Category Archives: Just Stuff

A Public Letter to My ExHusband

Dear Dan,

Got the call last night, that they put you in the hospital again. This time, they found you lying in bed with a knife by your side. When asked what your intentions were, you told them that you were thinking of hurting yourself. Naturally, the Doctors said to bring you in at once.

They counted your meds and found that it had been over a month since you took them regularly. The hallucinations became your reality and there was no amount of logic that could convince you otherwise. You’ve allowed yourself to shrivel into a caricature of a human being, looking and acting decades older than your 67 years. Your guardians said that we wouldn’t even recognize you. But remember, we saw you at Christmas and while you did look a little worse for the wear, your mind was clearer than it had been in years and you were having a grand time.

You are in the best place possible for where you are mentally and emotionally. They will take care of you, see that you take your medications and that you will connect with people. This may not cure you but it is designed to help you regain your strength so you can live on your own, in your own home.

I cannot imagine what it is like to go through the peaks and valleys of your existence. At the risk of sounding cold, I am not seeking to imagine it either. There are things that are not ours to know. My knowledge of “why” will do nothing to change your circumstances. In fact, constantly thinking of you in your present circumstances, holds you there in my mind. That doesn’t help you either. I would much rather hold onto a happier image.

When we were married, our homes were never large but we always had two things, comfy cushions upon which to sit and one, clean, white wall to use as a movie screen. Of course, there were drinks, and plenty of freshly popped, buttered corn!

You were the proud owner of 500 super 8 films. These were the classics that people love to gather to watch. As you set up your projector for the movie night, you moved with precision and grace. Those films had been well cared for, and this is your moment to let them shine.

You chose each offering for the evening with the purpose of creating a completely fulfilling experience, much like a chef would design a 4-course meal. There would be a cartoon, a short (or two) and a full-length feature.  All of these tied together by a common theme and you educated the curious audience with trivia that left them in awe. It worked and everyone reminded you to let them know when the next movie night would happen so they could make sure they were in attendance.

This is the you I keep in my mind’s eye. This confident, happy man who was as caught up in the experience as anyone else in the room. This person who loved sharing encyclopedic knowledge as freely as some enjoy whistling. This person who devoted himself to the preservation and appreciation of classic cinema, in thought, word and deed.

It has taken your 4 suicide attempts, numerous hospitalizations and many nights and days of soul searching (on my part) to realize that you had been suffering with mental illness long before I met and married you. Perhaps, you thought life would be different with a wife and that somehow everything would sort itself out. I imagine that you were just as disillusioned as was I when we couldn’t make it work. I know that neither you, your family, my family and our friends ever forgave me for leaving.

Even in the face of what you have dealt with in the past 28 years since our divorce, it took me until your first suicide attempt, 3 years ago, to forgive myself. It was at that time that I realized that it was mental illness that robbed us of the opportunity of having a happy life together. Not knowing what to do was no one’s fault, so I forgave you as well.

While I cannot create in your world, I can create a world within me in which the happy you can live. Feel free to visit the world of my mind, anytime. I’ll make sure to have popcorn on hand, comfy cushions to sit upon and one clean, white wall upon which you can project good times.

God Bless you, Annette Rochelle

A Public Apology to Myself

Dear Annette,

I want you to know, that I am sincerely sorry for not treating you better. For not seeing you as worthy of honor and respect. For not being more supportive in those times when you needed me the most. I want to take this time to assure you that I will make demonstrating my responsibility to you, my top priority.

For all those times, I allowed you to accept the shame in the face of verbal, physical, mental, sexual and emotional abuse, I apologize.  You NEVER caused people to behave this way, even though they told you it was all your fault.  You didn’t “ask for it” and I am sorry I didn’t know how to protect you from the attacks or the resulting pain.

For all those times, I allowed you to own the guilt for requiring others to honor their contracts with you, I apologize. You held up your end of the agreements, providing the services for which you were contracted in good faith. You NEVER caused people to decide to ignore their financial obligations to you and I am sorry I didn’t know how to help you find your voice.

See, Annette, there is no reason for you to feel the shame for what happened to you when others sensed your vulnerability. They did what they did because of where they were in their lives, not because of anything you did to provoke their behaviors. And while they may never accept the responsibility for their actions, you can release the shame.

Annette, feeling guilty about not standing up for yourself will never solve anything. You were acting in the only manner you knew, at the time, and now you know better. You have a choice at this point, to continue to live with the feelings of guilt or to move forward with a new attitude.

From now on, I promise to help you realize your true worth. To remind you every day that your value is based solely on how YOU see yourself. I promise to love you just because you breathe.

I love you forever and ever!


August, Through and Through

So, it’s that time of the month, when we roll out the fresh, new offerings from our talented writers from around the globe!   The Magic Happens for August 2017, awaits YOUR visit.

 Bringing our energies to the prompt words:


  Here are the banners for MY ARTICLES and I hope you enjoy them!

As always, we appreciate that you read and share our presentations. Remember, you are always welcome to join our merry band of creatives.  Reach out to our fearless leader, Kathleen Anne McCarthy by dropping her an email

Happy August!

Annette Rochelle Aben, Editor, The Magic Happens Magazine (now in our 11th year!) 

Twitter Mystery Solved

For several days, now, I have noticed the absence of emails notifying me that someone had tweeted a post, responded to a tweet I created, etc. Naturally, I imagined that they may have been sent to my SPAM folder of my Yahoo account, this was not the case.  So, I figured I would look into it today, when I had more time.

Guess what? When I checked my email today, I found something I guess I had actually received before, but ignored because I didn’t know what it was.. the email from Twitter telling me I was now receiving a condensed version of all the action on my twitter account. This way I could check everything out from this central location without the inbox clutter.

Not sure how I feel about this. It was easier and more response efficient for me to take these one at a time. Still, this could be the start of more fun than I ever possibly imagined. Yeah, that’s how I’ll take this.

Now that this has been figured out, I shall try my best to see what the bottom of an empty coffee cup looks like…


A Star Spangled Read for Our Tenth Anniversary

A star-spangled read this month at The Magic Happens as we present our July 2017 Edition!  This month’s magazine is made even more exciting as this is our 10th Anniversary!  That’s right, 10 years of growing and expanding, from the humble beginnings of a thought, to reaching millions of readers all over the world!  Be sure to check out the special audio interviews, hosted by Founder, Kathleen Anne McCarthy! This feature provides the opportunity to put a voice to the writer while they share from their hearts.

Come find out what our writers have to offer based on the prompts of


 Here is the collage of my articles and I appreciate that you enjoy them!

Have a terrific summer, filled with great reading provided by a community of humanity thriving out loud!

Annette Rochelle Aben, Editor

Nostalgia and the Poet – Kevin Morris

Nostalgia (a yearning for a golden, bygone age) is present, to a greater or lesser degree in all of us. This hankering for the past runs through much poetry and is beautifully expressed by A. E Housman in his “A Shropshire Lad”:


“INTO my heart an air that kills

From yon far country blows:

What are those blue remembered hills,

What spires, what farms are those?


That is the land of lost content,

I see it shining plain,

The happy highways where I went

And cannot come again”.


In the above lines, Housman evokes a happy childhood. The recollection of which is, however tinged with regret, hence “into my heart an air that kills”. We cannot, try as we might, recreate the past and melancholy oft creeps into our soul when gazing back.


Nostalgia frequently expresses itself in a wistful evocation of a vanishing way of life. Take, for example the speech delivered by Stanley Baldwin to the Royal Society of St George in 1927:

“To me, England is the country, and the country is England. And when I ask myself what I mean by England when I am abroad, England comes to me through

my various senses — through the ear, through the eye and through certain imperishable scents … The sounds of England, the tinkle of the hammer on the anvil

in the country smithy, the corncrake on a dewy morning, the sound of the scythe against the whetstone, and the sight of a plough team coming over the brow

of a hill, the sight that has been seen in England since England was a land … the one eternal sight of England”.


Baldwin was a one-nation Conservative and one can detect in his speech the longing of the man of a conservative disposition to preserve what he considers to be the intrinsic characteristics of the society which nurtures him.  Baldwin was both a political and (small c) Conservative. As such the beauty of the above passage touches the souls of those who are small (c) conservatives, as well as individuals who are Conservative with a big (c). At the time of Baldwin’s speech, agriculture was already well on the way to mechanisation (the horse was being replaced by the tractor, and the tinkle of the blacksmith’s hammer on the anvil was becoming a rarity), yet Baldwin felt their importance as, for him they helped to make England, England.


My own work is not immune from nostalgia. Take, for example my poem, “Squire and Peasant” which runs thus:


“I see a vanished land

Where the squire held command

Over the countryside,

Before the tide


And paternalism was spurned,

Or merely ebbed away

Ushering in a new day.


To hounds he rode

Or through his estate strode

In search of grouse or pheasant.

With countenance pleasant

Or severe

He ruled his peasants

Far and near.


Sometimes a thinker

And often a drinker

He felt a connection with the whole

Estate, his soul

Was as one

with generations, long since gone.

Frequently inarticulate

He did hate

The untried

And cried

Out for the preservation of the old ways.


Nothing stays


The rock-like squire faltered

As the wind of progress

That does redress

All ills, brought salvation

To the nation.

Now those who the price of everything know, hold command

While squire and peasant stand

Bemused, upon this altered land”.


The relationship between squire and peasant could be abusive. There where (and remain) bad landowners. However, at its best the connection between the squire and his tenantry was one of mutual dependence. The lord of the manor felt an obligation to his tenants who, in turn where glad to have a benign squire. This semi-feudal state of affairs has now vanished (in the west at least) and cannot be recreated. Yet, at its best is there, perhaps not something to be said in defence of this “vanished land”? or is the loosening of social bonds and the glorification of the individual an unmitigated good? Some may object that it is easier for the squire to be nostalgic than the peasant for it was the former who “held command”. Perhaps …


In conclusion, nostalgia is a characteristic present to a greater or lesser extent in most of humanity. Looking back to a “golden age” is, ultimately a harmless activity and can help people to cope with what can seem a cold and rather plastic present. While we cannot live in the past, we can learn from it, for by no means everything predating the present age was wholly bad. We must, however be wary of allowing nostalgia to degenerate into a blind reactionary hatred of the present. The position of racial minorities, women and other previously marginalised groups has, for example, improved over time and few would wish to put the clock back as regards such progress.


(Kevin Morris’s collection of poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind and other Poems” is available at

Give the Gift of Protecting Yourself

As we all know, our blogs, emails, and other internet sites are protected by things such as user names and passwords. In order for me to allow my computer to use for the day, I have to provide a password. Having passwords is necessary, to be sure, however keeping your password a secret might not be the best thing.

Recently, the blogging community has been abuzz with the information that one of our own is experiencing a downturn in her health. Her daughter has reached out to inform everyone of her mother’s condition. In her frustration, she has stated that because she doesn’t have her mother’s passwords, she cannot manage her mother’s affairs.

Addressing this topic, I took it upon myself to provide a trusted friend with ALL the information she might need to manage my accounts, should I not be able to function in that capacity. This includes information for my email accounts, social media sites and sites where I have items I create and are for sale, such as Zazzle, Amazon and Etsy.

This can come in handy to update people about your status. Helping others close your sites, if need be and make sure that if you have monies owed you or products out there, your inventories can be managed. Gee, so much to consider.

You may be thinking that there is a lot of work involved and yes, it can be. However, I was gifted the idea of taking a phone book and alphabetically listing all my information. Genius!  I got myself a book and a mechanical pencil and took that idea to heart. This made creating the document so easy, because all I had to do was lift the information and type it into my word processing program. Because I saved it, I can update it as required.

Consider this, please. Helping others help you handle your business, when you are unable is a gift you have the capacity to give!