Be optimistic! Don’t worry be happy! Find the positive! If it is important to you, you will find a way! Every cloud has a silver lining! The best is yet to come! When one door closes another opens! You are not alone! The sky is the limit! Never give up! Freckles!

We know these phrases and many other like them. There are the cheerful people who use them, and then there are the individuals that the phrases are directed at. Typically you are one or the other, an optimist or pessimist or in my husband’s opinion, a realist. But I typically find realism is just another negative attitude, a fancy word for a person whose view tends to border a more pessimistic perspective.

From a very young age one of our daughters had a lot of freckles concentrated on her left arm. Right or wrong, I attribute this to where she sat in the car and how the sun shined on her fair-skinned arm during our countless hours of travel while living in the desert. I can remember many people asking her what was wrong with her arm or what caused that. Allison always answered positively, “Freckles!”, but in my mind I always found it a bit odd that someone didn’t know what a freckle was, or even a couple hundred closely spaced brown spots on a young girls arm.

I am an optimist. I try to find the good in everything, even if I have to look deep to find it, and I found myself using many of these positive affirmations over the past couple weeks.

Don’t Worry be Happy is one of Papa’s favorite anthems. He can remember a four-year old Nathan singing the Bobby McFerrin song to him back in 1988 as Papa was on the down side of his working years and dreading working outside in another cold Chicago winter. Papa often says it, and will smile anytime he hears someone say it back to him. I have received emails and calls asking about Papa over the past month, and I want to thank you for your concern. Papa is still with the West Coast Maroccos’, and will hopefully be cleared to fly to Hawaii for a family vacation with them in mid-August. Regrettably he suffered from a pulmonary embolism after traveling for extended periods of time as he made his way across the country. This meant not only a quick hospitalization on his vacation, but being followed by a second set of cardiologists, neurologists and primary doctors, which in turn created a cancellation of medications by one set of doctors and reorder of all of his medications by current doctors. Fortunately Papa just goes with the flow of whatever is happening. He is enjoying being entertained by his four youngest grandchildren in sunny California, and a backup plan is in place just in case he doesn’t get the all clear to fly to Hawaii. Don’t worry, be happy!

Every cloud has a silver lining. He didn’t need to hear it from me, but I recently mentioned that to one of my brothers. Scott and his traveling buddy had a trip Down Under planned for the end of this month but decided to cancel it at the last minute for his family. Just like that, he put the needs of others before his own. I do not think Scott fully understands what an inspiration he is to his friends and family as a strong support base for all of us. He is a rock. Plans might change, but dear friends never do, and my brother always finds a way to look out for everyone’s best interests and do the right thing. Scott is my silver lining.

Out of the blue, my friend Karen sent me the below verse. What a great reminder that we are never alone.


That brings us to freckles… Just like my young daughter said many years ago, I have excitedly said, freckles over the past few days. Anyone that knows me can see vitiligo has completely taken over my hands, my feet and my neck and is creeping up my arms and legs with large irregular patches of glowing white non-pigmented skin. There is no known cause for this depigmentation, other than it is probably an autoimmune disorder affecting about 1% of the population. It is unpredictable it doesn’t typically cause any issues other than white patches and until recently I have never opted for any type of treatment. To be honest I don’t really see the affected areas until they were brought to my attention, but now that I am aware of them they do bother me. They really bother me. A short time ago my dermatologist recommended trying to re-pigment some of the areas to help prevent sunburn on these large patches, and I figured why not, what do I have to lose? I am now several weeks into a twice a week light therapy regime and was told that it may take months before any re-pigmentation may occur. But I do not have to wait. I recently looked down to see dozens of freckles on my hands. Freckles! If the pigment continues to regenerate great, if not, it really isn’t a big deal. But for now, I can smile and say it. Freckles!!