Friday, December 13, 2019

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart." Jean Baptiste Massieu 

Although I usually write about Education and Inspiration, today I am writing about GRATITUDE.  December 12, 2009, my world changed forever when my Always healthy husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  He was essentially handed a death sentence, with about one year to live. We were devastated, and suddenly all the plans we made for the future evaporated like steam, as we formulated a game plan for chemo and surgery to try to save his life. .

Before that day, we were happy and in love.  We had so many friends and opened our home to so many who had nowhere to go.  We were each other's best friends, as well as lovers, and although we often spoke of how lucky we were to have each other, our families, our beautiful home, our jobs, and our friends, I believe we never felt the true meaning of those things until that day.  I don't think we were grateful enough, until we knew we were going to lose it all.

I can't be too hard on myself, because I think it is human nature to accept gifts without fully appreciating them.  I'm not even sure you can appreciate something fully, until it is threatened.  One does not appreciate breathing.

My message this week - take a few silent moments to look at your life and your loved ones.  Tell them you love and appreciate them.  If you are religious, speak the three word prayer often spoken by Mister Rogers - "Thank you, God."  Be open in showing your GRATITUDE to people and to the Universe.  

Life can change in a single heartbeat; be thankful for your life and for those you love.  Dede

This picture was taken on December 12, 2008, at Diamond Run Golf Club, exactly ONE YEAR before Scott was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  Who knew this would happen?  

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  and a company called GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

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