Dear Friends:

I am traveling today. I am with my daughters and my granddaughter in Los Angeles. I am one of those lucky ones who still have children and grandchildren with me, even while I have a child in spirit.

Tomorrow, Memorial Day, please remember the mothers and fathers who have lost children in wars, children who have lost mothers and fathers in wars, and all the beautiful beloved ones who have fallen on battle fields. Above all, remember that nobody’s gone for good.

See you next week.



How To Learn From A Roach

Fear is sometimes a survival mechanism. When I’m hiking alone in a wilderness area, for example, I don’t go off the trail. Who wants to disturb a rattlesnake? It makes sense to be afraid of a rattlesnake, but most of my fears are unfounded. The thing about unfounded fear is that it can drive me to do or think things that, in my right mind, I wouldn’t approve of. For example, I killed a roach the other night. Actually, I murdered it.

Just for the record, there are wild roaches out here in Arizona. I’m not kidding. These aren’t the everyday roaches that live in your kitchen. These are the ones you would see on a Nature show. These guys roam the desert and occasionally find their way into a house. And they’re big. Maybe not as big or as scary as the flying roaches I’ve seen in South Carolina and Texas, but they’re big enough. Here’s the thing. They don’t fly. They don’t bite, and as far as I know, they don’t carry diseases. They’re just creepy and unpredictable.

The one I murdered the other night still bothers me. I was on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, (isn’t that always the way?) and this roach was between me and where I was going. He was lying on his back with his legs twitching in the air. Ordinarily, when I encounter something in my house that belongs outside – like a spider – I’ll scoop it up between two pieces of cardboard and just put it outside. I hate killing things. I mean, they’re God’s creatures, aren’t they? Still, I murdered this roach in a most brutal way. He was too big to step on (ARRRGH), so I got out my can of RAID and sprayed him. Drowned him is more like it. And here’s the horrible part. The poor thing’s legs kept twitching until he died.

It was murder, all right, because I killed something that was on its back. In my mind, that is just unethical, but I was driven by fear – the stupid kind, the kind that has no basis in reason. What did I have to fear from something that couldn’t harm me, something that was so much smaller than I was, something that was helpless to boot?  What was I afraid of – that it was going to jump on me? Crawl into my bed? That’s highly unlikely. And even if it did, it wouldn’t hurt me. This is the kind of baseless, mindless fear that drives us human beings to do things that are against our better natures. It drove me to an act of brutality. I know it was just a roach, but the instinct to kill it – for no good reason – was in me. Is in me.

The actress Katherine Hepburn once said, and I am paraphrasing: A sin is something you feel remorse about afterward. Now I don’t happen to believe in sin as a concept; I prefer the concept of error. But whatever it is, if I feel remorse about it afterward, I know it was wrong. And I know it was wrong of me to kill that helpless little creature because I couldn’t go to sleep afterwards. It may not have been wrong for somebody else. It was wrong for me.

There is a lot of fear in the air these days, and you all know what I’m talking about. Some of it is justifiable. It has cause. Some of it is that survival mechanism activated. But I’ll wager that too much of it is based on a lack of something within ourselves. Faith, maybe?

I learned of an acronym for fear the other day: Forgetting Everything’s All Right. Way down deep inside (and some days it’s deeper than others) I know that everything really is all right. I know that everything that is happening has a purpose of which I may not be aware, and I know that a benevolent Universe is in charge, but I forget it constantly. It is in that state of forgetfulness that I can lose my head and do something that isn’t what my higher, believing self would do. It doesn’t have to be an act; it can be a thought, or a thoughtless statement. I am capable of directing my fear at a human being and thinking or saying dark things about that person, even though I do not know what living their life is like. Let me assure you, that is murder of a kind.

I have to recognize misdirected fear when it comes, understand that I am capable of it, and nip it in the bud. Name it, own it, and dump it.

That doesn’t mean I can’t speak or act to prevent bad things from happening. I can and I do.  Yes, I embrace causes and work on political campaigns. My country is my responsibility. But there are people I do not want to hang out with.  There are people who are mindless, ignorant, and mean.  There are people who are loveless and there are people who act out of fear and hurt others. God help them and their karma. But the assassination of someone’s soul out of fear is not something I want in my head, in my heart, in my energy field, or on my conscience. If they’re doing something dastardly, they are, in all likelihood, already on their back.

Sorry, little roach. Really.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at or, for a signed copy, go to

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama

Moma 001

Dear Friends:

I wrote this last Mother’s Day. I couldn’t think of better ways to remember my mother, and so I re-post it here. The older I get and hopefully the wiser, the more I understand how fortunate I was to come into this life with this remarkable soul as my mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, those with children living and those with children in spirit. 


This beautiful lady is my mother. She gave me her whole heart, and the better part of her life.

Thank you, Mama,

For sitting next to me at my son’s funeral, and never letting go of my hand. You were grieving, too, but I fainted, and you forgot everything but me. You held me up. Thank you for always, always holding me up.

At the end of your life, and in the deepest throes of Alzheimer’s, for never forgetting my name. For showing me that love is greater than any disease.

For tending me round the clock when, newly arrived from Germany, I came to you sick with pneumonia. For taking care of a six-month old baby and three active young children, while I recuperated. For climbing stairs all during the day to bring me medicine and meals. For coming into my room in the middle of the night and adding a blanket to my bed.

For taking care of my children when I went to work, too poor for child care because my husband was in law school. For when, in your sixties, you fed them, cared for them, kept them safe and loved. For never making me feel guilty.

For, when I got divorced, never saying, “I told you so.” For never judging me. For showing me how to let someone make their own mistakes, and learn from them.

For marching me down to the Philadelphia Board of Education and demanding that I be admitted to a high school that was known for its high academic standards.

For defying the principal of my junior high school when he tried to convince you that it would “damage” me to send me to school with more privileged, better educated children. For saying, “We’ll take the risk.” For teaching me to be brave, and to never listen to anyone who tells me I cannot fight for my dreams.

For scrimping and saving for piano lessons. For giving me a love of music. For teaching me that money, or the lack of it, cannot keep you from feeding your soul.

For never successfully teaching me – no matter how hard I tried – to make your fried chicken. For teaching me that some things can’t be duplicated.

For ignoring my anger when you made me wear leggings to school on cold, snowy mornings. For making me eat a hot breakfast every morning. Yes, and for making me swallow castor oil! For teaching me that sometimes somebody knows better than we do.

For making a fire in the furnace before I got up every morning. For washing my clothes in the tub. For walking me to school on icy mornings. For teaching me that sometimes loving somebody is hard, daily work.

For never criticizing me. Ever. For knowing how harmful that can be to a person’s soul.

For how your hand felt on my brow when I was sick. For teaching me that love is healing.

For going to work when I was in high school. For bringing your paycheck home in bags for me so that I’d dress as well as the more affluent girls, the girls whose fathers were doctors and lawyers. For always making me feel proud of my father, who was a policeman. For that enormously expensive graduation dress. For teaching me to study hard, that how I presented myself to the world was important, and to never, ever apologize for who I was.

For never doubting that I would go to college. For forgiving me when I dropped out to get married. For cheering me on when I went back.

For giving up your career as a teacher to be my mother twenty-four hours a day. For never looking back. For teaching me that when the choice is yours, not to resent it.

For knowing that love is the great healer of every scraped knee, every broken heart, every disappointment, and every failure.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama.


Thank you, dear friends, for the lovely comments about The Messenger. There is a chapter in it about my mother and a special gift she gave me. I hope you will enjoy it. By the way, her name was – is – Precious.

Look for The Messenger by Helen Delaney on








I Got Nothing


Dear Friends:

There are some days when you have nothing to say.  Today is one of those days for me.  Nothing in my head. Nothing on my mind.  And for that, I am grateful.

Have a wonderful, blessed week.