Resting My Eyes

A few months ago I visited Vicki for the first time since 2019. Even though we’d stayed in touch electronically during the pandemic, it was so good to be together again in real life! Many of you know how that feels: we’ve been riding the same roller coaster.


I was reminded that Vicki has taken “Stealth” photos from time to time. Some of them have been kinder to me than others.

I was probably working on this very website

And some of Vicki’s photos suggest I might not always be an attentive guest. (I just sat back to rest my eyes a little.)

Relaxing afternoon

It really was a great visit. Too short as usual. My next visit will be soon, I hope. This time of the year brings weather games into traveling. Maybe I’ll see you on the road.

May your New Year be Blessed.


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“Houston, We Had a Problem”

July 16, 2022: Vicki’s Voice, the Website, is back online.  Vicki is still with us, and has made some important changes that have her smiling more. She’s still sharing on Facebook about her family, her new home and brighter days.  We’ll get those stories and more onto the website at just the right time.

Unplugged cord
“Webmaster” has been to me, Jim Coyle, an ironic title since I so often feel the “Web” is in control. Combined with other life events and Vicki not posting here very often, growing tech issues led me to unplug the website for a season. But I didn’t dream it would be more than two years before the website was back! I was overwhelmed.


We’re back at last, planning to catch up on Vicki’s life and experiences. And to help my friend share her stories – stories we all need to hear.

Thank you, Papa, for loving Vicki – and every-one.


Jim Coyle, Webmaster

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Winter Came. Celebrations Postponed.

January 31, 2019. I’d planned to drive to Vicki’s this week and celebrate her birthday, a little belatedly. As she wrote in a post earlier this month, Vicki has reached her 70s. Happy Birthday, my dear Friend!

But my plans, and the plans of several million other people, changed when a Polar Vortex brought extreme cold and wind and snow to the Midwest and Eastern regions of the United States. Michigan was one of the states really slammed this week. We’ve postponed my trip to celebrate Vicki’s birthday.

But the funny thing is, like so much in life, this extreme storm has also brought beauty. This is what Vicki saw this morning after sunrise:

Villa Maria Snowfall Jan 31 2019

Fresh snow at Villa Maria, January 31, 2019

Here in Steubenville, Ohio where I live, our experience of the Polar Vortex wasn’t as extreme as Vicki’s area, but it was still intense. Before and during the storm I witnessed so many people helping others in the harsh conditions. Beauty in the heart of the storm. And I’m sure Vicki will have similar stories to share when I visit.

I’ll get there pretty soon, Vicki. But, alas, not today.

And here’s a reminder that this year has much ahead for us:

Villa Maria in the Summer

Villa Maria in the Summer

Jim Coyle

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Happy Birthday — to Me!

It’s the eve of my 70th birthday. I can’t remember how I got here, but here it is. Age is but a number, I’ve heard. A BIG number (laughing to myself).

Snowy Villa Courtyard

But not here. Here at “The Villa” I’m a kid. Daily I nearly get mowed down by 90 year olds, scooterless, walker-free adults who apparently can’t count and are intent on just living. Who knew a 104 year old could boast a very snazzy hairdo and not succumb to white hair Afro perms?

70. Seems like just yesterday I was trying to convince my parents that at age 11, I was a teenager, since – in my mind – I just wrapped up my first decade, and it seemed logical I should be in another 10 years as a teen. I fought with them for the next two years until they realized I had been right all along, and I allowed them to call me a teenager.

I had so many dreams of what I could be, would be. When I was a Mercy-ette I was sure I would be a nurse. Or a Carmelite, following in the footsteps of St. Therese of Lisieux, my favorite saint; or maybe a Sacramentine sister after attending a retreat at their convent near Petoskey. But mostly, since I was 3, I wanted to be a wife. And a mother.

young Vicki with a doll

The route getting there took awhile and had some twists and turns, but it happened. While the marriage was short, my life has been long in blessings, having given birth to four amazing children, watching 3 of them grow into beautiful, funny, and smart adults, who in turn married. Giving me seven – yes, 7! – grandchildren. Wait. 7 1/2 grandchildren. Yup. There will be 8 of them in August.

I have more sunsets than sunrises ahead of me I suppose. But as I teeter on the precipice of my next decade, I can smile. Just as I made it as a teenager, now I’m about to accept the honor of being a Septuagenarian. Feels pretty satisfying. And damned lucky.

Thank you Papa, for giving me enough extra time to meet my growing family, to find new friends and to still be able to recall all my old Pals. For deep, rich memories. For having a very happy Birthday. –It’s me, Vicki

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At Home

Vick's Front Porch - Summertime

It has always brought me peace, whether pulling in the driveway or sitting on my porch. My prayer was to never leave here. My last journey would lead from here.

I fought so hard to keep this home, but got ill, and slowly withdrew to within its 4 walls. David Rosenberg, dear friend, fought with me, and gave me 4 extra years here. Charles Irvin was my support when days weren’t good, giving me the example I will need to keep following in the time ahead. Jim Coyle, friend of friends and his family made sure Christmas arrived each year. Greg Friedman found time to put in a garden.

Vickis Home at Christmas

This week I will be moving to Grand Rapids to a Senior Retirement home, Villa Maria.

To my family – Beth, Andrea, Nick & Jessica, and Beanni Frizzlebottom – and friends including Dee Esch, Johnathan Allen Esch, Ruth Landis, Jean Louise, Rick Ferguson, St Jude Parish and Franciscan Center, thank you for watching over me all these years. To my Facebook friends, I will miss you all so much. You are my miracles.

All my love & blessings,
Vicki Wells Bedard

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