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The Inspiration Behind Blogging and A Love Letter to My JB

March 26, 2018

Inspiration and Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs and Female Business Owners

So many women entrepreneurs ask me where I get the inspiration to write and blog, I always say it is easy because I write from my heart but that wasn’t always the case.

Like so many other non-writers, I struggled with “finding” the topic to write about when I started blogging in 2007 when starting a blog was a new social media marketing medium. I remember hosting a blogging workshop in Ithaca, one of my company’s business regions, to learn from someone doing a great job blogging. Some of her advice stuck with me and inspired me to begin writing and sharing entrepreneurial experiences with my followers. I am grateful to her for that lesson.

Since then, I have written a “Wednesday Wisdom” every Wednesday the past 13 years to inspire the women entrepreneurs who follow me. Along the way, my readership has increased as I learned how to tag, post, repost and share my written word with the public. I will be hosting a “conversational seminar” on the subject this Wednesday in an intimate gathering because I believe blogging and writing are about personal experiences.

Today I am sharing the eulogy I wrote for my beloved stepmother JB who passed away last Tuesday. My love for writing – and actually – the need to share my emotions with others propelled the “speech” and blog post today. I hope my style of writing inspires you to listen to your heart more in business, write down the experiences that move you and share them with others to help them. Have a blessed writing day my friends.

“A Love Letter to My JB”

Good Afternoon everyone, my name is Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, I am the proud daughter of JB Chamberlain – as she used to refer to me when introducing me to anyone we met together the past 40 years.

Although I am not one of JB’s biological children, God had a plan for her and I when we met one winter day in March 1979 after my father married her. God also knew what he was doing by joining my father and “my JB” as I call her, together so they could create a complete family of love so when they both returned to God and left us on this earth, the 8 of us could and would exist onward in deep love, friendship and humor together. In fact a traditional wedding bible script says it all – “What God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9.

Let me write, speak and paint an image of what “My JB” has meant to me. It all started one day on top a ski hill when my father and sister Jill were about to “ski” down a hill together in the end of February 1979. My father said, “Girls, I need to tell you something,” we said okay. “I have met a woman who I really like and she has 3 daughters. I just wanted you to know.” As a slightly selfish daughter at the time, I said, “Oh Dad, you aren’t going to get married right away are you?” He said through his sunglasses and Schuss Ski Shop hat on, “No Tracy don’t you worry about that.” Then we skied off down the hill singing “Crackling Rosie” by Neil Diamond.

The next thing I remember, Dad and JB were married a couple weeks later on March 10, 1979. So much for trusting my Dad’s words! I have often thought maybe he was high as a kite from skiing that day when he answered me! But a couple weeks later when we met JB and her three daughters Chrissy, Mari and Beth, God knew again what he was doing. Five girls aged 14 – 8 years old got along perfectly at first sight. We cross country skied on an open snowy field with the sun shining that day as our first “bonding” experience. No fighting just laughs and happiness. We really were an immediate family.

When we got back to their big white Mayfield house after skiing, JB served sauce and spaghetti. JB didn’t know Jill and I were from a first generation Italian mother, so she was nervous we wouldn’t like her rendition of sauce, but we did, so she asked me to teach her how to make Italian sauce like my family made. I wrote down the recipe and brought it with me and taught her the next time were where together. That sauce was the first of many meals JB and I would cooked together throughout our lives in Mayfield, Northville, Johnstown and Kennebunkport Maine where her and I perfected a Butternut Soup recipe on Thanksgiving 2005.

But back to 1979 for a moment…actually April 3, 1979…when Jill and I received a letter in the mail from our new stepmother; I had to read the letter to you because it shows something so true about JB….

Dearest Tracy and Jill,

Missing you. Its cold and awful here. Feels like fall not spring.

I wrote this next part about your father and knowing how much you love him I thought I would share it with you. You could even add some things you think of and if you do I’d like to see! I love to write poetry and non poetry and just write. Here it goes.

He is coffee, and cigarettes, and warm brown eyes, over a Manhattan:
He’s the Buccaneers, and Marching Bands, and sunglasses and basket ball.
He’s cowboy clothes and a mustache muffling mumbles,
and long brown haired bangs and strong legs, and tackles in the snow.
He’s downhill skies and mountain breezes
He’s vests and leather belts and
Mexican fury and Indian Delight….
He’s all American boy grown into man
and he’s decency somehow –
the fourth of July and Christmas Eve…
And a return to treasured morals, and uprighteness.
He’s a mystery of simplicity.
He is faithful and strict with his own rules
but open hearted truly,
and he’s Honesty –
and He’s love.

She wrote after the poem. Do you like it? Did I capture Him the way you see him too??
I send you off with this thought for today….“When you’re not around, we just pretend you’re here!”

Much love,
JB and Dad
Chris, Mari and Beth
and Rasin and Fuzzy and mittens and the dust kittys
and Mayfield.

If you listened closely to her this “love letter” to her new stepdaughters, you hear her immediate caring for us because she knew how much we loved our father and didn’t want him to leave us. This is the JB I came to love instantly and as I stand here today and forever.

It is really hard to sum up a deep love for someone else in a words because I don’t think the mind can necessarily translate the depths of emotion we feel in our heart although JB could and did all her life. You’ll hear that from my other siblings too as they read “love letters” from her to them.

I thought in tribute to JB for this first letter she sent to me and Jill, I would attempt to capture her essence in my original poem written in the same cadence as she wrote the one about my Dad so my beloved siblings have it. Everyone is seen differently in everyone’s eyes, so I wrote it from my heart, how I saw and experienced JB, and not how others might have seen her although I think it speaks pretty true and if you didn’t know her well, I hope you know her when the poem is finished. Here it goes….

She is tea, and scones, and sparkling green eyes, over a glass of wine:
She’s of bible readings, and deep green gardens,
And a floppy hat and walks along the sea shore.
She’s floral shirts and contagious laughter
And beautiful white hair and porcelain skin
And shopping at the Red Barn.
She’s harp music and summer Northville breezes
She’s both canvas and paint brush and
Canadian pride and Gypsy soul…

She’s a Nova Scotia girl grown into woman
And beauty inside and out
And Mother’s Day
And glorious Easter morning…
And a return to old fashion home making,
And faith.
She’s a mystery of complexity.
She is our angel protector and guide
yet willing to rise with the butterflies
and She’s our Mother
and She’s love.

As JB once said to me….

Did you like it? Did I capture her the way you see her too?

My JB…..I’ll send you off with this one thought…“When you’re not around, we will pretend you are here!”

Much love always and forever,
Tracy, Chris, Jill, Mari, Beth, Bre, Chad and Jake
Your grandchildren and friends
And the dust kittys
And Northville……

As I close I have one more of JB’s “love letters to me” to mention. It simply said…
“Tracy, you are greatly loved by me. No matter what…forever. Even if you don’t think it is true. Always in my heart – always is my love for you.” I say back to her,

“JB, you are greatly loved by me. No matter what…forever. Even if you don’t think it is true. Always in my heart – always is my love for you.”

Business Lesson for today learn to blog and write from your heart and experiences to be successful.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2018 10:58 am

    So wonderful and heartfelt Tracy! Writing “from your heart”, even in business, is so important. For me, that means consistently sharing the “why” of what I do and hoping that translates in my writing to my readers. And you do that every time Tracy! Thank You!


    • March 26, 2018 12:03 pm

      Thank you Kim for taking the time to read the entire post. It was personal and long. I always hope my example inspires others in business to find and share their own inspiration. You do a great job of it yourself. Much love, Tracy


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