BEING STUBBORN throughout my life


It is my 75th birthday today, happy to be a stubborn child, my born-again mother having dubbed me: Francis the Talking Mule, a frequent criticism, back then feeling humiliated.

Now, I triumph, after four marriages, I am spiritually married to a man who voted for Trump; I must be stubborn. For love. He admits to coming from a “culture of lying,” maybe why he could accept over 10,000 fact-checked lies while lauding economic tariffs for China. After the January sixth assault on the Capitol, he says he would not vote for Trump again. Whew!

So WHY did I fall in love with a Trumpster-carpenter, who has never been in psychotherapy when I have been for many years as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Because I want to pay my dad’s love forward?

Or continue to advocate for a HEALTHY REALTIONSHIP SKILLS course at our local high school after 30 years? Still not implemented. I have a stubborn spirit is all I can say! Conceived by rape in Bremerhoffen, Germany, while my mother served as a nurse in the US Army during WWII, given my non-biological dad who signed my birth certificate (loving me exceptionally well as he did his two biological children), given a doctor who refused to abort me at 5 months gestation, and given a dad who would not give me up for adoption as my mother considered.

I am greatfull beyond words, music, dance. Loving my very first skydive, not letting fear stop me from flying free. To celebrate being me. I felt some fear the day before, but surprisingly, as I stepped into the two-seater plane, I feel peaceful the 20-minute ride to 10,000 feet and jumping into the cold sunny air. I ask to fly through a cloud like a bird with no cares.

The best part of my 75th birthday is 12 family members below catching my happiness feeling loved: “Hi Everybody!”  I shout gleefully as I lap dance Conor, my cute 26-year-old tandem guide as we land on Mother Earth, softly.

Without me asking, my husband video tapes, and photographs this most memorable event, creates a tailgate from his truck laden with treats and drinks, saying, “You’re something else.”

Some days later, he is not finished, planning our first zipline adventure in a Pocono Forest, presenting obstacles scarier than the skydive, my physical strength tested, my bare hands holding onto the cable. No gloves. No callouses.

“Will you ever grow up?” I hear. As well as moans and groans of pleasure while making love, which we give with each other’s hands and passionate kisses, weekends when we are together as we are in a commuter marriage currently.

On the actual day of my birthday, the 30th of August, I visit South Hill cemetery to give thanks to my dad for being the bestest loving dad, next to whom my ashes will be buried one day.

When the mail lady arrives, I open my door, walk to receive my mail, saying it’s my birthday today. 75. It can’t be she says: “You’re beautiful!” It’s the first time we’ve met; I learn her name is Joy. She learns I am a therapist, and readily says, “people expect me to be joyful, so I put on a façade. Sometimes I need to cry.”

I tell her that I give my books away for free if she would like one. “Yes, I would, how can you be giving me something on your birthday?” I run to find a copy of TEARS ARE TRUE LOVE…waiting to be known. Although I look forward to birthday dinner with my oldest daughter, Erin, I am stubbornly happy, smiling like the Rose of Sharon blossom, or maybe like a smooth silky Moon flower in my garden, at this moment as I walk away from the mail lady!