Carol Lionellis Speaks In Hindsight

Carol Vorderman has said the thought of sharing her life with someone again makes her feel “sick”. The former Countdown host, 60, has been married twice in the past but is currently enjoying. Carol did not reveal the letter to her husband till they arrived in therapy with me nearly 50 years later. Carol was a healthy and energetic woman who refused to leave the house, except for doctor’s visits. Her symptoms handicapped her life. Despite going on to have a full life with her family, Carol felt compelled to keep the secret. 'Carol speaks, and Artist Trust listens, we all listen, because what she has to say is timely, important and meaningful. I am grateful for our friendship (for lo, these many ice ages!), for her. No, Meghan Markle isn’t Jewish. But why are there incessant rumors that she is? These same “she’s Jewish” rumors plagued Kate Middleton around the time of her royal wedding, and they swirl around Princess Diana as well. If Princess Diana was Jewish, goes the theory, that means the whole royal family is Jewish. You’re probably thinking, “Oh boy,.

As someone who has studied and practiced family therapy for 37 years, I am repeatedly struck by a secret’s impact on a family. With the best intentions, parents often strive to protect a child from a shameful or painful event that happened in the past. But keeping a secret usually has the opposite effect. It can take a toll on bearers and their families for years, even generations.

One way a secret surfaces is via an “anniversary reaction,” a physical or emotional response to a calendar date. A study of Hurricane Katrina survivors shows a rise in depression, headaches, and stomachaches every August, the month of the 2005 tragedy. When recognized in a supportive social context of family and community, these symptoms tend to be of short duration. But anniversary reactions stirred by private events last longer. Their origins are harder to uncover and explain, and portend long-held family secrets the keeper finds too traumatic to reveal.

We each carry an inner calendar, just at the edge of awareness. Anniversary reactions might be experienced by the secret bearer or another family member. Either way a secret exacts a steep price on family relationships and individual identity. But just as I have been struck by the damage done by secrets, I have been repeatedly struck by the healing power of exposing them. It’s an insight that was impressed on me by two families in particular.

1. Carol

Several years ago, I worked with a family where the mother compulsively washed her hands several dozen times a day. I’ll call her Carol to protect her real identity. In her early 70s, Carol was a healthy and energetic woman who refused to leave the house, except for doctor’s visits. Her husband, Bill, complained of feeling like a prisoner. Grown children and grandchildren were exiled from her home. He and Carol had fruitless arguments centering on her hand washing. Her symptoms handicapped her life.

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Carol is Richard’s mom. She always imagined she would be able to handle caring for her son. So when Richard was handed a two to twelve month life expectancy by his doctors, they decided it best for him to move to Indianapolis from his home in Baton Rouge. At least that would eliminate the 850-mile drive and it brought her son home.

Richard, with visits from his son Mason, brought joy and exuberance to Carol and her husband Rex’s home. The two would fill their days racing around The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, playing games at the local Chuck E. Cheese’s or, on more mellow days, the pair would snuggle up and catch countless cartoons.

Carol Lionellis Speaks In HindsightCarol Lionellis Speaks In Hindsight

When Mason visited, Richard devoted all of his time and energy to his son. Some nights the TV wouldn’t be turned off until two or three in the morning.

But, when late May came, Richard could barely speak to Mason.

“That was the saddest part of the whole experience,” reflected Carol. “Richard adored that boy, then he almost went inside himself.”

Richard’s transition from bad to worse happened in what seemed like an instant. Carol and Rex left their home for a week-long vacation at the end of May. When they returned, Richard was suffering unbearable pain. It took the family forty-five minutes to transport him from his room to the car; he couldn’t stand to be touched.

It was then that they decided to turn to The Gathering Together, a decision that was especially tough on Carol.

“I’m mom,” she said, laughing in hindsight. Madden nfl 2001 download. “I should be the one taking care of him!”

However, Carol recognized that the pain Richard was experiencing transcended her ability to provide comfort for him.

Richard moved into The Gathering together on Saturday, May 31st, and his mother observed the staff and volunteers like a hawk, as Richard was immediately put on morphine. But, the care and atmosphere quickly put Carol and the rest of the family at ease.

“It felt like we were in our own home,” reminisced Richard’s stepfather, Rex. “I told [Carol], if I ever need hospice care, I want to go there!”

At the time of Richard’s visit, there was a volunteer named Abby working at The Gathering Together, and she would often visit Richard’s room, comforting him with her amiable presence and playing songs on her guitar to soothe him.

Richard passed away on Wednesday, June 4th, after saying his final goodbye to his son. Richard was 57 years old.

“I think Abby sang him right into heaven,” said Carol.

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“It was beautiful,” added Carol. “He passed beautifully. I’m a believer that he would not have passed that beautifully in a nursing home or a hospital. God was just there. He was in the whole thing.”

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Carol never imagined that she would have to face losing one of her own, beloved children, but the family’s experience at The Gathering Together, she said, made it acceptable.

Richard’s care at The Gathering Together was completely free——a fact that Carol affectionately labels as being a “tremendous blessing.”


As an act of continued gratitude and support, Carol recently organized a bake sale, enlisting the help of her friends and local groceries, and donated all of the proceeds to The Gathering Together.

“I would do anything to help [The Gathering Together],” she said. “Anything.”

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Thank you, Carol, for sharing this story with us.