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Stephanie
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Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie

Dot,

Re: Your plan to move to Sullivan's Island when you're at Miss Josie's point in time - but not keeping chickens... You're right about those chickens. They are disgusting, and vicious!

I wondered if Miss Josie had gone around the bend with her Nigerian dwarf goat and her chickens. I can see growing some vegetables, but I am not messing with a goat eating up everything I own and the smell of chicken waste. No thanks! I did, however, wonder if she was on the skids a bit- perhaps Miriam's daddy didn't leave her so well off? But then she smoked pot. And that brought the hammer down on me.

Group: Did you think Miss Josie was smoking pot for the fun of it, or did you understand her underlying motive?

Do you think Miriam misunderstood because so much about her mother seemed changed, or do you think she was just too wrapped up in herself?
Stephanie
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dotfrank
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie



Stephanie wrote:
Dot,

Re: Your plan to move to Sullivan's Island when you're at Miss Josie's point in time - but not keeping chickens... You're right about those chickens. They are disgusting, and vicious!

I wondered if Miss Josie had gone around the bend with her Nigerian dwarf goat and her chickens. I can see growing some vegetables, but I am not messing with a goat eating up everything I own and the smell of chicken waste. No thanks! I did, however, wonder if she was on the skids a bit- perhaps Miriam's daddy didn't leave her so well off? But then she smoked pot. And that brought the hammer down on me.

Group: Did you think Miss Josie was smoking pot for the fun of it, or did you understand her underlying motive?

Do you think Miriam misunderstood because so much about her mother seemed changed, or do you think she was just too wrapped up in herself?




Miss Josie was not on the skids. Whatever she had was enough. Miss Josie would never do drugs for the fun of it and that was just another assumption Miriam made before she earned the nickname of Mellie. She was wrapped up in herself yes, but worse, she was buried in her life.


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KathyS
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie, up to P. 205

I'm on page 205. Ordinarily I wouldn't read a post that referred to the *whole book* until I finished it, and I hate to say this, but I can pretty much predict some of the outcomes of these characters in Dot's book. I don't want to, but I just can. I'm going to put it into the mindset of, "I don't know what the outcome is for Miss Josie", but when a character is *out of character* as Miss Josie was, by smoking pot, and living each day to the fullest, I had an inkling of what the reasons were, in this day and age of reasons for smoking the stuff, especially at that age.

I wasn't happy to see either Miss Josie, or Harrison *inhaling*, but I know Dot will come through with a reason for me. I don't want to predict it, though, because I'm already having my throat tighten up over this! So I'll stop.

And yes, a garden would be just fine for me, too. Goats and chickens can smell to high heavens! My girlfriend practically lived with goats, chickens, birds, dogs, cats, and every other varmint that wanted to wander into her house.....and believe you, me, it wasn't pleasant if the wind was blowing in the wrong direction!

Kathy S......now I am going to go and read!
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KathyS
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie

I'm gathering Miss Jose wasn't into that particular thing, of smoking pot, just for the fun of it. Miriam did tend to prejudge her mother, but what do you do, when you see your mother one way, and then she turns up another way? I see the confusion she was having, not only with herself, but with her mother, and the world around her was changing before her eyes. For the better,[hopefully] thank goodness, but what a transformation she was undergoing! Whew! I think is some ways you want things to stay, to a certain degree, the same. Makeovers can be wrenching at times!

Kathy S.
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kiakar
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie



KathyS wrote:
I'm gathering Miss Jose wasn't into that particular thing, of smoking pot, just for the fun of it. Miriam did tend to prejudge her mother, but what do you do, when you see your mother one way, and then she turns up another way? I see the confusion she was having, not only with herself, but with her mother, and the world around her was changing before her eyes. For the better,[hopefully] thank goodness, but what a transformation she was undergoing! Whew! I think is some ways you want things to stay, to a certain degree, the same. Makeovers can be wrenching at times!

Kathy S.




That is always a problem with jumping at conclusions. I think Miriam should have been more understanding when she found her mom had made so many changes. There could be a logical reason for all her changes. There could be a deep seeded reason for these changes. Not that I know, cause I really am behind in reading, but it just seems something is coming later on in the book.
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vivico1
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie


kiakar wrote:


KathyS wrote:
I'm gathering Miss Jose wasn't into that particular thing, of smoking pot, just for the fun of it. Miriam did tend to prejudge her mother, but what do you do, when you see your mother one way, and then she turns up another way? I see the confusion she was having, not only with herself, but with her mother, and the world around her was changing before her eyes. For the better,[hopefully] thank goodness, but what a transformation she was undergoing! Whew! I think is some ways you want things to stay, to a certain degree, the same. Makeovers can be wrenching at times!

Kathy S.




That is always a problem with jumping at conclusions. I think Miriam should have been more understanding when she found her mom had made so many changes. There could be a logical reason for all her changes. There could be a deep seeded reason for these changes. Not that I know, cause I really am behind in reading, but it just seems something is coming later on in the book.


You know, aside from possible doom, whats so wrong about doing big changes in your life when you are older, or at any time? What would be wrong with her "going green" as she was saying it was about? What if your older mother decided she wanted to go on the road on motorcycles with someone she knew and see the country? Heck go for it, if you can do it when you are older, whatever it is and you want to do something different, go for it, LIVE! I know change can be scary but ok.... some people go to the fair and ride the merry-go-round, its nice, its safe, its predictable and fun and a little different than the usual home stuff BUT some people like the rollercoasters! They like the thrills, the ups and downs and twists and turns and scares and exhileration of it all! So what are each of us? What if Miriam was a merry-go-round person but her mother became a rollercoaster person, would that be so bad? She wasnt on the skids, she wasn't losing it,she may not be the type to do recreational pot but I liked the fact that Miriam thought so, because Miriam needs to get out of her box and be shook up a little about life. I am not saying this is what Josie was doing but what if it was? Why not? And who is Miriam of all people to judge her?
Vivian
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dotfrank
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie

Ladies, ladies, ladies . . . Let's say Miss Josie was smoking pot because it made her feel good. Um, no duh. Perhaps there is another agenda - yuh. But is that agenda the point of the book? No. It is the mother daughter relationship and anyone who thinks daughters don't judge mothers can't have a daughter like mine. Daughters are your greatest blessing but it can also be like living with a terrorist. There is a misplaced fire in Miriam. Lord! She thinks she knows it all! And she has been kicked around by her life in the big city so badly that her judgment is all out of whack. Haven't we all felt like that for one reason or another?


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LizzieAnn
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Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie

I viewed this misconception/misunderstanding of Miriam regarding her mother as further reinforcement of how little she truly knew her - how far apart they had drifted, much like Miriam with her own sons. Miriam seems like a "square peg in a round hole" within in her own family. She needs to round out those edges, loosen up, and fit in. Miriam is on a quest to rediscover & find herself - to be accepting not only of those around her but of her own self.



KathyS wrote:
I'm gathering Miss Jose wasn't into that particular thing, of smoking pot, just for the fun of it. Miriam did tend to prejudge her mother, but what do you do, when you see your mother one way, and then she turns up another way? I see the confusion she was having, not only with herself, but with her mother, and the world around her was changing before her eyes. For the better,[hopefully] thank goodness, but what a transformation she was undergoing! Whew! I think is some ways you want things to stay, to a certain degree, the same. Makeovers can be wrenching at times!

Kathy S.


Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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KathyS
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie

How truly little Miriam knew about her mother, so right, but isn't that true about a lot of people we [think]know?....this is too weird, Liz, you mention the square peg trying to fit into a round hole...that same exact phrase came into my head this morning (can you hear my brain from NY?)that's how I'm feeling this morning! HUH! Ain't life a *grand*?! LOL Ya got a plane or a piece of sand paper handy?
K.br>

LizzieAnn wrote:
I viewed this misconception/misunderstanding of Miriam regarding her mother as further reinforcement of how little she truly knew her - how far apart they had drifted, much like Miriam with her own sons. Miriam seems like a "square peg in a round hole" within in her own family. She needs to round out those edges, loosen up, and fit in. Miriam is on a quest to rediscover & find herself - to be accepting not only of those around her but of her own self.



KathyS wrote:
I'm gathering Miss Jose wasn't into that particular thing, of smoking pot, just for the fun of it. Miriam did tend to prejudge her mother, but what do you do, when you see your mother one way, and then she turns up another way? I see the confusion she was having, not only with herself, but with her mother, and the world around her was changing before her eyes. For the better,[hopefully] thank goodness, but what a transformation she was undergoing! Whew! I think is some ways you want things to stay, to a certain degree, the same. Makeovers can be wrenching at times!

Kathy S.





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LizzieAnn
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Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie

All too true - we often don't know people as well as we think. I think at this stage that Miriam is about as far from her mom as she can be. It's interesting to watch them find each other again. I really like Miss Josie. Dot's older characters are always the most interesting and many times the most grounded.

Well, they do say that "great minds think alike." :smileyvery-happy: I know - I'm just full of cliches!!



KathyS wrote:
How truly little Miriam knew about her mother, so right, but isn't that true about a lot of people we [think]know?....this is too weird, Liz, you mention the square peg trying to fit into a round hole...that same exact phrase came into my head this morning (can you hear my brain from NY?)that's how I'm feeling this morning! HUH! Ain't life a *grand*?! LOL Ya got a plane or a piece of sand paper handy?
K.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Stephanie
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie

It struck me that Miriam was trying so hard to be like her mother, and then her mother grew and changed. Poor Miriam, she's so confused - but then, don't we all feel that way sometimes?

Josephine became Miss Josie, and now it's Miriam's turn to become Mellie. She's got a good teacher.
Stephanie
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kiakar
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie

You know, Stephanie, aren't we all just alittle too much wrapped up tightly to ourselves and have even tied a ribbon around it. Especially when it concerns daughter and mother relationships, our selfish motives scream out at each other. "you do not know how I feel and I do not know how you feel." Even when we try, it is so hard to get past
the rubbish we have developed over the years. So its difficult to get down to the heart of the matters with mothers and daughters. We judge so easily, we do not check all circumstances before judging, we do not give our mothers any room to make mistakes. We expect them to be perfect. They have preached to us for decades about how to be perfect and then you find out that she is not in anyway perfect. Does it make us feel alot more imperfect when we think of our mother as being flawed. She is so much a part of a daughter. Heart, soul and your very being. I think each of of us, mother and daughter wants to control the other because of the initimate connection we have.
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KathyS
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Parent - Child - Parent - Child *changes*

Linda, beautifully said.

I look at myself differently, now that I'm a mature adult. I look at the world around me differently, too. I never thought I would feel the way I do, at this time in my life. Especially when you think you know everything. Time doesn't stand still for any of us, and it's best to learn all you can along the way, otherwise you spend [waste], a lot of time playing catch-up, the way Miriam did.

I look back and see my parents. They were that couple who seemed to know everything there was to know about anything. Except, of course, when you're a teenager! Parents are so dumb then!.....But now I see my parents (who are no longer living), as fallible human beings. They made mistakes, as well as myself as a daughter, a wife, a parent....and even now, as a grandparent. But I found that there are so many things which occur, and change along the way, at least it did for me. I should have learned more than I did. It's the shoulda, coulda, woulda's.....

I saw this transformation in Miriam. She lived in her world of pleasing....how to please and be accepted, and be loved. It's a sad thing to see, trying to find acceptance, where there never can be. Trying to find what it means to love, or be loved, by either her mother, or her kids, or by her so called *friends*.

She gained momentum with each and every experience - good or bad. You just hope it doesn't get to the point of no return, and things are said and done, that can't bring you back to the love you should have between the people that are in your life. Middle age is not and easy transitional place to be, either...another stopping point for reflection....This has been my part in all of this reading. Take the time to stop and see if there are things we've missed along the way. But I do see it now, before it's too late.

I think the touching moments were when Miriam wanted to learn everything she could about Josie. It was the most beautiful part of this novel....it only made me want to look back and see what it was I *shoulda* learned about my parents, and didn't. But you can't change history...that's a fact. You are who you are, at that moment. So you just take what you've learned, as from Dot's novel, and start applying it to the *you* that's living in this world, now, and to the people you love.

Kathy S.
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kiakar
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Re: Parent - Child - Parent - Child *changes*



KathyS wrote:
Linda, beautifully said.

I look at myself differently, now that I'm a mature adult. I look at the world around me differently, too. I never thought I would feel the way I do, at this time in my life. Especially when you think you know everything. Time doesn't stand still for any of us, and it's best to learn all you can along the way, otherwise you spend [waste], a lot of time playing catch-up, the way Miriam did.

I look back and see my parents. They were that couple who seemed to know everything there was to know about anything. Except, of course, when you're a teenager! Parents are so dumb then!.....But now I see my parents (who are no longer living), as fallible human beings. They made mistakes, as well as myself as a daughter, a wife, a parent....and even now, as a grandparent. But I found that there are so many things which occur, and change along the way, at least it did for me. I should have learned more than I did. It's the shoulda, coulda, woulda's.....

I saw this transformation in Miriam. She lived in her world of pleasing....how to please and be accepted, and be loved. It's a sad thing to see, trying to find acceptance, where there never can be. Trying to find what it means to love, or be loved, by either her mother, or her kids, or by her so called *friends*.

She gained momentum with each and every experience - good or bad. You just hope it doesn't get to the point of no return, and things are said and done, that can't bring you back to the love you should have between the people that are in your life. Middle age is not and easy transitional place to be, either...another stopping point for reflection....This has been my part in all of this reading. Take the time to stop and see if there are things we've missed along the way. But I do see it now, before it's too late.

I think the touching moments were when Miriam wanted to learn everything she could about Josie. It was the most beautiful part of this novel....it only made me want to look back and see what it was I *shoulda* learned about my parents, and didn't. But you can't change history...that's a fact. You are who you are, at that moment. So you just take what you've learned, as from Dot's novel, and start applying it to the *you* that's living in this world, now, and to the people you love.

Kathy S.




You can never change the bond, destroy it or make it vanish. The one between daughters and mothers. I know, I lost my mom in 2002 and even though alot of the pain has ceased and I am left with precious memories. I still reach for the strong hand that quilded me long after I was old enought to stand on my own. I think of her often. We didn't have the best relationship, some years were extremely hard, but thank the Lord the last years we were closer and I could do alot for her I had never done. I resented her alot for the life we led after our father was murdered but I understand now, mothers are not perfect, they hurt also and they also make mistakes. Some times big mistakes. Some never have that close relatonship with their mom, but the bond is always there. If one or the other do not reach for it, try to rebuild a relationship the bond still exists, because its there between a mother and daughter. I hope you understand what I am saying. I feel a big part of me left the day we buried my mom. And its so true, I believe. A mother and daughter's bond is forever.
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vivico1
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Re: Parent - Child - Parent - Child *changes*


kiakar wrote:



And its so true, I believe. A mother and daughter's bond is forever.


kiakar, I understand what you are saying, but what if the mother never bonded to her child and even admits it in her old age. Sometimes there really is no mother daughter bond. I love my mom but there is no bond and I have reached for it all my life. I think thats why I love to read about mother daughter bonding things, like in this book. Or I love to see it in real life, older mothers and daughters that are really bonded and are best friends. For me, maybe thats why my friends who are women, mean so much to me and always have, not to replace my mother, I dont need that, but to have that close woman to woman bond that women can do so well anyway.
Vivian
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Stephanie
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie



kiakar wrote:
You know, Stephanie, aren't we all just alittle too much wrapped up tightly to ourselves and have even tied a ribbon around it. Especially when it concerns daughter and mother relationships, our selfish motives scream out at each other. "you do not know how I feel and I do not know how you feel." Even when we try, it is so hard to get past
the rubbish we have developed over the years. So its difficult to get down to the heart of the matters with mothers and daughters. We judge so easily, we do not check all circumstances before judging, we do not give our mothers any room to make mistakes. We expect them to be perfect. They have preached to us for decades about how to be perfect and then you find out that she is not in anyway perfect. Does it make us feel alot more imperfect when we think of our mother as being flawed. She is so much a part of a daughter. Heart, soul and your very being. I think each of of us, mother and daughter wants to control the other because of the initimate connection we have.




Linda,

This is exactly why I tell my children straight out whenever I make a mistake, and I tell them I'm not perfect and they don't expect it and feel let down. My oldest daughter thought her father was perfect and that he could do no wrong. Poor kid, it hit her pretty hard when she was around sixteen years old. I learned from that, and the younger ones never had any illusions about either of their parents. Fallible we are, and fallible we'll stay! I'm working on near-perfect though. :smileywink:
Stephanie
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kiakar
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Re: Parent - Child - Parent - Child *changes*

viv, I can feel your pain. The bond itself is there, it just never was fulfilled or carried to another level. Your mom's pass and rejection of the truths kept that bond from developing. But I feel its always there but in some cases , its like a eruption that causes interruption of normacy, such as a belief that she didn't need the relationship or she wasn't strong enought to accept truths about the relationship. With you or with your stepdad. Maybe she convinced herself she needed him more than a honest relationship with you. But deep inside nature fought against her, because mother and daughters are bonded forever. This is totally my belief, in my belief symtom, which I know somethings does not make sense. ha.
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kathleenOH
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie

Amen to that Dot. My 14 year old is going to drive me to drink (or something like that.) She starts high school in a few weeks - I pity her teachers since they won't be able to teach her a thing - since she knows everything now!!!

Kathleen - Ohio
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vivico1
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Re: Parent - Child - Parent - Child *changes*


kiakar wrote:
viv, I can feel your pain. The bond itself is there, it just never was fulfilled or carried to another level. Your mom's pass and rejection of the truths kept that bond from developing. But I feel its always there but in some cases , its like a eruption that causes interruption of normacy, such as a belief that she didn't need the relationship or she wasn't strong enought to accept truths about the relationship. With you or with your stepdad. Maybe she convinced herself she needed him more than a honest relationship with you. But deep inside nature fought against her, because mother and daughters are bonded forever. This is totally my belief, in my belief symtom, which I know somethings does not make sense. ha.


I wished what you say was true Kiakar but in all actuality, some mothers never bond at all to their children, AT ALL. There is even a psychological term for it. There is just flat nothing there, but another person in the house. And to try to make new ones, they just dont get it. I am 50, I have chased any kind of bond with my mother all my life until last year. We had a frank open sit down talk, no tears, yelling or anything and she admitted it to me herself too, what I had always known, that she feels no bond that way for me, as a mother. She wants me to always be there to take care of her (in case she is between or without husbands) but thats all. She tried to raise her own old age caretaker and I gave up a lot of my life to be that, till last year. Then, on mother's day this year, I thought, I know it may not mean anything to her but I am going to check in on her and her hubby, they just live on the land next to mine, and see if we can put aside hurts and let me take them both out for a nice mother's day dinner. My siblings ran a long time ago, so I knew she would not have much of a "mother's" day. She said ok, we went out and had a nice dinner, one you could have with any older couple in your social circle. Then in the car, when I took them home, we talked about it some more and basically, my mother told me the reason she couldn't bond with me was that I was a reminder of her affair that got me here (I have known this since I was 15 and never once held it against her, even met my real father and loved him to death and he was looking for me!) but I was a living reminder of someone or something she didn't want to be reminded of, and that I really had no right being here (meaning alive). Ok, so what was left in my heart for her fell to my feet and I was dizzy. I looked at her and took a deep breath, tired of trying and now this was the last hurtful thing I was willing to hear, I said in a calm but forceful voice...but I am here, and I DO have a right to be here! I was never one of those kids who ever said, I never asked to be here, even. I said I am here, I have a right to live and and right to a life and I also have a right to stop putting myself in a position of being emotionally hurt by chasing something that is not there. I am not your house keeper, your caregiver, your emotional health care person, and I am not your mother, I am your daughter. I said I might could be all those other things in your life when you need them, I have been in the past but not if I am not your daughter first. You may have tried to raise your own caretaker, but I raised a grown woman and so, since it hurts both of us obviously to be around each other anymore, I am too old to continue to chase shadows, so I will tell you, I do love you, but I have to love me more now and so I have to leave and as we decided last year, for good. I just thought today of all days, maybe there was something there that might have a tinge of a bond. You have calmly laid that to rest with one final blow, so it is done. I wish you well and if something happens to you and you need help or to Leo (her husband who was sitting there still in shock at all she had said to me) I said I am just down the road,and will help, but other than that, this is goodbye mom. I have to take care of me now. Does that sound callous of a daughter? Maybe. But its been my life and probably half of my anxiety disorder, and frankly now that its all out in the open and there are not even calls between us I feel two things. One, sad, that we never had a mother/daughter relationship but two, free, my anxiety has actually lessened. Thats a sad statement and its all sad but its the reality and now I can move on with the relationships I do have that are bonding ones of all kinds and no longer feel I owe someone something who always seemed to hurt me tho. Its not that there was a bond that somehow changed kiakar, she never had one with me and it wasnt even a mental thing that can happen with women from their baby's birth, it was her choice, even if it was based on bad emotional processing, it didnt happen and she was finally willing to say she was tired of needing to act as if a bond was there. So, I guess she is better off with that load off her too. Oh well lol, what a mother's day gift, not to a mother but from one huh? lol
Vivian
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CAT72
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Re: Whole Book Discussion: Miss Josie



dotfrank wrote:
Ladies, ladies, ladies . . . Let's say Miss Josie was smoking pot because it made her feel good. Um, no duh. Perhaps there is another agenda - yuh. But is that agenda the point of the book? No. It is the mother daughter relationship and anyone who thinks daughters don't judge mothers can't have a daughter like mine. Daughters are your greatest blessing but it can also be like living with a terrorist. There is a misplaced fire in Miriam. Lord! She thinks she knows it all! And she has been kicked around by her life in the big city so badly that her judgment is all out of whack. Haven't we all felt like that for one reason or another?




Dot - I have to totally agree with you about mothers and daughters, I know that my mom would agree with you, in fact even now that my mother and I don't live together she would agree with you. On the flipside of that, it is a blessing for me to have my mother in my life but let me say she can lay on the guilt.
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