What a Woman Wants Saturday, Feb 13 2016 

 

IMG_1649Heads up guys—I have the secret for making your Valentine very happy.

The days of my husband, Marshall, showering me with lavish gifts are long gone. No more jewelry, flowers, or chocolates from my sweetheart. But he does give me everything I need from him.

Marshall was a generous gift-giver. He showered his loved ones with extravagant treats and never hesitated to pick up the dinner tab. The more money he made, the more he gave. He spoiled all of us, and himself, without going beyond his means. He gave what he had when he had it.

He’s been retired a decade, and unaware of the meaning of Valentine’s Day for many years. He still tells me he’d “like to do something nice for me.” But because of Alzheimer’s disease, those thoughts are fleeting and have no connection to significant occasions on the calendar. He no longer can show me how he feels with store-bought gifts.

What he does do is to tell me how he feels. Repeatedly he tells me how much he loves me and what I mean to him. Today he said that he lives for me. How romantic is that?

What a woman wants is to feel special. We want to know that our man holds us close to his heart. My love has done that for me every day since the day we met. No present is better than that.

So my suggestion to you is to say those things you hold in your heart. We need to hear it, even if we know. Don’t hold back this Valentine’s Day. Tell the one you love how dear they are to you.

And give her a little something to open. Those “I love yous” don’t get the rest of you off-the-hook for a gift.

©2016, Mary K. Doyle

 

Friendship, Love, and Loyalty Saturday, Mar 14 2015 

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Shamrocks are perhaps the most common symbol of the Irish, but Claddaghs can’t be far behind. Americans from all nationalities are familiar with the intricate design, most often seen on rings, but it’s doubtful many know what it represents, much less how to say it.

The word Claddagh, pronounced klah-duh, is rich in meaning and tradition. The full Gaelic name actually is fainne Claddagh and symbolizes elements of a long-lasting relationship, specifically friendship, love, and loyalty. With these three qualities, all else, such as respect, compassion, patience, and understanding, are sure to follow. Since Roman times Irish mothers have handed down their Claddagh to their daughters in hopes that they find true love.

The Claddagh is comprised of three elements: hands which represent friendship; a heart for love; and a crown for loyalty. How the ring is worn also is symbolic:

  • If you are available and looking, the heart points toward the world and away from you.
  • If your heart has been taken, the ring’s heart points toward you.

The story is that the first Claddagh ring was designed by a young man in ancient times from the village of Claddagh, Ireland who was separated from his beloved when he was captured and sold into slavery. While in captivity, he stole small amounts of gold from his master until he had enough to fashion the special ring. When the two were finally reunited, the young man was delighted to find his lady had waited for him. He gave her the ring as a sign of their enduring love.

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

The Best Medicine Friday, May 23 2014 

The saying is that it takes a village to raise a child. Care and input comes from everyone who touches the child’s life—parents, relatives, friends, neighbors, caregivers, teachers, clergy, and so on. But that support does not end with childhood. We continue to be the product and accumulation of everyone who touches our life throughout our life.

Recovering from pneumonia and acute asthma I am reminded of the key people in my life who are there for me, the friends and family who send me notes, bring meals, call, and are ever-present with love and prayers. These are the same people who contribute every day toward the person I am and will be.

It is especially odd to be in the position where my children are nursing me back to health. (I’m getting better but am told to expect several weeks of recovery.) I’m the mom. I’m the one that has always cared for them.

I remember my mother describing how it felt when I bathed, dressed, and sometimes fed her during her years with cancer. It was a humbling and heartwarming experience for both of us. My father, siblings, and I were the ones cleaning her house, cooking, and caring for her. We could not do it as well as she did but were eager to give it our best because she had taken such good care of all of us all of our lives. We wanted to return some of that love she showered upon us.

Still, it was awkward for her, and now I understand. It’s humbling to allow others to do simple activities we temporarily cannot.

Life teaches us many lessons, and sometimes it is simply to sit back and feel the love. There is no better medicine that.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

Love and Marriage Monday, Jun 3 2013 

My husband, Marshall, tells me he loves me all day, every day. When said with sincerity, those three words are intoxicating. A woman will do anything for a husband who showers her with them.

Marriage has its challenges. No doubt, there will be disagreements, worries, and disappointments in every marriage. But when two people who love, respect, and care for each other align with their goals and work together smoothly, there isn’t anything like it. And that love part is the magic ingredient. Who doesn’t want to love and be loved?

My son-in-law, Steve, and I had an interesting conversation about young girls’ dreams. He was surprised to learn how young we are when we begin to think of marriage and babies. He said it is the furthest thing from the thought-process of young boys.

It is true. Girls dream of being loved and having a family before we even attend school. The ultimate fantasy is to be married to a man who cherishes us.

I feel very blessed to have my little girl dream-come-true.  Everything seems possible when you have that kind of love.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

Kindness Needed Monday, Dec 17 2012 

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Needed: Smiles, Gentle Words, Acts of Kindness, Hugs, and Prayers.

There was another mass shooting last week. This time was particularly heinous as the gunman took so many young lives. We can’t help but ask why. What is happening? We can speculate, but no one really knows the reason.

What we can do is counter the heartache and evil with acts and thoughts of love. One drop of poison contaminates an entire pond and all who drink from it. The only way to diminish the poison is by dilution. The more water that is added, the less effect the poison will have.

It is the same with evil. One act contaminates the lives of many. The bigger the attack, the greater the ripple. We all feel it, don’t we?

Love dilutes evil. The extent of harm that was inflicted in recent events requires mass doses of love to counter it. The formula varies from 2 to 10 positives times one negative, but one thing is for sure, we need many more positives to counter that negative.

During this hectic time of year we must display more patience, kindness, and forgiveness. We must hold our tempers when cut off in traffic or in the check-out line, smile at the grumpy sales person, show a moment of kindness to strangers, and even more difficult, forgive the insensitivity of a loved one. Trying to get them to understand our daily struggles may never happen. Sometimes we just have to let it go.

These little things need to be done repeatedly each day by all of us to offset the damage done by a few. And it is in our best interest to do so. Our future depends on it.

©Mary K. Doyle

A Still, Quiet Moment Monday, Jul 23 2012 

The oppressive heat and recent massacre in Colorado leaves many of us anxious, agitated, and fearful. With one hateful swoop, 12 people were killed and 58 injured. Had James Holmes’ weapon not jammed, dozens more lives could have been lost. And the media reminds us of this continuously.

There’s a saying that it takes one hundred acts of love to counter one hurtful word, look, or action. After such a horrific act of violence, that means we all need to make a conscious effort to think and act lovingly all day, every day.

I find I require quiet time each day to maintain a cool and happy temperament. I do this by beginning my day in prayer. And if I feel stressed later in the day, I steal another moment in a quiet place to breathe slowly and deeply.

No matter how much you think you must do, if you are not healthy mentally and physically you can accomplish little. We can’t be in the midst of activity and noise every waking hour and not feel stressed. A still, silent moment every day is good medicine for the body, mind, and spirit.

Find a peaceful spot in your home, garden, a park, library, or church. Concentrate on your breathing, taking slow, deep breaths. Talk to God, think of someone or something that makes you happy, or repeat a mantra. Or clear your mind of everything.

You will find that meditating like this will leave you refreshed, much like a mini nap. You will feel calmer and happier, and that nature will ripple across those around you.

Namaste.

©Mary K. Doyle

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