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Finding Joy – Part 3

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Hi, we are continuing today with more of Joy’s story of how she achieved good health and wellness and lost over 100 pounds! (This is a weekly 8 part series.)  Please catch up on the website if you missed Parts 1 and 2: and

My mother took hundreds upon thousands of photos as the years passed. Though she’s given me many, I love going through boxes and drawers of them at her home, to this day.  One recurring ribbon runs through them, her absence in them.  Sure there are a few of our family of four on Easter or Christmas but most are of everyone but her.  Growing up, I always remember her either taking the pictures or trying to hide when someone else would take them.  She’d make excuses or say she just didn’t like her picture being taken.  I thought she was pretty, but I didn’t really give it all that much thought as a child.  I have another opinion today.  Though she was thin, she didn’t like her body or her looks.  She didn’t think she was pretty, so she stayed focused on pleasing everyone else so she could keep the focus off herself.     


Although two years and ten months separated us, my brother and I couldn’t have been closer growing up.  My parents made sure he looked after his baby sister, and he took his big brother role seriously (he still does today).  I thought the sun rose and set on him.  I loved, adored and would pretty much stop at nothing to get him to pay attention to me.  He’d occasionally cave in and play Barbies with me, as long as he was able to be his GI Joe.  I, in turn, would have to play “war” with him using his little green army men.  We’d set them all up in the den. 


My dad built him this really cool wooden fort which he’d use and I was left to use my metal dollhouse.  I never could understand how his fort was always impenetrable whereas my dollhouse could have bullets shot right through it.  His troops would prevail, I was always the loser, and I didn’t really care because my hero was paying attention to me.  We played for hours with Playdough, board games and occasionally, he’d even let me play with his Spirograph, which was a huge deal.  We didn’t have any mutual friends because of the age difference and the fact that boys played with boys doing “boy” things and girls played with girls doing “girl” things.  He was allowed around the block to play and I only next door.  I spent many hours playing “house” and being a mommy to my beloved baby dolls.  I also fell in love with Liddle Kiddles, Flatsy’s and of course, Barbie.  My parents were very loving but very protective.  It was the swinging 60’s after all. 


….More to come next week!  We will see you back here for Part 4 next Monday!  



Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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