Hedreich Nichols


Love is an Open Door

Elsa Anna and hedreichWorking with the under 10 set has helped me to see that there are still major lessons to be learned from Disney’s blockbuster Frozen. And seeing some of the nastiness of the social media offerings over the last couple of weeks leaves me no alternative but to remember out loud what my Grandmother taught me, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. I’m sure there are grandkids all over the country who were taught the same thing. So why have so many of us forgotten?! At the risk of sounding pious: social media musings cloaked in semi-anonymity are not exempt from this rule.

There was a song from Sting a few cold war moons ago in which the recurring line told of the Russians loving their children too.  He continued with, “we share the same biology regardless of ideology”.  Sting’s not from the US but it would seem his grandma taught him that we can agree to disagree– in peace. Love really is an open door that we can choose to walk through when we eschew hateful rants and remarks. Kindness leaves bridges in tact no matter what our beliefs, and choosing love over hate makes us all winners every time. Without that door we are walled up behind our ideologies and ideals lofty or base, depending on who’s rating. Not hate or bitterness but Love
is an open door.

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Circle of Life

Brenda Waters, 1944
Brenda Waters, 1944
Brenda Waters Grandson, 2004
Brenda Waters Grandson, 2004








Ten years is a long time. A whole decade. An era. Music changes, fashion, media, life itself. This year marks ten years without the single most influential woman in my life. She was my very first music teacher, my very first friend, the first person to ever teach me about God. Her music touched me from the very first moments of my being. The wisdom she imparted guides my decisions even now. Her joy at being still rings in my own laughter. She was the first person to ever love me and although I have been blessed to be loved by many, no one will ever love me like she did because no one loves like a mother does. The woman she was influenced the woman I am in countless, immeasurable ways from the way I write to the way I sing to the way I mother my own child.  She was strong, beautiful, talented, funny, expressive and a great woman of faith. Ten years truly is a long time but when someone has been that strongly interwoven into the fabric of who you are, ten years is just long enough to let you finally realize that they never left. In tribute of Brenda Waters, my mother, my friend.

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Forever Young

birthday 2014 aunt JeanI remember being 8. I never thought my birthday and Christmas would “never come”. I never thought about them at all. Time would creep by without my knowing. The year was always full with friends, family, school, performances, summer vacation and days of playing outside till the street lights came on. Suddenly, Thanksgiving would come and with it the first appearances of the Signs Of Christmas. (For my younger readers, there was a time when Halloween did not ring in the Christmas Season.) From that moment on I could not WAIT for My Birthday. Not a lot has changed. I still love My Birthday and wait anxiously for it. This has been a great year after a few really rough ones. Seasons really do change and feeling the warmth of Springtime after a long, hard winter has been amazing! I celebrated my birthday at a ladies’ tea with women who have provided immeasurable support throughout this incredible journey we call life. While my Swissters couldn’t get here and a few key players were missing, the women there reminded me of my connectedness. They reminded me that the only child with neither mother nor father is not alone but a part of a larger circle of love. My birthday was a celebration of life, survival, love and the wonderful thing that happens when friendships blossom and deepen! Those connections affirm that he who walks in the light of love is truly forever young. Happy Springtime, Happy Birthday, Hedreich!

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