Falls Friends

Local author looks back at the bittersweet bonds that endure from childhood with kids growing up on the same block.

Dolores Miller is 71 years old, but she doesn’t let that slow her down – nothing does. Not the many traumas of her childhood, nor the recent bout with breast cancer she’s happy to put behind her. Through it all, her enjoyment of life has only increased and expanded, along with her drive to spread a message of love and acceptance she learned in 1950’s East Falls.

She didn’t learn it alone. In fact, there were three of them, inseparable friends, who trusted each other through thick and thin, bestowing each other with the ultimate gift of unconditional love. Looking back, Dolores sees even more clearly the important role Anthony played in their lives, showing them what it means to stand by your friends, to appreciate them for who they are, and be quick to forgive because time goes by so quickly.

If we’re lucky, the memories we make and the relationships we forge will sustain us through a lifetime of ups and downs. Dolores has lots to look back on – and infectious enthusiasm for the golden days ahead. Her book, Anthony, Mary-Anna, and Me is a short, sweet nugget of Philly nostalgia for all ages, that gently leads the reader inward, triggering personal reflections.

Though she’s written numerous books, Dolores sees herself more as a minister at heart. Instead of talking about her latest title, she wanted to speak to the themes she sought to highlight. We appreciate the opportunity to feature her words of love and experience, and honor the wisdom that comes with a life fully-lived.

Dolores has written several inspirational books

Dear Reader, by Dolores Miller

Never give up — every day is a blessing. Don’t waste your time away from people you love because you’re too busy or too proud, or for whatever reason. Accept it, move on. Don’t give into negativity: step on it! Let it boost you higher. Rise to all you were went to be.

Take stock in each moment; slow down to appreciate all you have. Receive the beauty around you, and help others see it as well. Remind your loved ones how important they are to you every single day. Be kind, always. Express gratitude. Find ways to help, everywhere.

For all the children who didn’t make it out of their traumatic childhoods, we can honor them by spreading love and light to all.

Anthony, I am 71 years old. And during my lifetime, I’ve seen a lot of misery and a lot of joy, but it would never be like the moments we had of sheer friendship and starlight times… With special kindness, you taught us love and unconditional friendship. You were an angel back then, we just didn’t know how soon you would become an angel for real.

Please remember, no matter what life brings to you, try to look at the positive side. We always have a choice. As a survivor, I choose to overcome and keep healing. I choose to become whole, and happy. My choice is life. And to do all I can do to make a better world.

Anthony, Mary-Anna, and Me (2018) – Memories of growing up in 1950’s East Falls mix with meditations on life, change, friendship and the timeless bonds of childhood. Buy Here

DOLORES M. MILLER  is a poet, author, public speaker and child advocate. A survivor of childhood abuse, she grew up in East Falls (first on Ridge, then Haywood), eventually landing with a young family who showed her love, kindness, and a sense of belonging. Today, Dolores lives in Center City with her husband/Knight in Shining Armor, Larry. Together they have two grown children plus four grandchildren who are a constant source of joy and inspiration. See the full catalog of Dolores’s books on Lulu.com (independent online publisher/bookstore), where all titles are available for purchase.

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