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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Normal people would just...

I gave birth to my third child, my only daughter, when I was 41. Is that normal you might ask? For me, yes. I have always been a little off step from my peers. I was told a former friend of mine chose abortion to end her late pregnancy. I'm not judging her but; I think I made a better choice. It has led to many experiences I would not have otherwise had.

One of the best ways to stay young is to hang out with younger people. I spent so many years as a room mother that I thought I would never get out of the school system. Actually I still help out occasionally because my grandson is in the second grade and my daughter works full time.

Once in a while a comment slips out of her mouth acknowledging the importance of simply being present in a child's life. Those are the times I know that my efforts have been and are appreciated. One day she told me she felt fortunate because, unlike some of her friends, she never came home to an empty house when she was a child.

My little grandson is the one who keeps me young now. We share a special bond that goes way beyond this life. I consider it a privilege to have been chosen as his grandmother and take every opportunity to help him grow. My grandparents provided balance in my life and I am passing on what I was taught to another generation.

Balancing one's life is something learned with age. It did not come easy for me. Today I can be a mother, grandmother, friend, inspirational writer and still have plenty of time for me. It took many years to accomplish this fete. Normal people would probably have learned this lesson much earlier.

I did not grow up in the electronic age, which frustrates my daughter. I still remember when the first TV sets came out. She doesn't understand why I have trouble figuring out simple tasks on my computer. Her favorite expression lately is, "Well normal people would just..."

I decided long ago that I am not normal and I thank God for his creativity. It is fun being a non-conformist in a conformist world. It drives some people crazy because they never know what I am going to do next. Sometimes neither do I!

Monday, November 16, 2009


The following is a prose submission published 1994 in NMSU-Grants Branch Inscriptions to honor my mother-in-law, Mary Milan Gunn, deceased 1996.
Between Here and There
Somewhere between here and there lies Mary's mind... Where it briefly rests depends upon the day, the hour, the minute. Eighty-five years of struggling, working, giving and loving tucked away in a golden box with no key for the rest of the world.
Family, lifelong friends, fellow board and committee members, church members, those touched by her existence-astray in the maze of her mind.
Perhaps Mary is better off not understanding the daily happenings of the world, that her friends are no longer alive, that her family finds it unbearable to visit, not recognizing the person before them.
Those who care about the total person know her body needs protection from her mind. They are left to deal with well meaning people who simply do not understand that she needs a safe place.
How sad it is for her body to be here and her mind to be there. If only they could be united once again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"My Man"

This spirit photo is the largest one I have taken. It is hard
to miss the man above the duck's beak.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Quit smoking!

It has been over ten years since I ended a 40 year nicotine addiction. In 2006 I wrote the following article which was published in The Yeah! Times (Youth Empowerment Advocacy Her0es), a program directed at young people in New Mexico.

I Killed My Best Friend

by Barbara L. Gunn

For a variety of reasons I grew up having very little self-esteem. By age19 I was a very lonely person who desperately needed a best friend.

The friend I chose for the next forty years was 3” tall, smelled bad, controlled my life, and led me in the direction of poor health. The relationship was what would be considered abusive today. In the beginning nobody warned me of danger and in all those years no one offered to help me let go of my destructive companion.

There were of course, those who shook their heads and fingers at me making rude comments about how disgusting this relationship was. They probably thought they were helping, but they only made me angry and caused me to stubbornly refuse to let go. This relationship was a stepping stone to years of allowing other people to treat me with disrespect. I had never developed the courage to believe I was worthy o anything more.

One day I looked in the mirror and realized that I did not deserve to be controlled by an object that could not possibly move from my hand to my mouth without my help. I knew I was the only one who could end the relationship and I have never been sorry that I did.

To become self centered and care about yourself is the best way to end any negative addiction. Whoever you are, believe that you are a valuable person who deserves the very best life has to offer. God does not make junk.

Do you really want a best friend who controls your life and is leading you to poor health and perhaps death? If the answer is no- follow my example. Make yourself your best friend and give yourself permission to live the healthy life you were born to experience. You are worth it!


yea! I just took another step on my creative journey.