Marifran Korb

Tag: Challenges

My Relationship With My Mother

by on May.07, 2013, under Random Writings on Relationship

Five friends and I use prompts to write for four minutes a quote. Using several quotes, we write for an hour a week. This was one quote from today:

When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself. ~ Nancy Friday

For those who have read my book Breaking Through Concrete: The Gift of Having Mentally Ill Parents, they know my relationship with my mother was difficult, at best. Grieving that I could not connect with her bi-polar moods, I loved her. While her gift of helping me to birth myself started earlier than I, or anyone, could be ready, and though helping me give birth to myself was a terribly painful process, my mother did accomplish that, for sure. Through not-so-loving ways, my mother’s darkness sparked the need and desire for me to love and be loved.

And due to neglect, my mother granted me self-sufficiency. By the time I was ten years old living in suburbia, I knew the local bus system and traveled wherever I wanted. Before I was out of grade school, I learned I could go anywhere, make new friends, and find my way. That has helped throughout my life.

For a few examples of self-sufficiency, I moved 500 miles away to attend college and worked to pay for text books and personal my expenses. My first post-college career took me over 1,100 miles from my family and friends. In my twenties, I designed an eleven country itinerary and traveled through Europe alone for eight weeks. Now that my daughter is grown, she and I travel to Europe in self-directed adventures for two weeks each year. In Europe, unexpected obstacles can and have shown up. Familiar with challenges, I have dealt with them efficiently and effectively. My mother’s gifts have made me grateful both for the life lessons and for the fact that those early experiences are in the past. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to every mother. May we all honor our mother for helping us give birth to ourself.

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My Relationship with Cancer, Part 10

by on Jul.20, 2012, under Life is a celebration., Overcoming Cancer

After two years of living with cancer, and overcoming the physical challenge of losing weight and the emotional challenge of overcoming fears, I set a destination celebration that would test me to the core. What I chose was akin to aiming for the distant stars.

With my daughter Ilona, I planned an 18-day independent trip to Italy’s hill towns. For a long time I have wanted to go, and I figured I wasn’t getting any younger. It was a test of strength to stand up to the cancer and to defy life-long lung damage.

From a trip to Italy seven years ago, I knew what I was in for. Among a few Italian cities we visited, the so-called “hill” town of Siena was one. More accurately, it was a mountain town.

You may wonder: Why walk when you can drive? The only cars and motor cycles allowed are ones belonging to the towns folk. And yes, the police know immediately if you are a local or not. They will find you and ticket you, even if you are from a different country. As a non-local, you can drive to the town. Then, you have to park at the foot of the hill and walk up, and up, and up. In Siena it felt like my lungs would explode, even while I was moving at a sloth’s pace.

Knowing what I was up against, I trained on a treadmill from January to May 2012. No stranger to the treadmill, I’ve been walking on it for years at the lowest level. Due to the pre-condition of serious COPD, that is all I thought I could, or should, do.

Twenty years ago, I told my pulmonary nurse that I planned to expand my lungs through vigorous walking and exercising. Kindly and gently, she told me that my lungs “do not do the whole alphabet.” “Your lungs,” she told me, “only go from A to B. You cannot expand your lungs.”

In spite of the advice, I continued to climb steps, walk fast and lift weights. Regularly, I go to a gym. So when I knew I was facing and embracing almost vertical hills, I set goals to see if I could go beyond my most recent best efforts. Each day I pushed myself for a few minutes more on the next highest level on the treadmill. By the time the month of May came, I had moved as far as the treadmill goes. Besides walking a few minutes a day at level ten, I did not go lower than level eight. It was very strenuous for me. Still, I was not sure it was enough.

Level ten on the treadmill was nothing compared to the hills I climbed. They were equally as vertical as Siena. Fortunately, Cordova, Orvieto, and Perugia have escalators to get into the towns. Once inside, only your legs will get you up the steep streets within the town.

As a result of my work, I made it up ALL the slopes in the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria. It was slow and steady. Usually, Ilona insisted on going slow with her mother, the turtle. Once, I sent her ahead so she would possibly see the Rocca Maggiore Castle before it closed. It was situated at the highest hilltop in the precipitous town of Assisi. Eventually, I got there, though it was already closed for both of us.

Assisi has buses. Yet, those buses only go so far. There still remain at least half the hilly streets where buses do not go.

Ilona and I walked up the arduous streets and alleys of Volterra, San Gimignano, Cortona, Orvieto, Perugia, Spello, Spoleto and Assisi. And, we spent a day in each of two easier walking cities of Milan and Bologna. When we enjoyed two days near Rome, one at Hadrian’s Villa and another at Villa D’Este, both had innumerable steps. Yet these two days seemed less strenuous compared to the hill towns.

Travel is invigorating. We experienced sights we cannot see anywhere else, foods we cannot eat anywhere else, and met people we cannot meet at home.

While I ingested lots of pasta, gelato, and wine, I did not gain a pound. All that walking and climbing paid off. Yes, I went off my sugar free diet for cancer, but it was only 18 days.

Besides the ancient towns, the medieval buildings, the art museums, and the sensational scenery, we loved the people we met in Italy. On every trip, we meet people from all over the world. With our limited knowledge of Italian words, we connected briefly with some who speak no English. The language of love really is universal.

Some memories include Ilona and I surviving a level 6 earthquake and two aftershocks that happened at 4 AM on May 20. We were in a modern hotel that withstood the quake. Most homes and hotels evacuated people immediately. some people died. Two weeks later on May 29, a second earthquake occurred in that same area. At the time, we were safely in Assisi, about 120 miles away. Sadly, the epicenter was turned to rubble. Thousand year-old homes, museums, and churches were destroyed entirely.

Other memories include facing the fact that we did not like the hotel in Assisi as much as we expected. So we arranged to go back to Orvieto, where we were the happiest. It was there that we excitedly and cheerfully talked politics with like-minded couples from four different states all at once.

We enjoyed the many kindnesses of B&B owner in Orvieto. On returning, we were treated like royalty. When we left, the owner and his staff lined up to hug us and wish us farewell.

Another experience was staying up to wee hours drinking wine and limoncello with an English speaking couple from Belgium. For several nights, we had animated discussions on their culture and ours. Now we have a standing invitation to visit them. They are invited to visit us. Meanwhile, we stay in touch by email. Cheers to them, and to all the delightful people we met.

It required patience and perseverance to prepare mentally and physically for that journey. It was a personal triumph for me to overcome every challenge and to scale those hilly mountains.

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by on Oct.20, 2009, under Random Writings on Relationship

Book Give Away Day is here. This is it.  Get your chance for a variety of books by going to

Today, Tuesday, October 22, 2009 many books will be gifted.

For a mini version of a talk radio show interview between Catherine VanWetter and me,  click on the following:

The Weed That Broke Through the Sidewalk – Marifran Korb

More information about the book can be found on yesterdays post.

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by on Oct.19, 2009, under Random Writings on Relationship

Overcomers, Inc.

Receive access to over $6000 in bonus offers from 90 leading experts.

About the book
Overcomers, Inc: True stories of hope, courage, and inspiration is the perfect book to read when you need a lift.  Filled with gripping stories by 36 people from all walks of life, Overcomers, Inc will make you smile, move you to tears, and fill you with the strength you need to face life’s challenges.

Mission Statement
Overcomers, Inc: True stories of hope, courage, and inspiration will give readers the knowledge and emotional resilience to face the most difficult times of life by sharing inspiring stories of triumph and fortitude. Over 90 leading experts are supporting the launch of Overcomes. Inc.

Love Your Life Publishing exists so that you can literally love your life.

Read one excerpt from my chapter titled:

The Weed That Broke Through the Sidewalk
by Marifran Korb

Starting over has resulted in both of us being happier beyond our wildest dreams. We found the delight and self-expression we wanted. Once apart for five years, now we have been back together for twelve delightful, fun-filled, precious years. As a Joint Adoration Society, our motto is:

Together we evolve, joyful, healthy, triumphant partners in the dance of life!

Here are some things I learned through my journey:

· Staying in an unsatisfactory marriage kills your spirit and your spouse’s, no matter who is the primary cause.

· You cannot take responsibility for a spouse who refuses to address his health issues. (Chronic depression is a physical problem manifesting emotionally).

· The universe is always supporting you, even though you often resist the next step.

· You own your life, and must take responsibility for your happiness and satisfaction.

· Despite the fact that you have not lived on your own for decades, as a single person again you can find your talents, support yourself financially, and experience full satisfaction.

· Friends are everywhere. Many old friends and new people show up.

· Separating can result in blessings you never imagined.

· Eventually, you may support others who have similar experiences.

Every marital situation is different. My story is not a prescription for other unhappy marriages to follow. It is an example of what may be a possible solution in some situations. What I recommend is applying courage whenever needed. At every juncture in your life, tune into your courage by listening to your inner guidance.


A heartfelt Thank You to the 90+ experts offering bonus offers for Overcomers Inc.

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