Granddaughter Wisdom



She’s just turned five and  is the less outgoing of the twins. Katie reminds me of myself in lots of ways. She’s athletic, prefers jeans to dresses, and has so many stories in her imaginative little head that at days end, she’s traveled the universe.


Last weekend, lucky me spent the afternoon with both the girls and their sweet Papa. We began with our ritual…tea with Grammie using real china cups and I might add, some pretty primo tea. I wanna raise ’em right! Then, a little artwork before we headed down to the nearby neighborhood field for our very first family baseball game. And, as luck would have it, we had the whole field to ourselves! It didn’t take but a few misses before both the girls got that baseball hitting “bug”. The feel of smacking a tennis ball with an over-sized bat was addictive, so their Papa and I got plenty of exercise in the outfield, and they were hoarse from screaming with joy. It was Heaven for this Grammie.


After some hot chocolate and dancing to a street band near where I live, we headed back home. Kate hadn’t put the bat down and had created stories for its use, appointing herself the “owner” of that bat. Sarah lagged behind, her little lower lip now telling me something was up. Falling back to be with her, I asked her about the lip and she said, “I’m sad because I don’t want to go home.” By the time we opened my front door, Kate too had alligator tears just waiting to roll down her face.


“I’m gonna miss you, Grammie”, she volunteered. Almost crying myself, I squatted beside both of them. “Grammie is going to miss you too.”
“Do you love me, Grammie?” Katie asked me and caught me quite by surprise.  Almost choking from my heart breaking, I said, “Of course I do. More than the moon”. Then, this little 5 year old said something that sums up real love…”I know. When you really love somebody, you really miss them when they’re gone.” Holding back tears, I shook my head, knowing the wisdom and the pain she felt.


Part of loving is the inevitability of losing it at some point in the journey. And, whether it’s our grandchildren, our life partner or even when we are thinking about loving again after we’ve lost someone through death or divorce…we must embrace the bittersweet with the ecstasy of loving.


If you’re ready to risk loving again, I would love to walk beside you and guide you to that special someone with whom you can share this amazing chapter of your life.

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big RED Chair

donna@donnasbigredchair.love   510-817-4242








Pillow Talk

Who would ever think a pillow could talk? The only time I remember hearing much from a pillow was when I was a teenager and used them to practice kissing the boy that I fantasized as tall, dark and handsome and whose transport would be, of course, the standard white horse. Neither man nor beast would have one imperfect hair out of place.


Not long ago I went on Amazon to find just the right pillow. It would be small, soft and fit just perfectly in the curve of a man’s arm. His arm would be wrapped around me, holding me close. I’d feel safe and lovely and loved as I fell asleep to the sounds of a fire still burning in the fireplace. It’s never perfect…so, of course there were also sounds of snoring, both man and dog. Ah, but even the snoring was sweet, my head resting comfortably on my soft little pillow.


As life would have it, the pillow arrived a few days too late. His arms were no longer open, but closed across his chest. I was back in my own bed, an hour from the beautiful fireplace and the snoring. My pillow never had a chance. Now it sits on my shelf, holding the promise of love yet to come. The pillow says it promises to take care of this sad old neck of mine while I fall asleep in someone’s arms.  I know he’ll be there, the pillow and the man, when the time is right. I have faith in love and I’m willing to wait, to do the work, to learn and grow from each and every relationship that has ever graced my life. And, I’m ready to forgive the lot, feel love and compassion for myself and everyone I know, even those I don’t know…all of us willing to have our hearts broken while finding just the right arm on which to lay.

Are you tired of sleeping alone and want to share your bed and this chapter of your amazing life with a special someone? Ready to do whatever it takes to find them?

Call me for a Complimentary Session at 510-817-4242. There’s someone to love just around the corner and I can be your GPS to love if you’re really ready to go.

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert, Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

510-817-4242  donna@donnasbigredchair.love




How is Fly Fishing Like Love?




A few years ago I was trolling on Match and met a man that seemed coffee-worthy, not to mention he wrote so beautifully, I couldn’t wait to meet another writer. Arriving early at the art museum, I found the ladies room, making  sure every hair was in place and that I didn’t have raccoon eyes. As I opened the door a tall, slim silver fox stood there by the elevator. Believe it or not, he actually looked like his photo. “Hi”, he said with the most gorgeous Southern drawl mixed with some California sophistication and I was off and running.


Some weeks spent in the pink cloud condos passed quickly and smoothly. As is always true when we tumble head over heels for someone, that wall of oxytocin keeps everything but perfection from reaching new lovers. Thank God for that and as I always say, enjoy the ride!


The details are not important to the story, but one day I had a rare but very real meltdown. Something very old in me was triggered by him and my poor body was flooded in fear. That’s when it happened. Not usually a man comfortable with emotions or touch, he took me in his arms and held me, and then said my magic words. “I will never leave you.” 


My life was not spent in Who-ville and in fact, I moved 17 times before I graduated high school. My daddy, for whom I was a princess, committed suicide when I was at the tender age of 12. I quite literally thought I would die from heartbreak. And, I didn’t but it took many decades to heal and to trust that when someone I love leaves for any reason, I won’t die. 


Mr. Southern Charm and I didn’t last long but I had fallen deeply in love with him. Deeper than I had ever allowed myself to go, no longer my usual one- foot- on- the- other- side- of –the- threshold. So, with my heart and soul heavily invested, I was devastated. Months later I wondered if I would ever be able to love again. 


I not only survived that loss, but have managed to navigate through new relationships, sadness when they didn’t work then get right back up,  bringing my new best self to the next one. And, here’s what I learned from the Southern Man that changed my life. I learned that my biggest “hurt place” is  loss and ensuing feelings of abandonment…of course it is. And, that no matter how much I heal over a lifetime, I will always long to hear a man I care deeply about say, “I will never leave you.” That’s like an award-winning lure for me. It will get me every time.


Being aware of what your lures are creates not only an opportunity to be compassionate with yourself and your injured places, but it will show you what hooks you to the wrong person over and over again. 


What are the lures that keep hooking you? What will you do to take care of yourself as you look for someone wonderful, healthy and ready for love?


Me?…Well, my skin will always be soft and thin in the area of abandonment. Even when I meet Mr. Right, I will remind myself, at some point that we all leave someone we love behind when our sweet lives are done. And, when I am fortunate enough to find love again, I’ll enjoy the ride!


Do you want to kiss more than your dog and are you ready to do whatever it takes to find someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life? 
Email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love and let’s schedule a complimentary session to talk about just how I can help you find them!

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer, Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbigredchair.love






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