One of the things I most value about your comments- and this I mean for all the comments you make on my stories and everyone elses’, Ann- is how gracious you are. Some eight years ago I wrote the book WordFood: How We Feed or Starve Our Relationships about the immense power of our choice of words. It went on (totally surprising me) to win three prizes in different categories, largely I think because it reflected not only the need for each of us to understand the healing power of positive words but also the toxic power of vicious ones. I have had to block someone on here who came after me with her claws out because she took umbrage at a piece of information- based on my personal experience- and called it vicious lies and used incredibly angry language to do so. We write from OUR truth, OUR experience. It is what we know. I can’t speak for anyone else’s truth unless I’ve interviewed them directly. I can speak as a veteran, a disabled vet, a woman, a lover, someone who has lived and traveled extensively. But unlike you, not a mom or grandmother. Those aren’t my truths. Those I can only live vicariously through dear friends, and appreciate the love their kids and grandkids afford. You are immensely supportive, kind, and you choose your compliments with grace. I have noticed — unlike Facebook- that in more cases than not on here, when someone finds a misquote or a less than accurate one, they will usually proffer the correction with respect. THAT I take seriously. Happy to honor, correct, learn nad respect the Dear Reader. Those who fling fecal matter in order to be right are dealing with an inner sickness that only they themselves can heal. Language is the geography of our consciousness. I’m not above anger myself but at this age I work hard to play Whack-A-Mole with what comes up (largely due to post concussion syndrome, hey, I have whacked my coconut nineteen times no less) but I work with what I have. I’m right now in the middle of a very lively and engaging discussion with someone whose views I don’t always agree with but it’s an immensely satisfying debate because he is respectful, he’s making me think, and I value that very much. The terrific importance of our ability to honor different views, respect that others have a right to that viewpoints, and to be open, soft and curious enough to see whether the stance we have chosen could use a little tinkering is part of what allows us to grow, appreciate, and become something different. So far Medium has proven a great place for that and you’re a big part of it. Thanks for your kind heart.

As to my mom and the red panties, I remember sitting with her as she perused various catalogs with her girlish glee, asking me which panties I thought Ed might like. I had never, ever seen her so utterly charmed with the prospect of pleasing someone, most certainly not Dad. Dad had lost that right years before through verbal abuse. While there was a great deal to love and respect about my father(future stories) his tongue lashings of my mother were not among them. More to come.

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