Tinctures and Hues

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Innocence tinctures all things with the brightest hues.” ~Edward Counsel

Last summer my sister and I returned to our childhood community.

In our travels we discussed how things aren’t always how they seem to be. In our youthful minds two hills that were in our neighborhood, which we climbed to go to the bus stop and to visit our friends up the street, seemed to be ginourmous. Oh how they added to the burdens we beared as we headed off to school with our backpacks feeling unprepared – homework not completed, reading assignments ignored and mounting peer pressure as we matured.

As adults we saw for ourselves that the many challenges we faced were merely molehills rather then mountains. With age, everything comes into real perspective.

In my memoir, I mention childhood illness, and how fortunate I was to go through the most difficult times of my life unaware of the seriousness of my condition and my pioneering heart surgery.

For the Sake of OthersGiving children tools for resilience in life is a lifelong gift that you can bestow upon your children. Dr. John Townsend’s book, which I posted a blog about last week, talks about how entitlement for people of any age is not always the best way to go through life because we learn from our hardships. If you would like to read more about the importance of teaching children to be resilient, I’d also suggest this website.

Look forward to your return tomorrow. The importance of friendships will be our topic on All Things Fulfilling.

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.



Tugs of Heart Strings

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tugof war Do you remember playing tug-of- war on the play ground?

The physical education teacher marked the the pavement with chalk, threw down a hefty rope and teams were chosen at the discretion of the teacher or the team captains. Then began the battle to see which team had the greatest strength and persistence and could pull the other team over the line.

A few weeks ago when I talked with Kiwanis, I read aloud a chapter from my memoir called Having Faith in Oneself. Essentially it is about Fanny’s advice to me about the feelings I had when I was left out of the crowd on the playground due to my childhood illness. Fanny is the stellar character in my memoir who was a very sage woman.

Now that I am an adult, I understand what she was hinting at in one of our heart-to- heart conversations. One day she said “Sue, there ain’t no one who don’t play tug of war in life. Sometimes we is among the lighthearted and sometimes we are wid da heavy hitters. Dem knots in da rope is what helps us to learn to hang on and to roll wid da punches.” There is a lot of truth in that! But it is more fun to play nice. Tug of War Shel Silverstein This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. Click here for information about Sue’s memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  

Sisters of the Heart


True friendship takes us by the hand and reminds us we are not alone in the journey.” ~ Unknown

sue mary and jan and neighbor kids enlargedI love this photo of my twin sister and me with our neighborhood buddies! It was sent to me as a surprise, compliments of http://www.unbridledimages.com. It was dug up out of the archives! I am truly grateful to have it!

I am the twin on the right.  The photo was taken during my “difficult days.” Before life really began to get better for me thanks to the cardiologists at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Due to God’s amazing providence, Mary Grace and I (my childhood friend who I mention in my memoir in Chapter 7  titled Taking it One Day at a Time  and who I blogged about yesterday) are alive today. She is the little girl pictured next to my sister  in a blue dress.

You see Mary Grace and I are sisters of the heart in more ways than one. She too had childhood illness that has affected her ticker. Leaps and bounds have been made since we were children, in medical research, that has helped heart patients have a wonderful quality of life.

Mary has gone on to do some amazing things. Like myself she has maintained a completely normal existence throughout her lifetime, never letting anything stop her. She, too, is deeply aware of the gift of life.

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. Not sure where I will travel in my writing. I have come to learn the words will come if I am silent and listen to my heart.Sue’s memoir


Shoes Bring Back Memories

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We can not change our memories, but we can change their meaning and the power they have over us. ~ David Seamons

Antique photos can be very stirring because some times they dredge up old and difficult memories we’d rather not think about. Yet some images have the power to help us recapture feelings that are as sweet and fulfilling as thoughts of vanilla pudding.

saddle shoesWhen I came across this photo of saddle shoes and white cotton socks, my recollections of standing at the bus stop on my first day of school came flooding back. My saddle shoes and white socks went everywhere together, like my twin sister and me. One was never without the other – kind of like the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that were in our school lunchboxes. I recall how the socks felt around my ankles – flimsy, insufficient and weak like my body. I can’t associate them with any warm feelings. My sister by my side was my strong, fuzzy security blanket.

When I look at the picture, I can even remember the precise smell of the white shoe polish our classmates used to keep their shoes looking new and unscuffed. Mine never really needed to be polished. My shoes didn’t get knocked about or hard use. In fact, just outgrowing a pair of shoes was a big accomplishment.

This image of saddle shoes has brought back an entire childhood worth of memories. Now six decades later I look forward to sharing my story. My hope is that parents who have kids dealing with childhood illness will find something comforting and hopeful in the memoir. Most of all I want the book to bring to a smile to some faces.

Did you own a pair of saddle shoes? If so, you must be a baby boomer. Did your shoes have band of black, brown or navy blue leather at the instep? What thoughts of childhood do saddle shoes stir up for you ? Are they happy memories or difficult?

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling.