Monday, September 3, 2012

Here's just a question that I would like to pose.  If you feel like sharing, please do.  I'm writing a story about two people who are linked in grief, kind of a macabre love story.  What I want to know is how men process grief.  I don't know many grieving men.  My brother-in-law finds solace in religion.  I do not.  But he's still wonderful, it's just what helps him and what he wants to do to help the world.  We all have our differences of opinion, don't we?  I remember when I posted the last post, there were many comments from women on my Facebook page, but none from men.  I've known men that have written beautiful songs about grieving, but I really want to know - are there male writers out there who have tackled this subject?  I know that it's difficult.  The loss of a parent, loved one, friend, or a spouse is very traumatizing.  Perhaps my issue is that I got a few minutes with a box in a room to yell at my husband after death, and I really don't have a cemetery plot to visit.  Does that help?  Does anything help?
Do men talk to their dead loved ones?  I know that my son used to talk to his father and call him the man in the moon.  In fact, he's quite angry now that he says he can't talk to his father anymore.  Is that because you grow up and as a man you have a switch that turns off any outward emotion?  I don't think that's healthy.  Here is a call to all evolved men.  Please answer it.  I think it will help you.  We are all here to help one another, you see.  Also, if you are a woman and feel that you need to get out your grief, by all means, please do so here.  If anyone understands it, and wants to help you, it is me.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Here's what few people know, unless of course, they've read 'Practical Mourning' on All Voices...I am a widow.  Because of that fact, I find it very hard to move on.  Is it because there's not a great caliber of men out there?  I do not think so, at least I hope not, for all the single women out there.  The reason that I find it so hard to move on is my husband, himself.  He acted Irish, but according to his mother was truly German.  That explains the temper!  He was the kind of person that would cover the entire wall with art from the spaghetti scene from Disney's "Lady and the Tramp", merely because I was gone for a four day wedding for a friend.  He was such a devoted husband that he insisted on attending my baby shower.  When I actually had the baby, he passed out, and four nurses surrounded him, asking if he was all right.  See, he was very, well-extremely good looking, and I had to remind the horny wenches that I was having a baby, damn it!  The truth is, while I could move on, I don't want to.  It took him four to five proposals to get me to agree to marry him and I TRULY loved him.  The fact that he's gone now is okay, I've made peace with it.  But I always hope that he has found peace somehow.  Either way, he's free from his addiction and free from pain. I move on with the wonderful memories that he's left me, and the fact that no one could ever take the place of the only person who could have talked me into an idea as ridiculous as marriage.  A promise for life, really, who know what life holds?  But wherever you are Sammy, I did love you.   There a few people that truly understand the beauty that can lie in tragedy, but I knew him in person. I was imperfect, but Sammy was a blessing and I am always grateful to have known, loved and married him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm doing research on misogyny in religion and it's really becoming a passion for me.  It all started with my main character who is an outspoken atheist author in my new book.  So, as an author, I had to come up with what she would be writing about.  It's kind of an odd double life.  I feel as though she has the courage to tackle non-fiction in a way that I could only hope to do.  I am so grateful for my education at Augustana College at this point though.  I'm taking hours researching and trying to look into all of the angles because that's what I was taught to do.  Many of you know that I am agnostic, until there is proof, I cannot abide on faith alone.  It's done too much damage to our modern world.  However, I remember that some of the courses that I enjoyed the most in college were my religion courses.  It's a strict Lutheran college that demands that you take 2 religion courses.  Of course, I was always the devil's advocate.  I remember arguing that a person could seriously make so many connections between Bush's (Jr) presidency and his use of religion and Hitler's rise in Germany using religion.  They denied some of the sources that I wanted to use, but my professors enjoyed the fact that I read everything they gave me.  Had it not been for them I would never have studied Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a deeply religious man who was killed because he was involved in a plot to kill Hitler.  He had such a beautiful soul.  I remember reading his letters to his wife, Maria, while he was imprisoned and I just sighed.
The one thing that I love about research is that it takes you places you never thought you would go.  Whoever thought that I would agree with a Rabbi quoted on who advocates that women and their dress, and the perception of male weakness is a falsehood.  Men should control their lustful thoughts, no one is "asking for it".
Also, I never knew that the theories of L. Ron Hubbard included one sentence in which women should not be allowed an active role in politics or business as that would be "detrimental to society".
I feel grateful that I now have the time to research these gender issues and would welcome any comments or suggestions on further readings on these topics.  Until then, I'm signing out to research!  ;)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Perhaps this is no surprise, but I absolutely suck at romantic relationships.  I think it's that feeling of putting all your weight on a branch and getting ready to fall.  That's probably why they call is falling in love.  Who knows?
So here goes, this new guy that I am kind of seeing is really just a friend so far.  He is leaving for his homeland in 2 months.  There is war there and he will be there for a month, and then will hopefully come back.  Part of me is horrific and self-protective, the common sense part, and just saying, "okay we'll make sure he comes back and then emotionally commit".  Part of me wants to dive right in and fall.  We both work really weird and crazy schedules and it's hard to see one another anyway.  But something about him makes it easy to discuss anything.  You really don't find that in normal, every day life.
Can you tell I'm riding the fence?
Guess I'll always be Voluntarily Solitary at this rate, right?  But why should self protection be a bad thing?  If a person really wants to be with you, they should be into protecting your feelings too, right?  I'm much better at thought that goes through a logical progression than all of these feelings.  Is anybody with me on this?

Friday, August 3, 2012

I was in bed after the alarm rang this morning, just trying to wake up to be capable of making coffee.  That was when I heard this great howling coming from outside.  Our cat often sneaks out when my son's friends come to visit at night, so I thought, no problem I will just let him in.
I went to the front door, no cat.  At the back door, there was no cat.  When I went back to the front door again, there was this even louder desperate howl.  I looked all over the yard, but couldn't find him.  That's when I realized that he was above me.  Yes, ladies and gentleman, my cat was on the roof.
I tried to get him to come down and jump into my arms, but he was shaking and terrified.  In retrospect, I would have been trembling too, had our positions been reversed.  So then, ever the logical person, I got a chair and tried to climb onto it, and from my height on the porch I could reach him, but only one leg and he kept backing up in fear of losing control.
I woke my son Bobby up, who is much taller than me.  He tried to help me, but just couldn't get him down either and he was trying to get some sleep before work.  I tried my other son, George.  He woke up, was kind enough to stand precariously on a chair, while I grabbed Beni's favorite yoga mat and put it out to get him.  (He loves yoga)).  Anyway, this odd situation worked and my cat, the climber is home.
After a rude awakening like that, is it possible to have a normal day???

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's crazy how much a person relies on and loves their Mom, isn't it?  You call her when your spaghetti sauce sucks to find out why.  You call her if the kid has a fever because she always knew what to do.  You call her just to hear her voice, even if it makes you cry because it's only gonna be available for a short time.
I guess my real problem is that my Mom was this free spirit that took us to Hindu churches, that studied Wicca, that was an amazing painter and artist and that lived in a Westfalia Vdub for a year and a half, surfing up and down the California coast.  She was all these things that I always admired and respected.  She had her lows, but it's because she threw herself heartily into life.
Now, she has decided to die.  Dialysis isn't a viable option for her because of her various other health conditions, and so she is slowly getting more toxins in her blood day by day.  They say two to six months, which started a couple of months ago.
Sometimes, she's up for a chat.  Sometimes she's exhausted with the nausea, headaches, and diarrhea that come with this condition.  But she really enjoyed the idea that I would visit her one last time.  It seemed stupid to wait until she was gone.  Why?  I couldn't help but to see her and to talk about her plans now.  She always has plans you see.  She intends to be cremated so that she can forever surf the waves.  I intend to take her ashes to New Jersey because that's where she was born and it's where I've always felt the most alive, on the boardwalk.  We donned our suits and turned heads together, her and I, back in the day.  We played games and we ate ginormous pieces of pizza that only real Italians from New Jersey can produce.  She taught me the love of mobster movies, "wait, here's the horse head scene!", she would shriek in excitement.  The one thing that I think my Mom has taught me most was how to really, truly live.  Each breath, each weekend was an adventure.  She could make shopping fun.  She's just that kind of chic.  I have no doubt that she will ride the waves.  It's what she was always born to do.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Thank you Tom.

I was working on my book, and as most of you know, it's about a little girl with AIDS and the urban family that comes to help her.  It reminded me of a moment that I had in my life that I really wanted to share with everyone because it's just uplifting.
I'm not a fan of politicians, I never have been.  So when we found out that Tom Daschle was going to be making an appearance at the AIDS house I worked at, I thought it was probably a photo opportunity or something.  We become so callous, don't we?  I guess it's because we don't often see humanity and government working together.
Anyway, my very best friend was a die hard Democrat from birth to death and he had been so excited that Tom Daschle was coming to visit.  It's unfortunate that AIDS seems to guess when your body needs health the most, and then it finds a new illness to confine you.  My poor friend was confined to his bed, and as the motorcade of special security pulled up with Tom in tow, I shook my head in sadness.
There were no photographers, there were only special security people like the ones you see in the movies.  But the man who came out was a lively man, Tom had a big smile and a handshake for everyone.  He listened to the residents that were well enough to talk to him.  He asked important questions about funding and what could be done to help the house with its goals.
At one point, I just had a gut instinct, so I said "Mr. Daschle, can I ask you for a favor?"
"Sure."  he said.
"My good friend is just a complete die hard fan of yours and of Democrats in general, but he's very ill.  Can you just poke your head in his room and say 'hi'?."
Tom Daschle wordlessly went to his room, and not only shook his hand, but sat on his bed and had a conversation.  My friend had tears of joy in his eyes.  So did the rest of us.
Perhaps Tom got run out by a bunch of conservative voters in our ridiculous state, but Tom Daschle amazed me with his humanity that day.
I don't know where you are to thank you, Tom, but I hope that you see this.  My friend has since died, but I know that in that moment, he truly lived.