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Posted in Spiritual and Mental Health | Leave a comment


Home is sometimes a place or a plot of land, or a house full of memories, the smells of  Christmas dinner cooking on the stove, or home is a person. No matter what home is to you, it is ensouled deeply in your heart, and no matter how far away you are, home will always be with you.  Here is my little dedication to home I wrote in my forties. Seems like a long way away now. Please enjoy it and I hope it brings you a little closer….to home.

As always,

Be well~




I began crying without provocation.  No one had hurt my feelings, although I could feel them on the edge of my heart like an ice-cold coca cola hitting a bad tooth.

Tears come more easily now that I have come into my fourties and have lost my mamma in the process.

Riding down the winding and slightly hilly country roads of South Georgia reminded me of home and of mama.       1064 pine forest

Pine trees lined the forest for miles and it was as if I could see far back in to the woods and into forever.  My eyes soaked up the colors as if it were their first view of life. The trees and their fallen fruit of pine straw and cone wrapped around me like the finely crafted afghans mama use to make.  I felt warm, safe and overwhelmed by the comfort of it all.

It had been years since I had seen this view or anything like it as I was working and living in an asphalt jungle.  These are the choices we make I suppose to get a way from one horse towns and mama and daddy.

Before I knew it, the pages of my life began to turn like a brisk wind had taken me by surprise. As the tears seared my lips, I stared out of the glass and a silhouette of my mama greeted me in the reflection of the warm Georgia sun against the tall reveling pines.

I’ve come a hard way to realize that no matter how much we try to leave home, there is something that is greater than us that inextricably ties us to our roots.

Now, as I see the worry lines on my forehead and the chicken skin lying against my neck, I long for those simpler times and the smell of pine straw and the crunch of southern leaves beneath my feet.


Posted in Aging, Celebrating life, Creativity, Spiritual and Mental Health | 3 Comments

Celebrate the Dash in Between


Reposting for a friend . For you D.M.

Today is my mother’s birthday, May 31st. Had she lived, she would have been eighty-six. Instead my mother died when she was sixty-nine. Renal failure. I was there singing her favorite song. It was not easy to get through. I knew she heard me. The family had come and had said goodbye. It was just my mother and me now. Her last moments were spent with her hand in mine and my hand on her shoulder, singing to her through my tears. All the years of love, frustrations, good meals, fights with my father and homemade fudge had come down to this moment.

It was not a difficult decision to take her off of her dialysis as she was suffering being on it at that point. Her doctor informed me well on what I could expect and he was accurate.

I set off for the fabric store to buy the black fabric to place on the mirror in the front foyer of my home. Placing a black cloth on the mirrors at the death of a loved one is a tradition of my religion, so as not to see the pain in the faces of the survivors. When I returned from the store, she had stopped breathing. I suppose she needed me to stop sitting vigil and to walk away and allow her to slip peacefully into the hand of God.

She was ready, I wasn’t.

Is one ever ready for death, especially the death of someone so beloved? As hard as we hope for some people to find their peace in eternity, we still get left behind with the memories and their breath still left on our skin.

Traversing through our grief after losing someone close to us is undoubtedly the hardest experience we will ever have.

But I would like to share something I have figured out the hard way.

Life calls on us to move on, to move forward. Perhaps life cannot ask us to see crimson in the same way, even laughter may not seem as loud or as forthcoming; nevertheless, it is we who are left to carry on for those that have left us in charge. Death is not an ending, it is a new beginning of rebirth. It is the end of form and the sojourn of a spirit into ultimate peace and happiness. For those of us who are left behind, it feels like an ending, like a death, but it is the beginning of a celebration of a life. A celebration of the true essence of a human life.

For it is true that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and when we leave, we transition from human to spirit. So, make it a natural way of dealing with goodbye by celebrating the human life of the person who has left their essence behind in you. Because life is a celebration, each day, and each moment is a blessing.

As long as we celebrate the lives of those that have touched us, their essence, their spirit will live forever.

Happy Birthday, Mama. I love you, Sug. P.S. (I made luchen kugel twice in 10 days and got a request for the recipe. Hope you don’t mind.)

Here is a recipe from my mama to you.

Luchen Kugel by Shirley Waitsman

1 bag of wide egg noodles 3 ounces of cream cheese

2 tablespoons of butter 1 egg and a splash of milk

1 cup of cottage cheese little salt and pepper to taste

Add paprika on top before baking at 450 degrees for 45 minutes


As ever,

Be well~

My Mother’s Favorite Song

Posted in Celebrating life, Counseling, Death, Depression, Grief, Illness, Loss, Mental Health Wellness, Spiritual and Mental Health, Stress | 1 Comment

Grammer, Punctuation, Sentence Structure, OH MY!!!

{This blog is not for children}        


           Just recently, I had a patient point out that my blog needed some improvements. He thought my grammar and sentence structure was off. He also suggested I make the sentences more pithy. (I had to look that up to see what it meant).


Magnifying Glass over Dictionary


Dad gummit, he is correct!  There are plenty of grammatical errors in my post and a fair amount of misspelled words.  And certainly more to come. However, the content stands. Pithy or not. (Maybe I should have gotten a degree in English, instead.)

       This blog is not my effort in being a rock star in the blogosphere, but of imparting good solid information, tools and life lessons to the few people who are generous enough with their time to read it.

  I hope those few, will keep reading my content, even with my human foibles and all!!

Be well~



Renee is a wise-cracking, down-to-earth, tell-it-like -it -is therapist with bad punctuation and she can be reached at 727-278-8375.

Posted in Celebrating life, Creativity, Spiritual and Mental Health | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments


 {Please note this is a site for adults.  It is meant as an educational tool for adults and parents of children with mental health disorders}



     Depression is no laughing matter, that is for sure. Since the suicide of Robin Williams, depression has been in the footlights of our minds.

   Depression can hit us like a bolt from the blue or it can be chemical. Or it is often what I would address as characterlogical. 

   Characterlogical depression is something that is ingrained as a character trait. It is often a tandem trait with a personality disorder such as Personality Disorder NOS or Boderline Personality Disorder.  It is less chemically related, although if it persists, it can change the brain chemistry in the long run as well as the organs in the brain such as the hippocampus. The hippocampus, or the memory center of the brain can shrink in size with the chronicity of depression. 

   This type of depression is sometimes resistant to medication and/or therapy.

 The person that suffers with this kind of depression needs to have some kind of breakthrough that would allow them to recognize their resistance to change. Therefore, it makes this type of depression more difficult to treat. 

     Preeminent treatment for this type of depression is a form of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy called (DBT) Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. This type of therapy or skills training was introduced to us by Dr.Marsha Linehan from The University of Washington.

     It can be very difficult to reach out and seek help, but if you know someone who is close enough to you that you feel you can talk to about it, do it. You could save a life or your own.


Next up, situational depression.

Be well~


Resources for your information:

Skills Training Manual for Treating Boderline Personality Disorder-Marsha Linehan. 1993

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skils Workbook- Matthew McKay et.al. -2007 (my favorite)

The Expandaned Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills Training Manual-Lane Pederson-2012

The Noonday Demon:An Atlas of Depression-Andrew Solomon-2001

Unholy Ghost:writers on depression-ed.Nell Casey-2002 (A National Bestseller and one of my personal favorites)



Posted in Anxiety/Panic, Counseling, Creativity, Depression, Diagnosis, Health, Spiritual and Mental Health, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment