Moving Along Monday, Apr 30 2018 


On the first anniversary of moving into my townhome, I’m acutely aware of my blessings. I’m rich in what matters most in life.

The past year has been relatively peaceful. Marshall continues to do well. My children, grandchildren, step-children, and step-grandchildren are healthy. And I’m enjoying meaningful work to pay my bills.

For many years, my stress level was at a peak. The years previous to this move were intense caring for Marshall 24/7 at home for ten years and then transitioning him to managed care, working through a few disturbing issues with relationships, clearing out the house in preparation for sale, the intrusion of showing the home for two years, negotiating the home sale/purchase, packing to move, and then unpacking in my new home all while overseeing Marshall’s care and working. Countless times I believed I was close to the breaking point.

But here I am, and I’m so very grateful! I’m blessed with a home I can manage and afford. I love the space and my kind neighbors.

Marshall, although always on a decline due to Alzheimer’s disease, calls me by name and tells me he loves me every day. Our time together is typically very tender.

I am greatly blessed with an extensive group of family and friends. They are supportive, attentive, and carry me with their love and kindness. My children and grandchildren especially bring me great joy.

And to top it off, I have work opportunities that allow me to use the gifts God gave me in ways that minister and connect with people dear to my heart. I’ve written two books in my new home, one of which is under contract, and beginning a new one. In addition, I’m speaking regularly, predominately on caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

When we are traveling through the dark tunnel, the journey can feel endless. The rays that do shine through are difficult to see and the number of steps into the sunshine is so uncertain.

The only way out of that tunnel is to keep going. Most often, we enter the light wiser and stronger.

(Do you follow my posts on Mary K Doyle Books?)

Stop! Reflect! Give Thanks! Wednesday, Nov 23 2016 


I’m not one to long for the past. My life’s been a mix of extremes—excellent and dreadful times. I look back on the good ones with gratitude and prefer not to relive those that were difficult.

However, I do miss the Thanksgivings of my childhood. Thanksgiving weekend was relaxing. We laid around through the weekend, savored the leftovers, watched tv, and visited friends and family. We were happy doing nothing! The Christmas chaos didn’t begin for weeks.

There’s no down time anymore. We clear the lavish Thanksgiving table without digesting that last piece of pumpkin pie, and are off and running through the New Year. There’s so much to do: shopping, wrapping, card writing, baking, cooking, and partying.

Please don’t let this very important holiday pass without a moment of pause. Reflect on our abundance and give thanks. Acknowledge our many blessings and appreciate the food and friendship around us. These are the riches of life.

Writing Clinic: Thank You Notes Sunday, Apr 1 2012 

Merci. Grazie. Obrigado. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Being showered with gifts is a humbling and wonderful experience. All you have to do after such a show of kindness is to say thank you.

Although emailed thank you notes are better than none, handwritten and mailed are still preferred. Givers spend their time and money selecting something special for you, and writing and sending that note out quickly is how you express your appreciation.

If you need to cheat, you can start with a prewritten card, but you still should add something to it. This seems overwhelming to some, especially when a lot of notes need to be written, but you just have to jump in and get writing. Once you are on a roll, the stack of note cards will shrink.

Here are a few pointers to writing a thank you note:

  1. Keep it simple and heartfelt. The main point is just to say “Thank you.”
  2. Add a sentence or two about the gift. Tell your giver how you feel about it and what you will do with it. Have you wanted that cheese platter for some time? Are you looking forward to a night out using those theater tickets? How will you spend the money or gift card?
  3. You can say something about the event when the gift was given, your relationship, or an upcoming time you will see the giver again.
  4. Wrap up with another thank you.

The whole note only needs a few sentences – it’s a note, not a letter. Following are a couple of examples.

*  *  *

Dear Aunt Jane,
Thank you for the silk scarf. I love the bright colors and know it will look great with my black sweater.
Thank you for coming to my party and your thoughtful gift.

Dear Bob,
Thank you for the gift card to Home Depot. I will put it to good use refinishing the deck this summer. It is in desperate need of repair.
Thank you for your friendship and generosity.
Your friend,

©Mary K. Doyle

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