I was born in upstate NY and was raised by Mary Poppins and the Mortician. Dad told me that he was not a Funeral Director, anybody could direct a funeral. We had lots of laughs and kept it light. Jokes about “people dying to meet us” and being called Killer Miller were not uncommon. Dad was proud to celebrate life long before others saw it fashionable. The Funeral Home fleet had white and grey hearses and the men wore grey suits. There was as much laughter and fond memories as there were tears. I learned the value of life.
Don’t get me wrong, we were very serious at times. I remember when dad asked if he could have one of my dresses for a little girl who had died and didn’t have one. Or the time when dad told us of the father who had died Christmas eve and he had to remove the body before the kids got up on Christmas day. I remember not wanting any gifts that year. I was just glad I had my dad. I learned about compassion and gratitude.
Mom certainly lit up the room with her Irish eyes smiling! She sang more often than she spoke. She was known to many as an angel. I was truly blessed to have such great parents. I think mom knew before I did that I was going to be a nurse. The first time I knew, it was when my grandmother was in ICU. I was fascinated by all of it and loved caring for gramma.
Working as a receptionist at a nursing home confirmed it for me. I got my BSN at D’Youville College in Buffalo. I moved to Florida after working a year in ICU at Buffalo Veteran’s Hospital. I was a stressed out ICU nurse at Miami Veteran’s Hospital when I came across the Three Principles. I worked in Research on Stress while doing my internship with Dr. Roger Mills. After I completed my internship, I began teaching the 3P’s (as I knew it then) in nursing and adult continuing education programs and speaking at conferences. In 1985 I moved to Hawaii and co-founded Hawaii Counselling and Education Center. I always said it would take a man to make me leave Hawaii and in 1994 I moved to British Columbia and married a Canadian.
I have continued deepening my understanding of the Three Principles throughout my career and was indeed very fortunate to have been a friend and student of the late Sydney Banks. I have attended many conferences and trainings with Elsie Spittle, Chip Chipman, George Pransky and Roger Mills.
Since I have been in Canada, I have managed group homes for both the mentally ill and the brain injured, been director for caregiver support services, worked as community mental health nurse, and been teacher, speaker and group facilitator. There is nothing that gives me more joy than helping others uncover their innate well-being.