All you need…

You certainly have noticed that at the end of each post I include a teaser to the current ROAMcare blog. From the ROAMcare website we explained how I and my co-founding partner are attempting to help people “bridge the gap from existing to living and refresh your enthusiasm for life!” We aren’t special any way.  We are ordinary people who have a desire to live what years we have in positivity and to invite others to join us in that endeavor. Our blog posts are drawn from our experiences.

Last week’s message resounded with me more deeply than any we had yet published. It is the essence of bridging the gap from existing to living. Like so many of the most profound concepts, it’s strength lies in its simplicity. If I was to write a teaser for this blog it would be,“As we begin February and almost everybody’s first thought is of love, let us consider those we love with all types of love, and tell them we love them.”

Today I’m going to do something I’ve never done.Instead of a teaser to the current post I am reprinting it in its entirety. I feel the message is so needed to be heard by as many people as possible. If you would like to share the message please do. If you should, I only ask that you attribute it to The original post can be found at

Thank you!

Three Little Words

The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 750,000 words in the English language. There are about 171,000 words in common usage. According to a 2007 article in the journal Science, Mathias Mehl and others reported the average American adult speaks about 16,000 words a day. Of all those words, we don’t use many of them to convey our most important messages. Perhaps that is because we only have one word for the most important message of them all – love.

As we begin February, almost everybody’s first thought is of love. For as much that goes on during this, the shortest month of the year, Valentine’s Day holds a lot of attention. Valentine’s Day indeed is for lovers. But love is for so many more!

Humans are social beings. We relish, in fact we need to be with and interact with other humans. Our connections with each other are often born of need but grow because we want to explore and deepen those connections with other individuals, certain individuals. All of those connections are some form of love. The Greeks did it well. They coined seven different words for love, one for each type of love – Romantic, Affectionate, Familial, Selfless, Playful, Committed, and Self love, Eros, Philia, Storge. Agape, Ludus, Pragma, and Philautia respectively. Each type of love exhibits its own characteristics, but no one is more important, more special, more “loving” than any other. And yet, we seldom hear people verbally express their love for others except in the case of Romantic or sometimes Familial love. We are more likely to tell others we love our jobs, we love pizza, we love to travel, or we love swimming, than we are to tell our best friend, “I love you.”

Love is a source of motivation and strength for us as individuals. All types of love can induce the release of dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine, the so-called “feel-good chemicals.” But to affect that release, a relationship with a specific other person must be realized. Simplistically speaking, each form of love demonstrates a specific relationship. Eros involves a physical connection with others. Pragma is characterized by an emotional connection with another. Agape is known by its selfless, almost one-way flow of compassion and concern. But there is no pure form of each love. Some characteristics of each of the seven types of love can be found in all of the seven types of love. And thus, any love can improve a person’s self-worth, build trust, or strengthen family and social ties.

Another trait of humans is the need for physical contact. Reported by the National Institutes of Health is a 1995 study on the significance of physical contact that proposes four hugs per day as an antidote for depression, eight hugs per day to achieve mental stability and twelve hugs per day to possibly affect real psychological growth. We see people engaging more universally in hugging throughout the seven love spectrum. Family members hug each other, care givers hug their charges, friends hug their friends!

We suggest that hugging is an outward sign of love. People respond positively to hugs just as they would to any other indication they are loved, whether a kiss, a physical touch, a clasped hand-shake, a warm smile, or a verbal acknowledgement that they are loved – being told, “I love you!!”

As we begin February and almost everybody’s first thought is of love, let us consider those we love with all types of love, and tell them we love them. If we’re willing to say so to a large pizza it should be easy to admit it to our loving, living connections, no matter what type of love we feel for them. It’s just three little words out of so many you will say today.



Have a Heart, Please

For such a short month with only 28 days, 29 this and every Presidential election year affording candidates an additional 24 hours to make fools of themselves, February is chock full of imposters, sequels, and me too holidays.
The most famous of non-holidays comes up next week but has been in full fledged celebration by car dealers, furniture stores, and discount houses for weeks now. Of course that is the never authorized, not recognized Presidents Day.  Not being an official national holiday has not stopped business from taking advantage of consumers with “the biggest savings of the year” nor unions taking advantage of businesses with demands of yet another day off with pay. Of course the real holiday is Washington’s Birthday, never celebrated on his actual birthday because that would mean the loss of a 3 day weekend in most years. Bonus points for anybody who can identify Washington’s actual birthday without Google.
Looking for a reason to drink to excess and St. Patrick’s Day is a whole month away. Don’t fret or fear, Mardi Gras is here. What started out a few hundred years ago as a day of atonement and confession before Lent begins has morphed into “let’s eat everything in sight, have parades all day, drink all night, and show our boobs (pardon me) in exchange for a string of plastic beads.” Although the date varies because Ash Wednesday varies because Easter varies (you remember those days, right?), it most often is during February that merchants along Bourbon Street grease the poles outside their establishments to deter drunken idiots from trying to climb them.
For 134 years a peace loving furry woodland creature has been forecasting Spring’s arrival in a quaint Pennsylvania town. Of course this is commemorated in the most important day in the modern calendar, February 2, Groundhog Day. Sometime, details are sketchy exactly when, meteorologists began celebrating National Weatherman’s Day, now known of course as National Weatherperson’s Day on February 5. There’s logic to this they say. That is the birthday of John Jeffries, purportedly the first to record daily weather observations. That would be fine. Many professions recognize their pioneers. But this year I noticed on February 5 more news snippets decrying Punxsutawney Phil’s bold prediction of an early spring with repeated references to his predictions being accurate only 40% of the time. I did a little research on this. Phil is predicting for 6 weeks! According to National Weather Service data although a 7 day forecast is accurate 80% of the time, a 45 day forecast (about 6 weeks) has an accuracy rate of 40-50%. Hmmm. Methinks and all that jazz. 
February is the month of love recognized as National Weddings Month (I would have thought June, no?), Creative Romance Month, and Affair to Remember Month (no clarification if that refers to the movie or a tryst), with International Flirting Week (for the not so serious?) tossed in on the month’s third week. But if those and the chocoholic’s dream date Valentine’s Day don’t fill your bill we can now add, and on this very day, Galentine’s Day. A day with origins similar to and about as real as Festivus and Friendsgiving which are now also apparently really real. And yes, the wanting to be next to be really real, Palentine’s Day is making inroads also. And here all these years I’ve been sitting at home alone without a romantic other half to celebrate. Gee, who would have thought one could make a holiday out of picking up the phone and asking a couple friends to go out for a drink. I would have have missed the boat and called that something like Thursday but then I’d have missed out on the greeting card conscesssions. (Oh yes you can. Check out your local card shop.) 
One day in the month that should be a real deal holiday with cards, gifts, TV specials and days off for proper celebrations (with pay if you can swing it) is February 14, no, not the flowers and chocolate day, but National Organ Donor Day. Hop over to to find out about how organ and tissue donation works and how to register to donate. Ah, the gift of giving your heart to someone. Now that’s true love. And nobody will throw beads at you.

Five Minutes Wait

If you don’t like the weather just wait five minutes. It’ll change. How many times have you heard that, said that, or wished that? Unless you maybe live on St. Lucia not during hurricane season. Around here those five minute changes are actually getting fairly commonplace. It’s sort of scary sometimes. Let me take you through 48 hours of last weekend.

Friday morning followed a couple warmish days for February north of the 40th parallel. With temperatures expected to be around 40 degrees at midday we had just completed a week of daytime highs in the 50s and 60s. At wakeup time it was about 54 degrees. We should have expected it to be closer to 24 degrees but a warm week happens just as often as the cold week.

It shouldn’t have been unexpected. The forecasters actually predicted warmer weather. Even though over half of the month to date had been at or below average for February, the half that was higher was high enough to predict that this month would be the warmest February on record. Days and weeks and months of weather being any but what’s expected are expected around here. A warmest February on record didn’t get the global warming proponents any more excited than the coldest February on record in 2015 got the global warming opponents excited. We’ve come to learn to expect the unexpected. (Trite, but descriptive.)

Anyway, Friday I woke up to 54 degree weather and a morning forecast of it getting warmer. Indeed, by 1:00 it had breezed past (with calm winds) the previous date record of 70 degrees on its way to a high a few hours later of 76 degrees under clear, sunny skies. I got to see none of this being locked away against my will at the dialysis clinic. When I emerged from their binds a bit after 4:00 in the afternoon my car thermometer confirmed I was living in a parallel city that should have been occupying the Southern Hemisphere. As pleasant as it was I could honestly say I didn’t like it and wished it would change.

You see, I wanted it to change because it is still winter. As much as I have been less tolerant of colder days as I have entered my older days I still want seasons. If I didn’t enjoy a few weeks every year of rain and new growth flowers in the spring and falling leaves and brisk mornings in the fall and even cold and snow in the winter, I’d move to St. Lucia. I also wanted it to change because there a hockey game was scheduled to be played outside Saturday evening. Who wants to see outdoor hockey in mid70 degree weather. I don’t even like to go to baseball games when it’s that hot. Not to worry. God is a hockey fan and He’ll take care of it I told myself. It took a few more than five minutes.

Saturday at wake up it was the same 54 degrees that greeted me Friday morning and at 1:00 in the afternoon the weather service was still recording temperatures in the 50s. But then (probably because I was outside rather than chained to a medieval medical machine yet dressed like I was outside the day before) the temperature took a dramatic plunge. An hour later it was ten degrees colder, another hour another ten degrees and by 4:00 as I was finally home and changed into more appropriate clothing for February weather, February weather returned with a gusto (and with wind gusts approaching 40mph).

At 6:00 when the gates opened for the game the temperature had dropped to 36 degrees and snow flurries were flitting in the glow of the high intensity lighting. At face-off the recorded temp was exactly 32 degrees. And all was right with the world.

Sunday morning I woke up to the temperature at 26 degrees, a drop of 50 degrees in 40 hours. Maybe a little chilly for some but according to the weather people exactly average for the date.

Exactly average. How unimpressive is that? But it’s ok. If you don’t like it, just wait five minutes.

That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?