— Life —


I'm 22 years old in this photo and sitting on a vintage Porsche RSK Spyder race car in need of a paint job.
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This week my friend, Lee Moczygemba, called to tell me I’d been on her mind, a lot, and she apologized for not calling sooner. I haven’t stopped thinking about our conversation or that she will be 97 in a couple of months. 

Her phone call made me feel good, and I thought it was worth sharing with you.

Lee began by telling me she wanted me to know she’d been praying for me, because she thought I might have been unhappy being alone during Covid. When I told her I’m at a great point in my life, and I’m happy and healthy, she said, “It thrills me to death to know you’re happy, because you have the biggest heart, and you’re so brave. I hope you continue to be happy, because when we’re happy, we inspire those around us.”

I’m telling you this because Lee is the one who’s inspiring and generous. You may remember her from an interview we did when she was only 94. She is one of those people who are a joy to be around.

When I asked how she’d been doing during the Covid shutdown, she said she’d had pneumonia, but she’d begun venturing out and having lunch with friends. “But I don’t want to talk about me, she said. “I’ve been living with these things in my head, and I want to tell them to you. 

“Enthusiasm is one of the most priceless gifts God gives us, and I see that in you,” she said. “It’s an integral part of your charm. I hope you appreciate yourself.” 

Her sweet words were in sharp contrast to the last year and a half I’ve spent, writing about a time in my life when I didn’t value and appreciate myself. I had taken the batteries out of my flashlight so I couldn’t see the monsters lurking under the bed. I’d put them in a box and closed the lid and hidden them in the back of my emotional closet. As I think about that time it’s clear my self-worth revolved around being the wife of a man who was revered and respected, and I did whatever he wanted me to do with no regard to my needs or what was best for me. As the years passed there were times, too numerous to count, when I should have died, literally, because I didn’t value myself enough to get out of this dangerous relationship.

“I wish everyone could appreciate their gifts,” Lee went on to say. “God blessed us with a brain, an imagination and a creative drive. We have the ability to get up and do something every day that will create a life richer than we could ever have imagined for ourselves.

And then she said, “I’m so proud to be 96, and I’m determined to live to be 100.

“I wish everyone was comfortable with their age, and they could hold on and fight for what they have left, instead of feeling sorry for themselves about what they have lost.”

We all need friendships like Lee’s, people who tell us we’re special instead of showering us with negativity. Perhaps we can use Lee’s phone call as an example of how to make someone else feel good. It’s the best way I know of making ourselves feel good at the same time.

Love, Brenda


  • Donna Nance June 26, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Lee is an amazing woman! Isn’t it wonderful to have such a friend as she? She “gets” you and encourages you to appreciate yourself and your God given gifts. I haven’t read the interview you did with her but that is next on my list. xoxo

    • 1010ParkPlace June 28, 2021 at 9:29 am

      Hi Donna, We all need friends like Lee who lift us up and are positive people. I have several, and I’m so grateful. xoxox, B

  • Carol S. June 26, 2021 at 7:52 am

    Gosh that’s a fabulous phone call. Let’s not talk about me I have things on my mind I want to tell you. Well glad she did because you told US and now we all can share her optimism! I’m sorry of your hard times…leave them behind and shine.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 28, 2021 at 9:31 am

      Thank you, Carol. Except for writing a book about these difficult times I have left them behind. xoxox, B

  • Annette Findling June 26, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Hi Brenda! Wow! What a wonderful phone call. Thank you for sharing. I hope to meet you when I move to Texas soon!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 28, 2021 at 10:00 am

      That’s a date, Annette! I was wondering if you’d moved yet.

  • Mark June 26, 2021 at 9:05 am

    Thanks Brenda
    It’s good to have good friends.
    In my 66 years I have learned it’s not selfish to put one’s self first. I like myself (a lot actually) and am constantly reminding myself it’s my choice to be happy. So I do!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 28, 2021 at 10:02 am

      It is a choice to be happy, Mark. Bravo for realizing this.

  • Beckye June 26, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Great wisdom you both shared! Thank you for passing it on. I so appreciate you, Brenda! Grateful for the God-given light you share. Hope you have a joyous day celebrating how God designed you, and the blessing of sharing His good gifts! Hugs!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 28, 2021 at 10:03 am

      You bless me every time you leave me a message, Beckye. Thank you. Love, Brenda

  • Colleen Fuller June 26, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    I remember your interview with Lee Moczygemba and thinking she was attractive and stylish. Now I know she is full of wisdom and kindness. You are still as pretty now as in your photo from the seventies. I loved seeing it and were you actually racing that Porsche?

    • 1010ParkPlace June 28, 2021 at 10:04 am

      Thanks, Colleen. Yes, this was one of several Porsches my husband and I raced. xoxox, Brenda

  • Bonnie June 26, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    Brenda, you are the best. Thanks for sharing this!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 28, 2021 at 10:06 am

      Awe! Thanks so much, Bonnie! I appreciate and value you. xoxox, Brenda xoxox

  • Hilda Smith June 27, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    What a wise lady. And a wonderful friend x

    • 1010ParkPlace June 28, 2021 at 10:07 am

      Lee is a great friend, Hilda. She’s one in a million. xoxox, Brenda

  • LA CONTESSA June 28, 2021 at 9:52 am


    • 1010ParkPlace June 28, 2021 at 10:08 am

      Thank you, Elizabeth! I can’t wait to share your comments with her. xoxox, Brenda

  • LA CONTESSA June 28, 2021 at 9:54 am

    “Enthusiasm is one of the most priceless gifts God gives us, and I see that in you,” she said. “It’s an integral part of your charm. I hope you appreciate yourself.”

    • 1010ParkPlace June 28, 2021 at 10:09 am

      YOU, DEAR ONE! xoxox, Brenda

  • Barbara June 28, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Wow! You’ve always been beautiful. Thanks for sharing this photo and Lee’s phone call. Xo Barbara

    • Brenda Coffee July 8, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you, sweet lady! I’m glad you enjoyed them. xoxox, Brenda

  • Sandra Sallin July 7, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    So interesting. I’ve reached out to two people I have not been in contact with for years. There must be something in the air. What a lovely woman. of course I think you draw this kind of person to you. It starts right with you!

    • Brenda Coffee July 8, 2021 at 12:43 pm

      Sandy, I love the idea of something in the air, but I think you’re right about being drawn to people. Thank you, sweet friend. Love, Brenda

  • Leisa Hammett July 19, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    “[…] because when we’re happy, we inspire those around us.”

    I’m thrilled you had such a great experience in California. I so need a writer community. My book is stalled right now. But I also know it’s supposed to be. For now.


    • Brenda Coffee July 23, 2021 at 3:53 pm

      I have a couple of ideas for you. One is to check out Laura Munson’s Haven Writing Group. She holds writing retreats in Whitefish, Montana, and on the internet. The other idea will be in my next blog post. xoxox, Brenda

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