Part 4: Tales From The Mall Kiosk, The Psychic

I just kept working at the kiosk even though some unsettling and unexplained things happened.

I wasn’t sure why all of these thing were happening to me or what they meant… they were all just becoming part of my story.

The story of why a woman in a wheelchair would grab my arm in the line at Walmart and say, “I love you” to me.

I was with John that day.

I looked at the woman and said, “I love you too.”

John asked me, “What was that all about?”

“I have no idea,” I said. “That kind of stuff happens to me all of the time.”

“Seriously?” he asked.

“Yes… and strangers open up to me and tell me the most personal details and stories about their life. I don’t know why it happens, but you’ll get used to it. I am.”

One busy Saturday while working at the kiosk, a woman approached me.

“Would you like a water massage?” I asked.

“No, I want to read you.” She replied, “I have to read you.”

“Read me?” I asked.

“I’m a psychic. I was drawn to you. I’ll read you for free. You have a rainbow aura.” She said.

“I don’t know what a rainbow aura is,” I stated, “but if you want to read me, I’d like to pay you for it.”

“Okay, ” She said sounding excited. “I usually charge eighty dollars, but I’ll charge you twenty. Here’s my card.”

That was weird, I thought… but no weirder than anything else that happens to me.

I gave her a call and set up an appointment at her house.

“You see, you have a rainbow aura,” she began. “It’s good because it’s rare. It’s bad because you are open to everyone. You let everyone in – mostly good but with that you let in some bad. You are too trusting and always see the good in people.”

“I love people.” I replied.

“You let someone in… he had a hat.” She said.

My stomach turned and I confirmed what she had said. “That was Harry.”

“There was also a kid that came to the kiosk that was very claustrophobic.” I added.

“He has a gift. He is a Medium.” She stated.

“And what about the guy with the clear eyes?” I asked, seeing that she seemed to know what she was talking about.

“Were they transparent?” She asked matter-of-factly.

“Yes,” I said, they were. I was calling them clear but transparent is a much better way to describe them. I will never forget those eyes.”

“He is an Angel,” she said.

My head was spinning and my thoughts were confirmed.

“How can this all be true?” I asked.

“Erin, you possess so many qualities and attributes defining a rainbow aura. You need to be aware of this and be very careful who you let in. The good will seek you out. I’m sure that you have had experiences where this happens… maybe even on a daily basis, but you have to be careful to keep the bad out because you are an easy target. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?”

“I think so,” I replied. “I can reflect on my life and find concrete experiences for both.”

“You have many gifts,” she said, “Put them to good use.”

“I want to write,” I explained.

“You will write,” she replied.

“Well, how long before it becomes something?” I asked.

“It will be a very long time, but keep writing and always protect yourself from the evil.”

That sounded like an unwanted warning, I thought.

“What’s a long time?” I asked. “Two years, three years?”

“Even more.” She replied, “You’re not ready yet, but it will happen.”

That was almost five years ago.

Am I ready yet? I don’t know.

I do know that I am forever cautious when letting strangers in, and my intuition hasn’t failed me since Harry with the straw hat.

I do know I love to write, and I will continue to document my life and my experiences on this blog to share with the world…

And maybe for right now, that’s more than enough.

Much love to all,

Erin Cooper Reed

My life, I swear…









“Johnny, Johnny, Johnny…You’ll Never Be Bored” Part 1

When John and I first started dating, my dad’s best friend, Jack, shook John’s hand upon meeting him, looked him right in the eye and stated with a smile, “Johnny, Johnny, Johnny…you’ll never be bored.”

As I reflect on our last five years together, I have to admit that truer words were never spoken.

While some couples spend countless nights staring at the television or watching Netflix, John and I live a life worthy of a prime time reality show.

Don’t believe me?

My son Kevin always says, “There’s no lack of material here.”

So, I’m going to try to recap some of the highlights…

John moved from Long Island, NY, and I moved from Charlotte, NC, back to Connecticut. It was never our intention to live together, it just worked out that way. John was unable to find an apartment with his bad credit score and I was unable to find an apartment that would allow pets. Eventually, John found a place for me, my sons and our dog Max, on Craigslist.

My father hired movers to relocate all of my belongings from Charlotte, NC to Shelton, Connecticut. The day that the moving truck arrived I was elated. Unfortunately, the movers had cracked my flat screen television and dropped my new dryer off the moving van. If all of that wasn’t bad enough, the movers left half of my possessions in North Carolina.

My dad asked one of the movers, “Where are my grandson’s beds?”

“We didn’t bring them.” The mover stated, as his eyes remained directed at his frayed sneakers.

“Are you telling me that my grandchildren have no beds?” My father, a generally gentle, kind man, bellowed an inch from the movers face.

“Ed, calm down. Not good for the old ticker.” my mother piped in.

I sighed, are you kidding me? I thought, this move cost three thousand dollars and my kids have no beds?!

Suddenly, my phone rang and I struggled to fish it from the depths of my purse.


“Michael fell and broke his collar-bone. We’re headed to the hospital.” My ex-sister-in law blurted out in a panic.

“I’m on my way.” I said, as I hung up the phone.

John and I left in a flash. My nephew was hurt and I had to get to the hospital, bed or no beds.

Michael had x-rays and his collar-bone was reset. Upon leaving the hospital, we failed to remember where we parked our car in the parking garage (which wasn’t half as bad as the valet parking attendant threatening to have my ex-sister-in-law’s car towed while she was with her child in the ER) but we managed to find our vehicle after fifteen minutes of circling the parking garage on foot.

Michael was okay.

My kids needed beds.

My dad was pissed off.

The next day, John and I jumped on a plane and set out to my apartment in North Carolina to collect the rest of my belongings.

Stay tuned for Part 2

You will not believe what happens next.

And yes, apologies to my family, I’m disclosing all of it and it’s going to get crazy.

My Life I Swear…

All That Matters

Sometimes I feel happy and empowered.

Sometimes I’m sad and insecure.

Occasionally I’m angry and defeated.

And sometimes I just feel lost.

Or like giving up.


We have all been there.

All of these feelings, good and bad, are part of the human experience.

All of these feelings exist for a reason.


Yet, we often blame ourselves for our shortcomings and setbacks.

We blame others for what we can’t deal with or can’t control.


And just when things are at their worst,

Something happens.

However seemingly small.

And changes everything.


This pattern continues throughout our lives,

Yet we are surprised

Each and every time.


Funny how a kind word or gesture,

Can set us back on course.

A little encouragement

Or validation

Can upend us

And we find ourselves

Back on our feet.


That is what love does.


Love of a friend.

A family member.

A stranger.


The driving force

That sets us

Back on track,

Or on a new path.


Love has the power

To console,

To heal,

To change everything.


Love is all that matters.


by Erin Cooper Reed








A Day In My Life

Knee sprain.

Weight Gain.

Headache Pain.

A day in my life…


John is downstairs making a cheesecake from scratch.

The dog needs to be walked…but I can’t walk.


My son’s friend just came upstairs to use the bathroom and “accidentally” knocked down two of the four baby pictures of my boys that I had displayed on the stairway wall.

Shattered glass.


Life’s tough.

I’m not sure I would trade it for the world.

This is my life and I’m just happy to be amongst the living…

Even if I can’t walk…

Image result for gratitude images

The Eye of the Storm

Sometimes we find ourselves totally unprepared for what life throws at us. There is no forewarning, no current of change, no inkling of the storm that is brewing along the horizon.

And then, there we are standing dead center, in the eye of the storm.

We realize that the saying “Life can turn on a dime” exists for a reason… because it is true.

Maybe it is any injury, or a breakup, an illness or the loss of a job or a loved one. Whatever the storm may be, the eye of it is the devastating life change that turns your world upside down.

The enormity of the situation finally sets in. You go through an array of emotions, shock, confusion, fear, anger, depression, anxiety, uncertainty… then innately, you realize that you have no choice but to face it.

Acceptance is the first step in regaining your ground.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. - Joseph Campbell

Slowly you learn to cope with your new circumstances without even realizing that coping is the second step in embracing change.

Problems are not the problem; coping is the problem. - Virginia Satir

So where do you go from here?

This is the part where your adaptability, courage and resilience takes you places you would never have dared to go if wasn’t for the storm and the eye of the storm that catapulted you to where you now reside.

Maybe through your experience, you find a cause that you are passionate about.

Maybe you have an interest in sharing your experience and helping other people who are dealing with a similar situation.

Maybe you are inspired to create in the form of the written word, art or even an invention.

And maybe, you realize that the storm, the turn of a dime that you saw as a setback, is the exact circumstance that gave you the opportunity to see things from a different perspective.

A perspective that not only leads to beautiful and unexpected paths but ultimately leads you to grow and thrive.







It’s All In The Details

When Kevin was three years old and attending preschool he was a die-hard Toy Story fan. I mean, he watched Toy Story over and over again, owned all of the action figures and talked about it incessantly. Often when the phone rang, I answered it to find yet another salesperson on the line. I would hear Kevin’s tiny voice on the other extension. While Kevin was babbling on about Buzz Lightyear, I would quietly hang up my extension and laugh to myself. After repeatedly asking to speak to an adult, to no avail, the salesperson would abruptly hang up. It didn’t take too many sales calls for Kevin to believe that these calls were for him and for me to realize that I had my own personal call-screener.

Of all the Toy Story characters, Buzz Lightyear was by far Kevin’s favorite…and why wouldn’t he be? I mean, Buzz Lightyear is cool, he is a toy space ranger and he believes that he could do anything that the “real” Buzz Lightyear in the actual movie could do…like fly and shoot lasers. Buzz Lightyear is a leader who is brave and has courage. He believes that following the rules is the way people should live. Most of all, Buzz believes in himself. Not a bad role model.

The morning of Kevin’s fourth birthday he woke to a giant painted, wooden Buzz Lightyear sign on the front lawn, that I had order for the occasion. It read “Happy 4th Birthday Kevin!” We went outside and I took some photos of Kevin standing with the sign, imitating Buzz’s position, both hands on hips. I was elated and proud of myself for renting the sign and making Kevin’s birthday special. (Add good mom props here).

It wasn’t until we went back inside that I realized that Kevin wasn’t so happy.

Me: “So buddy, do you like the sign?

Kevin: “Not really.”

Me: “Not really???  ($$$ Ugh!)

Kevin: “No.”

Me: “Why not? You have Buzz Lightyear on your front lawn?”

Kevin: (looking sad) “It’s just the colors are all wrong.”

Me: “What do you mean wrong?”

Kevin: “Well, first of all, his waist is supposed to black. The buttons on his chest are blue, green, red…

As Kevin went on, I grabbed a toy Buzz Lightyear from a nearby chair and ran to look out at the lawn sign through the front door. I’ll be damned, the kid is right.

So, what did I do? Being that this was my first-born son who was obviously upset on his 4th birthday…I did what any other red-blooded, doting, well-intentioned, frantic mother of an unhappy four-year old on his birthday, would…I called the lawn sign company. Immediately. Then I put Kevin right on the phone.

I stood in amazement (staring at the toy Buzz Lightyear in my hand) while four-year old Kevin perfectly described every detail and every color of Buzz Lightyear’s suit to the lawn sign man on the other end of the phone.

Kevin: “He wants to talk to you, Mommy.”

Lawn Sign Man: (seeming a bit nervous and certainly blown away by his conversation with a four-year old) “Hi ma’am. I don’t even know what to say. We never had a complaint like this before. I think our artist painted that sign using a Disney Burger King bag as a guide. I guess Burger King only prints their kid’s meal bags using a few colors.”

Me: (Speaking as if this is the most unjust thing I had ever experienced) “Well, I just wanted to make you aware that the colors are not right so this doesn’t happen to another child again.)

Lawn Sign Man: “I am so sorry. I’ll take care of it right away and I’ll be sure to check the authenticity of our other signs. By the way, that’s some kid that ya got there.”

Me: “I appreciate it and thank you, I know.”

In retrospect, it’s a funny story now. Especially my own reaction being what it was. If this situation had happened with my third kid, I would have been like, “Just shut up and have a cookie.”

Yet, I think that Kevin was onto something, there’s a lesson in here for all of us. It is all in the details…they matter more than you think. If you stop and pay attention to the details, in your work, your relationships and in your life, it will show in the big picture.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Sanford I. Wiell

Details create the big picture. - Sanford I. Weill

To infinity and beyond,

Erin Cooper Reed




I Know Exactly How You Feel – The Power Of Empathy

I’m not feeling very funny today…and that’s okay. (Don’t worry, I’m sure that my sense of humor won’t be able to help but rear its sarcastic head.) Having a lot of down time (with my injured knee up) has given me time to reflect. I have spent the last two years helping my widowed mother through all kinds of ailments, most recently healing from a bad fall and prior to that, multiple hip replacements.

My mother has done, and continues to do so much for me that it is always my pleasure to give back and be there for her when she needs me. Now, my mom is one strong Polish girl! She has beaten cancer more than once, recovered from broken bones and did the hard work that it took to regain her mobility after not one, but two, hip replacements. All the while my mother remained positive, never complained and found humor during the entire process. God, I respect that about her! In fact, everyone does.

As I lie in bed writing this post, I think that now I really understand how my mom felt and some of what she had to endure.


Mom: “Hello.”

Me: “Hi, Mom.”

Mom: “How are you feeling?”

Me: “Like I need a shower and I don’t know how I’m going to take one if I can’t walk or stand up. I’m miserable.”

Mom: “Remember I couldn’t take a shower right away after my hip surgery? I’ll send over my shower stool. Oh, and put a hand towel on the seat, it’s really hard plastic.”

Now, I’m thinking that I’ve got a lot more cushion on my backside than my 96 pound mother does…but mom knows best.

Me: “Okay I’ll put a hand towel on the seat. Good idea, but I don’t know how I’m going to get my leg over the side of the tub.”

Mom: “I put my good leg over first, than my bad leg second.”

Me: “Thanks mom. I love you.”

Mom: “Love you too. You can do it! Go take a shower, you’ll feel better. Good luck.”


Me: “Hi, Mom.”

Mom: “How did you know it was me?”

Me: “I have caller ID Mom.”

Mom: “Oh, that’s good. How are you feeling?”

Me: “I’m in a lot of pain. Still a half an hour left until I can take my pain medication.”

Mom: “You know, you should take the pain medication fifteen minutes to half an hour before the last pill wears off, that way you won’t be in pain until the next pill kicks in.”

Me: “Wait a minute. I think I remember telling you that when you were taking pain medication for your hip.”

Advice. Easier to give then apply to one’s own situation.

Mom: “You probably did. Just try it. In fact I’ll let you go so you can take it now. Love you.”

Me: “Thanks. Love you too mom. Call you Later.”

It’s funny how all the things that my mother endured are coming back to me, yet I’m seeing them from a new perspective. Her perspective. It got me to thinking about the power of empathy and doing a little research. I came across this video on Empathy by Brene’ Brown. It’s worth the 2 minute 54 second view. (She’s funny too!)

You can also follow Brene’ on twitter:

I think my knee injury has taught me a great lesson about the power empathy. It is one thing to care about your loved ones suffering (Sympathy). It is another to feel their suffering (Empathy).

Having to deal with similar challenges in the process of healing my injury lead me to feel what it was like for my mother to overcome the same hurdles. Right now I feel closer to my mom than ever…and that’s the beauty of empathy, it breeds deeper connections.

Setbacks in life always have hidden blessings…you just have to take a moment to recognize them.

Erin Cooper Reed


Ten Things It Took Me 50 Years To Figure Out…

So today is my 50th birthday. Fifty. Holy shit! I’d certainly rather be 25 twice and I’m pretty sure that in my mind I’m infinitely 23…but here I am 50. So what has all this time here on earth taught me and how am I a better woman than I was at 23 or 25? If I had to break it down into just ten things, I’d have to go with the following insights.

  1. Life is a roller coaster   Be sure to fasten your seat belt and keep your hands in the cart at all times because as sure as there’s an up, there’s going to be a down. Don’t panic, hold on tight around the sharp curves and enjoy the ride. Everything always works out in the long run. 
  2. Choose your battles   Some things just aren’t worth the drain that they cause on your energy and time. It isn’t always important to be right. Respect that everyone is different with their own set of ideas and values. That is what makes each of us special and unique.
  3. Don’t worry about keeping up with the Jones    It doesn’t matter…In fact none of it matters. All the material things in the world won’t make you happy. Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on your own inner happiness and you will in turn enjoy a happy life.
  4. Don’t forget to smile   Don’t let the challenges of life get you down. A smile and a positive attitude never cease to create magic even during difficult times. Remember, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.”
  5. Count your blessings  Take time to be thankful for all of the things that we all take for granted so easily. Enough said.
  6. Follow your intuition  You innately know what to do, where to go next and how to handle whatever life throws at you. Take time to pray, meditate and connect with your sources energy. It will never steer you wrong.
  7. Live in the moment  You can’t change the past. Everything in life happens for a reason so you might as well chalk it up as a learning experience that played a key role in who you have become today. Don’t wish your life away thinking that you’ll be happy when…you finally achieve a goal or get to where you ultimately want to be. Living in the past or living for the future steals your experience in the right now. Learn to live in the now.
  8. Make time for yourself  Learn to be okay with being alone. Love yourself as you are and fuel your passions. Do what makes you happy and brings you inner peace and joy.
  9. Love and family are all that matters  When all is said and done, what it all really comes down to is love and family. Make love and family a priority in your life and you’ll live with no regrets. Everything else is secondary.
  10. Don’t ever lose your sense of humor   I don’t think I would have survived all that I’ve been through to date without a sense of humor. Having the ability to laugh, not only at yourself, but at all of the crazy thing that life brings is a true talent and a gift. Finding humor in the bleakest times can turn a difficult situation into a small bump in the road.

Rise to Criticize

Rise to Criticize

via Daily Prompt: Criticize

Never in my life did I fathom that the three adorable little babies that I brought into this world would grow into three handsome teenagers that now, apparently, know more than I do.

Okay, so I was a teenager once too and I do remember snickering when my dad imparted his unwarranted, fatherly advice which usually started with sentences like…”You know, life isn’t a bowl of cherries…” and “This isn’t a place just to hang your hat…” Each sentence was followed by what I took as criticism.

Fast forward to 2017 and from the moment my sons rise in the morning it’s an ongoing life lesson orchestrated by the sound of my own voice. I stare at their blank faces while I try to explain the reason they should see, or act on situations in life a certain way. (Cue deep sighs and eyerolls)

My points, no matter how eloquently expressed, are met with statements like, “Maybe that worked back in the olden days.”(Note: Which was the 80’s, by the way) or “Mom, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” (Note: Of course I do.)

Yet we all know that the age-old struggle between parents and teenagers will never cease to exist.

I was well into my adulthood the day that I called my dad and said, “Hi dad. I get it now… Life isn’t easy and when I think about all the advice you gave me growing up, I wish I had listened. You were right about everything.”

I could hear the smile in my dad’s voice as he replied.

“That’s nice to hear! I love you honey.”

I replied, ” I Love you too dad.”

I’m not fortunate enough to have my dad anymore…but I hope one day my sons will each wake up to the same realization that I came to and that I will receive the same beautiful phone call, three times over.

The other thing that will never cease to exist is the realization that what teenagers see as constant harping and criticism, is actually the deepest form of love.

Damn the Kardashians

So, here it is, my blog. Maybe my daily life deserves more of a platform, like say, a reality show. Maybe the Kardashians have more junk in their trunk, or more stack in their rack…but they have NOTHING on me. “My life, I swear….” I find myself repeating that as my mantra in the face of yet another ridiculous situation, after another ridiculous situation.

I am a single mom of three boys, Kevin (20), Eric aka “Rocky” (17) and  Marc (14). I live with my boys and my fiancé , John, a man I dated 27 years ago (that’s a story in itself). John also has a son, Matthew (20) who lives with John’s ex-wife but comes to visit us. Sounds like the normal 21st century blended family, right?  Right. Unbeknownst to us, my ex-husband spent three days living in our basement this past winter. Did I mention that Kevin is an aspiring film maker and a graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting? This kid has been carrying around a camcorder since he was three and nothing is off-limits, in fact EVERYTHING is material. Kevin is also a rapper, as is Marc. They have rapped on the stage of Toad’s Place, New Haven, as well as other venues. Eric, also known as “Rocky” is my sports star, a seasoned hockey player. John’s son , Matthew, is a talented,  competitive ballroom dancer. John is currently unemployed, which leaves plenty of time for friction with my unruly teenage boys. I am a writer, public speaker and most importantly, a midlife waitress.

There’s the cast of characters.. Ready to see what could possibly happen to make my life put the Kardashians to shame? I promise not to disappoint.