Voice & Vision Blog

The Best Gift: A Life Well-Lived

I wouldn’t have thought attending a memorial service in the darkness of mid-December would make me feel better about life, and kindle my Christmas spirit, but strangely—and wonderfully—it did. The memorial honored the life of Jack Thomas, the father of two of my closest childhood friends, Valerie and Jacquelyn. Jack (always “Mr. Thomas” to me) was also a close friend of my parents, so he is firmly fixed in the memories of my youth.  On the day of the memorial I began feeling nostalgic...

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Choose Less Stress (and More Joy!) this Christmas

“Christmas is coming . . . and I can’t get out of its way!” The words of the comic strip made me groan and smile at the same time, because that’s exactly how I felt. I had so much to do: so much to buy, so much to make, so much to wrap, so much to bake, so much to decorate, so many cards to write . . . There were so many expectations. And there was so much fear that if I didn’t do all of it, and do it well, people would think less of me.  If I had asked...

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The Mysterious Power of Giving Thanks

As I began to make plans for Thanksgiving, I found myself remembering what my life was like as Thanksgiving approached 10 years ago, and how the events of that time led me to develop one of the best habits I’ve ever had. My husband Bill and I were seriously talking about selling our house, quitting our jobs, and leaving the life we knew, to make a move of 4,000 miles to be near our elderly mothers. It was a scary proposition. There were so many uncertainties. Where would we live? Would we find...

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Tomorrow’s Troubles

When my mother was in her mid-fifties, about the age I am now, she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. The specialist who gave her the diagnosis referred her to a psychiatrist, as he did whenever telling a patient they have an incurable, and possibly fatal, disease. My mother didn’t think she needed to see a psychiatrist, but being a compliant patient, she went. Once in the office, the doctor asked her if she knew why she was there. “Yes,” she said, “It’s because I’ve got some dumb disease.” The...

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Down Syndrome Awareness: Spotlight on Gretchen

For Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we are featuring one of our Voice and Vision employees, Gretchen, and her mother Judy.  Gretchen is a team member of our IM4Q program. Along with her team leader, she interviews individuals with disabilities about their quality of life.   While Gretchen and I have not worked together, we met at one of the Voice and Vision, Inc Christmas parties.  She was impeccably dressed, cheerful, and exuded positive energy.   I couldn’t help but smile in her presence. I...

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Kaitlin Murphy Foundation Supports the Help and Hope Guide

Voice and Vision, Inc. is excited to announce we received a $2,500 grant from Kaitlin Murphy Foundation to be applied to the cost of producing, printing and distributing the second guide in our Help and Hope series: Help and Hope – From Families who have Walked the Walk – Substance Use: The Growing Need to Know.  (You can read more about our guide here). Kaitlin Murphy Foundation lives up to its slogan: FIGHTING MAD and FIGHTING BACK Against Addiction.  They have...

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Celebrating Small Victories

I wish I were a perfect person. I’m not sure what a perfect person looks like—I’m pretty sure I’ve never met one—I just know it isn’t me, and it never will be. So, while I’m not trying to be perfect, I am trying to be better. If you’ve read any of my older blog posts, you may remember that I was seeing a counselor to deal with some anger issues. I’ve been honest about things that have set me off—and the regrets I’ve had after reacting to them. So now, in celebration of progress, I’ll tell you...

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Twisted Trails

I hardly ever feel old—and I never say I’m old—but when I stop to consider the things that have been invented (or radically improved) in my lifetime, I have to admit that I’ve been on this earth for quite a while. Take hair dryers, for instance. When I was a growing up, hair dryers were comprised of a blower/heater unit, a bonnet—usually made of either rigid plastic or soft vinyl, like a glorified shower cap—and a hose connecting the two. You had to have a good bit of time to use one of these;...

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In Support of Help and Hope

Voice and Vision, Inc. is excited to announce we received a $10,000 grant from Today, Inc. Foundation to be applied to the cost of producing, printing and distributing the second guide in our Help and Hope series: Help and Hope – From Families who have Walked the Walk – Substance Use: The Growing Need to Know. This guide contains at least six chapters written by experts from the “front lines” of the fight to provide a fundamental understanding of substance use and addictions and how...

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A Plate of Tomatoes

There’s a plate of tomatoes on my kitchen counter, and I’m amazed at the memories that are surfacing as I look at it. I really shouldn’t be too surprised: so many of my memories are tied to food—and I really love a good tomato. Fat, juicy, locally-grown tomatoes were a summertime staple in our kitchen when I was growing up. My dad made frequent Saturday treks to Zern’s Farmer’s Market to buy them. He’d bring home green ones as soon as they hit the stands, and he’d fry them up for dinner,...

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