Always Singing

Dad asked where your ukulele was. I told him Scott has it, out in Portland. He showed me a catalog he got in the mail, really cool ukuleles, and wondered if Scott would want a new one. I told him the one he has is kind of crappy, but it means the world to him.

I heard you singing, after that. The same song…

I roll the window down.  Close my eyes and breathe in. 

…over and over. You did your own rendition, slightly different from the way Ben Gibbard wrote it. Maybe you didn’t know all the notes, or the right words.

Then looking upwards, I strain my eyes and try to see the difference between shooting stars and satellites...

Maybe you just liked your way better. I understand those tiny, subtle changes. I wonder if you did. Such a quiet song. Happy, really, and melancholy. Like you. Relieved.

“Do they collide?” I ask and you smile. With my feet on the dash the world doesn’t matter.

You tried playing your ukulele, those few weeks you were home, before the end. I remember watching you, listening, without you knowing. You got to the end of a song, and the ukulele kind of just fell away, your face falling too. The music wasn’t helping.

When you feel embarrassed, I’ll be your pride. When you need directions, I’ll be the guide…

Your voice always cracked at the high note, not because you couldn’t reach it, but because you liked it better that way. It’s more beautiful that way, you told me. Perfection isn’t beautiful.

...For all time. For all time.

 

As bits and pieces hit me, I emailed notes to myself on my cell, hoping it would be enough. Hoping if it wasn’t, I’d have the start of something. But I still heard you singing all night, in my dreams. All morning, as I went about my chores. I see your smile, right now. My goofy kid. My sad, sorry, hurting kid. Now it’s all here, on this page, in my words, and I’m hoping you’ll go away for a little bit. Forgive me for that, but there you have it.

(Passenger Seat, Death Cab for Cutie)

 

 

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Circus in my head

Once again, I almost made this a private post, but I (apparently) stuck to my pact. Now it’s out there in all its glory. It makes me feel better to let it loose, but you are under no obligation to read it, no matter how much you love me. K?

Know what a calliope sounds like? (If you don’t, go here.) That joyful, slightly creepy, always manic music is how my brain feels.

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I’m happy. I have a good life, a wonderful husband, good kids, adorable grandkids, a nice home. Lots of friends and family who love me. I’ve another book coming out in October. A fabulous literary agent shopping my masterpiece to publishers. I’m going to Europe in March with my parents and brothers. Day-to-day existence is full of writing and lunches with friends, floating in the pool. And laundry. I joke around on FB. I sparkle and shine and laugh. I seem fine. Like I’m adjusting. Processing. Living. And I am.

I know I’m obsessed with Stranger Things lately, but there is an Upside Down to the happiness. A world where all the light is dark, all the pure is tainted; a world where the monsters lurk. It squishes me, wrings every ounce of light out of me. It makes me feel like a fraud, because how in the hell can I, in any stretch of the imagination, even consider being happy when my son is gone? When I failed him so utterly? When he had it so hard and then died all alone? When he won’t get married and have children, a career. Such simple wants, my son had. It doesn’t matter if the choices I made, the things I did helped him to survive a few years more; it was all the things I did wrong that cost us him in the end.

My logical brain knows that’s all bullshit. It tells me I did all I could, his choices were on him, I fought harder for him than he did for himself. There isn’t a platitude I haven’t consoled myself with. It’s just when the Upside Down gets me, it gets me, and no amount of logic or love can set me free. Because no one knows how I feel. No one. Because I’m the one who who never gave up. I’m the one who took him to doctors and meetings and physical therapy sessions. I’m the one who brought him home again when the darkness fell so hard he couldn’t see. I’m the one who stood outside his door that morning, playful and hoping to make him smile, asking if he was alive in there. I’m the one who opened the door and found him. Me. Alone. I can’t unsee him lying there. I can’t unfeel that “NO!” ripped from my throat. The panicked 911. My son is dead. My son is dead. How did I miss the signs? How didn’t I know this was a possibility? I let down my guard. I got comfortable. “I got this. No problem. We’ve weathered worse.” There is nothing worse. Nothing.

And then there’s the no-feeling. That’s the worst of all. I’m happy, I guess. I’m sad, I guess. It all seems to have happened to someone else. “Oh, that’s a shame. Really sad.” It almost feels as if he was never here to begin with, as if he’s fading away and nothing I do can alter that. I can’t even cry. What am I crying for? I feel nothing.

These things hit me and sometimes last a moment, sometimes days. I’m exhausted. And really, that fucking calliope needs to shut the hell up, already.

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My Grandmother’s China

I was closer to my maternal grandmother; no surprise where I come from. In my family, the women tended to stay closer to their mother’s family than their father’s. We lived with my mother’s parents for many years, in an upstairs/downstairs house in Paterson, NJ. Sunday dinners were a given. Even after we moved, we saw them weekly, at least. Gads, I love them so much. And I miss them everyday.

My dad’s parents were a little distant with us. Things were more polite in Nonnie and Grandaddy’s house. We visited for an hour or two, and then went home to run wild. My two girl cousins (daughters of their daughters) lived next door and a couple of blocks from these grandparents, and most likely had the same kind of relationship I had with my mother’s mother. At birthdays, they got specially selected gifts (probably orchestrated by their own mothers, I realize as an adult) and I got a card with cash in it. I’ll never forget the doll my cousin Susan got for her birthday one year.

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Madame Alexander Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm 

I fell in love with this doll, and wanted one so badly. But my birthday had already passed, and it was too late. I wasn’t a sulker, but I was all of maybe seven and I’m pretty certain my tremendous grief over this doll was apparent all over my adorable face. That day, days, weeks later, I can’t remember anymore, my Nonnie slipped me a $20 and told me to buy the doll.

For all I know, my parents had given her the money and told her to say it was from her, but I don’t think so. Nonnie had no money of her own, so she had to have taken it from somewhere without my grandfather knowing (he’d never have given it to her–another story for another time, and not as bad as it sounds. Honest.) I’ll never forget that burst of light inside my little-girl heart the moment she gave me that $20 bill–she really did love me as much as she did my other female cousins.

I don’t remember spending many occasions alone with with my dad’s parents, there were probably more than I recall, but I do remember that Nonnie and I would always have tea together in special cups. “One day,” she always told me, “these will be yours.”

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“One day” came shortly after my first husband, Brian, died in a motorcycle accident, a month before our second child was born. Nonnie had a bad heart, and things had been going downhill for her for some time. She was in the hospital when Brian died. When she got home, I went to visit her. She’d been told “Don’t make Terri cry!” And how hard she tried to hold it together when she saw me, my sweet Nonnie. She took my hand and squeezed it, tears welling but not falling. I hugged her and told her it was okay to cry, but she still didn’t. She’d promised.

Nonnie died shortly after my son was born. She never got to see him. I was trapped in such tremendous grief and fear for the future, the china was lost in that deep pit I unintentionally sacrificed a year of my life to. By the time I remembered the china, it was long gone. Packed up and sent to Florida for use in my grandfather’s condo there.

Somewhere along the years, my mom told me the significance of that china, and why Nonnie wanted me to have it over all the other cousins. When Dad was in college and Mom was home being the fiancee, she and Nonnie used to go to the movies. The china was a promotion–free piece with every ticket purchase. Nonnie and Mom collected that china together. Nonnie and I had tea in those very cups. And they were gone. Or so I thought.

After Nonnie’s death, my grandfather did what most men of his generation and heritage do–he found another woman. It wasn’t that he hadn’t loved my Nonnie, it was simply that he didn’t know how to be alone. Gertie was great. We all loved her right from the start, despite our loyalties. She was such a sweet person with a little-girl voice and an always sunny personality. When she heard the story about the china, she made it her mission to get it back for me. It took her a while, but while in Florida with my grandfather, she packed it all up and sent it to me. Every piece. See why we all loved her?

Years later, I felt kind of bad that I got all the china. There was so much of it! Mom and Nonnie must have gone to the movies a lot. I sent my cousin Susan the sugarbowl and creamer. It meant so much to her. I should probably send something to Kim, and my sister Karen, too.

This morning, I was feeling pretty sad. It happens, after a weekend spent with family. It reminds me of who’s missing, of who will always be missing, and…I have to get over that. Scrolling through FB this morning, I came across a friend’s post about the china his family used during his childhood, and how he’s collecting it again. It made me remember my own china, and the story that went with it. The story bloomed the love out of mind but ever in the heart. I really needed that today. So thank you, Nonnie. And thank you, Lou. Today will be better now.

Peace.

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America, the Beautiful?

I usually keep my political opinions to Facebook, where I have few qualms about speaking my mind. But yesterday, I backed down from getting into it with a very beloved friend. All who know me will agree, I’m generally a peacekeeper. I kept the peace yesterday. Today, not so much.

I’m not going to extol the virtues of Hillary Clinton. Those of you who don’t like her–even feel you hate her–have your reasons. Right. Wrong. Doesn’t matter. Advocating her election isn’t what this is about. It’s about trying to understand why any rational human being would support Donald Trump. I am genuinely more flummoxed by the day. I don’t buy the, “I just can’t vote Clinton” in any of its forms. What are Trump supporters FOR, not against. That’s what I need to know. I need to have hope that, should it happen, America will land on its feet.

And let me go on the record before you read any further–I would love to know why you are FOR him. Any “I hate Hillary” comments will be ignored, as will name-calling and derision.

I genuinely don’t understand veterans standing behind Trump, not only are his plans for the military a fantasy, but the healthcare reforms alone will essentially privatize the health care for men and woman already fighting for the care they earned, and desperately need. And recently, the disrespect he showed to not only Humayun Khan, but retired vet, Lt. Col Louis Dorfman, who presented Trump with his Purple Heart, is unconscionable. Not only did Trump not realize his disrespect, but neither did Dorfman. How can that be? Is it a copy? (It was a copy, by the way, despite Trump’s fantasy retelling.) He always wanted one and this was much easier? Am I the only one who sees that disrespect? Trump didn’t serve (as a matter of fact, he had several deferments during Viet Nam) and yet he disparages Sen. John McCain for having been captured. I’d have had to admit respect for the man if he–in MY fantasy world–handed it back to the Lt. Colonel with a, “You served. You earned this. I didn’t, but thank you for the honor.” No, he pockets it and then uses it as a prop in his speech.

Christians, this one really flummoxes me. Does no one see he’s suddenly claiming his devotion to get them to feel good about voting for him? He isn’t Christian in word or deed. And don’t tell me I can’t know what’s in his heart. He shows what’s in there every time he opens his mouth, every time he disparages yet another category of people he doesn’t identify with. You know it’s true. There isn’t a single, rational person who can claim otherwise. And Catholics, how do they rationalize voting for him when the Pope has made his opinion clear? (To be fair to both Trump and Pope Francis, the pontiff has refrained from a direct statement.)

And women–how can any woman vote for this man? His misogyny is legendary, and he has no idea he’s a misogynist. That’s the scariest part. Women have their place in Donald’s world, and it’s abundantly clear what that place is. Pro-choice? Pro-life? He won’t commit, so whichever side of the fence you’re on, don’t count on him being on yours. He claims pro-life but this, like his faithful devotion, is a new thing. He showed some spark of humanity when, early on, he said Planned Parenthood did more than perform abortions, that it provided necessary services for women–and yet now he says he will defund the program entirely.

Those able to look beyond all this because they believe he will be a more fiscally agreeable choice, please understand that whether he’s had more success or failure, paying partial debts to other countries (as he’s done with countless contractors) isn’t going to happen. A country isn’t a business, no matter how much anyone wishes it were so. And, really, does anyone truly believe Trump’s business ethics are commendable? I suppose it’s always fiscally advantageous to pay $2000, when the contracted price had been $8000 (random numbers here.) Because he can. Because his lawyers will drag litigation through court for years. But is that the way YOU want to be treated? How about you work your 40 hour week and then your employer says, “I’m only paying you for 16 hours. Take it or leave it.” Or how about the social security check you depend upon suddenly gets cut in half? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Small businesses struggling to keep afloat? He’s not on your team. The tax benefits and healthcare repeals aren’t going to make your life any easier, just hard in a different way. He has no real intention of bringing jobs back to the US. It’s not economically feasible.  And do you really, really think Trump is going to close his factories in China and Bangladesh? (<–old, but…) Really?

So why is anyone still behind this man when it’s clear even to his own party that he’s completely unqualified? The horrifically sad conclusion I must come to is that this country still harbors far too much racism and misogyny. And fear. So much fear. Fear of the Other. Those most avid about Trump are afraid, and his team preys on that fear. They breed it. People who were afraid of Obama, are afraid of Clinton, afraid of same-sex marriage and transgendererd people they didn’t even know existed ten years ago using the same bathroom they do, are afraid. They cheer for the wall Mexico will supposedly pay for, and the deportation or registering of Muslims, and rolling back the Marriage Equality and Healthcare (flawed, agreed, but better for many with the wrong economic status and/or skin color) Acts, because they are afraid. And that makes them angry. So, so angry.

They want “the good old days,” when men were men, women knew their place, and homosexuality was in the closet. Things like child pornography and domestic violence didn’t exist. Not in the good old days. In the good old days, we could all afford a house, a car, our 2.5 children, and a new fridge when the old one conked out.

Oh, mercy.

You didn’t want to be a woman in the good old days. You had no rights to your children, your home, any of your marital assets should the marriage–gasp!–fail. A wife had no legal standing in the event of marital rape–oh, right…that didn’t exist either. Neither did addiction. The town-drunk was a funny guy, harmless and endearing. Don’t be a child with a disability in the good old days, where there was no such thing as mainstreaming, your child who was likely institutionalized, sometimes lobotomized and/or sterilized. Don’t be black in the good old days. Or gay. Or anything other than white, male, middle/upper class, straight, and Christian. Or those who aspire to be at all costs.

But the fact is, America has never been a white, middle/upper class, Christian country. It just played one on TV. Were there Cleavers and Griffiths and Brady Bunches? Sure. But they’ve never represented the majority, or even the “norm.” There is a reason why the misfit is as universally beloved as the hero in any story. Most of us identify as the misfit, even if we want to be the hero. Even heroes identify as misfits.

I’m not changing any minds. I’m just getting it off my chest. We don’t have to make America great again. It is great. We have problems. We’ve always had problems. That’s what comes of a vast country housing the multitudes of ethnicity, religion, and individuals claiming the most diverse ideals, identities and cultures within cultures in the world. Whatever our failures, our injustices done, our tragedies endured, Americans rise up and make noise. We don’t fear, we conquer fear.

This is what the 2016 election is about, at its core, why Donald Trump won the candidacy when there are many, many Republicans far more qualified. Put every other policy and scandal aside and see this bottom-line core. The strides made over the last few years have scared people afraid of change, of losing their place at the top of the food chain, or their grasp for it. It’s time to topple that fear, not feed it. The America we live in, the America we love, the America that has made mistakes and will make more but won’t belly up to fear is in jeopardy of falling backward and doing exactly that.The hatred Trump has bred, the division, the fear, the backwards bounds he promises whether it’s socially or fiscally, nationally or internationally will bleed the United States to a husk.

Trump won’t feel the fall. To be fair, neither will Hillary Clinton. They’ll both still be rich and powerful. We’re the ones who will feel it in every aspect of our lives. Every one of us.

 

 

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Ind’tale trailer fun

After I got my faboo review for Dreaming August, Ind’tale sent me an offer to get in on a trailer they put out once a month. (<– if you want to see it.) I took them up on it, and this is the result. Fun, huh?

Dreaming August

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Dreaming, Disoriented

I woke up out of sorts again today, fresh from dreaming about being in Portland with Scottie. He was showing us animals he was raising. They were white and fluffy, but other than that I can’t recall what kind of animal they were. Not sheep. Maybe goats? My dad was there, and he picked up one of the animals (strange in and of itself, since my dad has never willingly touched an animal in his life) and set it across his shoulders. The fluffy white thing turned into a young woman in a black and gold gown, a black, velvet ribbon at her throat. She balanced there a moment, then dad lifted her on his palm, like a circus performer. She wobbled a little but said, “Steady, steady.” In the background, Scott and I tried (and failed) not to laugh, because even in dreams we knew it was a really strange sight. And then I woke up, or rather, Frank woke me. I don’t like sleeping late. It throws off the rest of my day. I never thought I’d become such a creature of habit. Of daily ritual. But I have.

Gads, I miss my son. It’s been five months and fifteen days since that Sunday in March I hugged him good-bye. An adventure for him, one he needed so desperately. This is his time, and I am as thrilled for him as I am sad for myself. More thrilled than sad, in fact. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating–I was never a mother who wanted, or expected, to keep her kids forever. Fly! Be free!

When we were in France, on our last night in Cannes, my dad raised his glass and said he wanted to propose a toast. We all had the same thought, I expect, that it would be to the wonderful time we had together. But he said, “To my son, who I love more than life.” I will admit, it stung just a little. Sitting beside him, I teasingly and tentatively said, “Daddy?” Without missing a beat, though slightly red-cheeked, he looked at me and said, “Oh, honey. I always have you.”

I know my dad. I know how much he loves me and my sister. I also know he’s always related better to the boys, as would a man raised in the era he was raised in. But I also know his actions have always spoken louder than words that–despite being a gifted lawyer–didn’t always respond emotionally. This morning, after my dream and realizing how much I miss both my sons so intensely every day, I came to realize something, and it stems from that old adage, “A son is a son til he takes a wife. A daughter’s a daughter the rest of your life.”

It’s what he’s always believed, that he’d lose his sons one day to another family set. To distance. To something. And he didn’t. Strangely enough, though one brother did go out to California twice in his life, for several years at a time, he’s now living within ten minutes of my parents. My other brother has never lived more than half an hour from them. His daughters, though? I’m in Connecticut and my sister is in New Paltz. Close, but not close enough for a drop in.

But I got it. After a few weeks pondering that toast and comment–because though first impressions might sting, they’re seldom what they seem–I understand, and it’s because he put me in charge of planning our cruise next March. I’D get my brothers in line. I’D make all the arrangements. I’D see to it we all got to the same place at the same time. Because I’m the daughter. His peacekeeper (always have been, always will be.) “I always have you.”

You have to know my parents, or at least me, to understand them. Words are easy. They’re safe. They’re often not what is meant at all. Actions are harder, truer, and make a far more lasting impression. Dad isn’t perfect, and sometimes he says things he shouldn’t. Sometimes I feel like I don’t matter as much as my brothers. Growing up a girl during the time I did, with parents caught in their own upbringings, I’m left with a few hiccups that jolt me now and then. But you know what? I’m over it. Who I am now is the direct result of my past, ALL of my past, and I really like me.

I’ve been out of sorts since waking, and so here I am, sorting myself out. Dad picking up that fluffy white animal in my dreaming, in missing my son, in that animal turning into a girl balanced on his palm like a circus performer might not mean anything at all. Or it could mean a whole lot. I choose to see the meaning there. And now I’m no longer disoriented. See how that works? Off to write.

Peace.

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Broad brushstrokes

   It has occurred to me on more than one occasion that Romance fiction is judged the way most things female are judged–with a broad brush covered in rose petals and sparkles. Sugar and spice and everything nice is all well and good, but it’s not all we are, and it’s not all that romance writing is.
   Chick-lit, chick-flicks–yes, such things exist in the exact form you’ve instantly conjured with those terms. There is a place for these lighter-than-air stories crafted to give no more than a moment or two of, “Oh, no–poor character. Her latte wasn’t fat free and now she’ll be all bloaty for her date.” They’re a form of fantasy, maybe a little wish fulfillment in a real life of job, kids, spouses, dog-poop on the carpet and/or dating a thousand frogs in the hopes of kissing a prince. Or worse. I know, when we were going through the worst of the worst, I devoured romance fiction of this nature like a kid on a melting fudg’icle.
   Then there is the rest of romance, the kind that touches on deep, painful, uplifting, complicated and otherwise intense aspects of life. Or death. There is romance set in war-time, in the aftermath of natural disaster, in the quiet and tragic illness of a loved one. There is also comedic romance, suspenseful romance. As a matter of fact, just add “romance” to any genre, and you’ll find excellent examples of what you can easily find. Anywhere. The “romance” part simply means there is a love story at the core, and that those two people will find a way to one another in the end.
   Now, I get it. In this world of self-publishing, there is a whole lot of poorly written stuff out there.And it’s not as if every traditionally published novel is fabulous. I’ve read quite a few stinkers on both sides of that fence. But you know what? Some of that “poorly written” stuff sells really, really well. Why? For the same reason it has since Professor Bhaer admonished Jo March that she wasn’t a real writer until she stopped writing her pirate stories–it speaks to a large number of readers, in language that doesn’t make them feel talked down to, or talked at. It reads the way they speak, the way they relate stories. In short–it’s real.
   Some readers want a more elevated form in their reading, just like some viewers prefer a film that has won awards in Cannes to those that win Golden Globes. And don’t get all wonky about me using the word elevated. I’m not saying one is for dumb people while the other is for smart people. One of the smartest people I know loves the Zoolander movies. Even I, grammar fiend, word-dancer that I am, love me some Tosh.0. Elevated simply means it’s done in an artful, more formal way. It’s almost a fantasy, because few people speak the way such novels are written. There are those who look for word acrobatics, for prescriptive grammar over descriptive. And then there are some who have no patience for such things.
   And you know what else? There’s a whole lot of stuff in-between that satisfies readers on both ends of the spectrum. That’s the beauty of life–diversity. Romance is diverse. There will always be good writing, and bad writing. Romance has its fair share, but defining an entire genre by that share is snobbery, and it’s unfortunate, because there is a whole lot of good stuff being passed over because it’s romance. The ever-growing genre of women’s fiction is growing as it is because people will pick up and be seen reading women’s fiction when they’d never even consider romance. I hate to tell you this, people, but most of what you read is romance. #sorrynotsorry
   This whole thing was sparked by an article shared by a sister-in-romance on Facebook this morning. Here’s the article.
Here, have a cute little crab. Peace out.
VAB

Courtesy of Karin Gastreich VAB16

 

 

 

 

 

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When you Wish

You were a dream I had once, long ago

When I was young and hopeful and free

of the pain of my past, a new beginning unfolding

And you, the binding of that past to present, to the future

A tiny ball nestled on my chest, breathing baby breaths

I conjured you until you were real,

Pinocchio after all the wishing was done, after

the whale and the sacrifice and a fairy’s magicked compassion

Blond hair and blue eyes, where did you come from

in my swarthy sea of Italians? You always said you were

Viking, a long-ago raider marauding along the coast,

leaving behind the blood that would tumble through time,

through DNA strands and couplings and transatlantic voyages

to show up in my arms, held to my breast, a bundle of baby boy  breathing sweet breaths.

You are a dream again. Now.

Images. Conjurings. Memories true and sometimes blurring

around kinder edges that spare me

sustain me, always skewer me straight through. Sometimes

the pain is exquisite, and sometimes

it’s just pain that I gather in around me because it proves you were real

not some fading wish once made upon stars already gone to dust

as if you were never quiet here to begin with.

~TLD

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A Few New Things

The novel formerly known as Traegar’s Lunatics and now as The Pen has been marked final. Beloved Agent Janna (as she will forthwith be known) not only guided me to the perfect ending for the story within the story, but for the actual story itself. What I had was fine. Her “what if you did this…” made it amazing. I’m so in love with this book.

We’ve also decided that Helen Mirren will play Olivia in the movie.

The synopsis is written, the query is all ready. After the holiday weekend, it will go off to the list of publishers she and the powers that be at the Knight Agency have generated. And now, the wait.

In the meantime, I’ll work on Undeclared.  It’s up around 25K words. This story is once again different than anything I’ve ever written. There is no romance. Not even the scent of it. I’ve never written anything without it. This one, though? Nope. Ledanora, Nell, Beverly–maiden, mother, crone. I hadn’t planned that when I started this book, but it’s just so right. My subconscious knew, and acted accordingly. I’m in love all over again.

You might have noticed a change here on Modesty is for Suckers…the banner, above. A ridiculously talented and generous friend sketched this of me from a photo on Facebook. I’ve never had anything capture me, who I am, my spirit, as perfectly. It embodies my motto–Modesty is for Suckers. Does that imp look modest about ANYTHING? Nope.

Happy Independence Day! Eat well, stay safe, and have fun!

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The Ups and the Downs

Some days are harder than others. D-day, strangely, wasn’t. It was like watching a scary movie through your fingers. You can’t help watching, but if your do so through your fingers, you can keep the ghouls at bay. That’s what last week was for me. This week…

I have a confession; my first thought whenever I see a happy family is, “Fuck you.” It really is. On television, in person, on Facebook. How awful is that? It’s not directed at the happy family, but at my family’s fate. The words pop into my head instantly, and just as instantly dissipate. It brings a kind of relief, like slapping a hysterical person.

People die. There’s no way around it. We’re all going to experience loss at some  point in our lives. Parents lose children in far worse ways, under far worse circumstances. Had Chris not died, we might all be mourning him in a different way now. Maybe this, maybe that, maybe the other thing. Maybe nothing. Maybe doesn’t count for anything when the result is already in.

Frankie D and I had a perfect weekend, just the two of us. Beautiful weather, a little shopping, hanging out in the yard, playing Phase 10 (his favorite game) by moonlight. We had a great dinner out at our favorite place, got the yard ready for summer, put twinkle lights on the gazebo, and swam in the pool. Sunday night, I made clams and lobster tails on the grill, and corn on the cob. We watched the Game of Thrones finale. After a peaceful week last week, the weekend was the sigh at the end of a long, lovely day.

And now today…I find myself a bit weepy. Maybe that’s the consequence of all that peace. The ghouls held at bay got pissed. I think I’m pissed, too, because I have a good life. Better than most, I think, and yet saying that out loud feels so many kinds of wrong. Emotion and logic battle constantly. Happiness and sorrow. Hope and cynicism. That’s why I write these blog posts, to help sort through it all.

Peace.

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