Love IS– My Sister Valorie!


It really does seem true–the people we’ve known and loved the longest seem to be taken for granted the most!

Well, let me tell you about my sister Valorie!

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Our bond started early, she spoke for me.

I’m not sure when I did start talking but my mom had to have a real serious talk with Valorie because whenever someone asked me a question, Valorie always answered it.  “What’s your name?”  “Her name is Tara”.  “How old are you Tara?”  “She’s 3” ….Mom had to sit her down, get her attention and explain how important it was to let me start talking for myself.

Thanks to Valorie, I speak up  for myself and I’m good at it!

Valorie was always there for me.  Even though she is only 2 years older than me, she was the closest thing to mom that I had. ValandTaraFerrisWheel

Until she wasn’t….

As I got a bit older, maybe from the age of 10 to 15, Valorie became a bit of a bully to me (I suppose I was a bit of a brat too).  Not all the time, but a lot of the time, she was really rough on me.

She once rubbed dog poop in my face and mouth and sat on my head and pulled my hair til it felt like it had all been pulled out.  

If you see her wrist, there’s a big scar on it–she went to punch me (after I kicked her)  and I shut the door as she punched–right through the glass window.  Oh I thought she would kill me after that one!  There was blood everywhere, we had to go get her some stitches.  Drama–but this is what growing up with a sibling looks like, it’s not always love and light !  This is life at it’s best, really!

 I survived.

As the years rolled by, we grew up.  Valorie became a girlfriend to a couple of different guys–I still know their names and can still see their faces vividly.  They weren’t good enough for Valorie and her intuition guided her out of those places.  Not  long after,  she found the love of her life and she’s  been married to Glen for 35 years.   They have two lovely daughters who are off in the world and living and enjoying life.ValandGlenBLUE

Even though the closeness Valorie and I  shared as children marched forward in years, we still feel the essence of that closeness in this present time.

Valorie has rooted for me and supported me in a myriad of ways.  Although they may have been unspoken, I have felt them.Sister

There is something about those early years that just imbeds itself  into my  cells and my memories.  Feelings and emotions are hard to encapsulate into words.   To me, though, the feelings and emotions that came from being loved by my sister Valorie have just held on–as if in an infinite embrace.  I am supported, I am loved.

I am held in an infinite embrace.

So, even though we don’t often speak our respect and appreciation frequently and freely, it will always be there in the depth of my being.  The space it holds feels so dear to me.  There is no questioning that space–no doubt about her love for me– it just remains and it just IS.TarAnd Valorie

To the people who know my sister Valorie, you will all agree, she is so much to so many people.

She is a friend and confidant to everyone she knows–they can all count on her ear to be there for the listening. 

Valorie is a loving mother,  a loving wife, a loving daughter and a loving daughter-in-law.  She is constantly giving of herself to everyone around her.  Her job is so perfect for her–she gets to help welcome newborn babies into the world since she is a labor and delivery nurse–that is the most powerful place on the planet–in the presence of those miracles– and she gets to be there all the time!

It is clear to me, she deserves to be in that miraculous place because she is such a gift to everyone she knows.  GlowingValorie

Out of all the people I’ve known throughout my lifetime, Valorie is the most open-minded and open-hearted person.    She can hear a story, feel the emotions and be the first to want to engage with someone who may have been emotionally detached for a lifetime.

She is just plain fair and sensible and loving and always expecting the best out of people.

Gosh, I hope she really gets who she is for everyone in her life–the words I use certainly cannot give her the praise she deserves.

Even though she knows in the depth of her being  how I feel about her, I wanted her to hear it again–at least once in sentiment and words.  Her spirit fills me up –all the way  up–all the time that I’m in her presence!  My love for Valorie lives in infinity!ValorieFritzyTara

Giving Feels Good!


I just spent time with a newer friend–I’m finding out so much about her that I hadn’t known before.

She’s a giver.

She helps so many charities– homeless shelters, foster children and  more.

It’s funny, I just gave a little of my time with a warm heart.  She wanted to start writing a blog, that was something I could contribute.     Someone,  about 4 years ago,  did that for me so I wanted to pay it forward to someone who really wants to write and share some of the amazing things she’s up to.      http://saralevymusic.wordpress.comSaraLevy

Maybe I’ve never been a big giver in that regard because I never thought I had enough to give.

When you grow up in a home where everyday there is just enough to get by, a pattern just takes place in the center of you and you just keep living it on into your life.

It took me some years to learn that money and giving are not synonymous–there are many ways in which to give.

Yes, I’m still “just getting by” in the financial sense but that doesn’t have to affect what I can give of myself and my  abilities.

Today I gave my time and my little bit of knowledge about what  it takes to get started writing a blog.  She was an eager participant and it was such a thrill to see her so happy about such a simple thing. Giving Feels Good!

 I can only imagine how happy Sara must feel because she’s always giving.  It seems like her entire life revolves around giving–what a gift that must be!  photo-5

What a lesson I learned today–some people are just so amazing with what they give and when you give you feel almost more fulfilled than the person receiving!

The other day, I parked in Santa Monica and was getting out of my car to go grab an espresso.  A homeless woman came up and asked me for money.  I said,  “I don’t have any  money but do you need something else–I’ve got a trunk full of things.”

She looked at my glamorously full trunk and said, “oh, can I have that backpack?

“Absolutely”, I replied– I removed the things I had inside the bag and gave it to her.  She was thrilled, her eyes lit up and she was really happy.  I was even more happy that I could create that thrill within her being.

It feels good  to GIVE!

Group prayer for Sunday:

Dear God,
May all who hunger be fed,
and some be fed by me.
May all who suffer be healed,
and some be healed by me.
May all who fear feel loved,
and some feel loved by me.
Heal my life that I might be
a channel of deliverance
in the lives of others.
And so it is.
Amen              Marriane Williamson