December 17


One Great Breath . . . 1 Special life

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Republishing one of our first blog posts. Thank you, Pammy Schwarz, for your timeless words!

Paraphrasing the recent comment of a friend of a friend,

“Life is one great breath — we take one big inhale when we are born and we take one big exhale when we die.”

Amy Kosh

I am also reminded that life is defined not by the numbers of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. All this comes to mind because in May of 2020 my step-mother took her last breath. 

These are moments of her life that took my breath away and make me grateful to have known her during her one great breath. 

One Great Breath

Carol married my father when I was five. She and I shared the same birthday. She worked for two of our Nation’s presidents. She was widowed at the age of 33 and raised 3 kids under the age of 7 alone but with the help of family and friends.  These are just statements of fact. 

She embraced me as her own and taught me how to love any child unconditionally and to make them feel special. She and my mom got along very well and made co-parenting a pleasant experience. She cared for and took people in, including her nephew and my eldest son, to allow them time and space to find direction in their lives.

She had an amazing laugh that could encourage anyone in the darkest of times — something I loved best about her and miss most. She made time to create lasting memories to cover and replace pain.

She took all of 4 of us kids on an RV trip across country for three months when our father passed (not something 13 year old me wanted to do but something 56 year old me never forgets) or taking some of our family on a trip to a cabin during her last summer in the mountains of Tennessee to be in awe of the beauties of nature and play board games until the wee hours. What mattered most to her was quality time spent together as a family, loving and laughing. She helped me to raise my family the same way.

I recently completed a course in self discovery for the second time (because once just wasn’t enough).

It taught me to reflect on such moments and to consider “the dash” — the time between that first and last one great breath.

It gave me peace over the pains of my past and comforts me today in times of despair at the loss of Carol and worry over the unknown like an endless quarantine where very familiar things like going to the grocery store feel incredibly unfamiliar. 

And with the tools I collected in that course, I am confident that I can move gracefully through any circumstance I encounter. Does it mean that there won’t be moments of doubt or pain felt or mistakes made? Of course not.

But it can help anyone to understand how important their own dash or great breath can mean to themselves or someone in need of loving guidance. Some hear the call to go through the process of self discovery and some won’t. I’m glad I did. 

That joy brought me to the realization that I needed to share what I had learned.  More than two years ago, I began my journey as a Guide of that course to help others find their bliss and for more than the last year I have been a part of the Staff.  It is an honor and a calling I don’t take lightly.  May I gingerly and humbly help those desiring to create moments in their lives that can be their one great breath, too.

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About the author

Pammy shows you how by helping you to determine and set goals so that you achieve success quickly, while instilling peace and having fun, too!  As a certified Health and Life Coach, she inspires and encourages you into the actions needed to transform your dreams into reality and to establish ongoing growth.  

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  • Pammy, thank you. Your step-mother empowered you to instill in your life the positive values she wanted you to have. You are a very special guide in a very special course, The Master Key Experience. From your blog rover friend John.

  • Pammy, your blog was definitely inspiring. It made me flash back on the moments that took my breath away about my second Mom and my Dad. I loved playing games with both of them like dominoes, Yahtzee, checkers, cards, and also enjoying a bowl of popcorn. I was blessed with great parents. What do you do to encourage someone to go through the process of “self discovery”?

    • Thanks, Eulaine! Self Discovery can be manifested in multiple ways — books, prayer/meditation, and through guided course work. I found the Master Key Experience to be the most productive in actually providing specific activities that promoted good habits and set me on a path to accomplish the goals that had previously eluded me. I highly recommend it to everyone. Try it and you know.

  • Wow, Pammy… thank you for the gift of this glimpse into the life of a truly great woman. She continues to live on in the “one great breaths” of everyone she touched, including you, which is another great gift she unknowingly gave ME (and many others). The ripple effect is amazing, wouldn’t you agree?

    • Thanks, Lori, for the sweet message! That’s the ripple effect in action. So grateful! And, you couldn’t recognize it unless it were in you as well.

  • Pammy, your blog was very empowering and full of gratitude for your step-mother. You learned so much from her. It made me flash back on my two moms and how they had influenced my life. I also appreciate your great reminders in your quotes:”“Life is one great breath — we take one big inhale when we are born and we take one big exhale when we die.” Amy Kosh
    I am also reminded that life is defined not by the numbers of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. Thanks for your gems . I so appreciated your blog.

  • Thank you for sharing your personal story about growing up with your stepmother. It reminds me of how strongly we can leave an imprint after taking our last breath.

    • Thanks, Tony! Glad to have you here! Just select the “MKE Invitation” tab to receive the free 7-Day Mental Diet and get added to the list for email updates and notification for the free scholarship which comes available in September.

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