Living Happily Ever After


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The Ideal

“The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.” (Aristotle)
I have a few heroes. Let me tell you about one. The ideal woman. My ideal.
She is actually a Ponzi scheme victim–a victim of the Ponzi scheme my former husband perpetrated. (One extremely difficult aspect of marriage to a criminal perpetrating a Ponzi scheme unbeknownst to you or anyone else, especially when he appears to have preyed on family, friends and strangers alike, is that some of those you knew well, and loved, are victims of his crimes. I knew a few of Shawn Merriman’s victims in that way. Especially this one.)
She is a beautiful woman. In fact, her physical beauty was the first thing I noticed about her. But from the moment I met her, she was so gracious, dignified, kind and everything else…she instantly became one of my heroes. The type of woman I hoped some day to be. And then, due to a Ponzi scheme, our relationship ended.
Five years later, just last month in fact, we ran into one another. I was at work–so busy, and working in a crowd of people, I would never have seen her or known she was there. She could have easily walked past me without a word and I wouldn’t have known. But instead, and unexpectedly, I felt an arm go around my shoulders and give me a quick hug.  She kissed my cheek, quickly said something like, “You look so good! You are doing so well! I’m so proud of you!” and she was off in the crowd again before I could process what had just taken place.
Talk about dignity and grace and class. Not only making the best of circumstances but GOING OUT OF HER WAY to not just be kind, but LOVING, to the ex-wife of the man who stole her material wealth!
She remains my hero. Today (and many other days) I think of her example and I celebrate her.
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” (Maya Angelou)

Speaking of Patience…

“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.” (Hal Borland)

Riddle of the day: What isn’t grass, but is not quite a tree? A bush. In my world, a peony bush—to be exact.

I wrote about my peony bush several posts ago; the bush I authorized my husband to remove for its failure to bloom (because life is too short to waste time not blooming!) Later I heard from a blog reader that I may have been too hasty, a little too impatient, with my slow-to-bloom bush as peony plants can apparently take 3-4 growing seasons after transplanting to bloom again. Oops. I guess I have more to learn about patience, huh? And a realization I’d come to, too little too late, to be of worth to my garden.

However the other day I was in the corner of the Utah garden where my peony bush had failed to thrive…and there it was! Bigger than ever, with flower blossoms looking ready to burst open at any time. (I’m not sure what plant my husband removed, but clearly it wasn’t the peony bush!) It goes to show, again, that, ”A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” (Elbert Hubbard)

Pink and fluffy. Beautiful to behold. Lasting.

So if you haven’t achieved your happily ever after yet, don’t abandon your quest. Hang in there, work to bloom a little longer and it will happen. I know it. My peony bush, and my own unexpected life, are proof.


I’ve admired a few women in my life.

Every once in awhile, you come across someone who exemplifies everything you admire. You look at her with awe and hope that someday… you can become like her. That someday you’ll be as beautiful on the inside, and out, as she is.

The bummer comes in getting there.

In becoming like her.

In developing the beauty that comes from meeting life and conquering its challenges with grace, dignity and class. (At least, that’s my goal.)

Someday, I want to be a woman like that.

“Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It’s the sure footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life.” (Ann Landers)

And if I ever become such a woman, I’m going to have to thank my unexpected life for that, too.