Dandelion seeds dispersing

Purpose–it may be simpler than you think.

Have you ever wondered about your purpose?

I had intended to write a blog last week to process some of my emotional overload, but after starting a draft or two, nothing substantial materialized.

Then, I got caught up in the whirlwind of coronavirus writing and submitting, because there’s so much I want to say and so much that needs to be said and so many opportunities not to be squandered and this could be my big break to get a byline in a mainstream publication and I’d better not blow it.

The outcome after three days of frenetic writing and revising was two essays and a handful of rejections. Everyone, it seemed, was writing about COVID-19. No one, it seemed, was interested in my words.

My purpose in writing essays is for others to read my words.

By Friday, after I submitted my essays one final time each, my thoughts returned to writing a blog. Easter was almost upon us, and, even for those who don’t celebrate, the metaphor of resurrection from darkness was too meaningful to ignore in these pandemic days. Again, I started a draft, but nothing gelled.

My thoughts were dandelion seeds dispersing in the wind, and in my attempt to catch them all, every single seed slid from my fingers.

Then I thought maybe I’d wake up early yesterday, Easter Day, and tap something out. Surely a seed would germinate on Easter, right?


Easter morning dawned on the heels of a few worse-than-normal gut days for me. The morning was another physical and emotional ordeal. By noon, I was so exhausted, I had to lie down.

Usually, when I need a ten or twenty-minute reset like this, it will revive me enough to face the rest of the day. Yesterday, it didn’t. I didn’t know if I could get up. I didn’t know if I wanted to.

I’ve never had a day when I couldn’t get out of bed, when depression or illness imprisoned me so fully that I gave in to the pull of the cocoon under my covers.

Yesterday, I wondered if it would be the first.

But my son was coming over. He was coming to celebrate Easter.

My husband and I had nothing special planned. We got curbside take-out on Saturday, wiped down the containers, and put them in the fridge for Sunday. We planned out our social-distancing-together strategy—where we would sit, how we would handle food distribution, which doors to use or not use.

Steve, our son who lives further away, didn’t make the drive for the weekend as he’s done for years. It was the right choice not to travel. I missed him, but he was safe–that mattered more.

But Matt lives twenty minutes away, and he was coming over. He was my purpose in getting up. So I did.

Please excuse the pun, but I rose from the bed.

I brushed my teeth and showered and got dressed and ate lunch and picked up a little around the house and scrolled through Facebook.

By the time Matt arrived at dinnertime, my gut had settled, allowing me to enjoy our visit. The day that I thought might break me turned out to be a great day.

Sometimes, we just need to find one purpose in the day that won’t allow us to quit, that makes us get up, show up for our day, and crawl through it if that’s all we can manage.

We just need one purpose in the day

If you think you don’t have a purpose, you are wrong, my friend.

For you have read my words. You have given me purpose today—to get these imperfect words onto this imperfect page so they reach your imperfect eyes.

Today, you are my purpose.

You are someone’s purpose for rising.

You may not think anyone cares if you get up or not, but you may be the very reason someone else rises, too.

If you can rise, I can rise. If I can rise, someone else can rise. And if more of us rise, then we make a statement that all hope is not lost.

The world needs that message right now. The world needs you. I needed you today, my friend, and you showed up for me.

Thank you.

Have you checked out my new page? Ten Signs You May be a People-Pleaser.


  • Karen DeBonis

    Karen DeBonis writes about motherhood, people-pleasing, and personal growth, the entangled mix told in her memoir "Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived" forthcoming in spring 2023. Subscribe today to receive Chapter 1: A Reckoning.

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  1. Patricia Smith Wood on April 13, 2020 at 4:53 PM

    Great post, Karen.You’ve said it well, and the lesson will help all of us.

  2. Debbie Kirsch on April 13, 2020 at 5:21 PM

    Oh Karen! Thanks for your words. I have been on the verge of panic all afternoon. I think you know I am on regular pain meds, which are a 30 day supply, calling my Dr every month so she can call the pharmacy. This afternoon, I got a strange recording, saying the office was closed, listing regular open hours, which included today!
    At the end, one could leave a message in case of emergency. Which I did!
    And 4 hours later, no call back.

    Your words are a comfort, as was the Easter homily from Fr Scott Vanderveer, from St. Patrick’s in Ravena. He is a WONDERFUL person, who sang with us for awhile before Ordination. He has a great voice. But this was a powerful homily.

    I pray for you all the time; please pray for me this week especially. I don’t know what to do.

    On a better note, I also can highly recommend one of our musicians, Rebecca Angel Maxwell, who has a YouTube session every Sunday at 2 PM (& available anytime after). She sings and plays guitar/piano for a half hour, mostly from our church music she is wonderful, & singing with her, from yesterday calmed me down for a little while.

    I especially recommend to you, the song “Do Not Fear to Hope”. I think it is appropriate for you and for me!

    I’m so glad you got to spend time with some of your family yesterday. After watching Mass, I joined my regular Zoom group of close friends. We closed our chat by singing “In Your Easter Bonnet” lol

    Be well!

    • Karen DeBonis on April 14, 2020 at 9:03 AM

      Oh dear!! Debbie, yours is a reminder to keep my struggle in perspective, as others have it so much worse. I will definitely pray for you. And yet, even through your struggles, you stay positive and find peace in your circles of faith. You are an inspiration to me. And I’ll look for your friend’s You tube session!

  3. Jack Herlocker on April 13, 2020 at 5:21 PM

    Karen, what a wonderful post! 💚💚💚 & {*{*{hugs*}*}*} dear lady!

  4. Beth Burrell on April 13, 2020 at 5:33 PM

    I appreciated this piece, Karen. So much wisdom here. Be well.

  5. Mike on April 13, 2020 at 6:47 PM

    Great blog dear. It brought a very positive message and twist to the meaning of Easter in these difficult times.

    • Karen DeBonis on April 14, 2020 at 8:56 AM

      Thank you, Dear, and thank you for being my rock on my difficult days. And all other times :)

  6. Ruth Bilodeau on April 13, 2020 at 9:03 PM

    Lovely post Karen! We are all here for each other. It was nice to be reminded that we provide purpose for each other too. If we give up, we let someone else down.

    • Karen DeBonis on April 14, 2020 at 8:55 AM

      Thanks Ruth, and yes – even when we least expect it, people are counting on us not to give up!

  7. Gail Boenning on April 13, 2020 at 9:12 PM

    Hi Karen….Thanks for this uplifting message. :) I’m glad you shared Easter with Matt….and hope you get to see Steve soon!

    • Karen DeBonis on April 14, 2020 at 8:53 AM

      Thanks Gail. :) Did you have your two favorite guys around? (I call my hubbie and sons my three favorite guys, lol)

  8. Sima on April 14, 2020 at 9:32 AM

    Thank you Karen. You have a great gift and keep writing . One way or other you will find an audience.
    I live reading your stories.

    • Karen DeBonis on April 14, 2020 at 11:47 AM

      That means so much to me, Sima. Thank you for taking the time to comment in the midst of this craziness where you and your fellow doctors and other healthcare providers are putting your life on the line for your patients. YOU have a great gift. Thank you for sharing it with others. XXOO

  9. Paula Ransbury on April 14, 2020 at 10:05 AM

    As always Karen, your words are inspiring and meaningful. So glad Matt could join you and Mike for Easter dinner. It sure is harder on some days to see what there is to be grateful for that can give us purpose but it is always there. For one, I am grateful for your post. Be well!

    • Karen DeBonis on April 14, 2020 at 11:50 AM

      Paula – thank you for your uplifting words! You, Mike and the girls– stay well, too.

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