Do You Know the Basic Nature of Life?

Greetings sweet friends! How are you?

Tuesday morning I did something I hadn’t done in more than two years – I drove south through the intersection where I nearly died in a car crash in 2019 when a car ran a red light and broadsided my Jeep. That moment remains vivid – I felt like I’d been struck by a bomb. While my car spun, time slowed and I thought, this is how it is to die.  No wonder I’d avoided that intersection for years. But Tuesday I was in a hurry and found myself where I hadn’t meant to be. I breathed, waited for the light to change, and drove through the intersection. Greetings sweet friends! How are you?


No Comments     Tags: Covid-19 · Depression · Disassembly Required · divorce · loss · midlife crisis · perseverance · reinvention · resilience · self-help · suffering


An Unlikely Advocate for Marriage

In February, I attended a World Marriage Day celebration at my church—an annual mass for couples throughout our diocese celebrating silver and gold wedding anniversaries. Except for priests and other altar officiants, I was the only unmarried person there. Normally, I’d run for the hills rather than attend an event where I’d feel like a sore thumb in the midst of anything approaching those odds. But this time, I volunteered to be there, and I’m glad I did.


No Comments     Tags: anniversary · Cathedral of St. John the Baptist · Catholicism · Disassembly Required · divorce court · divorce recovery · how to survive an affair · marriage · moving on after divorce · wedding · World Marriage Day



My Personal Path to Peace as a Christian Divorce Attorney,  by Sean Smallwood

​​​​​​​As a law student Christian my aspirations of practicing law were rooted in the desire to help other people. To me nothing felt nobler than becoming a successful attorney who devoted his practice to defending those in need of help.
As my law school career matured and I drew closer to the day that I would be a licensed attorney I felt myself pulled more and more toward the practice of family law.


No Comments     Tags: Christian divorce lawyer · Divorce · divorce court · divorce lawyer · divorce recovery · family law · law · law practice · marriage · marriage counseling


My Own Personal D-Day

Today is the 76th anniversary of D-Day. On a tour last year of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force I met an amazing WW II hero named Paul Grassey, 97, who subsequently went to Normandy for the 75th celebration. As a young man, Paul flew 13 combat missions, piloting a B-24 bomber over Nazi-controlled territory. What was the driving force behind his sacrifice and that of so many other men and women? Grassey attributed it to character and courage.

Every year, I never forget D-Day. How could I?


2 Comments     Tags: Beginning again · D-Day · Disassembly Required · loss · reclaim your life · reinvention


My Childhood Dream Came True at Midlife

When my daughters were little, my ex-husband and I often sang them to sleep with a duet of “When You Wish Upon A Star.” I believed then that all my deepest dreams had come true –


No Comments     Tags: Agatha Christie · Beginning again · book publication · Bookmobile · Books · childhood · Daughters · Disassembly Required · Divorce · dreams · first book · live after divorce · memoir · Nancy Drew · Pinnochio · Savannah · Savannah Book Festival · Ursula LeGuin · When You Wish Upon A Star · Wish · writing


Life After Divorce. 7 Lessons I Learned From My Husband’s Affair

Hardship is the raw material for learning how to navigate life after divorce. What I’ve learned from my pitfalls has allowed me to help others through volunteerism and writing about my experiences.

All that anguish wasn’t for naught.


No Comments     Tags: beginning again · divorce · divorce court · divorce recovery · how to survive an affair · live after divorce · mindfulness · moving on after divorce · single mother · Starting Over


The Unexpected Jubilee I Walked In On

I got off to a slow start last Sunday morning, but realized I could still make the 11:30 a.m. mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Savannah’s Roman Catholic Mother Church. So I hurried off, parked, and quickly ducked inside, clueless about what awaited me.


8 Comments     Tags: anniversary · Cathedral of St. John the Baptist · Catholicism · divorce · marriage · National Marriage Week · sacrament of marriage · Savannah · World Marriage Day


Baby It’s Cold Outside: Harmless Classic or Date Rape Ditty?

When I first heard about the #MeToo movement’s censure of Frank Loesser's 1944 holiday classic "Baby It's Cold Outside,” I was angry. After the fall of so many American icons, I couldn’t stomach the thought of an attack on the beloved music I’d grown up with. If Loesser was on the chopping block, who’d be next? Besides, what could be so terrible about a man and woman engaged in a dance about what’s become the lost art of flirtation?


1 Comment     Tags: #MeToo · Baby It's Cold Outside · date rape · Frank Loesser · holiday songs · Johnny Mercer · Margaret Whtiing · Me Too Movement · Snow · Winter


Sticking it Out on the Rocky Road to Publication

I’ve worked hard all my life and was taught that hard work and determination pays off. I put myself through law school, raised two amazing daughters as a single mother, and embarked on a writing career at mid-life, eventually being published by many prestigious magazines and newspapers. Yet that golden book deal remained elusive. At times I’ve feared that perhaps I’d finally hit my personal glass ceiling.Type a short description of your new blog


1 Comment     Tags: agents · book publication · Danielle Flood · Fear · first book · Jennifer Haupt · memoir · rejection · Susan Shapiro · the writing life · writing


Documentary on Homelessness, "Without A Roof"

Documentary on Homelessness in Savannah to Air on
Georgia Public Broadcasting on Tuesday, August 7
Savannah, Ga. (July 24, 2018) – Without A Roof, an up-close and personal look at the homelessness crisis in Savannah, will air on Georgia Public Broadcasting television stations throughout the state on Tuesday, August 7, at 11 p.m., ET.
 Type a short description of your new blog


No Comments     Tags: Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless · Georgia · Georgia Public Broadcasting · home · homeless · homelessness · Savannah


Why the Lovefest over the Royal Wedding?

I thought marriage was supposed to be dead in the United States. So what’s up with the lovefest over the Royal Wedding?


No Comments     Tags: Bishop Michael Curry · Don Quixote · marriage · Meghan Markle · no-fault divorce · Prince Harry · Royal Wedding · wedding


Pocketbooks, Spider Webs, and Pre-Mother’s Day Blessings

Some women are obsessed with shoes. I’m more of a bag lady. But, like Nora Ephron, I also hate my purse, especially last Saturday when I changed pocketbooks three times in one day. Connecting the dots a few days later, however, it ended up being a good thing.

“Where’s your purse?” I asked a good friend the night before. She was about to make a purchase, but there was nothing hanging on her shoulder, tucked under her arm, or strapped to her back or midriff. She’d been known to misplace her bag, though, and her hands were lazy dazy free.

“I don’t have one,” she said, slipping a slim wallet from her back pants pocket. My cheeks flushed with envy.


No Comments     Tags: Attachment · Corliss on the Bay · Daughters · Fire Island · Garden · Goodwill · Kentucky Derby · Loss · Lowe's Home Improvement · Mother · Mother's Day · Motherhood · Nora Ephron · Parenting · Purses


I Love A Parade!

Last Sunday I walked in my third parade in only two weeks. And all week long I can’t stop singing “I Love A Parade." Since moving to Savannah four years ago,  I’ve marched in at least 15 parades. This town grabs every chance it can to celebrate, and so do I. We even have an annual celebration in February commemorating the founding of the Georgia colony.


5 Comments     Tags: VFW · Buddy Poppy · Flannery O'Connor · Georgia Day · I Love A Parade · Mardi Gras · MLK Jr. Day Parade · parade · St. Patrick's Day Parade · Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home · Georgia · Savannah


Welcome to Snowy Savannah!

I know. What’s wrong with this picture! I haven’t worn my UGGs since I sold my house in Brooklyn at the end of 2013 and drove to Savannah. My boots spent most of 2014 in a Queens storage facility until I took the plunge and moved south for good. Leaving cold weather and snow shoveling behind was a huge factor in my mid-life move. Last year I never even unzipped my down coat or wore a knitted cap. But yesterday it snowed in Savannah!



No Comments     Tags: Beginning again · Blizzard-2018 · Garden · Little Bird · New Year's Resolution · Palm Trees · Savannah · Savannah Blizzard 2018 · Snow · UGGs · Vermont · White Christmas · Winter · Winter Wonderland


Little Bird

Boxes are piled high, and I still don’t have an uncluttered surface for my papers. But I’m finally here. In a room of my own where I can write.
I moved into my new house a week ago. And each morning, while brewing coffee, I watched a branch on an overgrown tree tap the window in my kitchen. Each morning I also heard another tap on the window in my adjacent office. I assumed the source of the sound was the same. But a couple of days ago, when I looked up from my computer, I saw a little yellow and brown bird repeatedly fly back and forth from the tree to my house and bang its little body into my porch window.
My heart stopped when I saw her. Don’t hurt yourself! The windows are new and undoubtedly the cleanest they’ll ever be. Poor little bird – she looked like a baby – must have been practicing her flying. Must have assumed my window was part of the big beyond only to smack headlong into my glass. Each time I held my breath until I saw her boomerang safely back to her perch, afraid she’d drop instead to the ground.


4 Comments     Tags: Beginning again · Birds · Birdwatching · Flight · Flying · Little Bird · Man of La Manch · New York City · Omithology · Savannah · Starting Over · The South


Hurricane Preparedness

http://beverlywillett.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Cow-Hurricane-Matthew-Perry-StateFair-e1506545791244.jpeTwo weeks ago the Governor of Georgia ordered a mandatory evacuation from certain parts of the state, including Savannah where I live now. Weather forecasts predicted a Category 3 strength direct hit to Savannah from Hurricane Irma, with a storm surge of 10-15 feet. In less than five years, I’ve battened down for three hurricanes – Hurricane Sandy before I left Brooklyn, Hurricane Matthew last October, and now Hurricane Irma. It felt like I’d just evacuated and here I was ordered to leave town again.


No Comments     Tags: Attachment · Divorce · Fear · Georgia · Gratitude · Hurricane · Hurricane Irma · Hurricane Matthew · Hurricane Sandy · Loss · Montezuma · Perry Georgia State Fair · Pig races · Savannah · State Fair



“I believe that magically the book we are supposed to read somehow appears in our hands at just the right time,” best-selling author Ann Hood writes in her new memoir MORNINGSTAR: Growing Up With Booksa series of essays about the books that shaped her life. I nodded constantly while reading MORNINGSTAR last month. Like Ann, my hometown didn’t have a library either. Every Saturday a Bookmobile parked at the post office across from my house, and I’d check out as many books as my little arms could cradle and carry them home. I devoured all the books I could get my hands on. Low-brow, high-brow, it didn’t matter. Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, Ursula Le Guin. Like Ann, I remember reading Little Women over and over.


2 Comments     Tags: Agatha Christie · Ann Hood · Bookmobile · Books · Comfort · Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home · Little Women · Morningstar: Growing Up With Books · Nancy Drew · Reading · Sychronicity · Ursula Le Guin · Ursula LeGuin


Me, Nicki and Davy Jones

I was ten-years-old when The Monkees television show debuted on NBC, and I never missed an episode. I bought band paraphernalia with my allowance – a Monkees bracelet, a plastic hologram ring, trinkets I’ve kept to this day. I joined the fan club, too, and still have my official membership materials, along with every one of the group’s vinyl recordings.  All four boys were adorable, but it was Davy Jones who captured my heart.

In 1967, my parents took me to see The Monkees perform at the Baltimore Memorial Auditorium in Maryland. That night I fell asleep clutching a copy of Tiger Beat magazine, as I did many other nights, listening to Davy recite On the Day We Fall In Love on my record player, absolutely certain he was speaking those words directly, and only, to me.

When I turned twelve, I decided that looking like Davy would draw us even closer. So I brought a picture of him to my mother’s hairdresser and asked her to give me a bowl cut exactly like Davy’s. How I, Beverly, a small-town girl of modest means, would ever meet the greatest teen idol of all time from Manchester, England, I didn’t know. It seemed an impossible dream.  Still, though I wished and more than two decades later, my daughter would make my deepest childhood wish come true.


5 Comments     Tags: Artful Dodger · Daughters · Davy Jones · Daydream Believer · Divorce · Hammerstein Ballroom · Manhattan · Micky Dolenz · Mother · Motherhood · Oliver · On the Day We Fall in Love · Parenting · Peter Tork · Rock Concert · Teen Idol · The Monkees · Tiger Beat · Where Is Love? · Wish


WWWW and How, But Not Why

Whenever I have dinner with my friend S., the conversation inevitably veers to a discussion of faith, or rather our current struggle with a lack thereof.  I’ve had sciatica for nearly four weeks now, with pain radiating down each leg from what feels like hot pokers sticking in my buttocks.  In a fit of desperation, I googled the Mayo Clinic website the other day.  “Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body” and resolves “in a few weeks,” it said.  At week four, my progress had worsened.

“I’m not friggin’ Job!” I shouted out in pain to no one in particular when I got up to go off to my temp job one morning last week.  I hobbled downstairs, made a pot of fresh-brewed gourmet coffee, glanced at the latest headlines, and immediately felt like a privileged fool.




The Next Big Thing

Right before Thanksgiving, my friend Laura Munson asked me to participate in The Next Big Thing online event — a way for authors/bloggers to share news about upcoming projects.  Mercury was still in retrograde, but I said yes to what the universe had placed in my path anyway.  Before I tell you about my writing journey, let me tell you about Laura, who blogs here. Laura is the author of the bestselling memoir This Is Not the Book You Think It Is, and one of my favorite authors.  I first met her several years ago through the pages of her memoir, sitting in my home in Brooklyn reading about this amazing woman in Montana who met her own family crisis with calm and patient acceptance.  When I got to the end of her story, I looked over at my nightstand and realized that the bulk of the books on her bedside table mirrored mine; I knew we were kindred spirits.  Years later she came to New York on tour, and I got to hug her in person.  It is an honor to be tagged by Laura to participate in this online event and if you haven’t read her memoir, please do.




We Are Seven

Wordsworth is my favorite poet, and We Are Sevenone of his best.  It recounts a conversation between a gentleman and a delightfully “innocent” eight-year-old “little girl.”

Ten years, ago, when my husband left, my daughter Ella was seven; a few months later she turned eight.  She’s the baby of the family and, to her occasional dismay, I suppose some part of me will always think of her that way.  Sometimes I forget how she looked at say 9 or 10, without getting out the family photo albums.  Seven I remember.

The other day I did a Google image search of “seven-year-old.”  Have a look at these faces.

At seven, most children are transitioning to second grade.  In general, they’re curious, ask lots of questions, and choose to take on more responsibility and become more self-sufficient.  They even understand sarcasm!  In school, they’re learning how to measure, beginning to memorize their times tables, and developing a broader understanding of the world beyond their own.  Their vocabularies consist of several thousand words; fluency with reading, writing and storytelling is really taking off.  And they’re forging friendships.




Love: Standing In the Kitchen To Remind Me

Post-divorce life has been rough lately.  Alimony gone, huge debt, unemployment, post-menopausal hot flashes.  Pleas with my well-monied ex to increase child support are usually met with something akin to “GFY,” or exactly that.   I just paid my attorney a huge sum to settle my divorce debt; other bills get paid out of home equity and renting out my home.

I entreat, beg and occasionally engage with my ex even when I know I shouldn’t.  Still, something stops me short of matching vigor for vigor. “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him,” Martin Luther King, Jr. said.  And at times it takes every fiber of my being to do just that, to push away the anger bubbling up in my throat that my friends say I’m justifiably entitled to.




Cheaters the Anti-Cheating Ring Won’t Stop

There’s a new wedding ring on the market that allegedly keeps cheaters faithful.  The words “I’m Married” are engraved on the inside of the band, and leave the same mark on your skin if you decide to slip the ring off.

“The negative engraving on the inside means that when you are in the ‘Club’ and an attractive woman…or man comes along to chat, slipping your wedding ring off is not an option,” the marketers claim.  They also say it’s guaranteed for life, “til death and all that.”

Only any spouse who’s determined to cheat probably won’t wear that ring to begin with.   “Rings bother my fingers,” he’ll say on the off chance you even ask.  Or “I’m allergic to anything gold, silver and titanium.”   And you’ll believe him because you’re never going to marry a guy you think needs this ring in the first place.   Otherwise, you wouldn’t be writing out all those place cards.   Besides, any spouse determined to cheat will also figure out how to file those words down or off completely.


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Back In Line

It’s 2:30 p.m., and I’m back where I started out at 11 o’clock this morning.  Back where I sat for two and a half hours yesterday before I had to leave so I could check on a job lead.  Back at the place where I’ve probably spent more time during the last nine years than any other, besides home.  The one place more than any other I’d rather not be:  Family court.

At 1 p.m. today, they told most of us to leave and come back again at two.  I was back on time, but couldn’t get upstairs.  More than 100 people stood in line in front of me, all of us waiting our turn for the metal detector. Moms, dads, children in strollers.  A true New York melting pot.

To our right, suited, tied court officers and attorneys flashed credentials and breezed past the barricades.  I used to be one of them.  In the days before I became a stay-at-home mom.  Before my ex-husband abandoned me, broke up our home, and wrongfully sued me for divorce.  In the days when money, security and health insurance flowed freely.  Before I ever dreamed I’d end up here.  In this line.




Babble's "Moms Who Are Changing the World"

Wow! I’m very humbled to have just been nominated for Babble’s “Moms Who Are Changing Your World Contest.”  Voting ends soon so if  you’d like to cast your vote, here’s the link:   http://mom.babble.com/mom/mominations/mominees/activism/beverly-willett Mostly, I’m hoping this brings some awareness …


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Divorced, indigent parents jailed...

With all the other difficulties that parents face in divorce court when wrongfully sued for divorce (not to the mention all the harm unnecessary divorce causes to spouses and their children), did you also know that parents who literally can’t …


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Divorce is STILL the problem

Yes, recent research indicates that cohabitation is up and divorce down in certain segments of the population. Marriage is also down.  And divorce remains a problem if not the major problem facing families today in our country, especially the repercussions …


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Profile in Psychology Today

Thanks to Psychology Today and Rachel Clark for profiling me about  my divorce and efforts to work for divorce reform! You can also read more there about the Coalition for Divorce Reform! http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/marry-divorce-reconcile/201106/can-story-inspire-divorce-reform




Formation of the Coalition for Divorce Reform

About.com announces the formation of the Coalition for Divorce Reform. http://fatherhood.about.com/b/2011/05/30/coalition-for-divorce-reform-launches-campaign.htm


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Thanks to my new (very talented) writer friend Eve Gaal for telling me I was the inspiration for her article in The Lead Press about the declining value of our oaths in America.  There’s a tremendous amount to think about in …


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Feeling Like Foreman

Reading this makes me feel like Foreman on last night’s episode of “House,” strapped to his blood pressure gauge. This sounds all too-famili­ar, except I didn’t opt for the divorce or the blended family bit. The real lesson we should …




Come to the Memoirathon, February 17!

Come join me and other writers at the 4th annual Memoirathon on February 17 in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  There will also be a photography exhibition.  See you there!http://onlytheblogknowsbrooklyn.com/2011/01/22/feb-17-the-memoirathon-experience-and-expression/


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Huffington Post Divorce - Blockbuster Stories of 2010

Thanks to The Huffington Post and its readers for naming my follow-up article to my August 2010 Daily Beast piece, one of the blockbuster posts of 2010 on The Huffington Post’s new divorce vertical! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/30/blockbuster-posts-of-the-_n_802523.html#s216935&title=After%20The%20Daily%20Beast%3A%20Saying%20No%20To%20No-Fault


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Today on the Huffington Post...Merry Christmas to all!

What I miss most about being married during the holidays….http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/25/what-do-you-miss-most-abo_n_800970.html#s214937​​​​​​​


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PAUSE! In the Name of Love

Today for the Huffington Post.  If you have a minute, go to the comments section — would love your thoughts.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beverly-willett/pause-in-the-name-of-love_b_790637.html​​​​​​​


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Children and Negative Impact of Divorce

Very insightful article by Cathy Meyer yesterday on children and their resilency to divorce. http://divorcesupport.about.com/b/2010/11/16/is-your-child-more-resilient-than-you.htm Ditto an article today in the HuffPost by Elizabeth Marquardt about the negative impact of divorce on adult children of divorce. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-marquardt/the-new-stigmachildren-of_b_781149.html




For the Huffington Post today….

SAYING NO TO NO-FAULT http://www.huffingtonpost.com/divorce/​​​​​​​


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Forgetting the Pause…..

“Do you blog?” “You must blog!”  “What do you mean you don’t blog?”  Comments to me, the woman who resisted e-mail as long as she could.  The former lawyer who still wrote longhand on yellow legal pads long after word …




Latest Essay in Prevention Magazine

“What I Believe:  Through A Child’s Eyes” in December 2010 issue of Prevention on newstands now.​​​​​​​


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