Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love Gifts

Recently, I drove in downtown Chicago’s rush hour traffic with Sheila Simon. She’s the daughter of the late Illinois State Senator Paul Simon and his wife, Jean. Speaking over the din of heavily congested traffic, our conversation dealt with “love gifts” our moms gave us without our knowing it at the time. Sheila remembered how for a year or so after her mom died she’d pick up the phone to call her about something. Sound familiar? If not, it probably will some day. This sort of thing happened to me, too. It used to make me wistful, even sad, until I reminded myself to simply be thankful she was my mom and that she was now in heaven. But Sheila added a different spin, which I liked very much.

She said that while she missed her mom terribly, every time she’d think, I have to tell mom about this, she’d also think how great a lesson it was that her mother taught her to share and connect events and ideas with others. She now treasures her ability to “connect” with people -- whether it’s through teaching writing to law students at Southern Illinois University, or playing her banjo for fun with her husband and children. It’s a connect love lesson I hope to intentionally pass on to my children, now that Sheila has articulated it so nicely.

Speaking of connections, this week on Woman to Woman® I’ll interview specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., about heart disease, the number-one killer of women. That fact is finally sinking in. We can ignore it, panic, or choose to take better care of ourselves. It turns out it’s really pretty easy to live better and longer when you do a few simple things. These heart-health experts speak to your head and your heart. Dr. Virginia Miller is a research scientist and Kathy Zarling is a cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist for high-risk CAD patients. Kathy is a parish nurse too. Both women discuss the calming influences that make for better heart health, as well as things to do and not to do to our bodies. Tune in for a heart tune-up with this latest information for women.

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