They Were My Friends

When someone leaves a cult or spiritually abusive religious group, it often means they will be abandoned by everyone who was their friend when they were inside the group. This practice is called shunning, and cult members take very seriously their spiritual “duty” to shun former friends and even family members who leave the group. So, for many former cult members, the statement “they were my friends” brings on terrible sadness and angst. Were they … Continue reading

Happy Bird Day!

My late mother had a tradition on Thanksgiving Day of greeting us with a hearty “Happy Bird Day!” Unlike Joy, I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. My father was an atheist and my mother was a religious eclectic who bought into a variety of New Age beliefs before they were recognized as such. For us, Thanksgiving was a day off school, and except for my mother, it was a day off work. Even … Continue reading

Friends

Once a month, our good friend Penny comes and spends a night with us. There is nothing like time spent with a true friend to lift and strengthen the spirit. Penny has been our friend for 50 years this year, so we have a real shared history. Penny and her fiancé stood up in our wedding, and a year later we switched roles and stood up in theirs. We had our kids, who grew up … Continue reading