Words From The Editor

We always choose February as our month to focus on relationships… largely because Valentine’s Day is such a big deal in our culture! This year we talk about Family Relationships specifically, and that pretty much takes in everything, I think, even romance.

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker • editor@wncwoman.com • Photo by Cat Ford-Coates

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker • [email protected] • Photo by Cat Ford-Coates

Some people define family as only the people we are connected to biologically. From my experience, that is way too limited. Back in the 70s I connected, about the time my first husband and I were divorcing, with a group of folks in Savannah, GA, who had similar political and spiritual values. Eventually my two small kids and I married Sam and several of us lived together and finally moved to Asheville together. Three babies were born that first year and nearly 40 years later we still feel ourselves to be family and our grown kids and even our grandkids relate to them as siblings, aunts and cousins.

What a blessing to get to choose our family! And even the families we are born into provide us with rich fodder for personal growth (I know, I know…). I am grateful for the family I was born into, the family I created and the bond we have over time and space.

This month’s articles about Family Relationships run the gamut from the pain of betrayal by a family member; a book review about taking care of and learning from family even after death; how we can create family from “mysterious ingredients,” and the potentially catastrophic results of mixing family and money (but you’ll learn ways to offset the negatives!).

Family can often mean someone taking on a caretaking role: you’ll read about a wonderful event on page 48 where the caretakers will be pampered and cared for themselves.

Maureen McDonnell, RN focuses this month on children’s health and how mom’s can support that and their own.
Layne Cutright takes us through the process of helping a long-married couple re-energize and enliven their relationship.

We round things off with the variety of articles we know our readers appreciate in each issue: you’ll read about local painter, Julie Miles and the impact of her childhood on her art. Sarah Olson teaches us about mediation and how it can “save your divorce” even if you can’t save your marriage. And since it’s never too late to set some New Year’s resolutions, we have five from Meridith Elliott Powell and ideas from Dr. George Ibrahim on ways to reverse the signs of aging.

We are especially pleased to have three poems and a short essay from poet and storyteller Glennis Redmond to honor Black History Month (and why it is a needed recognition and reminder).

There are just too many great pieces to mention them all. From music to business to poetry and a book review and events that support women and kids and families to thoughtful and funny essays and food, it’s all here!

And please, check out the details of our Mastery events on pg 6 & online; you may miss Kristine Madera’s presentation in February (unless you pick up this issue really early!) but March with Attorney Mary Hart will also be a treat and you’ll meet other interesting WNC Women (and men)!

Hope to meet you there!

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