PBS Video – Stories On Stage – New Beginnings

Sometimes we choose our new beginnings, but perhaps more often we are thrust into them.

Posted in Courage, Health, Inspiration

Spotlight on Mercia J. Tapping

By Diana Muñoz Stewart

only one life - don't waste it.Scrolling through my Facebook feed recently, I came across a post from a writer friend, Mercia J. Tapping. She posted about her Stories from the Stage appearance, an episode titled New Beginnings. In the episode, she talked about coming back after losing it all–a loving husband, successful business, and her own health. Her inspiring message, one echoed in her autobiography Only One Life: Don’t Waste It, demonstrates the resiliency of the human spirit as well as the very human need to connect with and help others. Mercia has been a clinical psychologist, a psychology professor, workshop leader, writer, and dancer–to name a few. Mercia is a warrior woman and as such is being feature in today’s Spotlight On post. Welcome, Mercia!

DMS: As you’ve said in your New Beginnings segment on Stories from the Stage, after you retired, you decided to join Toastmasters. You sat in the room for six months before getting up the courage to speak. Can you explain what led you to Toastmasters and what gave you the courage to try vocal storytelling? Read more ›

Posted in Inspiration, Life

The Marshmallow Gift

the marshmallow gift
Right after Herman’s death, I was very disturbed by what I felt was his spirit around me. It was a huge enveloping sensation. I fretted and chided myself. It must be the figment of the imagination of a grieving widow who could not accept the death of her husband. I paced my living room and angrily shouted up into the cathedral ceiling,

“Herman, if you are really there, show me, and in a way that I will know it is you”

Read more ›

Posted in God, Health, Inspiration, Miracles

Don’t Touch My Food!

don't touch my food, the reuben sandwich
I grew up in England where it was considered extremely impolite to touch someone else’s food. Food sharing was an emphatic no-no.

Then I moved to the United States, but old habits die hard.

My late husband, Herman and I, almost did not survive one of our early dates. He took me out to what he promised would be a real Jewish deli, and where I ordered a Reuben sandwich. It arrived in all its piled high magnificence! Herman looked rather longingly at my sandwich and asked

“Can I have a bite?”

Read more ›

Posted in Inspiration, Life

Endings – The Afterlife

endings, the afterlife, playing bridge, the ace of hearts
0f all the endings in life, the most definitive one is death. Or is it? My entire adult life I used to wonder -does death mean, it is all over, the end, or is there something more? Does Heaven exist? I honestly did not know, but I remember very clearly when that all changed. Now I know there is an afterlife. Read more ›

Posted in God, Inspiration, Life, Miracles

Never Say Never

never say never - dancing
My entire adult life, I sat miserably on the sidelines at all social occasions which involved dancing, thinking that I could not dance. Like millions of others, I have watched “Dancing With The Stars” and have been amazed and inspired that the contestants could become accomplished ballroom dancers so quickly. How I envied them. As for me? I was now too old and without talent. Alas, that could never be me.

Shortly after my late husband, Herman, got terminal brain cancer, we were at a Bar Mitzvah. I was painfully aware that this might be the last time that I might even attempt to dance with him. So I shuffled awkwardly around the dance floor, weeping quietly into his chest, and hoped nobody noticed. I was a basket case. Read more ›

Posted in Cancer, Courage, Grief, Inspiration

Mother Knows Best

mother knows best

By the time I became a teenager I really disliked my mother. She was very controlling, and I also thought she was a prude.

I spent almost my entire adult life trying not to be her. To make matters worse we even looked like each other and were both redheads. I often joked that I moved 3000 miles and married a Jew to get away from her. I became wildly adventurous, and certainly the black sheep of the family. By way of background, I was brought up as a good Catholic girl, and among other things, a late bloomer where boys were concerned, and quite predictably, my mother was determined to keep it that way. Read more ›

Posted in Cancer, Grief, Inspiration

Meet Mercia Tapping, Author of Only One Life: Don’t Waste It

Dancing Brought Healing To Her Life

Written by Elizabeth McCabe

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

With obstacles come opportunities. Pinehills resident Mercia Tapping is living proof of this life lesson. After undergoing personal struggles, her life story became an inspiration to others through her sheer grit and determination.
Mercia Tapping, An inspiration to others through her sheer grit and determination
Mercia shares her story, “A few years ago, I had the idyllic life – at least it was for me. I had a husband whom I loved deeply, I enjoyed good health and I was one of the top 20 woman entrepreneurs in Massachusetts. Over the course of a few short years, I lost it all. My husband got glioblastoma, terminal brain cancer; my CFO committed massive internal financial fraud while my husband was sick; I then got advanced breast cancer and was unable to run my company, so it was eventually sold in a distressed sale. Therefore, the woman who ostensibly had everything suddenly had nothing. Read more ›

Posted in Cancer, Courage, Health, Inspiration


hair - long beautiful red hair

When I was a child, I hated my hair. It was very fine and straight, and my mother insisted on cutting short so that it looked like a pudding bowl had been placed over my head. How I envied the other girls with their long hair, their braids, and pigtails. Most of all, I was jealous of those girls with curly hair. I looked like a boy when I wanted to look like a pretty little girl. It is no wonder that I have kept very few photos of my childhood. Read more ›

Posted in Cancer, Courage, Inspiration

A Good Death

When you get to be my age, you are less afraid of death, than you are of dying alone. Most of my close family and my husband are now dead, but along the way, I have become practiced at giving loved ones what I call, a “Good Death”.

beautiful rose - accompanies a good death

About ten years ago, one chilly January afternoon, I was sitting in my office with a happy smile on my face, because I was leaving next morning for a trip to the Caribbean.

Then the phone rang. It was my sister, Susan in England,

“Mercia, I am so sorry to call but Dad is dying. He doesn’t have long to live. The hospital have withdrawn all food and water. I felt I should give you a choice about coming now, or waiting until the funeral” Read more ›

Posted in Grief, Inspiration, Life


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