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Archive for January, 2013

The scars on our hearts

We laid side by side and discussed the end of our relationship.

There was no arguing. No crying. No screaming. No pleading. We were done, Anthony and I. We had gone our own ways months before; our words didn’t make truth but mirror it.

“Do we call it now, then?” I asked. “Or do we give it another week and see how we feel then?”

After several moments of reflection, Anthony replied, “Let’s give it a week.”

From authors to singers, from actors to painters, there are few artists whose works I consistently enjoy. I usually describe myself as liking works, not artists, with rare exceptions like Joss Whedon, Eric Kufs or P!nk.

P!nk has been a favorite since law school, when I began running to her fierce yet catchy tunes. I didn’t have to be or feel any one thing while listening to her music. I felt all of myself in it: sadness, anger, frustration, elation, hope.

And yet, having loved her music for a decade, I was still shocked to discover a few days ago just how much more deeply she could move me. Read more…

I’m not ignoring you.

I probably haven’t left comments on your blog recently.

Or replied to your last email, or seven.

Or tweeted you.

This doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of you, or wondering what you’re up to. It just means my only internet is phone-based at the moment. If I’m posting online, it’s because I have something I really, really want to say before I forget. Or, like now, because it’s 4:30 a.m. and I’ve already streamed my quota of The Mindy Project on Hulu.

I’ve missed being online, a little, but I’ve savored it, too. Instead of constantly wondering what I am missing online, I have been immersed in savoring the offline. Instead of arising and running straight to the computer, I’ve laid in bed and listened to the trio of snores filling the air around me.

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I’ve washed the dishes, made my rice, read my daily chapter of Just One Thing, and sat on the living room floor savoring a sense of home greater than the one I felt at my last place. There, two friends anxiously began a journey of seeing if they could build a family from friendship. So much was uncertain then, and is certain now. Read more…

Dinner in spirit

I ran.

I used to do that a lot, but back pain stopped me in my tracks (hyuk, hyuk) many moons ago.

Down fifteen pounds and feeling the goodness of having so few food substitute toxins in my system, I felt compelled to lace up and go. I thought I might run five minutes, or eight, but I made it twenty whole minutes before I had to slow it down to a walk.

Yes, I’ve run a couple of marathons, but twenty minutes was a victory tonight.

Eight minutes would have been a victory.

Or four, if I’d pushed myself to my limit.

As I slowed to a walk, I thought about Elisa. I’ve written about her before, this law student whose death indirectly–through her memorial scholarship–paved the way for my finishing law school.

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She died while running.

What would she give to have twenty more minutes to run?

In my last post I complained about only being able to eat a dozen unadorned foods for the time being.

That’s twelve foods I can eat, because I am here.

Twelve foods Elisa cannot eat, because she is not here.

I wish Elisa and I could share a meal. That can never happen in body, so I must do it in spirit, thinking of her and being grateful for the abundance in my life today, an abundance throughout which memory of her will forever be woven.

Twelve foods. Twenty minutes.

One full life.

Too alight with love to care

“Mommy, you have pretty hair,” my three-year-old son told me as he reached to touch it.

“You do, too,” I replied.

“No, it’s not. It’s dark,” he said solemnly.

I tried not to show my alarm. “Who told you that?” I asked  as I reached to ruffle his hair.

Silence.

“Listen,” I said calmly despite the alarm still bubbling up within me. “You have beautiful, curly, dark hair. I wish I had your hair.”

“Oh.” Li’l D, no longer engaged in the conversation, got up and ran off toward more exciting endeavors. My heart remained stuck on those two jarring words: “It’s dark.”

I have no idea where Li’l D heard that “dark” is bad. I cannot undo his hearing it. But what I can do, and what I mean to do, is show him as he grows that misguided words are not all there is in this world. There is joy in abundance, beauty that cares naught for superficial distinctions, and the goodness of knowing that no matter what anyone else sees or says, there is a light inside each of us that demands to shine.

I will strive to teach him to see that light–in those who love him, those who dislike him for whatever reasons, and most of all, within himself.

If he can see it within himself, it won’t matter what anyone else sees.

He will be too alight with love to care.

Categories: Family, Love, Parenting, Teaching Tags: , , , , ,

Blessed

I went into anaphylactic shock Tuesday. I immediately chewed two Benadryl, an act I was informed possibly saved my life.

Two tiny tablets. Imagine that.

I think I know what caused the reaction. I will be able to confirm later this month, and be eating from a “safe foods” list of about ten items in the meantime.

But I think there’s something bigger here, too. Something I intuited but didn’t understand in the throes of panic Tuesday.

I am blessed.

I have Benadryl.

I have my brother-in-law, who advised me well. He is not a doctor yet, but he will be an amazing one someday.

I have Auntie Elsha and Uncle Dave, who dropped their evening plans to take care of Li’l D while I went to the hospital.

I have the grandmas, who came over to stay with me and Li’l D in case I had to go back to the hospital.

I have Anthony, who I found scrubbing the fridge and removing all possible culprit foods in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

I have my friend Emily, whose ferocity borne of love fills me with a sense of safety.

I have you, who left inspiring words of support on a post I wrote from the hospital.

I have knowledge of what an allergic reaction looks like, now.

I have support.

I have life.

I am blessed.

The three-star rating rock

The Monster’s Daughter‘s rating went from 4.24 stars to 4.22 stars on Goodreads. “Sweet damn!” I exclaimed aloud. “That means another four-star rating!”

When I published the book two years ago, a four-star rating would’ve sent me into a downward spiral of mopiness. I wanted everyone in the entire world to read my book, and I wanted every single reader to give it five stars.

A lot can change in two years. (Don’t believe me? Ask the parent of a one-year-old.) My perspective as an author has certainly changed. I know not everyone wants to read an unromantic tale of moderately evil vampires. I know that some of those who might welcome such a tale want lots of staking with not so much teenage coming-of-age angst.

I’m glad for the change. Now, when I see someone has read my first novel, I cheer. It doesn’t matter if they gave it one star, or three stars, or five. My first response is, “Holy cow, somebody read my book, and they probably weren’t even at gunpoint!”

Don’t get me wrong. I do love those four- and five-star ratings. I thank the folks who give them, when I can.

Then I turn to my fiancee, Anthony, and say things like, “The Monster’s Daughter just got a four-star rating from someone whose rating average is 3.25! Score!”

My newfound perspective is one I wish I could package and distribute to new authors everywhere. There will almost certainly be bad reviews. You’ll learn from them. There will likely be good reviews, too, if you’ve done your homework. Those victories should be celebrated, each of them, because each means someone is reading what you wrote. Someone experienced your creation, and cared enough to document the experience.

That is sweet fuel for the stories to come, which will–as I am finding with my second novel–be all the better for the lessons learned in creating the first.

Four more hours

I begin this post from the elevator of my nearly former home. I have just placed in my car the car seat that was my son’s very first. He came home from the hospital in it.

Soon it will be someone else’s car seat. I am glad for its future owners, but sad to part with it. I am startled and sad how quickly time has passed.

I am tidying. I am washing laundry. I am moving small items from apartment to car. I am thinking about how much there is left to move and it is a lot; my life is split between what-was and what-is-yet-to-be.

I am overwhelmed. But I know, maybe four hours from now, I will be propping up my feet and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which kept me going through moves to South Korea, Japan, and back to the States. This is not such a big move by comparison, at least not in miles.

Four more hours. Just four more hours of this painful not-quite-goodbye work and I will be kicking up my feet and relaxing to Buffy.

That’s all I’ve gotta do: just get through four more hours.

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