Maybe There's Something to a Relative That Steals the Limelight —

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A relative of mine, I’ll call her “Sue”, has a need to feel important.  I know we all have one in our families.  A person who has to shine, be loud, draw attention, drink too much, etc.  It took me my whole life to realize why Sue acts the way she does.

Sue has had a hard life.  I know she felt her parents favored her sibling, which was really a terrible way to live growing up.  I know she felt she was never good enough.  Her old stories would come out once in a while and she used to comment on how her sibling could do no wrong in the eyes of her parents.  I don’t think she has ever let it go.

Sue’s husband was unfaithful.  That is probably one of the worst things, besides an illness, that you would have to go through.  In seeing her experience this horrible situation, I told my husband, before we were married, that if he felt he had to cheat on me to let me know, that I would release him from our relationship rather than go through what Sue experienced.

Sue remarried.  I know her relationship with her new husband is good some of the time, but he has moments when he is truly unkind.  I also think that he values hunting and watching sports on TV more than spending time with her, which is really sad.

So Sue looks for ways to make herself happy.  She shops and she bakes.  Baking has become an obsession.  She makes cookies, chocolate or cakes and brings them to family functions, work and parties.  When she brings the baked goods to an occasion she has to show off the dessert — even at inconvenient times.  I never could understand it.  You could be pouring out a pot of boiling water and Sue would be there with a cake in your face telling you to check it out and to see how beautiful it was, etc.  When Sue bakes, the baked goods MUST be the center of attention, no matter what the occasion — even during a Sweet 16 or a wedding, when baked goods really should not be all that important.

I never really thought much about it except that it would annoy me to the point where I would become frustrated and angry.  I knew Sue meant well and had worked hard to create whatever she baked, which made me feel even worse that I was frustrated and angry over the whole attention seeking situation in the first place.

I have been reading a lot and things have become a little clearer to me lately.  A book I read, The Answers, by Karen Garvey, talks about people doing the best they can at the present time.  The fact that I could not figure out why baked goods had to be such a big deal annoyed me.

Today the lightbulb finally went off.

I don’t think Sue has ever felt important.  Not in her whole life.  Not to her parents, her first husband, or her second husband.  She needs to feel important.  And she feels important when she shows off her baked goods.

Think of others you might know that buy flashy cars, fancy clothing, maybe things they cannot afford, or someone who does things that are shocking.  Why?  I guess they are looking for something.  Maybe they’re trying to find a way to fill a void.

So I realize that, sometimes, we need to look a little deeper into why someone is doing something to understand.  You know Newton’s Law, to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction — even though this isn’t physics related, I think this could apply here.  Sue’s feelings cause her actions.

acknowledging why she behaves the way she does will allow me to modify my reaction.  Without much effort, I know I can make Sue feel important and shine.  And, maybe, one day Sue will realize she is important and enable herself to be happy.

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The Land of the Free

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A few years ago we went to Washington D.C.  The Revolutionary War has always been intriguing to me, and Washington is full of history.  What you can see and learn there is amazing.  I have always wondered how so many people with like thoughts could gather together at that time in history. How could these people collaborate to write the Constitution. Why did people like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin become part of this movement that formed America?  How did they have the foresight?  Why did they even do it?  They were wealthy professionals.  For sure they had a good life and didn’t really need to start what they did.  It is very thought provoking.

So, in Washington, D.C., standing at the Jefferson Memorial at the foot of the monstrous Thomas Jefferson statue, you can’t help but feel insignificant (I imagine you wondered why I mentioned Washington, DC. See, there was a reason). —

Today I think of all the men, women and families who sacrifice or sacrificed to keep the dream of the United States alive.  The fight for freedom, the land of the free, for free speech, for equality among all persons who live here.  And I think of how lucky we each are.

I think of all the organizations that fight for causes and the people that make up those organizations.  Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet a group of Blue Star moms, moms who had lost a child in recent combat.  They were at a benefit motorcycle rally we attended for, a benefit that was to bring awareness and funding for post traumatic stress disorder that many of our soldiers deal with upon their return from service.

I think of these people, each and every one, who joins together in a cause — and they do have the right to join together with like beliefs or goals because we live in the United States, the land of the free. In these organizations they have a goal to help make another’s life better.  I realize that is what our Country’s founding fathers did, too.  Working together you can get far.  Even against all odds.

If you have a chance, please visit  It is my goal to bring together people — regular citizens — who have something to offer someone else to make lives better.  From the posting of an event to providing knowledge as a “professional resource”, or listing a club or organization so another can find out about it and join the fun.  Resources for a better life.  A 5′ 2″ woman from Long Island is throwing a pebble in a pond to start a ripple effect with the hopes to help others.

We’d love to have you contribute to this project.  After all, see what happened with just a spark of an idea.

God Bless America — Let Freedom Ring.

Happy 4th of July.

– Doreen