was thinking about this thousand-day post.

As that song says,  a hundred million miracles happen EVERY DAY.  Infinite thanks, to each and every one of you, for sharing some of those miracles with me.

Categories: blogging, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 75 Comments

Day 918: Tangled up

Yesterday morning, these earphones …

… got tangled up, and it took me a while to untangle them before I left for work.

Immediately, some music got tangled up in my head.

Then, those same earphones got Tangled Up in Blue (and other colors):

Next, I got tangled up in traffic,

… tangled up in some confusion,


… tangled up in love for my friends and co-workers Jan and Mary,

… and tangled up in many found objects  (some of which were blue):



Before I get too tangled up in today’s post, I want to untangle these things:

  • The  beautiful, untangled necklace was worn by Linda, one of my favorite people at the hospital-based Primary Care Practice where we work.
  • Mary, a clinical social worker like me, told me a few weeks ago, “I’ve been doing this experiment where I look for a specific color in my surroundings, and it’s amazing how everything with that color then pops out at me!”
  • I’m not sure whether my recent cardiac surgery is helping me feel significantly better, but I’m sure I’ll untangle that and other heart-related issues when I see my chief cardiologist, Dr. Salem, eight days from now.
  • As much as I admire the incredible accomplishments of Bob Dylan, I am  tangled up in surprise that I don’t love his music and lyrics more than I do.

What are you tangled up in, right now?

Tangled-up thanks to Mary, Jan, Linda, Bob Dylan, Dr. Salem, my earphones, cats, bunnies, and  everything blue (and non-blue)  I got tangled up in yesterday. Also, special thanks to you — of course! — for untangling yourself enough to visit here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 824: Aaaarrrgggghhh!!!

The title of today’s post is something I write to express:

  • disappointment,
  • frustration, and
  • fear.

People who know me might tell me I’m brave and even fearless, at times, but here I was, writing that very thing two nights ago:

Yes, I spelled it differently, but it’s essentially the same.

So why did I write

two nights ago?

Was it because:

  1. one very famous cardiologist told me recently that  if I do NOT have valve surgery immediately I will most likely  get sicker and sicker and then die a horrible death AND
  2. a  very trusted and also famous cardiologist  told me recently that there’s a 1 in 10 chance I would not survive valve surgery and even if I do survive it, that valve  surgery could very well hasten the deterioration of my very unusual heart?

That seems like as good a reason as any to write

… doesn’t it?

Nevertheless, I wrote

at a therapy group at work on Thursday night, because the topic we had chosen together was “Frustration.”

How do you express frustration, dear reader? Feel free to write

or anything else in the comments, below.

One thing  I saw yesterday, in particular, made me say

Can you guess which image it was?


By the way, that last photo of Winston at my work parking garage — as he was telling me “Every human being goes temporarily insane at some time” — did not make me go

… but another one of those photos did.

Here’s some music I heard for the first time yesterday, in celebration of Boston Red Sox Opening Day, on Monday:

“Fanfare for Fenway,” written and conducted by John Williams, definitely did not make me go

when I heard it. It made me go


I almost forgot! Here’s something else that made me go


Yesterday, I heard people — at a big morning meeting at work — mention my name for being instrumental in creating positive changes they described as


I guess I also use that when I am

  • surprised by recognition,
  • praised in unexpected ways, and
  • don’t know what else to say.

A big YAY! of gratitude to John Williams, to Winston, to  people who attend my therapy groups, to supportive people at hospitals (including my trusted, long-time cardiologist Deeb Salem), to everybody I saw yesterday, and to you — of course!!!!!!! — for bringing all your arghhh!, yaayyyy!, and other reactions here, today.

Categories: personal growth, pride | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Blog at