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I’ve only recently started listening to country music, mainly because that’s what Sawyer’s always listening to, but I already knew of the mother-daughter duo, The Judds.


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Hard not to, as it was the most successful female duo.


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What’s hard to believe is that the day before her and Wynonna’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Naomi committed suicide. As a mother, your instinct is to put your children first, so that shows the overwhelming depth of the depression she was battling.


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I am sure people questioned how someone who appeared to have everything, and was about to be awarded one of her industry’s highest honors, could feel so bad about herself or her life to want to end it.

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I suspect many people think that fame and money would solve most of life’s problems. Obviously, they don’t realize mental health is a battle she had been fighting for a long time. Not only did she publicly talk about it, but she wrote a book about her depression and championed mental health for years.

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I know that, but some people still think you need to “toughen up” and “gut through it”, although they would not say that to someone who broke their arm. Or, had heart disease or cancer. Given the statistics (1 in 5 people will experience mental health illness in any given year), I bet we all know people who are struggling with it. Although they might not admit it or seek help.

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Hopefully, as more and more celebrities use their fame and public platforms to shed light on mental health issues (and other subjects that are either uncomfortable or considered taboo), it will make “mere mortals” realize they’re not alone. And, in turn, more comfortable admitting their own struggles and, more importantly, to seek help.

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Think about how many people felt alone and isolated, not to mention stressed out, during the pandemic. And, even though almost everyone was going through the same thing, they would talk about physical symptoms and their opinions about vaccines and masks, but not any related mental health issues they might be battling.

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It’s funny, there was so much emphasis placed on reaching out and checking on people – whether by phone or Zoom or whatever method made the most sense. But now that I think about it, it was more about being socially engaged and not totally isolated vs. seeing if people were truly ok.

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No one should ever have to suffer alone. How difficult is it for us to be less judgmental and more accepting? Ok, that is a rhetorical question. But, the bottom line is we should let family and friends know it is ok to not always be ok.

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I’m not brave enough to speak for you, but most of us have days when we’re not functioning well, or not feeling like ourselves, and maybe even hurting. So, we should all be more understanding of each other. But how do we know if it’s serious enough to seek help? And what if you don’t even know where to turn for help?

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That is why Mental Health Awareness Month is so important. And, this year’s theme is “Back To Basics,” so there is a lot of basic information and additional resources available. Not to mention, places to turn for help.

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Well, I know how much you love getting back to basics.

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Because getting “back to basics” reminds us of what really matters.
Image by osbkin on iStock


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I love history and understand that “Lincoln freed the slaves,” but the Civil War was about more than slavery. It was about preserving the Union, and about states’ rights (some things never change) and westward expansion. However, once President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the war between the states would be forever remembered as a war to end slavery. Although I’ll admit that I’d never of Juneteenth until I moved to Texas. And I was surprised to learn it took two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation for slaves in Texas to be set free, but that explains why Juneteenth’s celebrated as the end of slavery in the United States. And why it was declared a federal holiday in 2021.


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Change is never as simple as issuing proclamations. Especially since slavery represented systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity. Real change requires words and actions, and a change in mindset. Celebrating the end of slavery is noble, but it should also serve as a reminder of where we are and how far we still have to go. Ending racism is not as simple as saying it is wrong but recognizing that it still exists is an important start.
Image by Kenishirotie on iStock


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Every Father’s Day , when I think of Daddy, I think about alligators and turtles. I know that might sound crazy, especially as there are so many wonderful memories, but those stand out. As does the fact that every day, he taught me about unconditional love and was always there for me. And even though he passed away over 20 years ago, the memories are as strong, both emotionally and “visually”, as if it was just yesterday. And for that, I’m so grateful.


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I know you are probably expecting me to talk about how Father’s Day is, in many ways, a form of “equal rights" since Mother’s Day was already in existence , or maybe the business aspects of it being a “ retail holiday ”. Instead, at the risk of sounding warm and fuzzy, I will just say that dads always have a very special place in the hearts of their “little girls” … no matter how old those “girls” become.

Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day!

Photo by nycshooter on iStock
It seems most appropriate that Flag Day falls during Effective Communication Month, or at least it does to Black, who years ago had suggested Red use race flags as a fun (and “safe”) way to communicate with her teenage daughter. From that point on, Red never looked at the “Stars & Stripes” the same way again … because she learned flags might be one of the most straightforward and effective ways to communicate – whether feelings of pride and support, messages to racecar drivers, or even to indicate your moods.


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This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


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Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


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I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


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If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


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I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
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