Friday, November 9, 2012


I know there's peace around the dinner table, and I know there's peace as in countries around the world minding their own business, tending to their own backyard, and playing nice with each other. And I know there's peace as in around the water cooler, but today I think about peace through the lens of Nancy. For Nancy and others like her who simply have a different way of being in the world . . .

I wish them
understanding instead of scorn
and acceptance instead of ridicule


I wish them
care instead of abuse
and tenderness instead of harm.


I wish them
to be seen and not overlooked,
to be respected and not dismissed.


I wish them
ample opportunities for expression
and the materials to be creative.


My biggest wish is not for all the Nancys in the world to be more like us,
you see,
but for us to be more like them.


Then, it seems to me,
we would know peace.


She draws:

5 85 1 erased

Then I stitch:


And that's how we do it.


She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning of our collaborative creative project and read your way current.


  1. simply beautiful in every way...
    thank you for sharing Jeanne

  2. Jeanne,
    That is a beautiful and touching project. Your love for Nancy shines brightly.

  3. Thank you, Susan. She's an amazing woman, one too many folks turn away from . . . perhaps mostly because they don't know how to deal with her, how to communicate with her. She just started drawing in June of this year - it took my breath away, the way she drew with such passion, with such enthusiasm, with such intensity. I have two more sets of drawings - one from August and one from October. I think - no, I KNOW - she's expressing herself. I may never know what she's trying to say, but she has a voice (one that's been hidden for 5 decades) and she's using it. Thank you for your kind words.

  4. And Mary Jane, wherever you are, if there's anything we can send you (matches, batteries, blankets, shovels - anything at all) just holler out an address and a list and we'll jump on it. I hope this finds you recovering. Thank you so much for this space you've created where we can come from the far corners of the world, bringing our different-yet-common threads of peace.

  5. J- what a great collaborative work - flags so full of love and creativity. Go well. B

  6. This is a heart warming project..and post. the VERY least tolerance...Everyone in this world deserves.

  7. Lovely heart warming post, Jeanne. I followed the link and enjoyed reading about Nancy ... and seeing the sparkle in her eyes.

  8. Barry - thank you. "Go well." What a nice greeting.

  9. Carol, I agree wholeheartedly. Maybe love is what we strive for, and maybe we don't even do that. Maybe we just love some and not others - that seems more right with my bones. But tolerance - yes. We don't have to get to know every single person enough to love them necessarily, but we can tolerate and accept them in all their differences. Interesting comment. Thought and heart-provoking. Thank you for that.

  10. Robyn, Nancy's eyes do sparkle, don't they? (Especially when she's riding in a convertible! )

  11. Peace around the dinner table? Who are you eating with, Honey. In my family the fussin' started as soon as the Amens were said after grace!
    Seeing Nancy's flags wave in the breeze is one of my favorite pics.

  12. Merry, you funny woman. I have an active imagination, you know, plus I'm optimistic.

  13. your project with nancy and your words are so quietly powerful... i can only hope that the nancys and jeannes of the world find each other - i am so very honored to have your voice added here...

  14. Mary Jane, your words touch a special spot in my heart. Thank you. And thank you for opening up the blog and welcoming not just Nancy and me but so many others from around the world. Tis a wonderful thing you've done here.

  15. these flags and the images were joy enough
    until i read the words at the end as well.

    just lovely.