Send us your thoughts!
March's theme is "women as peacemakers." When was a time that you were called on to be a peacemaker? Tell us about it.
Send a paragraph or two to email@example.com Deadline: Feb. 10, 2013
Music is our focus in April and we're asking: What would be the theme song of your life and why? Tell us about it. Send a paragraph or two to firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline: March 10, 2013
Each month we ask our readers to respond to a question. For February, 2013, we asked: What matters to your heart?
Damaged hearts? What matters to my heart is ... my heart! And the hearts of my two friends, ages 2 and 4, and their 42-year-old mother. All four of us have Lyme disease.
At its worst, the Lyme bacteria could damage all our hearts. Mine may be more susceptible (I'm 66 years old), but imagine a damaged heart at age 2 or 4? I can't-it breaks my heart to even think of it.
What angers me is the controversy among doctors. And that some people drive several hours or even go across country to get treatment. And that there is no national campaign to notify the public with TRUE facts so people can avoid all the ways ticks are spread (it's not just deer anymore-even birds carry ticks!). And that some people are even dying from this misunderstood disease!
I have to stop as this anger could hurt my heart. Really. If I keep at it, the panic and paranoia could overcome me (these and many other conditions are part of Lyme).
One more thing, which is unfathomable to me. Think how you would feel as a mother who has passed on this devilish disease in utero to her babies. Imagine how broken HER heart is.
Kathleen Crow, Minneapolis
Heart meditation What matters to my heart is that everyone knows there is a different way to live. I began meditating regularly when I turned 40. It's been 12 years and I am so passionate about the positive changes in my life I became a meditation teacher nine years ago. Life does not have to be hard, no matter what our outer circumstances. A life of inner peace is possible. It made my heart sing to hear that nothing on the outside need disturb my sense of peace on the inside. Each day that is my actual, living experience.
Mary Oswald, Minneapolis
LOL means 'lots of love' Love matters. Writing matters. They're intertwined for me. Most of us add sweet notes to the valentines we send to friends, parents, grandchildren. It's fun to write a holiday letter every winter. My grandchildren write thank-you notes to me signed with xxx and ooo. I send postcards from all over the world to my 97-year-old father, whom I dearly love. I'm kind of old-fashioned so haven't ever texted my love yet. I'm just saying, LOL should mean "lots of love."
And then, there's romantic love. My husband saved the love letters I wrote to him back in 1960. He's also stashed away the 50 annotated anniversary cards I sent him last August-one for every year we've been married.
Does romantic love matter? Ask the psychologists. They've written books that say it does. Ask readers; they buy more romance novels than any other kind of novels. Ask me! I've written love poems and stories. I'm writing a romance novel. I've read a lot of them over the years. I'm planning on a handsome, sexy hero whose humanity is ultimately revealed. The heroine, of course, will be me-or a me that I'd like to be. I suppose you've already guessed that the closing line will be either "And they rode off into the sunset together" or "And they lived happily ever after."
Judith Overmier, Minneapolis