A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.
— Author Unknown


Tara – age three

Two of the many things I have learned from having a daughter who is now a bride —

1.  Time really does go by too, too fast.

2.  There really does exist a love that is so pure, so strong, and so infinite.

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My daughter, the bride

My daughter, the bride

Tara and Eric

Tara and Eric on their wedding day


What’s in a Heart?

Family Photo

“How do you know if a guy has a good heart?” This was the question my daughter asked me the February she was seventeen. The boy she liked and her date for the upcoming Valentine’s dance had done “something” (she wouldn’t go into more detail) that was causing her to have second thoughts about her Mr. Wonderful. Summoning all the restraint I could muster, I didn’t push her to reveal what the “something” was, as I knew that would send her fleeing in fear of a pending inquisition.

Many thoughts jumped into my brain. Make sure he respects you. (I’d preached that one for years). Does he listen to his mother? (More important to me, no doubt, than to her). But I sensed she didn’t want to hear a rehash of the platitudes and pearls of wisdom I’d tried to instill in her since birth. I didn’t want to screw this up. Her coming to Mom for advice instead of to her teenage peers was more and more a rare event.

She wanted something new, something simple and concrete that she could use as a yardstick in an attempt to measure the true nature of a human heart. Years before, I’d read a quote from Immanuel Kant, a famous 18th century German philosopher and ethics professor. It had stuck in my mind, probably because I love animals so much. My daughter does too. The quote seemed to fit our situation. I considered it a pretty good yardstick. So did my daughter, who eventually found and married a man with a good heart, a man that adores her and shares her love for animals.

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” Immanuel Kant.

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Deborah Epperson

Deborah Epperson


Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

  • January – the start of a new year. Time for taking stock and planning for the future. But it’s at this time every year that I tend to stop and look back. It’s at this time I feel the loss of family members and dear friends who weren’t here to take their place at the Christmas table or help decorate the tree.

At this time of the year, the house falls silent. Family and visitors have gone home to start their new year. I’m left to take down the tree and put away the angel that has topped our tree since I was a wee child. It’s now, as I take down the last of the lights and garland, that I feel my mother’s absence the most.

The number one question I get by those who have read Breaking TWIG, is “Was your mother like Helen?” “No,” I say. “She was the polar opposite …..always putting the needs of others above her own, always encouraging me.” Mother-daughter relationships are funny. We spend half our lives trying NOT to be like our mother, and the rest of our lives wishing we had her wisdom, her generosity of spirit, and her faith in her God, in her children, and in the innate goodness of people. So even though my talents in writing poetry are sorely lacking, Mom, this poem is for you.


I saw her again today, the other woman in my life.

I was sharing family secrets with my daughter

when I heard the other woman’s voice repeating my words–

Mocking me, taunting me, daring me to deny her presence once again.

The first time I saw her, I turned away.

“She’s not real,” I told myself. Just the imagination of a middle-aged wife and mother.

But then I saw her again in the dress shop,

checking prices first, sizes second.

“Go away,” I ordered. “You’re not welcomed here.”

 I know who I am, what I like,

and how best to get through the day.

She laughed and said, “Get used to it, honey. I’m here to stay.”

With each passing year her intrusions continued–

less subtle, more frequent,

Until at last, I grew weary of fighting her inevitable presence.

Her influence, I could no longer deny.

More and more her mannerisms seep inside of me.

Qualities I once ridiculed now demand my belated respect.

So in graceful defeat, I wrap myself in her cloak,

letting her wisdom and memories merge with my own until they are one.

Yes, I saw her again today,

the other woman in my life.

I saw my mother . . . in me.

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Breaking TWIG

Breaking TWIG

by Deborah Epperson

by Deborah Epperson