Archive | Heart Sisters RSS feed for this section

The most-read posts of 2017 from Heart Sisters

31 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

This past year has felt in turn like the most agonizingly slow year ever, and at other times like a runaway train threatening to throw me off at the next turn. Just this week during our family’s Christmas Eve dinner, for example, my daughter Larissa commented wistfully about her 2 1/2-year-old daughter Everly Rose, whose only goal in life lately is to be a big girl: “Last Christmas, we had a baby in the house, but this year I have a kid!” Why is she growing so fast? Where did that whole year go? But slow or fast, my Sunday morning blog posts continued throughout 2017. Thank you, dear readers – here are some of the Heart Sisters highlights for the past year:
Continue reading

The Christmas truce – 1914

24 Dec

Christmas Truce 1914

by Carolyn Thomas       @HeartSisters

As World War I raged on in the trenches of Europe in 1914, Christmas Eve arrived cold and bleak. But German soldiers put up Christmas trees decorated with candles, on the parapets of their trenches. Although their enemies, the British soldiers, could see the lights, it took them a few minutes to figure out where they were from. Could this be a trick?

British soldiers were ordered not to fire, but to watch closely. Instead of trickery, however, the British soldiers heard the Germans singing carols and celebrating. Here’s what one young soldier wrote home about this remarkable event:     Continue reading

A Woman’s Guide to Living With Heart Disease: my blog-turned-book project!

29 Oct

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

The Pitch. . .

“Have you considered writing a book based on your excellent Heart Sisters blog? I would love to explore the possibility with you.”

The date was September 9, 2015, and that’s how the message began that was about to change the next two years of my life. It came from Jacqueline Wehmueller, then Executive Editor at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Press (JHUP), the oldest academic publisher in North America.

These thrilling words led to many e-mail and phone conversations with Jackie, followed by submitting a project backgrounder, a draft 10-chapter table of contents, and a sample chapter to JHUP before we could sign the book contract. Continue reading

The most beautiful 5 minutes and 22 seconds you’ll spend today…

1 Oct

The most beautiful five minutes and 22 seconds you will spend today. . .  Thank you to Sue Robins (@suerobinsyvr), Nancy Stordahl (@nancyspoint) and many others who have recommended this to me. A conscious break like this is especially important to the freshly-diagnosed heart patient – who can often feel overwhelmed by pessimism and fear.  Continue reading

A Mother’s Day without my mother

14 May

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

Based on a post originally published here on May 13, 2012

As Christopher Buckley wrote in his memoir, Losing Mum and Pup, when the last of your parents dies, you are an orphan. This is poignantly true if that parent is your mother.

“You lose the true keeper of your memories, your triumphs, your losses. Your mother is a scrapbook for all your enthusiasms. She is the one who validates and the one who shames, and when she’s gone, you are alone in a terrible way.”

This month marks both the occasion of my mother’s birthday (she would have turned 89 on May 7th, which was coincidentally the second birthday of Everly Rose, the adorable great-granddaughter whom she would never meet) and yet another Mother’s Day when I didn’t send my Mom a card and flowers. I’m getting used to that reality by now. She died five years ago on February 21st, 2012.  Continue reading