The Queen of My Self


I see “Begin Again” as an ideal theme for this season. We have the supreme opportunity now in the autumn of our midlife to begin again. How shall we reinvent our Selves? What new programs, projects and passions are on the horizon for us? Please send me your stories of change, transition, and transformation. Our shared experiences serve to inspire and empower us all.

Thanks.  xxQueen Mama Donna


I went to visit the 2nd Fire precinct in my neighborhood on the one-week anniversary of the conflagration to pay my respects. The neighboring community had blanketed the sidewalk up and down the street with offerings of flowers, candles, cakes, tears and messages — one written on World Trade Center stationery and sent as a thank you for saving his life on that fateful day of reckoning.

There was a chalk list of the missing from this firehouse posted outside with eleven names on it. There had clearly been a twelfth, just recently erased, but I didn’t have the heart to ask whether this missing fire fighter had been found alive or dead.

I shook the hands of one traumatized but sturdy young man and thanked him. I engaged his misting eyes with my own and told him that I prayed that their dedication and sacrifice would be the foundation of a new way to live together as a world community. He locked my eyes and squeezed my hand and bit his quivering lip. He had seen quite enough of war, thank you very much.

Thank you.

At the bank I greeted the lobby guard as usual. I asked him if he was OK. “Not really,” he told me as his eyes filled with tears. His stepfather had been in the building. He escaped, but was shaken to the core. The guard (who I talk to practically every day and whose name I am ashamed to admit I do not know) said that he felt that his step dad would never be the same, like some Viet Nam vets whom he has known who will never be the same.

Then he confessed to me something remarkable. Actually, it was the most profound thing that I have heard anyone anywhere say on the subject. “I hate my uncle” he told me. “And I have hated my uncle for so long that now I hate anyone who looks like my uncle. ‘Why for you got to go look like my uncle?’ he quoted himself in his West Indian lilt. “Now I have to hate you.” He looked me right in the eyes and said that he realizes now how wrong that is. That he can no longer hate all uncle look-alikes. That he is now even working on trying not to hate his uncle.

Thank you.

I called Judith, one of my sister celebrants, who was feeling particularly despondent. A nurse, she had immediately ran to one of the hospitals on Tuesday morning to lend a hand, but after the first batch of the injured passed through the emergency room there was no one else to help.

An ill wind blew the smoke, ash and smoldering bits and pages of paper from the World Trade Center into her yard three miles away on the other side of the Battery Tunnel. She was worried about her two small children.  She was desperate to move out of this place of feeling helpless. “I wish there was something that I could do.”

“You could call Linda,” I suggested, knowing that she had had a recent painful falling out with a good friend of hers. She allowed as she had known deep-down all along that in light of everything that has just happened, she should, she wanted to call. But she couldn’t. “Just do it, honey. Make peace.” And she did! And they did.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

A Walk Your Talk Pilgrimage – Part 3


Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.



The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to







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